This week I’m 40 weeks pregnant so we are anxiously waiting baby’s arrival! There are a few odd and end things I’d like to tie up before baby comes, but overall I’m as ready as I can be. I’m not looking forward to the labor process, although I can’t wait to meet our new little one! I want to share with you things that I have done in getting ready for our new baby. I’ll include my top 20 nesting tips and a free printable checklist so you can be prepared for your new bundle of joy too!
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Getting Ready for Baby
1. Write a birth plan. Think about how you’d like your birth to go and write out a plan. You’ll want to include things like who you’d like to attend, how interventions are handled, pushing, type of birth (natural or c-section), hospital admission & procedures, testing, circumcision if a boy. Realize things may have to change depending on if there is an emergency situation, but overall your wishes should be followed. Give to your midwife and pack an extra in your just-in-case hospital bag.
2. Let family/friends know if/when you want visitors well in advance. This can be a hot topic for some families but honestly, you are the one having the baby so you get to decide who is at your birth and when you are ready to see visitors afterward. If you are like me, you prefer to labor privately with only your midwife and husband and see close relatives after eating and resting a few hours, and for only a short time. Other friends and family within the week, if you feel up to it. I let my family know this around 13 weeks so they had time to process and knew way in advance my wishes. Other moms prefer to have friends and family present from the first contraction through the whole ordeal. Either way is perfectly normal, just make sure you are doing what is most comfortable for you!
3. Find a midwife/healthcare person. It can be overwhelming and a real challenge to find the right person to help you through your pregnancy and birth experience. I found this article to be the most helpful in finding out all I can so I can make the best choice for my situation.
4. Do your research. Research testing you’ll have done during your pregnancy, possible procedures, & vaccines and make your decisions early on. Even if you’re planning a home birth, you’ll also need to decide on a hospital in case transport becomes necessary. Call around and tour for the best hospital in your area to see how they handle things in a transfer situation. I was shocked by one local hospital’s routine practice in a particular area and decided NOT to go there based on that one practice alone.
5. Prepare freezer meals. Prepare freezer meals for at least 1 month. I did this mostly with dinners that should have enough for lunches as well. I also prepared a week’s worth of breakfast foods, plus I have a list of another week’s worth of easy-throw-together breakfasts. And honestly, I bought a couple boxes of cereal which we normally don’t eat a whole lot of, just for this transition period. Right now my fridge looks pretty empty, but both of my freezers are full with ready to go meals so I can have plenty of recovery time and not worry about what we are going to eat. We’ll just need to get some fresh produce like salads, fruits, make noodles fresh or get bakery breads/buns as we go. I’m hoping this will make for a great grocery budget this next month!
6. Arrange postpartum care, if desired. My husband will be home the 1st week after I give birth to help me adjust, to help with Caleb, to reheat meals and to just be there for me. He is an amazing caretaker (& birth partner too!) and I’m so blessed to have him! You may want to have helpers for light housekeeping, running errands or even just for company. If I need extra help I know I can count on my personal friends as well as our amazing ladies in our FWBC Postpartum Pals support group. Don’t be afraid to reach out and ask for help if you need it!
7. Decide what you will wear in labor. This one I hadn’t really thought about with my first born. It wasn’t until one of the ladies in our support group asked about it that I put some thought into it. This time I ordered 2 labor gowns! Just in case my toddler decides to come in the room or if I have to be transferred to the hospital for whatever reason, I’d like to be covered in something nice and comfortable. There are really fancy and expensive ones online and a ton of DIY patterns on Pinterest. I don’t sew that great so I decided to just order the least expensive ones I could find. One for during the birth and one after. They will also be great for postpartum and nursing.
8. Buy Maternity/Nursing Clothes. Right after I gave away all my maternity clothes I found out I was pregnant. Ha! And these items are SO expensive! For the most part, my clothes are very stretchy, & my skirts elastic waisted, so I can wear a lot of my clothes throughout pregnancy, except at the very end. I just wear skirts below the belly and wear my longer undershirts and shirts. I really only bought a few maternity blouses at thrift stores and a couple maternity tank tops at Walmart for $5. And with my 1st for nursing, I only purchased nursing tank tops and bras and just did the 2 shirt method (nursing tank/bra down, shirt up & nursing tank covers belly area). Which I will do that mostly this time as well but I did find a few very nice nursing shirts on Amazon that I ordered in different colors. I thought it would be nice to have a few shirts that were actually designed for nursing this time around! I’m also eyeing some beautiful nursing items from MilkyMa Clothing. 😍
Products from Amazon.com
Price: $27.99Was: $29.99
9. Wash baby clothes & essentials. You may need to purchase some baby clothes but I still had a lot of mine on hand from my 1st born. If the new baby is a boy we are all set. I did purchase a handful of girl onesies and receiving blankets from a thrift store. So if we have a girl we will at least have some clothing to get started with along with some neutral items of Caleb’s. In any case, you will want to wash all baby clothes, towels, washcloths, and burp cloths so they are fresh for baby. And, btw, babies can be very sensitive to laundry detergent and dryer sheets so my advice is to use a plant based-eco friendly-unscented detergent for the whole family and not to use dryer sheets at all, unless they are the DIY all natural, you know what’s in there, type.
10. Wash baby gear & assemble. Baby gear like the baby swing, bouncy seat, car seat & stroller are things if you already have will need to be cleaned and/or assembled before baby’s arrival.
11. Purchase diapers & wipes. You will need the newborn type at first. Order enough for at least the first month so you don’t have to worry about it for a while.
12. Order birth/postpartum supplies. Your midwife will have a list of supplies for you to purchase or may even have you order a birth kit. You can check out this video if you’d like to see what that’s all about.
13. Get Baby Carriers. This is definitely a must have! My favorites are the K’tan for newborn/smaller babies and the Lillebaby Complete for bigger/older babies. I kept both of my carriers & just rewashed so they are fresh for baby. Some moms also really like ring slings.
14. Order birth tub. I prefer to rent a jetted, temperature controlled birth tub. It really helps with pain management during labor. The tub is basically a spa tub with hard sides you can lean on, with jets to soothe and temperature controls so you (or your husband/doula) don’t have to worry about the water temperature during labor. If you are local, you have to use Donna! She is wonderful and I don’t even want to imagine labor & giving birth without one of these amazing tubs!
15. Pack a hospital bag, just in case. Even if you are planning a home birth, in an emergency you may have to transport and you’ll definitely want some comforts from home. Maybe your new labor gown, clothes to wear home, toiletries, car charger, baby clothes and such. Oh, and an extra copy of your birth plan!
16. Gather & organize birth supplies. Set aside in a box or basket, ready for the midwife so she can find what she needs easily and quickly. Also have extra towels, a large bowl for the placenta, birth/exercise ball, flexible straws, flashlight, and garbage bags.
17. Snacks & drinks for labor for mom & birth team. Think high energy & protein. Coconut water or Gatorade. Also, make lactation cookies, and buy Mother’s Milk tea.
18. Clean the house. You will not want to look at a dirty house for a week or two during recovery so do a good cleaning of everything and get as organized as possible beforehand.
19. Get entertainment together for yourself and kids for recovery time. We have library books for both of us, a little preschool workbook we can work through, some Pinterest activities for kids and for me I’m still working on my Grocery Budget Bootcamp course! Haha!
20. Pamper yourself. Giving birth is a HUGE ordeal. And postpartum recovery is no joke. Plus you will be tied to your newborn for at least the first few months almost exclusively. Being mom to a newborn is a beautiful blessing but it is also is very taxing. So if you can, go get a pre-natal massage, manicure, pedicure & hair done before baby comes! My sweet husband sent me to get a manicure, pedicure and hair cut and it was such a special treat! Take some time and do some self care just for you before baby comes!
See below for your free printable checklist. I hope you find it helpful! AND, PLEASE, take it easy after baby arrives as well. I’ve been told a good rule of thumb is in bed for a week, around your bed for a week and around the house for a week. Here’s a great sermon on Postpartum Recovery if you’d like to hear a biblical perspective. It’s for your own well being, as well as your newborn and the rest of your family to take the necessary time to recover and adjust to your new normal. Hope this post has given you ideas and inspired you in your nesting venture! How will you prepare for baby? Seasoned moms, what are your top tips in preparing for baby?
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