Bringing your baby home from the hospital is one of the most joyous occasions of your life. It can be such a whirlwind of emotions when months of planning come to fruition. Have you done everything? What are you missing? Here are some things that are easily forgotten amid the chaos of preparing to give birth.
1. Do Laundry
Hypoallergenic detergent is ideal for newborns because it’s made specifically for your little one’s brand new sensitive skin. It’s important to remember to wash everything before the baby arrives. You want to remove all dyes and irritants from new clothing and bedding before putting them on your newborn. It’s better to be safe than sorry about protecting your new baby’s delicate skin.
2. Consider Floors
Many new parents don’t think about how much time they will spend with their babies on the ground. We’re talking about tummy time, playtime and even crawling around as the little ones progress. The floors should be clean before bringing your baby home from the hospital — you might even consider installing new ones. You want your flooring to be resistant to spills — there will be a lot of them — or at least easily maintained. You should consider comfort for the baby’s first steps and safety and durability for activities.
3. Clean Fridge
You’ll need plenty of room in your refrigerator for breast milk, premixed formula, and meals your family and friends might bring you to show support. There should be plenty of space in your fridge for everything you need. You may also want to make room for leftover takeout. Let’s face it: No one will expect you to cook when you first arrive home from delivering the baby.
4. Make Freezer Meals
Since you’re not going to feel like cooking for a bit, pre-make some freezer meals that you or your partner can thaw and serve. This can be a part of the nesting process before your baby arrives. You will save time and stress once you come home from the hospital, especially if you have other little mouths to feed. The last thing you will want to do after a long day with a newborn is to stand in a hot kitchen and cook a meal. Make your life a little bit easier by preparing ahead of schedule.
5. Make a Postpartum Basket
You’ve been so wrapped up in planning and ensuring everything is ready for the baby’s grand debut. What about you? Gift baskets are the sweetest gifts ever after having a baby. Something as simple as a face mask could make you burst into tears with gratitude.
In case someone lovely doesn’t make you such a gift, put a basket together with all the postpartum supplies you think you’ll need. Fill it with snacks, nursing pads, lip balms, magazines and whatever your heart desires. Look up some everyday things you might want or need to generate and tailor ideas specifically for you.
6. Try Out New Stuff
New babies come with all sorts of fun gadgets you need to learn how to use. If you’ve never pumped before, you’ll need to ensure you’re acquainted with your breast pump before using it. If breastfeeding is new to you, read up on what to expect so you’re educated and don’t panic when something new comes up.
Car seats, strollers and cribs must be assembled and installed before birth. Even video nightlights or baby monitors could take a little time to set up. Assemble and try everything out so you’re ready for the baby’s first day home. You might be surprised what little time you’ll have to do these things once the baby arrives. Don’t put it off.
7. Set Boundaries
Everyone is going to want to meet the baby. Set rules and expectations for loved ones before the baby arrives so everyone is on the same page. Explain your reasoning so there are no hurt feelings. For example, sanitizer must be used before they’re allowed to hold the baby because their immune system hasn’t fully developed.
Newborns can be a lot of work, and sometimes it takes a village. However, you need time to rest, recharge, and bond with your new bundle of joy alone and with your partner. You may be grateful for the help, but the company can get overwhelming and exhausting. Tell loved ones that while you are incredibly thankful, they must respect the boundaries you set.
8. Talk With Partner
It’s important to talk with your partner about your expectations for each other after the baby is born. You want to ensure you are both on the same page. Be open and honest with each other about your feelings and your fears or concerns. Come up with a plan together. It’s also a good idea to discuss deviations from the agenda since things might come up you may not have known how to prepare for. Questions you should consider include:
How will you handle this together?
What will you do to support each other on your not-so-great days?
Who will be in charge of scheduling for the other children if you have them?
Who will wake up in the middle of the night with the crying baby? Are you going to take turns or rotate sleep schedules?
Is your partner going to be able to take time off work to help out?
Are there family members you could recruit for help if not?
Having a plan set and knowing how to execute it as a team is essential for brand new parents.
Baby-proofing may not seem important until you have a crawler on your hands. Waiting to do this until it’s needed may lead to accidents. You don’t want your curious baby ingesting dish soap because you didn’t take precautions in advance. Babies get into everything. Prepare ahead of time to keep your baby safe.
10. Spend Quality Time
Spend some quality time together as partners and teammates before you become parents. If you are already parents, you know how chaotic and challenging it can be to get some time alone as a couple or even by yourself after bringing the baby home. Take advantage of the time you have now and relish it.
Make a List and Check It Off
Babies are the most precious little lovebugs on the planet. You will be so filled with love and happiness once the baby arrives that everything else will fade away. Having these items checked off your list will take a load off your mind and let you fully enjoy your new bundle of joy.
About The Author:
Rose Morrison is a home living writer with over five years experience. She is the managing editor of Renovated.com, a home living site where she loves to cover home renovations and decor to inspire everyone to live their best DIY life. When she isn't writing, you'll find her baking something to satisfy her never-ending sweet tooth.