Preparing for a new baby is an exciting and scary time, especially with the first
child. When our son was born, we had no idea what we would need to do to get our
home ready for our sweet little bundle of joy. I read every book that I could on
preparing the nursery, bought all of the proper bedding, and washed his tiny little
baby clothes. These were the things that I thought would be the most important in
preparation of his homecoming. With the second child though, I began to realize
that I would need to complete many more tasks before we brought our daughter home.
I would now be performing the balancing act of raising two children and I would
need to really be on top of my game this time. This article will explain a few simple
things that I found to be helpful in preparing myself & my home for the new
Fill Your Freezer
The Family Groove
The Family Groove is the first-of-its-kind national online magazine and local resource guide for parents.
One of the best things that you can do for yourself is to begin filling your freezer
a few months before your baby arrives. The last thing you are going to want to do
when you get home is to prepare meals for the family. You are going to be very tired
and the first thing that will pop into your mind when the dinner hour rolls around will be… take out, of course! To save yourself from resorting to a hamburger
& fries every night (not to mention the blow it would be to your wallet), start
making doubles of your dinners once a week.
Choose a day that is easiest for you
to prepare an extra dinner for your freezer. Fill the freezer with things that are
easy to double and to reheat. Some of the things that I chose to fill our freezer
with were meatballs, meatloaf, pizza dough, casseroles, & lasagna. Make sure
to clearly mark the outside of the packaging with what the item is and the date
of preparation. It is also helpful to include (either on the outside of the meal
or on a piece of paper tucked inside the freezer bag) directions for reheating &
cooking your meal. Feeding your freezer will really help you in the early
weeks when you are sleep deprived & dinner is the last thing on your list to
Thank you, Thank you
Make sure to purchase plenty of stamps & thank you notes to keep on hand. Making
a trip to the post office or card shop will be last on your list of things you would
want to do in the first few weeks after bringing your child home. The gifts will
really add up and I found myself overwhelmed with thankfulness and notes that needed
to go out to everyone. I kept track of these gifts by keeping a notebook next to
the cards and writing down any baby gifts, gift cards, or meals that I received
from my family & friends. If I had a spare moment (these were very few &
far between), I would jot down a thank you note and send it out in the mail. Having
these items on hand really helped me get them out just a little bit quicker.
There will be lots of diaper changes in your future after bringing your baby home.
If you are planning on using disposable diapers, add diapers to your grocery list
a few months before the baby arrives and pick a box up each time you go. Try to
avoid buying a lot in the smaller sizes (newborn or preemie) because you will be
surprised how few of these most people go through. Picking up a box here & there
will feel like you are not spending as much on the diapers and you won’t have to
make a diaper run in the evening when you are tired & ready to unwind.
If you are cloth diapering, make sure to get your stash of diapers ready ahead of
time. Most diapers will require a series of washes before they are ready to
be used. Make sure to read all of the manufacturer’s instructions and get the diapers
ready in advance.
A Little Convenience
There are items that I consider to be convenience items that many people keep in
their homes on a daily basis. If you are like me and keep few convenience items
in your house, now would be the time to bend the rules a little bit. There were
a few convenience items that I bought to help make things easier in the first few
Paper products were one of the items that I added to my grocery list before the
baby was born. I purchased paper plates and cups to save me time from washing dishes.
These are not items that I normally keep in our house, but it saved me a little
time in the kitchen.
Another item that I felt was helpful to have on hand were cleaning wipes for the
bathrooms & kitchen. We had lots of visitors coming to see our new baby and
it was much easier for me to whip out a cleaning wipe and swipe down the bathrooms
& kitchen then to get out my caddy of goodies to get the rooms looking clean.
I am a frugal gal at heart, but there are times where convenience is very helpful.
We also bought some convenience foods that my husband could prepare for himself
& our son. It was nice to have a few things that they could put together without
You will find eating to be a difficult task when you are caring for a newborn. I
found myself not setting aside any time to eat and when I would want to eat, our
little one would be hungry as well. To make sure I got the nourishment I needed,
I kept a basket of snacks that I could eat between meals. Try to take note of the
things that they offer to you at the hospital for snacks and use this as a guide
towards healthy snack options that you can indulge in. I filled my basket with granola
bars, cereal bars, crackers, and fruit. We also kept string cheese, baby carrots,
and fat-free puddings for me to eat. One-handed snacks are the best for those early
days when you are constantly feeding & bouncing your baby.
Don’t forget to try and feed your mind a little bit too. Keep a basket of books
or magazines next to the place where you do the majority of your feedings. The material
doesn’t need to be intellectual, but it should be able to provide a little “escape”
from the everyday monotony of diaper changes and feedings.
Hopefully, these suggestions will help as you prepare for your new little family
member. Remember, try and enjoy this time as much as you can. They are only little
like this once and the days will fly by quicker than you realize.