With so much to think about, here are 10 tips for pregnant moms from moms who’ve been there.
1. Getting the nursery ready – There is more to getting ready for a new baby than picking paint colors and bedding, although that is so much fun! Depending on the space or room, key things to having an organized space are do you have enough room for a crib, changing table, dresser, rocker? If space is limited you need may need to think about double duty furniture. A crib with drawers underneath is wonderful for extra sheets. A dresser that can do double duty as a changing table can grow with the child. A rocker than can easily move into another room and not look like a glider is great for when it is on longer needed in the nursery. Baskets and bins are wonderful for storage, they should be labeled for their contents. Diapers, onesies, etc.
2. Before and after the baby arrives organize all the clothing you receive as gifts. Set up the closet and drawers by age. If you are hanging clothes, use color-coded hangers for the appropriate age., e.g. 0-6 months has white hangers, 6-12 months has pink. If you want to keep the closet uniformed with all the same hangers, use tabs that can attach to the top of the hanger for the ages, which are available at www.containerstore.com. For your drawers spring loaded drawer dividers are a great solution in large drawers. They are available from www.bedbathandbeyond.com and come in white and wood colors. Divide the drawers and label the insides e.g. shirts, dresses, etc. this way opens the drawer will know what is in each section.
3. At the bottom of the closet have two clear bins or baskets set up. One container should be labeled “pack away” and the other “donate”. Your baby is going to be growing out of clothes very quickly so when they something doesn’t fit you want to be able to quickly put it away in the “pack away” bin or place it in the “donate” bin where the item can be given to a friend or charity. Once the donate bin is full, remove the contents and get in the car as soon as you can so it isn’t starting to pile up causing unwanted clutter in the home.
4. Have an area in the nursery or home for all returns, there may be gifts you get that are duplicates or the wrong size. Once the baby comes along it will sometimes be hard to remember where you left those shoes that need to be returned. A bin or canvas tote can hold all returns until you are ready to head to the store. Make sure this bin or bag is labeled “returns”.
5. It is important to have the car seat all set up, the bassinet ready to go and all linens and clothes washed in kid friendly detergent. The more prepared you are with this stuff the more relaxed the first few days at home will be.
6. The hospital bag should be all packed and ready to go. Make sure the bag contains a family photo, reading material, your favorite music, hard candy and peppermint tea for afterwards. Bringing some comforts from home can really make the hospital stay much more enjoyable.
7. Not only should you have everything ready for the baby but you should also make sure you have everything you need for when you get home from the hospital. Do you have family members who can come by for a few hours and help you with laundry, make some meals, or just be there to support you through this transition.
8. Have some nice clothes ready for those couple of months after the baby is born, you may not be back to your pre-baby weight but if you are wearing something that makes you feel good about yourself it will do wonders for your confidence.
9. Having your vitamins and medication all in one spot is key also, keep them out on the counter or in a place that you won’t forget. Yes, they are not the prettiest things to look at so get an attractive container or basket to hold everything.
Use phone and online tools to set reminders for all kinds of critical tasks because you’ll often comment that you think you’re losing your mind. There are plenty of online services that will remind you to buy diapers, change your contact lens, or pay the cable bill, so use them. You’ll never feel as scattered as you do with a new baby in the house. Check out acuminder.com as an example. They will send you text messages & emails sent to you to make sure you are changing and taking care of your contact lenses. You are going to have a lot of distractions so you want to make sure you are taking care of yourself.
Drink lots of water, take your vitamins and taking care of tired eyes is key.
10. Join a playgroup or start one of your own. This is more important for you than your baby, it is a great way to meet new moms and to talk about the new experiences you are going through.
Don’t be afraid to ask for help from friends and family – they are only too glad to help and don’t forget to take care of yourself. A happy Mommy means a happy household.