People will have all the advice in the world for you when baby arrives, but no one says much about what you should be doing before baby arrives. Most of what I will suggest may seem like a no brainer, but there were things I wish someone told me or I thought of before baby arrived. And while there is no hard science to predict when baby will arrive, unless you know the exact date baby will be arriving due to booking a C-Section or induction there is still a good chance that baby might surprise you. Almost all suggestions can be done well before baby arrives but you should strive to have everything done a month before baby arrives, if you have a higher risk pregnancy you may want to do some of this much earlier just in case.
1 – Clean your home
I likely cannot stress enough how cleaning your home is a must. This seems like a no-brainer and granted if you go through a nesting period you’ll likely get this done. In fact many people say that once you start your nesting period it likely won’t be too long until baby arrives. I had three nesting periods so maybe it depends on the type of person you are. But I would suggest having your house in a state of near cleanliness before baby arrives because after baby arrives you will be lucky if you have enough brain functioning power to remember where the bathroom is. And it is quite likely that once baby arrives your home could become a disaster area as things are just left until baby is down for the count or you have enough energy to deal with it. Now if you have a huge family or huge support system getting people to help you clean or tidy up may not be an issue, but if you don’t have a huge family or a lot of support doing things now will save you issues in the future.
2 – Get the nursery or babies area ready
This seems fairly simple and if you taken stock of your home and had your shower you’ve likely unpacked all your gifts and started putting together your nursery or baby area. If you haven’t done this get it done. Last thing you need to be coming home to after giving birth is an unfinished crib or half unpacked pack n’ play. Trust me when I say your energy and ability to do anything after baby will likely be non-existent. Unless your delivery is perfect and there are no issues, you will be too tired to possibly think straight and you may be physically unable to do much after baby is born.
3 – Stock up on Non-Perishables, supplies, etc.
It is amazing how fast you can run out of things once baby arrives, food, soap, toilet paper, etc. All of it can go faster than your money as you pay for diapers and unless you have a huge family network that lives close or people willing to run out and do your shopping for you it is best to be prepared. Start stocking up on essentials like toilet paper, paper towels, canned food or frozen food. If you’re the only person that knows how to cook in your house buy frozen meats or meals already pre-sauced that can be easily cooked via your stove or microwave or barbecue. While it may seem frivolous to have a stack of toilet paper in your house, not having to worry about who will get this in week two of babies arrival is far better and just puts your mind at ease.
4 – Finish up any undone projects or put them away
If you are a hobby type person then you may have a few projects on the go like the quilt you’re making for baby or the armoire you’re going to sand and stain for your room. Whatever the project either work on getting it finished or pack it away for later. Having supplies to something you might not be able to pick up for several months littered around your house is not helpful and may end up being an eyesore for company. Getting the project done may fill you with a sense of accomplishment and finality, but there is no shame in packing away a project that may be too big to complete before baby arrives.
5 – Do something with Friends, Family, Co-Workers
Unless you end up giving birth at the same time as your cousins, friends or co-workers expect your social life to take a dive after baby is born. While you will have your baby shower to see everyone and touch base, your shower will not give you much time to have more personal time with those closest to you. Before you lose much of your time to being stuck in baby town it might be a good idea to book some time whether it is a lunch, dinner or even trying to have a night out with those friends, family, and co-workers you are close with. This time may be the last you have for a while.
5 – Do something with your significant other
If you think having personal time with friends is tough after having a baby say good bye to your personal time with your significant other. Baby will monopolize so much of your time after its arrival that you may only see your significant other in the pre-morning dawn hours before they are off to work and after work before you and baby try to hunker down for the night. If you are exclusively breast feeding your time will be more devoted to baby then whether dinner is made. Babymoons (like honeymoons but are vacations before baby arrives) are becoming hugely popular and for good reason, getting a chance to get away and reconnect may be just the thing you need before baby arrives. Even if you can’t get away going out for a simple dinner and movie might be the type of unwind you need. Either way, you should set aside some time before it is lost for a while.
6 – Do something for yourself
Whether it is going out for a day at the spa, seeing a movie or even finishing your favourite video game, do something for yourself. It may seem selfish but being the mom means saying good bye to being able to do anything you like to do for a while. If there is something you love to do or would like to finish do it. The next time you might be able to sit down and have five minutes to yourself and not be thinking of what you need to clean or how tired you are could be years in the future. Do something for yourself so you don’t feel like you regret not doing it.
7 – Sleep
Ahh sleep the one commodity you won’t know you miss until you have a baby and realize that getting even two hours of uninterrupted sleep is a blessing. So if you are feeling tired or drained take a nap, now you may not be able to do this at work but after work going down for a nap is not bad in fact it may help recharge your batteries for the rest of the night. It is also not a sin to have a lazy day where you stay in your pajamas all day and sleep most of the day. Trust me when I say to cherish this ability to sleep while you can.
8 – Think of where you will sleep once baby arrives
Now if babies crib, bassinet or pack n’ play is in your room you may not have to think much about this. But if baby has its own room or you have a multi-storied house things may be different. It is suggested someone be sleeping in the same room as baby for the first six months of their life as a prevention against Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS). If baby has its own room you may want to consider moving in a comfortable futon or bed into the baby room or getting yourself some type of cot. If you have a multi-storied house and end up with a tear or C-Section you may be stuck on one floor of your home for a few days to a week. With baby on the same floor as you do you have somewhere comfortable to sleep? Think of all these things before baby arrives lest you find yourself balled up on the floor as the only comfortable alternative.
9 – Babysitting and other services
Depending on your situation and the type of family you have it may be easy to have people watch the baby for a few hours as you take a nap or get out to run some errands. If you don’t have a huge swath of support consider putting out feelers to see about babysitters and other child care services now. Some daycare places have long wait lists so getting on one before baby comes around might be best. You might also need to see how much a daycare is and how long it is open for if your job is 8-5 but daycare closes at 4 you may need to make arrangements to have baby taken care of for an hour or work with your work place about changing your working hours. But it is best to look around now then try to do something last minute.
As always some of these suggestions may work for you and others may not. Depending on your situation you may not need to think about half of these, but for anyone not so fortunate it is always good to consider these points now before it is too late.