Right now several of my friends are about to have babies. There seems to be something in the air! I have been keeping my own "Baby Fever" as under control as I can, but it does cause me to stop and think about my experiences... and what I would love others to know. Thanks to TwitterMoms and Lysol, they wanted bloggers to bring you a list of their top 10 things. Since I am a big of a list-maker, I am happy to share my tips for new moms out there... or even for those ladies going for their second or third!
#1-Get Cleaning!- The first week or month home with a new baby can be kinda foggy! I mean, there are diapers, feedings and all that time spend oogling over the new blessing in your home. I am a toe girl myself. I starred at my babies' toes for hours! Well, since I was occupied, I didn't have a whole lot of time to do the simple things like cleaning. I did leave my house clean when we went to the hospital and it saved me my sanity later. Also, don't be afraid to ask helpful friends and family to load the dishwasher or pitch-in while they are there to visit. Most people will ask if they can do something for you... take them up on it, and then return the favor when they need it!
#2- Cook up a Storm! I was so grateful for the few meals I packed away before bringing the baby home. I tried to do a variety of things... healthy soups, casseroles, and even threw some frozen balled cookie dough in for good measure. Healthy eating is important for Mom, baby and the rest of the family, but with a new baby who wants to cook? Be prepared and even ask family members to contribute to your freezer stash.
#3- Get Your Poop Organized. Oh, yeah... nothing like having a nice set-up ready for a new baby. I suggest a good diaper caddy like the Diaper Genie II for disposables, or a set of large wet bags for cloth diapers. Make sure you have both newborn and size 1 diapers for your little one since they grow so fast. I also love a nice stack of cloth diaper wipes for whatever mess comes your way. They also make great covers when changing little boys to avoid being peed on. If you are going the cloth route, be sure to have all your diapers pre-washed and stuffed or sorted.
#4-Set Up! Be sure to get your large items put together ahead of time. It is nice to get the crib and any swings put together before the sleep deprivation sets in. This also allows you to figure out if there are any missing parts or if you still need something to add to the room.
#5-Wash & Sort. This step I really loved. I made sure to wash all the baby clothes I purchased, or was given as a shower gift, well in advance. I used a scent free, mild formula safe for a baby's new skin. I also sorted like items and made piles by age. This way it was easy to rotate clothing when needed. I also hung up some dress-up outfits together so it was fast to find all the pieces and get out the door.
#7- Inform the Troops! It is important, especially in the first few days, that everyone knows your wishes and how they can help out. This includes Dad! Discuss with your partner if he will help with nighttime diapers, or if he will assist during nursing. My husband was working and I was not, so he was in charge of tending the baby from 3 am on. This allowed him a better night sleep. He also knew to bring me water and a snack while I nursed. Knowing expectations ahead of time caused less confusion later on.
#8- Buckle Up! Be sure to put your car seats together and install them far ahead of time. It is nice to know how they work and even have the installation inspected before the blessed day. Again, less to worry about later.
#9- Announcements. This can be done so many ways. The truth is, once I was home with my children it was the last thing on my mind. My DH started a simple blog for the baby so everyone was kept up to date. If you are going the paper announcement route, pick them out early. Have your design in mind so you can just upload a photo, or have a stock card picked out and print out a sheet of wallet sized photos at Walmart. So easy!
#10- Don't Lose Yourself! So important to remember that a healthy and happy Mom is much better for baby. Ask to have help to shower, or time to feel good. Plan some way to pamper yourself in the first month... whether an at home facial, or arrange to get out. Taking time for Mom will benefit everyone!
Overall you will do just fine. If you forget something, there will be people to help. The greatest part is your baby has so few expectations of you. They just need you... love, warmth and you. Like I said, I have several friends expecting in the next couple of months. I hope they get all their lists completed and hope as a friend to help wherever I can.
Disclaimer - I wrote this blog post while participating in the TwitterMoms and Lysol® Wee Wisdom blogging program, making me eligible to get a $50 gift card. For more information on how you can participate, click here.