The first couple of months of motherhood are all-consuming. Most of your time is spent feeding, rocking, or playing with your brand new, perfect little human. If you’re lucky, there might be time during the day to take a shower. You can never be entirely prepared for how much your life is going to change after you have a baby. As new moms, we are told the major things like making sure our hospital bag is packed or the nursery is ready but here are a couple simple, yet very important, things to do in the days before you’re due that will make your transition into motherhood a little less jarring.
1. Wash Everything
If you haven’t already, make sure everything is clean. Not just all of those great newborn onesies that you received at your baby shower, but wash any bottles, blankets, etc.—anything that you might possibly need in your baby’s first month of life. While you’re at it, make sure you and your significant other have enough clean clothes to last a couple weeks as well. The last thing you’ll want to do is tons of laundry right after the baby is born!
2. Fill The Freezer
Enlist family members and friends to help cook freezer-friendly meals for the first couple days after the baby’s birth. Things like soups and casseroles are great make-ahead meals. You’ll be grateful that you have home-cooked meals to come home to after eating hospital food for several days. It is also great to stock up on your favorite healthy snacks because breastfeeding is taxing on the body. You’ll be happy you have nutritious options on hand. I ended up with a lot of take-out in those first couple days because we just weren’t prepared!
3. Get Some Sleep!
This one is by far the most important. You will probably feel incredibly anxious and most-likely extremely uncomfortable physically during those last couple days before you deliver but really try to get as much sleep as you possibly can. Take even short naps if you can. Your nerves might get the better of you in those last couple days but trust me, you will need your strength!
4. Get The Right Car Seat
Most other big items can wait but make sure you have the car seat figured out before you go into labor. Sit down and really do your research to make an informed decision about what kind of car seat will fit your family’s needs. Trust me you will be happy later on that you took the time to pick the right one. They are a fairly big investment and it can be frustrating when they don’t work out. For instance, I picked the Chicco Keyfit2, a two-year, rear-facing car seat that supports babies up to 35 pounds or 35 inches, after learning that it could easily transition from an infant car seat to a toddler car seat. The fact that we didn’t have to buy another car seat after just a few months helped us financially. We also love that we still have a handle to carry our baby in and out of cabs and that the car seat could fit into our stroller for a longer period of time. Its convenient features make this car seat a lifesaver for those families that don't have regular access to a car.
After you've picked the perfect car seat, make sure you understand how to correctly install it. It is incredibly important that they are installed correctly. Don’t leave it until the day you’re leaving the hospital to try to figure out how to put your baby safely in the car.
5. Go on a Date
Going out to a restaurant will never be the same after your baby is born. If you do it at all those first couple months, it will become a balancing act between tending to your baby and trying to feed yourself before your food gets cold. So go to your favorite, super-fancy restaurant one more time with your partner before you give birth and enjoy that time together. It will never be just the two of you again so take that time to really connect before the baby comes. As uncomfortable as you may feel at 39-40 weeks pregnant, trust me it’s worth it! And get dessert too!
6. Take Some Alone Time
Lastly, take some time to pamper yourself—whatever that means to you. It could be as simple as reading a book for a couple hours or getting your nails done or even taking a walk on the beach. Because as soon as that baby comes, it will be all about them! Self-care is important and it will be something you most likely will struggle with after the baby comes. Make sure you continue to make a little time for yourself even after you have your baby. It is very easy to lose yourself in those first couple months but taking the time to do the things you love to do can help a lot.
A few more things:
- Have at least a couple weeks worth of diapers and wipes on hand as well.
- Leave your hospital bag and comfy shoes by the door so you don’t have to look for them when it comes time.
Doing these few, simple things can help make the first few months of motherhood a little smoother. Don’t overwhelm yourself with trying to make everything perfect for your new little one. Do what you can and everything else can wait. You’re doing a great job, mama and your baby is lucky to have you!
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and does not substitute for diagnosis, prognosis, treatment, prescription, and/or dietary advice from a licensed health professional. Drugs, supplements, and natural remedies may have dangerous side effects. If pregnant or nursing, consult with a qualified provider on an individual basis. Seek immediate help if you are experiencing a medical emergency.
© 2018 Alia Parisi