Preparing before a baby arrives means more than just getting the nursery together. After having two babies, here are some things I found important when preparing for a new baby.
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Financially Preparing before Baby Arrives
1. Start Preparing Financially: The sooner you start financially preparing for a new baby the better. Even if you are just socking away a few dollars here and there, it adds up. Apps like Ibotta and Ebates can get you cash back and special coupon codes for things you will be buying for the baby(sheets, diapers, etc). They both offer cash sign-up bonuses.
2. Try to Live off of One Income A new baby means lots of expenses. You also don’t know if you will want to stay home or continue to work. Whatever your choice, a trial run on living on one income helps you save money for daycare, a college fund, or eliminating debt.
3. Dave Ramsey’s Total Money Makeover is the best for getting out of debt quickly and saving some money. It’s perfect for anyone, even if you HATE talking money. If the thought of reading a finance book makes you glaze over, try the audible addition. I bought a bundle of his books and it came with his CDs which are easy to listen to while driving. I like to replay them for a good refresher.
4. Register for your Baby Shower Register for your baby shower, check out Amazon’s Baby Registry for “Earth’s Largest Baby Selection.” It’s nice because you can read reviews and get special discounts if you are an Amazon Prime member. Before you have your shower check out 7 Things Every Mom should know Before her Baby Shower
5. Consider a Diaper Stockpile Both with Lainey and Libby I had a diaper stockpile stash. It’s nice to start a stockpile so you have lots of diapers on hand. Wait until after your shower to buy any size one or size two. Here are 7 Cheap Ways to Build a Diaper Stockpile
Preparing the Household Before Baby Arrives
Before Libby we would let the cats sleep in the room with us. Once she was born we shifted them to their own room and eventually to the basement with a cat door. My cats like to lay on us and I was concerned they would lay in the bassinet and suffocate the baby.
It’s better to get animals trained/out the room/etc., sooner rather than later. It helps you prepare for accidents, animal frustrations, and working out the kinks before your baby comes. Here’s some tips on getting your dog prepared for a new baby.
2. Prepare your Other Kids for a New Baby Libby was just a little over two. There are lots of things to do to prepare a toddler for a new baby. We focused on explaining what a big sister was and getting her sleeping in her crib again. We had fallen out of usual bedtime habits when the third trimester tiredness hit.
It was also a priority to install child safety items like locks and gates. Toddlers in general seem to get the most “curious,” when you are preoccupied. It just makes it 1000X easier having everything in place.
3. Stockpile Household Items Stockpile household items like toilet paper, paper towel, disposable plates,etc. You can always get 2 Day shipping with most items on Amazon Prime, but it’s nice to not have to worry about needing to run out and buy stuff.
It’s also really nice to have throw away plates and utensils so you don’t have to worry about dishes.
Related Post: Household Items to Stockpile Before Baby Arrives
4. Get some meals togethers With Lainey I had all of these big plans to make tons of freezer meals and post them for you guys. In December, I made about 8 meals to test and see if I liked them. I put them in the deep freezer and only used a few before I forgot about them! Ugh! I never got around to making more before Lainey arrived.
Hubby and I ended up going grocery shopping and getting a huge cart full of groceries. We like to stock up and have easy meals available like a frozen pizza or lasagna so that they could feed us a few days or be shared with visitors.
Preparing for the Hospital
1. Decided who you want in the Hospital Room I didn’t even think about this until it was brought up at a birthing class. Decide who you want in the hospital room with you and plan accordingly. Parents may assume they will be invited into the room during the delivery process. Ultimately it’s up to you who you have in there.
2. Pack your Bag There are tons of posts out there on what to bring in your hospital bag. When packing a bag I kept it pretty simple. I brought my nursing tea, a comfortable change of lose clothes to wear home, cute outfits for a hospital photo session and a some hygiene products. An open robe is nice if your planning on breastfeeding. Slippers are also nice for wearing around the hospital.
It’s important to know what your hospital will provide, so that’s something you can talk to your OBGYN about. For instance, do you need to bring your own diapers, pads, etc.
3. Take a before the Hospital Picture Take a picture before the hospital of your belly. It’s a perfect photo for the first pages of a baby book.
4. Create a Schedule and Plan for Other Children If you have other children have a plan in place for who is going to watch them while you are delivering. Keep a list of any medications or schedules for your kids or pets. It will help keep the routine while you are gone. It’s also good to have a written plan in case you have complications and end up staying at the hospital longer then intended.
5. Install the Car Seat Install the car seat in your third trimester. You never know when you are going to go into labor. Having this done ahead of time is one less thing to stress about at the hospital. If it’s cold where you live, get a bundle me for the car seat.
Other Call to Action Items for the Hospital
2. Fill out the Birth Certificate Form & Social Security Paper Your hospital should provide you with a pack of information for mailing in the birth certificate and social security paperwork. Finishing the paperwork in the hospital makes it one last thing to worry/forget about.
3. Pick a Pediatrician Usually two days after delivery, there is a follow-up appointment with a pediatrician to make sure baby is eating, pooping, peeing and in general, healthy. The hospital will want to know who your Pediatrician is.
4. Meet the Lactation Consultant If you are planning on breastfeeding, see if your hospital has a lactation consultant on staff. There can be a lot of reasons breastfeeding isn’t working. It’s better to have a number so you can reach out right away.
Related Post: Surviving the First Week with a Newborn