Whether you are expecting your first child or your fifth, there are always a lot of preparations to be made. It’s easy to get caught up in buying cute baby clothes and maybe painting a nursery, which are fun things, and preparing for a great birth (yay childbirth classes!) is essential, but what are some practical ways to prepare ahead of time for life after you bring your baby home?
1. Stock your freezer
You’re body is doing so much work as it slowly heals and if you’re breastfeeding, produces milk for your baby. Rest is vital (but not always easy to practice) in the weeks following your baby’s birth. Even if you want to cook or think about a meal plan, it can add a lot of stress when you have to balance a new schedule of feeding, diaper changing, and sleeping whenever you can. Even if there’s a meal train set up for you, you will likely have times it would be helpful to have things you can pop in the oven or warm up quickly.
2. Design your support network
If I were to ask you who your support network is, how many people would you list? Take a few minutes and write down as many people as you can think of that you could reach out to if you need something. Would the teen next door walk the dog for a couple weeks? Which of your friends will you call when you’re feeling the baby blues? Could your sister or aunt take the older kids out for the day or evening so you can have the house to yourself? Think outside your close inner circle, you’d be surprised how much people love to help!
3. Prepare for lots of down time (for you and older children too if you have them!)
What do you enjoy doing on a rainy day or when you’re snowed in? Read? Puzzles? Netflix? Now’s your chance to catch up on leisure time. Set your expectations low on what you will accomplish during the first several weeks (especially if you plan to breastfeed!) outside of resting, nursing your baby, and enjoying a slower pace of life. Set up a nice station for yourself with snacks, water, diapers, wipes and other mommy/baby care items.
For older children, you can prepare a shoe box with fun items in it like little crafts, busy bags (Pinterest), bouncy balls or even books and movies.
These are just a few ideas for preparing ahead for a sweeter time as you adjust to adding a new baby to your family. Here’s to a beautiful postpartum!