Already well into my third trimester and 29th week of pregnancy their starts to be an urgency to prepare for the new baby's arrival. With my first I was well prepared in advance but with a demanding toddler this time around I don't nearly feel as prepared. To help I have put together a list of my top ten ways to prepare for your little ones arrival.
First - Supplies! Every baby no matter what needs to have diapers, whether cloth or disposable, wipes, diaper cream, baby wash, baby lotion, and a good baby detergent. One of my personal favorites is Seventh Generations line of wipes, diapers, and laundry detergent which I already use on my 21 month olds highly sensitive skin. Their great line of natural and chlorine free products can be found here!
Second - Prepare the nursery. You first have to decide if you want to use a crib or a bassinet. I personally use the pack and play for the first 3 months so the baby can be close to me me for those long sleepless nights. Once we get to 3 months we are usually in a pretty good routine so I can switch to the nursery which is upstairs. Other nursery necessities might be a glider, changing table, and of course picking out a theme.
Third - Another big decision is deciding whether or not you are going to breastfeed. If you decide to go the formula route make sure you have some on hand so you don't have to run out to the store. The ready to feed nursers are great the first couple of weeks. If you are going to be breastfeeding then make sure to invest in a good pump.
Fourth - My fourth tip stems from my third with sterilization! No matter which route you go you have to make sure everything is cleaned and sterilized for the baby. Wash pump parts, bottles and pacifiers. When you get home baby is going to be hungry so make sure to have this ready.
Fifth - Pets! Besides already having a toddler running around I also have a dog. He is a very jealous dog at that and does not like having his attention spent on someone else. We like to prepare the dog for the babies arrival by having someone bring an article of clothing from the hospital home early for him to sniff and get used to the scent. Its also a good idea to have a baby gate to keep him separated at first or for times when you just don't want him jumping on the baby.
Sixth - All that baby equipment is very overwhelming. The most important piece is the car seat and do not wait until you are in labor to try and figure out how to install it in the car. This weekend is actually car seat awareness weekend with many locations offering free safety inspections of car seat installation. Most fire and police stations offer free help as well. My advice is have them check it. It doesn't hurt and puts your mind at ease.
Seventh - Prepare the siblings. If you have other children at home I think it is important that they are aware. I have constantly been telling my son that his brother is in my tummy and to give him kisses. I also try to have him around other babies so he knows to be gentle around his new little brother. If you have older children ages 3 and up ten a hospital offered class is a great option as well.
Eighth - Clean, clean, and more cleaning. I have a constant urge to clean and once I start its hard for me to stop when I am pregnant lol. I tend to clean weird things too such as walls and ceilings. I guess its nesting but I fell that its important to get all the cleaning out of the way because I know that will be the last thing I will want to do when the baby is here. (Seventh Generation makes great natural cleaning products too!)
Ninth - Clothes would be next for me. Make sure you cut off the million little tags that are on all the clothes and wash them once before baby comes. My advice with clothes is less is better. Avoid anything that has lots of snaps or multiple pieces. Zippers are great and gowns are even better. When it is 4am and you are changing a diaper the last thing you want is to have to figure out how to snap the outfit back together.
Tenth - Relax! Make sure in all of this getting prepared for baby that you take some time for yourself and also some special time with your significant other. You life is about to change in a wonderful but hectic way make sure you share and enjoy some moments of me time.
After writing this all out I actually feel more prepared then I thought. Baby Nicholas is going to be joining our family in 10 weeks and I know we all can't wait to meet him. Nothing is more exciting then the miracle of life and meeting your baby for the first time and nothing can prepare you for the happiness felt holding your baby for the first time.
Also don't forget to check out Seventh Generation's line of products for you home and baby here.
Disclosure: "I wrote this blog post while participating in the SocialMoms and Seventh Generation blogging program, for a gift card worth $50. For more information on how you can participate, click here."