Preparing for the arrival of a new baby and figuring out all the baby stuff that’s required can be an extremely daunting task. (As if the concept of simply “having a baby” wasn’t daunting enough!) I’m sure that I am not alone in having that forehead slapping ‘where do I start’ moment’, when the time came to get ready for both of my babies. In fact, I had said conundrum, just a few weeks ago – yes, I am far more disorganised (I like to say laid back) with baby number two, but at almost 37 weeks, I am finally prepared (all bar the tissue paper pom poms to finish off the nursery).
So where do you start and what are all those baby essentials? I look at preparing for the birth of your newborn baby to be like an inverted pyramid. Start with the big stuff and work your way down to those little bits and pieces, as you near the pointy end of pregnancy.
I found when pregnant with Evie, putting those big-ticket items like the cot, pram and car seat on layby at about 12 weeks into my pregnancy was a good idea. It allowed me to pay them off, which softened the blow to the hip pocket. A word of warning: pick these items carefully, whilst I am using all of my nursery furniture second time around, I did have to purchase a new double pram, as my initial pram only takes a skateboard on the back – Evie is far too ‘spirited’ to stay put on a skateboard, so I copped the purchase of a new pram on the chin, reasoning that my sanity was too important.
When you get to the pre-washing of all the baby clothes and linen stage (the pointy end of the pyramid), I find this is the best time to make a list of all the items you have and a separate list of any other baby essentials you need prior to bub’s arrival - almost like a stock take of your baby stuff.
With so many “having a baby” tips and lists available on the Internet that are quite literally pages long, no wonder us mums-to-be get stressed when it comes to preparing for baby. I perused many of these lists when pregnant with Evie and tried to tick all of the boxes, but to be honest, some weren’t necessary boxes to tick. Here are the things that I have found to be essential for me in getting ready for both of my babies.
- Lay-by your nursery furniture, pram and car seat at the end of your first trimester of pregnancy and do your research regarding what will work for you and your family’s lifestyle, prior to hitting the shops.
- Consider having a baby shower. Baby showers are a great way to celebrate your impending arrival with your nearest and dearest and you will be eternally grateful for the gifts you receive, particularly for first time mums that are starting from scratch.
- Stock baby’s wardrobe with enough four zero onesies and singlets to make sure you are not having to wash three-times-a-day in those early weeks. I remember been shocked with how many times a day I had to change Evie’s clothes – I quickly learnt what a ‘splatter poo’ was!
- For peace-of-mind have your car seat professionally fitted and DO NOT let your husband take it out to fit his surfboards – in my experience they never go back in the same way.
- Pre wash all the tiny baby clothes and linen with plenty of time to spare and if the offer of help is there, take it up. My mum helped with this in both my pregnancies and when you are tired and shall we say, a bit over it, been delivered freshly laundered baby clothes is super helpful.
- Have a couple of boxes of nappies and wipes stored, ready for when you and your newborn baby come home from hospital.
- Try and make some readymade meals and store them in the freezer, when you’re feeding and tending to bubs around the clock, cooking will be low on the priority list. Meals like shepherd’s pie, pasta sauce and lasagne freeze well – oh and invest in a slow cooker. If you don’t already have a loving relationship with one, trust me, you will when you become a parent.
- REST AS MUCH AS YOU CAN – I know this isn’t always easy, but try because the gauntlet is coming…
And remember, the shops don’t shut down when you have a baby. There will be willing partners and family members that can pop to the store to get you the things you find you need once the baby is born.
About the Author:
Written for Nourish Baby by Leah Mulcaire. Leah Mulcaire is a fashion-loving mum of two, who knows how confronting it can be trying to remain stylish and feel beautiful with a growing bump. She believes pregnancy is a great opportunity to embrace our gorgeous new curves and make the most of dressing them. Leah is our go-to source for fashion advice for mums-to-be and us “already” mums, who have had to adapt our pre-pregnancy style to embrace motherhood.
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