September 21, 2011

Preparing for the Baby

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With the pending arrival of a new baby, there is SO much to be done. When I’m pregnant, the lists seem to be endless. How can you possibly be completely ready? Well…I don’t know that you can be COMPLETELY ready, but you can prepare. Today the Divas have collaborated on some of OUR ideas to help you prepare yourself, your relationship with your spouse, and preparing older siblings.

  Chrissy - Updated Pinterest Pic - PrepareForBaby

Preparing Yourself

Photo Credit: Fresh Poppy Photography

1. Pamper yourself in your favorite way – get a pedicure, lunch with your girlfriends, your hair done, a weekend away, a pre-natal massage, a facial…SOMETHING! Anything to help you relax and enjoy some time alone before the baby arrives.

2. Buy one “In-Between” outfit that you like and look good wearing. I hate going up and down the “weight rainbow” as my sister-in-law calls it. We all {or almost all} gain weight and it takes some time to lose that weight. I don’t want to go out after and buy a whole new wardrobe while I’m not at my ideal weight. However, I do buy ONE outfit that will work so if I have to go somewhere looking good {not sweats} I won’t get down on myself for not having lost the baby weight.Also a fun idea is to start a little clothing account while you are pregnant. Then after you have the baby, you have money to buy some new clothes.

3. If it is your first, educate yourself as best you can. Know what to expect, and don’t just rely on other’s advice. My favorite is What to Expect When You’re Expecting. This was my go to book on ANY question regarding baby. It gives you week-by-week explanations, nutritional information, growth development, FAQ’s, and any other concern or question that arises. {This came in handy on my first pregnancy when I didn’t want to call the doctor ONE more time with first time mom questions!} Other pregnancy/baby books we Divas suggest: Baby WiseThe Happiest Baby on the Block, and Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child.

4. Get your “nesting” done as much as you can. Make all the preparations for the baby’s room, clothes, and anything else you need as far in advance as you can so you can enjoy being with the baby once he or she arrives. You can hit up garage sells for gently used items and save a bundle! Also, prepare their baby books with notes and pictures throughout the pregnancy.

5.  Mentally preparing yourself is important. This is a process that is amazing for one, but also can be very challenging depending on many scenarios. Also, making sure you have everything you will need for that first few weeks so you can stay home without any worries.

6. Do a hospital tour if it’s your first time. It may help calm you a little to know the enviornment in which you will be delivering.

7. Exercise! It is AMAZING the difference you feel in your energy level and how good you felt about your growing body. You won’t feel as self-conscious. I suggest working out or even pregnancy yoga.

8. Get maternity pictures taken that are flattering.  No matter how unattractive you feel while pregnant, there is something absolutely precious about looking back at maternity pictures after the baby is born.  It is a beautiful time in your life when you’re expecting, and I cherish the maternity pictures I have.  I consider that a “preparation” because you can’t get those preggo days with each baby back after they’re gone. In fact, this idea can be a good way to share the pregnancy with your husband and children by having them in the pictures with you – husband or kids kissing or hugging “their” baby too.

Preparing Your Relationship with your Spouse

Photo Credit: Fresh Poppy Photography

1. Obviously spend as much time together as possible. Plan a pre-baby date or if you are lucky enough, a weekend away! It will give you time to reconnect and to spend some much needed alone time.

2. Sit down and discuss how your relationship will change. Don’t let either have false expectations. Talk about how your intimacy might change and what you can each do to help the other. Keep in mind that even though you can’t have sex during the first 6 weeks…there are OTHER things you CAN and should do to keep the intimacy alive. Make that a priority after each baby which helps your husband to not feel neglected. You have to find the time to make it happen.

3. Take the Labor/Delivery Education class put on by the hospital. It’s harder for men to be prepared because we are so intensely connected with our baby. The education class really helps both to prepare for the delivery and have a true understanding of what life would be like after the fact.

4. If you can, get him to read some of the books listed above together!

5. Have a weekly date night before and after! Even if it is a home date, plan on date night each week.

6. Include your husband as much as possible. Invite him to attend your appointments with you, let him feel the baby, purchase things together, and make decisions as a couple.

7. “Stock up on his lovin’ needs.”  Sex is often uncomfortable at the end of pregnancy, but you can still fulfill his needs in one way or another and help him feel loved and not thrown to the curb while you are preoccupied with preparing in other ways for the baby.


Preparing Older Siblings

Photo Credit: Fresh Poppy Photography

1. Purchase a gift for the older child that is “from” the new baby to give them at the hospital.

2. Buy or check out a stack of new books to read to your toddler/child while you are having to feed your baby. Keep them in a basket that is just for that special time.

3. Include them as much as possible. Let them hold the baby, read books, pick out clothes, and talk to the baby. Make it known that it is OUR baby so that they feel ownership of the baby as well. Allow them to feel the baby kick, talk about how they can help once the baby comes, and even let them help wash clothes and set up the room.

4. Buy a baby doll for your child and tell them how to hold the baby, only touch its toes, show the baby doll getting its diaper changed, etc. Then once the baby arrives, your child has a baby doll of their own to feed when you are feeding and change when you are changing. It makes them feel responsible and that you are doing things together.

5. Spend one on one time with them and plan to AFTER the baby is born. Our Diva, Lisa M., had a special project for her two older girls ready to go before her triplets were born. After the babies were born, they got to take the time to do a craft with Mom and felt special!

6. Get a “Big Brother” or “Big Sister” shirt for them to wear before and after the baby is born.

7. “Mail” a letter to each child from your unborn baby, and have the return address say “Heaven”.  Keep the letter fairly short, have the baby tell their brother/sister just how excited they are to have a big bro/sis like them, and how much fun they’ll have together as the baby grows bigger.  Include a phrase about the older sibling helping Mama means helping baby.

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If you are feeling crafty there are TONS of ideas we have found that would be fun to put together.

A Big Sis Survival Kit

Natalie, from The Busy Budgeting Mama, came up with this survival kit for her daughter of everything she would need to make the transition of a new baby easier. She includes everything you’ll need and how to put it together. So cute!


The Hospital Survival Kit for New Mothers

This is the perfect gift for a friend {or yourself} about to become a mother for the first time! Jen, at My Own Road, offers free printables so you can put together one too!

Baby Daddy Gift Basket

The Crafting Chicks shared this Baby Daddy Gift Basket with us a while back on how to make your hubby feel important when the new baby arrives!


Big Sibling Personalized Tags

These adorable tags from It is What it Is, are the perfect way to show a big sibling that they are still important once the baby arrives. All the instructions on how to add these to a gift bag, pin, or anything are found here.

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Do your best to prepare in any way you can. The arrival of a new baby is an exciting and wonderful time, and shouldn’t be more stressful than it has to be! What things do you do/have you done to prepare for the arrival of your baby?

PREPARE NO MORE!!!

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Recent Comments

7 Responses to “Preparing for the Baby”

  1. Corie Corie says:

    These are such great ideas! Thanks for putting this together!!

  2. Jen says:

    Great roundup ladies, thanks for including me!

  3. Tara Tara says:

    Fabulous write-up! I love the crafty ideas at the end! SOooooo fun! :)

  4. April says:

    Man, I wish I could nest more, but we have to move a month after baby is born. :-(

  5. Courtney says:

    I also got books from the library to read to my boys about the growing baby and how it develops. My boys have also “named” their new sibling. Genius (from the Bug’s Bunny cartoons with Wil E Coyote, super genius). I think this has really helped them feel more involved and understand what’s going on. Great ideas in this post! Thanks!

  6. I know that making freezer meals helped me SO much after my second baby was born. My husband likes to eat my cooking and I didn’t want to feel pressured to get up and cook the first week that I was home from the hospital. For a month before I had Claire, I would make two of whatever I was cooking. It doesn’t take any more time, because you are already making the mess and cooking the same things for dinner that day. I froze lasagna, enchiladas, meatballs, and eggrolls.

  7. kim says:

    Wish that I had some of these when I had my first. New city, new job, new marriage, and new baby within two years! Whoosh!


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