It’s almost time to bring baby home. Okay, not really. I just hit 23 weeks pregnant and I am over halfway there. Since this is my third baby, I’m feeling a little more seasoned and more prepared for the process of bringing a new little one into our home. Here are my top tips before you bring baby home.
Before You Bring Baby Home
Germs are good they say! Germs are everywhere and even when it looks clean we all know it probably isn’t. We have a weekly routine in our home of top to bottom cleaning. I can’t clean the entire home alone, so we all rely on each other to help out. I can confidently hand my oldest a disinfecting wipe and have him wipe down every door handle and light switch. They are safe to use everywhere and if you get the ones that have a scrubbing side you can basically clean the entire house. Win!
One I accumulate baby items, I started the process of washing. Baby bedding, blankets, clothes, burp cloths washed, dried and ready to go. I have a drawer dedicated to my baby’s linens, burp cloths etc. I also have all of baby’s clothing/sleepers according to the size. I use a detergent that is made especially for sensitive skin and is dye free to wash all of baby’s things. The last month before baby is set to arrive I switch to only sensitive, dye free detergent. This helps keep any allergic reactions from a harsh detergent from baby especially since we all plan on cuddling and feeding our little one often.
Have all baby equipment assembled and ready for use. Crib, bassinet, pack & Play, swing, sling and stroller. Since this is my third I do have hand me downs. The crib is set up with just a crib sheet any other linens or items I plan to use are washed dried and wont get set up until the last few weeks.
It’s estimated 80% of parents use there car seat wrong. I take my car seat and base to the fire station a month or so before my due date, they install it for me free of charge. Call your local fire station and see if thy can assist you. Remember if you don’t have background on a used car seat its best not to use and buy a new one. Car seat manufacturers allow aprox. 10 years safety on their car seats.
Bottles, pacifiers, Breast Pump, Formula
Have your bottles and pacifiers ready and sanitized. Are you breast feeding or formula feeding? Either way you will need to have a plan. I would have a can of your preferred brand of formula on hand, just in case. I have solely breastfed my two younger children, but I did have to supplement a few times, when I was sick and when my son was jaundice. I do use a breast pump and would highly recommend any breast feeding mother have a good one. Even though I am a stay at home mom and can breast feed without any bottles it helps enormously to be able to have my husband or mom bottle feed my child if I need a break.
Diapers & Wipes
Diapers and wipes oh my! I don’t even want to think about the amount of diapers I have changed and filled our planet with. It’s a scary thought but with one child in diapers I am currently changing about 8-10 diapers a day. Not to mention the amount of wipes we go through. I stock up on diapers when I find a “deal”. With this child I am going (as my family thinks) old school. We are cloth diapering and while it’s definitely not for everyone either way start stocking up. If you buy them when they are at a low price you can slowly build a stockpile. You will never have too many diapers or wipes. I start out by buying at least 5 huge boxes in each size 1-5. I do get a small pack of preemie diapers at least for the first week my babies have all been 6 lbs and change and can do the preemie size for a week or two.
Start gathering some fool proof freezer meals. Make 2-3 weeks worth of meals you can safely store in the freezer that can be thawed and heated with no prep needed. I start this a month in advance!
Double recipes so that half gets stored for a future meal
Use a food saver to store meals and prevent freezer burn
Here’s my start: lasagna, casseroles galore, quiche, meatloaf, chicken bake. I also stock up on frozen pizzas and chicken nuggets.
The most important items are definitely for you not your baby. Pack as if you are going to stay in a hotel for 1-2 nights and want to be super warm and comfy the entire time. Remember hospitals are going to have to necessities, maybe not your favorite brand but if you forget your lotion they have small toiletries. My bag consists of: Hair ties, makeup/makeup remover, a small bag of mini toiletries, 2 comfy pants and 2 nursing style tops (these also double as pajamas), comfortable velour jacket and pants, 2-3 pair of undies (don’t underestimate the mess), nursing bra, socks, camera (charged), cash (vending machine and food).
For the baby: 2 going home options, 2 different style pacifiers, baby nail file, going home blanket, burp cloth and car seat. The hospital will have diapers, wipes, formula, etc to start out with and to send you home with, use those and take home whatever they leave in the bassinet for you.
Keep up with the dishes, laundry and bathroom cleaning. You don’t want to come home to chores, trust me the last thing you will want to do is chores once baby arrives. And don’t forget the visitors that may want to stop by.
I know with all the tasks you have to get accomplished before baby arrives it seems as though there is no rest in your future. I can safely say that if you feel the need to rest its best you take your own ques and prop those swollen feet up and keep yourself sane. Your number one responsibility right now is keeping you and that precious baby comfy.