If you've been following along for about 2.5 seconds then you know that I'm expecting twin girl and boy babies! I've been in the zone this last month or so and I wanted to share with you all that I do when preparing for a baby. I'm talking about readying your baby gear, home, family and yourself!
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#BabyWatch2020 is officially underway and we're ready to welcome these babies home now that we're as prepared as possible! Follow these tips and make sure that you don't forget to do any of these important things… Nobody wants to come home to a messy, unprepared house with a new baby!
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That wasn't too bad, right? Keep on reading so that you can see my list of the things I do when preparing for a baby (or 2)!
PREPARING FOR A BABY
There are things that you'll need to do to prep for your sweet baby before you go to the hospital! Give yourself plenty of time to get these things done. You never know when your little bundle of joy is going to decide to come into the world! 😉
Make a list of everything that you can think of so that you hopefully won't forget anything! Start that list early and add to it as you think of things that you still need to do. It's better to get it done ahead of time instead of trying to get it all done at the last minute when you're feeling like a beached whale!
START SHOPPING EARLY
Watch for sales and buy your baby gear early so that you can spread out the costs! Make a list of the things that you need, prioritize what you need most, and inventory what you already have. Price the items that you need and set a budget.
If you're shopping online, be sure to use Rakuten! It's the largest cash-back website that partners with over 3,000 retailers. Shop through their website or app and get cash back for your purchases. Free money? Yes, please! Spend your first $25 online and get a $10 welcome bonus when you sign up!
ASSEMBLE AND SET UP BABY GEAR
Some of the big baby items, such as cribs, can take a few days to get put together. You definitely don't want to wait until the last minute on those! Do yourself a favor and get them put together in plenty of time.
Involve your other kids to help out with this! This will help them to get excited about the baby coming and will help the transition to go more smoothly. Our kids completely helped us clean out the car, put some of the babies' gear together, and sort and organize the babies' clothes. They got so excited and can't wait to meet their new brother and sister!
No matter how old your kids are, everybody copes differently. We have learned that if we include our kids in preparing for a baby to come home, then they are better able to transition into our new way of life.
WASH ALL THE BABY ITEMS
We're talking clothing, burp rags, bibs and blankets. Throw them all in the laundry and get them cleaned. Then hang them up and put them away. This also includes sanitizing any bottles, pacifiers, and teething items that you may want to use! You can run them through the dishwasher and then put them in a place where they'll stay clean until you're ready to use them.
PACK HOSPITAL BAGS
This is one of the biggest things in preparing for a baby! You need to figure out everything that you're going to want to take to the hospital and get that all washed and prepped early! Doing so is crucial because you never know when that baby will be ready to get outta there. Sometimes you just have to jump in the car and rush to the hospital, so it's best to have them packed and ready to go with plenty of time to spare.
Do yourself a favor and learn from my mistakes that I made with my first-born. Pack a bag (use the code JORDAN for 15% off!) for your hubby, the baby AND for yourself. It may seem like a lot, but it'll be easier to find the things that you're looking for at the hospital. It'll also give you plenty of room to pack your bags at the hospital to bring home. We only took one bag with our first-born and we didn't have enough room to bring everything home.
Don't forget to pack swaddles, hats and bows in the baby's bag! I'm so in love with our new line of baby products that just came out from Mory June. I'll have all of the cuteness that I'll need when the time comes!
Pro Tip: There are often items that you can't pack in your hospital bag until the last minute, such as medicine, glasses, chargers, etc. Make a list of all the things that you can't forget and put it on top of your bag. That way you won't forget anything in the rush. This will also help your hubby to grab everything that you need if you're a little preoccupied with contractions!
BOOK SOMEONE TO CAPTURE THOSE MEMORIES
Give yourself plenty of time to shop around and book a photographer and/or videographer. The good ones usually get booked fast, so it's best to book them plenty in advance! Look at their portfolios and make sure that their style is what you're wanting.
PREPARING YOUR HOME FOR A BABY
Okay, now that you have everything ready for the baby, it's time to get your house in order! These are the things that we always make sure to do before we head up to the hospital. They make bringing baby home and the transition so much easier!
GET YOUR HOUSE PROFESSIONALLY CLEANED
We always always always work this into our baby budget! It's just too hard to fully clean your house during those last few weeks of pregnancy. With all of the other things that you should be preparing for a baby to come home, why worry about only partially being able to clean your house?
We will either schedule for them to come during those last few days before my due date or we'll have them actually come while we're at the hospital. That way we come home to a nice, sparkling clean house that's been deep cleaned hard core!
WASH YOUR LINENS
MAKE LOTS OF FREEZER MEALS
Freezer meals are LIFE when you bring a new baby home! You need the nourishments of a good meal, but nobody will have the time to make one from scratch. The ones at the store are too expensive, so I always make my own.
You can spend a day one weekend prepping a bunch of meals for the freezer. Another easy way to get a good stockpile is to double and freeze anytime you're making a meal for dinner that freezes easily. Lasagna, casseroles, and enchiladas are all super easy to double and freeze!
STOCK THE FRIDGE, FREEZER AND PANTRY
Another essential thing to do when preparing for a baby to come home is to make sure that you have plenty of food in the house! You won't be able to go to the grocery store for a few weeks after the baby comes, so stock up now! I make sure that I stock up on groceries as well as laundry detergent and cleaning supplies so that we don't run out of any of the essentials.
If the thought of waddling around Walmart makes you want to cry, then don't do it! I fully take advantage of grocery pick up and you should, too. (Use that link to get $10 off your first $50 purchase!) I mean, why not have someone else shop for your groceries and then load them into your car?! And if you reeeeallyyyy don't want to leave your house, or you're not able to, then use Instacart! They'll do your shopping for you and deliver your groceries straight to your door.
PREPARING YOUR CAR FOR A BABY
Clean your car and get it completely ready for that baby to come! You'll also want to get your car seats ready to bring baby home. Be sure to purchase them with plenty of time and get any bases installed in your car. If you're using an existing car seat from a previous baby that hasn't expired yet, wash all the lining! It's all machine washable, so it makes it super easy to get it ready for baby.
And probably the most important thing… Don't forget to take your car seat to the hospital! They won't let you leave without a car seat. And they'll want to make sure that baby is buckled in properly before you can leave.
CLEAN AND PREP SLEEPING ZONES
The nursery is a given and it's probably a space that you've had cleaned and ready for a baby. But what about anywhere else that the baby is going to sleep? I usually keep them right by our bed at night in the beginning to make getting up in the night and napping during the day easier.
I have a changing area by our bed so that it's easier for night time. I'll also have a space in the kitchen and living area for baby to go so that when we're in that area, they have a place to nap.
PREPARING YOUR FAMILY FOR A BABY
It's time to prepare your family now that you've got your house prepared! When it's your first baby, it can be a little bit different than when you're about to have babies number 7 and 8. 😉
CLEAR YOUR CALENDAR
If you tend to keep a busy calendar, make sure that it's pretty much cleared about a month out from your due date. Since I'm pregnant with twins, I went ahead and cleared mine about 2 months before the due date since you never really know when they're going to come!
Clearing your calendar will keep you from trying to do too many things towards the end when you really need to be taking it easy. It'll also keep you from having to cancel any plans that you made if the baby does decide to come early.
If you have kids at home, then you want to make sure that they're covered for when you go to the hospital. There's nothing worse than not having a plan and then not knowing what to do with your kids when your water breaks at home in the middle of the night! Our parents don't live close by, so my mom bought a flexible ticket from Southwest so that she can easily fly in whenever the babies decide to come.
I also have my sister-in-law lined up to watch our kids in case these babies decide to come early before my mom can get here. Friends and family are always so willing to help out when you're preparing for a baby to come, so take advantage of their generosity and get a game plan together early.
GO OVER FINANCES AND INSURANCE
This is probably something that you should either work out before you get pregnant or right after you find out so that you can make sure that everything is in order. That being said, we also sit down towards the end of the pregnancy and make sure that everything is how it should be.
We will use our health savings account and make sure that we're paid up on all existing medical bills. I'll even check in with my doctor and hospital to make sure that I'm fully aware of how their billing works and what kind of costs I'm looking at. Having babies are expensive, but so worth it! Be prepared so you're not blindsided by any fees that you weren't expecting.
PREPARING YOURSELF FOR A BABY
Alright, mama, it's time to focus on YOU! You've been preparing everything else for a baby that you've been carrying around for what seems like an eternity. It's time for a little self-care before your whole world is revolving around that little bundle of joy!
GO TO ANY APPOINTMENTS
I make a list of any appointments that would be hard to do with a new baby and see if I can get those in before baby comes! I'm talking the dentist, optometrist, haircut and even a manicure or pedicure (because heaven knows you can't bend over to reach those toes yourself!). Get those appointments out of the way so that when it's time for them again, the baby will be older and easier to leave or take with you.
GO ON A DATE WITH YOUR SPOUSE
Really nurture your marriage those last few weeks or months of your pregnancy. You're about to have a big change in your life, whether this is your first kid or numbers 7 and 8!
Focus on the dates that are hard to do with a baby. It's easier to take a baby out to dinner or to the movies, but taking them to see a show or to a baseball game may be a little harder to do. After baby comes you'll have plenty of time for at-home date nights!
GET TOGETHER WITH FRIENDS
My friends are so important to me! Since I won't be able to see them once the babies come, I had one last hurrah and got together with all of my girls. We had so much fun! It was also a goodbye of sorts for a while. Since it's not really healthy for babies to have a lot of visitors who have germs to come and visit them in the beginning, I probably won't be seeing my friends for a while. And that's okay! Focus on your family once those babies come and get used to your new normal.
Whew, well there you have it! Are you preparing for a baby to come home with you soon? What are on your list of things to do? Let me know in the comments!
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