Category Archives: Pregnancy Resources

Preparing Your Home for the Baby

Preparing Your Home for the Baby

There’s a lot to do before your new family member comes home. We know that preparing for your baby can be overwhelming and stressful, so take it one step at a time and enlist help from your spouse, relatives, or friends.

Prioritize Important Tasks

Remember that you don’t need to complete every single step of preparing your home before the baby arrives. It’s ok if you didn’t have time to find that perfect lighting fixture for your newborn’s room. As long as you have the basic necessities, you can take care of the little details later on.

Make a List

Get that long to-do list out of your head and onto paper. Put more important tasks at the top (crib, safety, supplies) and cosmetic items (decor) at the end. Share the list with your spouse to divide and conquer. Show it to a close friend to see where they can help out as well.

Preparing Your Home for the Baby

 

Baby’s Room

A crib/bassinet and bedding are the most important purchases you’ll need to make or add to your baby registry.

Crib

There are so many options from standard to modern when it comes to crib designs. There are plenty of choices within whatever your budget is, so explore your options. You could purchase a basic one, then head to Pinterest for some DIY inspiration.

In addition to a crib, you’ll need some additional Baby Sleep Essentials. A crib mattress, waterproof mattress pad, fitted sheets, swaddles or sleep sacks, and a monitor should be added to your list. Also, consider a rocking chair or swing to help put your baby to sleep.

Decor

This should be a last step. Most decorative items will end up being gifts, especially if you have a baby shower. Choose a theme or color story for your newborn’s room so that you can provide relatives with some direction when they shop for gifts.

Wait till after your baby shower or after your baby is born to purchase any non-essential items. This way, you’ll avoid duplicate items and just accumulating too much stuff. However, if you find something that you absolutely love, go ahead and buy it!

Consult a New Baby Checklist and create one of your own to keep track of what you need. Start with essentials like a car seat and crib, then move on from there.

Safety Around the Home

Babyproofing your home is another important preparation that should be on your list. You should start thinking about safety before your baby comes home. Babies start to crawl around six months, so you’ll want to start anchoring furniture and making more significant changes a few months later.

Think About Choking Hazards

Choking is a serious concern for newborns. Go around your house and put away anything that contains small pieces. Don’t leave your purse lying around as it probably has candy, mints, and a number of other things that your baby could get their hands on.

Anchor Furniture

Prevent furniture tip-overs by purchasing and installing anchors (also called restraints or tethers). They’re pretty inexpensive and you can find them at stores like Target or Bed Bath & Beyond. You’ll need at least two per each piece of furniture. After installation, check them regularly in case they need to be tightened.

Cover Sharp Edges

You’ll want to pad up anything that your baby could bump into. Even before they’re able to walk, you don’t want grandma to accidently knock your infant against the corner of a dresser while carrying them. Cover all edges of cabinets, dressers, mirrors, and anything else below chest level. You’ll also want to purchase a bath faucet cover to protect your baby’s head. You can cover sharp corners on the cheap by purchasing foam pipe insulation from a hardware store.

Cover Electrical Outlets

For obvious reasons, you don’t want a curious little one to stick their fingers into an outlet. Get a 48-pack of outlet covers from Bed Bath & Beyond for $4.99.

Check out a Childproofing Checklist to cover all your bases, then invite another mom over to go around your house and point out anything you may have missed.

Next, check out our post on Everything You Need to Know About Car Seats Before the Baby Comes. 

 

The Go Bag: What to Pack in Your Hospital Bag

Everyone tells expectant mothers to have their hospital bags, or go bags, packed well before the baby is expected to arrive. There are cautionary tales of mothers who went into labor at 36 weeks and had to throw together a go bag as they wrestled with contractions. In those tales, the expectant mother inevitably leaves something important at home. Then there are joyous stories of mothers whose pre-packed hospital bags were their saving grace. And though advice-givers are quick to tell expectant mothers to pack the go bag, they aren’t always as quick to detail what all should be included.

As with many things in pregnancy, some items are necessary for every mother while other items are up to the discretion of the individual. We’ve compiled a comprehensive go bag packing list so that you can focus on other facets of birth preparation rather than worrying about what to bring to the hospital

Here are our suggestions for packing the ultimate hospital bag

When packing your go bag, it helps to think about the birthing process chronologically. What items will you need at each stage? Some items are non-negotiable, no matter your birth preferences. Start your packing with those must-haves. Then customize from there.

Stage One: Hospital Arrival

Upon hospital arrival, you may need to provide insurance and medical information, even if you’ve pre-registered.  Gather your documents in a folder or binder.

Make sure you have the following:

  • Your health insurance card – Labor is not the time to be searching for the card at the bottom of your purse
  • Medical records – You want to be sure the hospital has the full context of your health and your pregnancy
  • Your birth plan – If you took the time to create a birth plan, you’ll want to have it on hand during childbirth
  • Pediatrician contact information – Your baby will be the pediatrician’s newest patient! The hospital will want to notify the pediatrician when your newborn arrives

Stage Two: Labor and Delivery

The length of labor varies greatly among women and is generally longer for new mothers. The goal here is to make sure you’ve packed everything required to make labor as comfortable as possible. Remember that having a baby is messy. Anything you pack has a high likelihood of coming home in less than perfect condition.

Add these items to your go bag:

  • Toiletries – Pack your toothbrush, toothpaste, face wash, and deodorant. Moisturizing toiletries like lotion and chapstick are particularly important in a hospital environment. Fill your toiletry bag with whatever else you need to freshen up during a long labor or wash up after deliver
  • A robe or nightgown – Hospital gowns don’t provide much warmth or comfort. Include an outfit that will make you feel at home
  • Socks and underwear – Over prepare. Pack more than you think you will need because there’s no telling where the journey of childbirth will take you. Many moms prefer non-skid socks for labor so they are free to walk around without fear of slipping
  • Hair ties – Hair ties have a habit of going missing when they’re most needed. Pack extra hair ties to ensure you’ll have something to keep your hair out of your face
  • Tech necessities – Your phone charger. Ear buds. They’re both so small, but forgetting them or their counterparts adds a lot of unnecessary stress. Consider buying backups that live in your hospital bag
  • Distractions – What will make labor more enjoyable for you? A beach read? A celebrity gossip magazine? Your favorite podcast or album? Whatever distraction works for you, add it to your go bag

Stage Three: Headed Home

It bears repeating: every pregnancy, delivery, and recovery is different. Some parents bring their child home the next day while others spend several days in the hospital. Eventually, you will go home.

And when you do, you’ll be glad you packed these items in your hospital bag:

  • A change of clothes – Set aside a particularly comfortable outfit to come home in. Your body will still be recovering from the delivery, so avoid anything too restrictive
  • Maternity bras – Whether you choose to breastfeed or not, the arrival of your newborn sparks physiological changes.Your body will thank you for packing a maternity bra
  • Baby’s first outfit – Choose a special outfit to bring your little one home in. Pay attention to the weather. Depending on the season, the outfit might need to include a hat, a coat, and extra warm socks
  • Car seat – A car seat won’t fit into your go bag, but it is a necessity. If space allows, install the car seat well before your due date to avoid extra stress later
  • Baby blanket – The weather plays a role in this item as well. Pack an appropriately weighted blanket that can provide relief from the sun and protect your newborn from the cold

By now, your go bag is well equipped with the basics. Add special touches that tailor the hospital bag to your own needs. Do you think there’s an item that belongs in everyone’s go bag? Share with us in the comments below.