Are you 100% ready for your baby to be here? Do you need to check and double check that list one more time? Get the best tips for how to relax postpartum with this checklist of things to do and things you need to stock up on before baby arrives.
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Congratulations! You are about to welcome your newest family member. This marks one of the most wonderful times in your life, and you should certainly embrace it to the fullest extent. Enjoy the company of family and friends as they visit you in the hospital and gladly welcome the assistance of the staff.
While you most likely have the major necessities like a car seat, diapers, and a crib taken care of, it’s equally as critical to prepare your home for life once you and baby return. Here’s a list of tips to help you relax and relish your time at home with your newborn. I’ve also included a Printable Postpartum Checklist to help you get organized.
What to Do Before Baby Arrives:
Deep Clean the House: While this may sound like torture at 9 months pregnant, it’s much easier to accomplish before baby arrives. Cleaning ahead of time will also help you relax once you are home with baby. Some things you may want to clean before baby is home include: washing curtains, scrubbing door handles, frames, and light switches; cleaning out refrigerator/pantry of old, outdated food; changing bedding, and shampooing carpets. If you really don’t feel up to the task, pick out a few that need the most attention or enlist the help of a friend or family member.
Prepare Baby’s Sleeping Space: Whether you have a separate nursery or plan to keep your infant in a bassinet in your room, there are a few things you may want to consider before bringing baby home. First, you are going to want to make the space as dark and quiet as possible. Get some black-out curtains to ensure the room stays dark during the day. Also, if you live somewhere where it gets pretty cold in the fall and winter months, consider weatherproofing your windows with window insulating film or heavy curtains.
Wash Baby Clothes and Bedding: Even though your baby clothes and blankets may be new, it’s a safe bet to wash everything at least one time before baby comes home. Use a natural or baby safe detergent and avoid extra fragrances from dryer sheets or softeners. This ensures baby’s skin will be protected against any chemicals or irritants, also guaranteeing you peace of mind while bundling your newborn up.
Make Plans With Family and Friends: Now is the time to be open and accepting of help. In the months or weeks leading up to D-Day, call your friends and family and ask if they would be willing to help out once baby is born. This may mean taking your other children for a day or two, coming over to help make dinner or do laundry, or just to come over for support. Make plans in advance so that everyone has time to schedule accordingly and so that you can relax knowing what to expect.
*BONUS* Get Car Seat Installed Properly: Go to your local fire department and ask if they will help you install your newborn’s car seat. Most fire departments offer this for free and are more than willing to help. You can also call 1-866-SEAT-CHECK to find a local seat inspection and installation station. It’s definitely worth it to be as safe as possible with your new addition.
Things You Need to Stock Up On Before Baby Arrives:
Food: Start thinking about what you and your family are going to eat once baby is at home, and start stocking up on shelf-stable or freezer items that are easy to prepare and that you will enjoy. Here’s a quick list of ideas to get you started:
- Crockpot freezer meals. A few weeks before baby arrives is a great time to start making crockpot meals and putting them in the freezer. These will make your life 100x easier once you are at home with baby because you can simply dump the bag in a crockpot, set it to the necessary time and forget about it until dinner. I found a great resource with 12 Make-Ahead Slow Cooker Freezer Meal Ideas, with instructions and times for each meal. Take a weekend and put these meals together to save yourself a ton of time and effort.
- Foods You Can Freeze: It can be hard to stock up on fresh foods and bread items and keep them good for a long period of time. But, you there are certain items you can freeze without losing quality or flavor. Bread, bagels, muffins, and dinner rolls can all be frozen for use at a later date. You can also chop onions, peppers, and potatoes and put them in freezer containers or bags. You can freeze just about any fruit and use them in smoothies, oatmeal, or baked breakfast recipes, like this Blueberry Crumble.
- Shelf Stable Snacks: What kind of snacks do you normally enjoy? Think about it, and then stock up on snacks that won’t go bad before baby is born. Some great snack ideas include: granola bars, dried fruit, nuts, crackers, canned fruits, natural fruit snacks, string cheese, noodle cups, popcorn, and trail mix.
- Beverages: Pick out some shelf stable drinks that you and your family enjoy drinking and stock up on them a few weeks in advance. This may include tea, coffee, juice, and powdered drink mixes.
While you may be very focused on the necessities of life, like food, don’t forget to stock up on and plan for your comfort and enjoyment after baby is born. Here’s a quick list of things you might want to consider purchasing ahead of time.
- Magazines you enjoy
- A book you have wanted to read
- Coloring books and pencils or a journal
- New pillows and blankets for mom
- A heating pad
- Ice packs
- Lavender Epsom Salt for baths
Hygiene Items for Mom: Your body undergoes a lot of changes with pregnancy, and it doesn’t stop when you give birth. It’s important not to forget about your own health and happiness, even when you are completely consumed with the joy of your new little one. If you There are a number of items you will want to purchase and have on hand at home for your comfort and hygiene needs. These include:
- Maxi pads
- Witch hazel and gauze pads for hemorrhoids
- Nursing pads
- Sanitary wet wipes
- Stool Softeners
Household Items: The last thing you are going to want to do after coming home from the hospital is run to the store and buy toilet paper because you’re out. Make sure that all of your necessary household goods are stocked up on and full before heading to the hospital.
Here’s a good list to start with, and you can add more as they pertain to you and your family:
- Garbage bags
- Paper towels
- Dishwashing detergent
- Laundry detergent
- Cleaning products
- Toilet paper
- Hand sanitizer
- Shampoo, conditioner, soap
- Pet food
Preparing for a baby is a big task, and you shouldn’t try to accomplish all of this in a day or even a weekend. Start a month or two in advance and slowly add to your stock and mark things off your checklist as you go. Remember, staying relaxed and not overwhelming yourself is a huge part of your health, so take it one step at a time. Having a baby should be the most wonderful time of your life, and you deserve to be happy all the way through your pregnancy and after giving birth.
If you have any tips for new moms and moms-to-be on how to relax after having a baby, share them in comments below? What are some things you need to stock up on to make your postpartum time at home a success? What items did you forget that you wish you would have remembered?