You’re in countdown mode: Month 8, one more to go! Are you suddenly feeling the urge to clean and organize even if that’s something you’re usually not into? It’s your “nesting instinct” kicking in and it’s totally unconscious. According to a study published in the journal Evolution & Human Behavior we nest because “providing a safe environment helps to promote bonding and attachment between mother and child”.
There are three types of lists that will help you prepare for your baby’s arrival: the “practical” list, the “homecoming” list, and the “take care of you” list.
Let’s start with the practical list.
The Practical List:
1) Take a tour of the hospital. Don’t forget to ask these questions:
- What is the visitation policy?
- What amenities does the hospital have; birthing ball, squat bar, birthing tubs…?
- What is their C-section rate?
- How do they support breastfeeding?
2) Pre-register with your hospital or birthing facility. This will make admissions go more smoothly, and you’ll be sure to have all of the necessary documents in place. You don’t want to have an “oops” moment when you are about to deliver.
3) See if your insurance covers breast pumps.
4) Pick a pediatrician. Ask your friends for referrals and make sure your pediatrician’s beliefs regarding your baby’s health issues align with yours.
5) Select and install the car seat. There is information on different types of car seats and how to install them on www.safercar.gov.The Homecoming List:
These are things that will make the arrival of your baby seem very real. I’m sure by now you’re ready to meet your baby!
- Wash the baby clothes with a baby-safe laundry detergent.
- Set up the crib, wash the sheets, decorate the room.
- Stock the changing table. Get different sizes and brands of diapers until you know what fits your baby best.
You may also want a notebook and pen to keep track of all the information the doctor and nurses give you. An iPod with music of your choice is nice to have too. This is a good time to pick your birth announcements and to start filling out your baby book. While you’re at it, you might want to learn how to give a basic baby massage now, so you’ll be ready for when your baby is a month old. You can watch a short free video from my online course on how to give your baby a tummy massage here.
One thing you may not think about, which is really helpful, is making freezer meals. Once you’re home with your new baby the last thing you want to think about is making dinner! If you have another friend who is expecting around the same time you are, you can get together to plan, cook and freeze. Soups, lasagna, casseroles and stews all freeze well. The other thing you can do is cook extra large meals now and freeze half of them. You will be so glad you did. Even if your hubby is a gourmet chef, I don’t think there’s going to be much cooking happening right after your baby is born. And take-out gets boring and expensive after awhile.
Speaking or food, if you’re planning on breast feeding you may want to buy some freezer milk bags. These come in handy if you are pumping.
Think about packing your bag. Don’t leave this for the last minute. Just pack it and put it away until you’re ready to go out the door. No need to have it by the door where you’ll just trip over it.
So what goes in the bag? Here are some suggestions:
- A bag of travel sized toiletries
- Slippers, socks, a sweater or shawl, flip-flops (for the shower)
- Plastic bag for dirty clothes
- Something comfy to go home in
- Nursing pads
- Nursing bra
- Granny panties
All of this should keep you busy until your baby arrives. There is one more list I want to share. This comes from the Scary Mom Blog and I love her tips.The Take Care of You List:
- Sit in silence. Who knows when you’ll get to do that again! Just sit and enjoy the quiet.
- Take a really long shower. Do it now when you have no interruptions.
- Read a book that isn’t a baby book. Escape in the pages and be transported.
- Have a long phone conversation about nothing.
- Go somewhere, the mall, the post office, a restaurant. Enjoy the spontaneity. It will be awhile until you get to do that again.
Enjoy your final weeks. Your baby will be before you know it.