Home From the Hospital: What To Do To Prepare
After months of preparing for the new baby in your life and then bringing them into the world, coming home should be easy, right? One way to make sure things go smoothly is make a few preparations and stock up on baby gear to help with the transition. After all, you want to be spending time snuggling that little face and catching some much needed sleep rather than stressing about things around the house. Here are some tips and ideas to help make coming home from the hospital as stress-free as possible.
Come Home To a Clean House
Having a clean house at any time makes life feel so much lighter. While you may have no problem cleaning typically, as a new parent, chores aren’t as simple. That's why getting the house clean and ready before the new human arrives is important. If it's too difficult to clean the house yourselves, consider hiring a housekeeper to come in and scrub it top to bottom. It's amazing how much more peaceful things can feel when there isn't a bunch of clutter and grime around. A weekly housekeeper for a month is also a great baby shower gift, or a perfect present to give yourself and your family.
The Freezer Is Your Best Friend
Trust us, it's hard to feed yourself when you're busy feeding a tiny human, which is where friends, family and your freezer comes in. Before the baby is born, prepare some easy freezer meals that can be pulled out on a whim. It's easy to stock the freezer with quick and tasty foods straight from the grocery store, such as potato patties, smoothie ingredients and hand-held burritos.
It's also a good idea to make some delicious healthy meals to have one hand for after the baby is born. New York based author, TV personality and mother, Ali Rosen, just wrote a cookbook all about freezer food called, Modern Freezer Meals: Simple Recipes to Cook Now and Freeze for Later. It not only is chock-full of great recipes that you will want to eat (now and later), but she talks about the best way to freeze foods as well. Personal favorites include crab fried rice, twice-baked loaded potatoes and chocolate-covered banana bites.
Get the Nursery In Order
The need to nest is a real thing, so most expecting parents don't have a problem setting up the nursery and preparing for the baby to come. This step is important, even if your little one is snoozing in a co-sleeper those first few months. It feels good to have a space to put a newborn down for a nap, to change them in, and to arrange and organize all those adorable little clothes, socks and pointless shoes (but they are so cute, we can't help but get a few pairs). You don't want to feel chaos in the space, especially when dealing with a fussy baby or a diaper blow out. Calm and cool is the name of the game, and having a place that exudes that vibe will make everyone happier.
Start a Meal Train
Don't be afraid to have your friends and family help feed you those first few weeks, and even the first couple of months. Having a new baby is hard, and exhausting. Talk to your friends about organizing a meal train where someone brings a meal each day. Tell them how many people it needs to feed, favorite foods, dislikes and any allergies. You can also accept gift cards to favorite restaurants.
It's not just nice to have the food ready to eat, but not having to think about what to prepare takes away some of the stress you may feel while dealing with a needy newborn and little sleep. And, if you need ideas on what people can bring, in the past I have been given and brought food such as a whole roasted chicken, fresh bread, cheeses, charcuterie, a bagged Caesar salad, fresh fruit, beef stew, enchiladas and lasagna. It was all devoured with joy.
This might seem simple, but it's not that easy to drink a ton of water. In fact, nursing mothers need 16 cups of water each day. A good way to make sure this happens is by taking that giant plastic cup home from the hospital, something the facility encourages you to do. Most of these handled mugs hold four cups and come with measurements on the side. Then all you have to do is make sure you down four of them a day. Of course a regular cup or water bottle works well too, just keep it filled.
Prepare For Pet Help
As much as we love our four-legged, furry friends, a new baby takes just about all your time and energy. It's not forever, but that doesn't mean your dog doesn't need some attention and exercise too. Ask a friend or family member to help play with your pet and take them for walks and to the dog park. Or hire a part-time, temporary dog walking service. It's one more thing off your plate and your pooch will be happier in the end. And, once the baby is bigger, you can give them lot's of personal snuggles too.
Schedule Time For Older Siblings
It's not easy transitioning from one to two kids, and often an older child will feel left out. That's totally normal, after all, if you're the mom you are dealing not only with the change of having a baby in the house, but physical alterations as well. You have to spend more time one-on-one with your newborn, that’s just how it works. To help alleviate the guilt and stress of not being with your first born (or second and third for that matter), schedule time for them to see grandma, their favorite aunt, or even your best friend. If there's a family you're close to, then see if your kid can go over for a playdate. Then, when things settle a little, start organizing mommy time with them, and let someone else handle the baby. Sometimes a little gift from the baby also makes the transition easier.