Tuesday, April 28, 2015

5 Things I Do Before Having a New Baby

First comes love, then comes marriage, then comes....

(want to try to guess the baby?)
I've had a handful of unfinished baby-related posts waiting around in my drafts folders gathering dust.  There's always the possibility that I won't have any more children, so I figured I had better publish these things before I lose my street cred.  As I've still got a one-year-old under my roof, I felt like I wasn't too far removed from pregnancy, newborns, and postpartum-ness to be taken seriously ;)  

But before I jump into anything super deep and intimidating (like how to recover without shouting obscenities when a toddler jumps on you at "c-section +5" days) I thought I could start with something a little less intense.  How about lists?!?!  Lists are always a great way to ease into a topic :) 

5 Things I Do Before Having a New Baby


Freeze meals.  
Isn't that everyone's No 1??  It is for me.  But I don't just do that if I'm having a baby. 
I do it every fall, new baby or not.
My meals are prepared and packaged with careful instructions on how to defrost, reheat or cook, and serve - in case I'm not the one doing the dinner prep :)
Ready-to-eat meals are probably the best way to take it easy on yourself when there's a newborn to care for. 
It's also a nice thing I can do for my husband while he's home with the other kids - if he has meals ready to heat and eat, he's less likely to give them pancakes, candy corn, and dill pickles for dinner. 


Stock up on all the things.
When I have a newborn, I want to stay at home for as long as possible and cuddle my baby, wear sweats, and nap as often as possible.  Or crochet.  Obviously.  I DO NOT want to be making emergency trips to Target.  (I'm pretty sure being in Target post-partum is one of Dante's circles in Inferno.)
I don't want to go shopping for at least a month after my babies are born.
Before each baby, I make sure we are set - in the pantry, cleaning supplies, health/beauty/bath items, and baby items.
It feels so good, so liberating, to look at my stash of food staples, shampoo, toothpaste, and hand soap, diapers, wipes, nursing pads (and all the other pads necessary during that first post-partum month), laundry detergent, dish soap, Swiffer dusters and wet floor wipes, Comet cleaner, and on and on......   We're usually set for the first month after a new baby arrives.  My stash-building skills also ensure that we could be fairly self sufficient for about a month in the event of a nuclear event right around the time the baby arrives.  Bonus.  


I buy new socks and underwear.
Yep.  Having a new baby about every two years means it's also about time to refresh the sock and underwear drawer.  And I can't lay in a hospital bed or walk around the hospital room in old socks with holes... (shudder) I just can't.  So the timing works out perfectly :)


I make changes to assist the children already living in the home 
be more self-sufficient and helpful around the house.
When I was expecting Clare (my fourth) I had a major brainstorming session about what could be done around the house that would make my life as a mom-of-four easier.  The answer I came up with was hire a nanny, cook, and housekeeper.  
Er, I mean, the answers I came up with were (1) make it possible for my children to set the table and unload the dishwasher without my assistance.
And (2) make it possible for my children to get their own breakfast ready (the three oldest were 5, 4, and 2.)
To facilitate this change I grit my teeth and bought Corelle Dinnerware for 8.  It's not pretty, but it doesn't break and I wouldn't have to supervise it going into and out of the dishwasher.  We cleared out a lower kitchen cupboard and turned it into the dishes and cereal cupboard.  With that small change, the kids were able to set the table without my help (didn't have to get the heavy ceramic dishes from the upper cupboards), they could get their own bowls and cereal for breakfast, they could put the dishes away when they emptied the dishwasher, and they could get their own cup for a drink of water.  It made such a huge difference and was one of the most beneficial changes we've made toward helping the kids become more independent.


I try to get to Confession.
Not because I'm super morbid and think "you never know."  But... you never know.  And also, with a clean soul and light heart, I've been able to joyfully focus on the birth without all the gunk of my sin, mistakes, and shortcomings clouding the first few moments and days and with my new baby.
Plus, since I admitted I try to never leave the house for a month after coming home with the baby, making to Confession after the baby's born is probably not going to happen.  (But I do go to Mass .  I'd never deprive the little old ladies at Mass an opportunity to fawn over a newborn ;) )

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So that's my list.  Like I said, I don't know that I'll ever need this kind of list again, but you never know :) 

What do you do when you're getting ready to welcome a new little one into your life and home?


  1. These are all so true. My ONE thing that must get done is to make a binder for all the paperwork. Hospital paperwork, pediatrician paperwork, milestone paperwork, dentist info, thank you note list, etc. This is not the pretty keepsake binder, but the all things important paperwork binder. It's now become my standard go to shower gift for friends. It's not ooh and aah-able, but man, it comes in handy.

  2. Great list. I also make freezer meals, and the idea of getting to Confession is fabulous!


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