I suppose you could call it nesting, but there is this urge to have things in order prior to the arrival of baby. For some of us this comes just days before baby, for others weeks or even months. With just a little bit of organization prior to the arrival of baby, you will have a much more relaxed experience as you fall into a routine. The major areas of organization usually fall into three categories: the home, the kids and the food.
The home. It sounds so simple right? It can be manageable if we just break it down. Begin with prioritizing your home by need. Which rooms will absolutely need to be cleaned out, organized, and simplified prior to baby. Write down your game plan, room by room, and check off as you go. Clean out the closets. Get rid of that extra stuff. Simplify! You will feel tremendously better if you start this journey with baby in a clean, organized home. Once you get the priority rooms done, move on down the line to the next room. If baby decides to come early, well at least you had your priority rooms done. This is also a great way to recruit family that have been wanting to help. Don’t be afraid to take that help that has been offered!
For those of you that have other kids in the mix, get motivated to hand over those chores that they are able to help with. Even the smallest duty can help you out when the new baby comes and it offers you an opportunity to praise your other children for a job well done--they will need this just as much as you will need the help around the house. Even the smallest children can help get diapers or wipes for diaper changes, fetch burp rags, clear the table, wipe the table off, vacuum the floors and just pick up toys. If your children get used to this routine prior to the arrival of baby, it will be a boon for you and will be less change for them also. Be generous with your praise and find some motivation for them to work hard. We have found that some of the smallest things can be motivation; going for a ride with dad on Saturday to get ice cream, going for a walk with just mom, a piece of gum, 15 minutes of gaming time, etc. you name it, it could work without costing you a ton of allowance money. Pairing rewards with a parent works great for quality one-on-one time too.
The last topic is food. Supply your pantry with handy easy to eat snacks that are packed with protein. One handed snacks are great if you are holding baby or nursing baby. Some easy ideas that also keep allergens to a minimum for nursing mothers: bananas, apples, almonds, sunflower seeds (no shell), jerky sticks, dried fruit, chopped veges, popcorn, cheese sticks (if no dairy allergy suspected) or cheese slices and yogurt. Use caution with eggs they can be a source of allergens in baby and thus can cause tummy aches if breastfeeding. Also take the time to have meals prepped and in the freezer for after baby comes. Two frozen meals per week for the first three months can really help out until you have more energy and feel up to cooking more. This is another area in which family can be recruited to help you get ready for the arrival of baby. All your meals, if you plan ahead, can be made in one day of work.
Many blessings on your baby prep!
Krystal Stuwe, RN, prior Prenatal/Breastfeeding Educator and most importantly—Mother of 8!