Baby Sleep Advice (from a sleep expert)

The most common theme throughout motherhood seems to be sleep. When you are pregnant people tell you to sleep now while you can. When you have a newborn people are obsessed with asking if they sleep through the night. As a new mom you always get asked if you are sleeping okay or if you are getting enough sleep (ask again in 20 years right?!?). As a new mom you hear about swaddling, sleep training, sleep methods, co-sleeping etc, etc, etc. You get the idea… sleep is a hot topic when you have kids!
In an effort to help you new moms (and dads) out, I have asked certified sleep consultant, Susie Parker, to answer a few burning questions for us about your little one’s sleep! After all, we know that baby sleeping means you can sleep. If you feel that you need help getting your little one to bed then Susie offers consultations and assistance to sleep deprived moms and dads. Check out her site Sleep Baby Love for more info!
Here were my 5 questions to Susie and her answers:
1.  There seems to be an endless discussion about whether or not to let babies cry-it-out. What do you think about this method, and do you know if it really causes any trauma/negative effects?
“CIO is only one component of sleep training and is not necessarily the only method out there… so parents need to become informed which would work best for them and feel confident in their decisions.  There is a great study out there that shows that babies that were sleep trained were not any different from their non-sleep trained peers at 5 years old and just using common sense of those that you know that are sleep trained, there is no long lasting harm or effect.
If you’re even going to consider sleep training, I suggest taking a look at this article first, since it breaks down everything you need to know.”
2. What would you suggest to transition away from nursing to sleep, and teach baby to self-soothe? Especially when the baby does not take any item for comfort (pacifier, blanket, etc.) except mom.
“Until you’re ready to dive right into sleep training, for a baby who doesn’t know how to fall asleep independently, you just have to think of everything as practice.  So, keep working with your baby to fall asleep independently.  The biggest misconception that I had is that my baby shouldn’t ever cry… and I took that literally.  So every time she squeaked, I went in to soothe her.  If you give your baby a little space (even if it’s a minute or two), the act of self settling becomes a little easier.  The pick up/put down method is also a great way that you can start gently giving your child independent skills.”
3.  Is there anything that can be done to help with sleep regressions, most notably the dreaded 4 month sleep regression?
“There will always be set backs with sleep, even for the best sleepers!  The 4 month sleep regression is so substantial because it’s due to developmental changes in your baby, most notably your baby becoming more aware.  So if you’re nursing or rocking your baby to sleep you may find that it takes much longer to get into that deep sleep.  So now is a great time to keep working on independent skills and having your baby sleep in their own room.  I have other great advice (and don’t forget to download your survival guide).”
4. What is your favorite piece of advice you love to give (about sleep) that most people don’t know?
“Sleep challenges don’t end with babies!  For many parents (even though they had the best sleeper), there are many reasons that sleep can take a nosedive once they become a toddler and preschooler.  The same techniques that I use for sleep training can be used, but you have to incorporate your child into the plans that you make for the best success.  For example, you can create a great bedtime routine that your child has some say in to make sleep fun.  Always keep the positive spin on sleep.  Make sure to get your preschooler sleep made easy checklist.”
5. What is the one thing you get asked about most, and what is your response?

“There are many questions about sleep!!!  But, I think that regardless what the answer is – I always say do what works for you.  If sleeping with your child is working for your family, no worries.  If getting up many times throughout the night works, don’t worry about it!  It’s when it stops working and people ask for advice, they don’t always like the answers I give (since it involves some type of sleep training and people don’t realize that there are gentler methods out there).  Regardless, as a parent you should never do something because a sleep consultant, friend or family told you to do something.  Do it because you believe it’s the best way to make your family happier and healthier.”

 

I hope that Susie’s Q&A helped some of you! If you feel like you still have burning questions or really need some one on one help, visit her website Sleep Baby Love, she will be so glad to hear from you! You can also follow her on Facebook, Pinterest, and Instagram

Sweet dreams tonight everyone…

Self-Care For Moms: A Necessity, Not A Luxury

This post was written by Suzanna at One Hoolie Mama, where she blogs about family fitness and food. She is a dog lover, amateur cook and photographer, and always tries to offer words of encouragement. Stop by her blog and say hi!

 

As mothers, we spend so much of our time doing things for others and caring for those around us. We give and give, and if we’re not careful and intentional about filling up our own cups, we will run dry. What we must remember, though moms, is that our self-care is not a luxury, it is a necessity.

But what do you do if you don’t have any extra time in your schedule? What about all of those other things on your never-ending to-do list? Consider these simple tips for ways to take better care of yourself:

Have a hobby and take time to enjoy your hobby on a regular basis. Maybe you like to read or take pictures. Maybe you enjoy baking or running. Whatever your hobby is, make sure make the time to spend a few minutes each week on yourself.

Take a bath or a hot shower. Go get a pedicure or paint your nails at home. Get a real haircut or spend an extra five to ten minutes and give yourself a facial or put on a hair mask. Even if you only have ten minutes to yourself, you can do a little pampering.

Tell your significant other when you need a break. Ask him or her to do the dinner or bedtime routines so you can take a walk, have a cup of hot coffee or tea, or spend fifteen minutes doing whatever recharges your batteries. If your significant other isn’t available or you don’t have a significant other to help, make sure to take some time to yourself after your little one falls asleep. There will always be dishes to do or chores to be done, but taking ten or fifteen minutes to yourself will help you be more productive and focused throughout the rest of your day. Make yourself a priority.

None of us want to be a cranky or stressed out mom, so we have to remember that the time we take to care for ourselves has to be a priority. We must fill our own tanks so that we can continue to nurture others. Mama, you must take a few minutes each day to take care of yourself.

What is your favorite form of self-care? When was the last time you took a nice, hot bath?  

 

Written by Suzanna at One Hoolie Mama

Surviving The Newborn Stage

Caring for a newborn is an experience that truly tests your mental and emotional well being. On one hand you are beyond ecstatic about your brand new bundle of joy and over the moon happy that they are finally here. On the other hand you have no idea what you are doing and just trying to figure it out as you go; maybe trying to remember some helpful tips you read, although your sleep-deprived brain is making it hard to remember anything (like what day it is). You have just been through hours of very physically demanding labor and trying to recover all while your new baby needs you and wants to eat every two hours. You are trying to rest and recuperate while also getting to know your little one and bond with him/her. Needless to say you may be a little frazzled! So how do you survive the newborn stage without losing your wits?

Just remember the number 2… Just keep reminding yourself that each stage is only temporary, and it will be over soon enough. Don’t panic. Just when you think ‘I can’t take any more of this‘, remember that your baby will soon develop into another stage and his/her behavior and habits will evolve. It all boils down to focusing on getting to the next thing (the next feeding, nap, shower, day). I found that I was just focusing on one feeding at a time, which for me was every two hours. For those first two weeks, just think about getting to the next feeding which means only worrying about two hours at a time. You can make it through two hours right? Of course! That seems much more manageable right?

Now, just when you start to think how long will this last, just when you wonder if you can keep this up, remember that the next step is to take everything 2 weeks at a time. It seemed like every two weeks, my son would grow and develop into new patterns, habits, and abilities. The first big one was sleep; after two weeks he started sleeping for longer stretches of time at night and I felt like I was regaining some of my sanity back. Then the next two weeks were actually really tough. My son turned from a quiet, peaceful angel into a very fussy, loud, crying baby that seemed inconsolable. I wondered if I watered him by accident and he turned into a gremlin… But again just when I thought that I could not survive the crying anymore, he began to have more calm moments without me rocking him in the bathroom with the exhaust fan on (praise my husband for finding that trick!).

The last and most important ‘2’ is people; you are not alone, you have help! There is (hopefully) another person with you and baby 24/7 to lean on and help. This person may be your spouse, partner, parent, or even friend, but you will have at least one person to go through this with. I was lucky enough to not only have my husband home, but my mom flew out for the first two weeks as well. With two people you can take “shifts” with baby. You can take turns sleeping, showering, eating, etc. You may even ask to have someone else take a few shifts in a row and only call on you when baby is hungry (unless you are bottle feeding). My husband was amazing with our son, he truly should win a medal for how much he helped and took charge of everything so that I didn’t have to think about it. Remember that it took two of you to make a baby, so it makes sense that two of you equally care for the baby too! I know some dads are hesitant and maybe a bit scared, but ASK FOR HELP IF YOU NEED IT!

I hope this helps any expecting moms feel a little more at ease about bringing a newborn home. Just remember to take it two hours at a time, two weeks at a time, with two people to do it together! Nothing lasts forever so don’t get too overwhelmed. You will look back on this time like it was a blink of an eye.

Packing A Perfect Hospital Bag for Labor/Delivery

 

I remember sitting at my birth class when they brought up what to bring in your hospital bag. I had heard some suggestions already, but they went into quite a detailed list and I thought most of them were awesome suggestions. So when I went home I started making my list of what to pack! I thought I was being very practical and did not even pack everything that was suggested in the class. Once my bags were all packed, they waited patiently by the front door for our rush to the hospital.

In the hospital I realized that I didn’t need everything that I packed. When you are in the hospital, they really provide you with (almost) everything you could need! So, in an effort to help any mamas preparing for their exciting hospital stay, here is my list of what I actually needed in my hospital bag!

Bag #1 (mom and dad’s bag):

  1. Brush and hair ties
  2. Toiletries– toothbrush/toothpaste, shampoo, body soap, deodorant, all for you and hubby (I used travel size items and even got small travel containers to pour my own soap and shampoo into).
  3. Flip flops/shower shoes (I just wore mine to the hospital)
  4. Clean outfit to go home in– something that is very loose and comfy, I would recommend a dress so that you don’t have to worry about pants fitting/rubbing your belly.
  5. Clean change of clothes for hubby and something comfy for him to sleep in
  6. Nursing bra or tank– this is mostly for going home, I just stayed in the hospital gowns the whole time.
  7. Breast pads– again, this is mainly for going home in case there are any leaks.
  8. Nipple Cream– this will be a lifesaver for any mamas who will be breastfeeding.
  9. Reusable water bottle (It will be important to be drinking lots of water)
  10. Snacks/Drinks– remember that during labor especially, you will want hubby right by you so bring some snacks and drinks for him because you could be there a while (sorry mama, you won’t be able to eat any during labor). You can also pack snacks for when you are moved to recovery for both of you.
  11. Camera– if you have a nice camera then bring it to get some great quality photos that are not just ones from your phone. Charge one of your family members or friends with the task of documenting things for you. Make sure to bring extra batteries for it.
  12. Chapstick– with all the breathing in labor your lips get chapped very easily
  13. Any labor tools you plan to use like a labor ball, breathing or mediation tapes, music etc, and a nursing pillow if you plan to use one
  14. Pediatrician’s business card– once you get to your delivery room they will ask you a million questions to admit you (while you are in labor) even though you already preregistered, and one of them is for your pediatrician’s info. The last thing you may remember is their info, so bring a business card with you; ask hubby to keep in his wallet so he can whip it out for you.
  15. Folder– you will leave the hospital with a lot of important documents, so make sure to bring something with you to safely store them. One thing you can have in it already is a copy of your birth plan to give to your labor/delivery nurse.
  16. Phone Charger– you definitely don’t want your phone to die!
  17. Mints– I was able to suck on a mint during labor which was very refreshing, and also have them after to help refresh me and wake me up a bit for those late night feedings.
  18. Reusable bag– these fold up very easily taking no space in your bag, and you will be leaving the hospital with much more than you came with, so you will want an extra bag to put it all. You can take all the diapers, baby items, mesh underwear, ice packs, postpartum care items etc, and not to mention any gifts that family/friends bring for you.

Bag #2 (baby’s bag)

I used baby’s diaper bag for this, and there was room inside to pack some of my stuff too. You really don’t need that much because the hospital gives you everything that they need while they are there. Here are the few things that you will need for baby:

  1. Going home outfit– I would pack a newborn size and a 3 month size (baby may be too big for the newborn size!)
  2. Swaddle blanket– this is again more for going home, but you may want to use a cute one for photos in the hospital (there was a photographer that came to our room and she asked if we had a blanket or special outfit we wanted to use)
  3. Pacifier and pacifier clip *if you plan on using one
  4. Hand sanitizer
  5. Burp cloths (just in case you need one)
  6. Car seat– okay, I know this won’t go in the bag, but don’t forget to install the car seat in enough time before you worry about going to the hospital, you can’t bring baby home without it!

*Notice I did not have diapers or wipes here, that is because the hospital will give them to you, and plenty of extras to take home!

Was there anything in your bag that you loved having at the hospital?

What You ACTUALLY Need For Baby

There are so many things that you need to buy when expecting a baby that it can be overwhelming. There are thousands of products and you seemingly need it all. Let’s just remember for a second though that most of that is due to great marketing and advertising. Sure you want most of it, but you don’t really need all of it. I remember going to Buy Buy Baby with my husband to complete our baby registry; we excitedly sat down with an associate who gives you one-on-one help, and she gave us a checklist of everything to put on the registry. The list was basically the entire store! I remember thinking that there was no way we would be able to afford all of it, and that we surely did not need it all either. But as a first time mom, how would I know if I needed it or not? Well, in an attempt to help some of you who are expecting, I have put together a comprehensive and realistic list of what I think is everything that you actually need for a new baby (and why).

  • Diapers and wipes: Of course this is a no-brainer, but I wanted to add a few tips though. Have a diaper raffle at your baby shower so you can stock up on diapers, and ask for them to be in a variety of sizes. You only need one or two boxes of size newborn diapers so don’t get too many. For a good deal on wipes I buy mine at Costco; I get the Huggies brand because they come with a free wipe box (not just refills). Because you can wait to stock up before the baby comes, see if you can get them on sale (they occasionally have them for $5 off). Costco is also great for diapers too, however, I like Pampers and Costco only sells Huggies as well as their own Kirkland brand. Trust me that certain diapers will retain their contents better than others, and every baby wears diapers differently so you may want to sample different brands to find the one that works best for you.
  • Burp Cloths: You will want A LOT of them, especially if you have a baby that spits up all the time. I constantly have a burp cloth or two (or three) at arm’s reach throughout my house! I would say that I have about 25 total.
  • Diaper Bag: You definitely want a bag to keep all of baby’s necessities in when you go out. This can either mean buying a diaper bag with specialized compartments, or re-purposing a bag that you already have! My husband asked that we get a backpack style bag because then he would feel comfortable wearing it, but I have also loved how it still allows me to be hands free as well.
  • Swaddle Blankets: This is one item that I suggest splurging on (and it seems that every other list I read thought the same thing). I think my favorite baby item was my Aiden and Anais muslin swaddle blankets. They are breathable so baby does not overheat, large enough to easily swaddle baby, and can double as a car seat cover and nursing cover.
  • Sleep Sack: R slept better when he was swaddled, and having a good sleep sack makes a huge difference. I got away with using my muslin swaddle blankets at first, but R quickly outgrew them and was able to escape like Houdini from a strait jacket. A good sleep sack will keep them more secure, and allow for easy diaper changes in the middle of the night. I loved my HALO sleep sack and chose it because it still kept his legs free; I had read that binding baby’s legs is bad for their hips but please don’t take this as medical advice.
  • White Noise Machine: Babies love white noise and I swear R sleeps better with it. I have a mybaby on-the-go sound spa which was only $10 at Buy Buy Baby. It is small and portable so we could take it with us everywhere (and I mean we took it EVERYWHERE when he was a newborn); it could clip onto his car seat or I would even hook it to my baby carrier to walk around. I still keep this on all night when he sleeps.
  • Medical/Grooming Supplies: A bulb aspirator is a must for a newborn to prevent them from choking on any spit up; the hospital gave us one it is that important so you may not even need to buy one. You need to have the basics like a thermometer, nail clippers, brush/comb. You will also want alcohol wipes/swabs (comes in very handy to tend to the umbilical cord if needed), baby Tylenol (you should have it in case you need it, you never know). Diaper rash cream, because you will inevitably need it. And lastly, you NEED a Nose Frida, trust me. I know it seems gross now but the first time your little one has a runny nose, it will be obvious why this is worth every penny. *I will also add that if you are circumcising a boy you will want boxes of gauze pads and a large tub of Vaseline*
  • Toys/Teethers: Toys can easily overrun your house so I am not saying to go crazy, but they are great for keeping baby occupied and giving them something to help them developmentally. You should have a few select toys, ones that serve multiple purposes to get the most use out of them. Also, after a few months your baby will start to teethe; it helps to have a teether for them to chew on so they don’t end up using your fingers all day.
  • Pacifier Clips: Pacifiers are subject to personal opinion, some people don’t even want to introduce one and that is fine. R stopped using one after a month on his own. The pacifier clip however will prevent you from losing your mind if you do use them. It also comes in very handy for small toys and teethers! I use one to keep a teether attached to the car seat strap at all times so he can’t chuck it while we are out.
  • Video Baby Monitor: Ok, so this may not be essential, but I love having one! Yes, I know that they are expensive and you can do without one. I told my husband there was no way I wanted to spend that much on one when we could get a normal monitor for cheap. However, he was right because it gives me so much peace of mind that I think it is worth it! Of course, you don’t need a monitor if you have baby in your room with you. We didn’t put R in his own room until he was 5 months and only bought the monitor then.
  • Waterproof Mattress Pad: Babies leak. You will want to prevent those leaks from getting on the expensive mattress you just bought for the crib. I have two so that if there is an accident in the middle of the night I have a backup.
  • Clothes/Linens: Of course, you already know you need to get clothes, but you don’t need to go overboard. And I am sure you already heard, but don’t get too many newborn clothes, they don’t wear then for that long! I didn’t really know how much I would need when registering for things so here is what I use:
    • Crib sheets- I would say don’t get more than 3 (I got 5 and it is way too much). You want to have more than one so if there are any accidents at night you have a clean one to replace it.
    • Onesies- I would say that I go through about 10-12 before it is time to do a load of laundry. Make sure you have a few long sleeves, but remember that you can always layer with a sweater if cold so I mostly get short sleeve.
    • Bottoms- You may not need an exact ratio of bottoms to tops; most days when we are just around the house I don’t even put pants on R. I am not sure if R just had long legs, but I always buy pants one size larger than his onesies. The pants don’t seem to be too much larger in the waist, but just slightly longer in the legs. This also helps because the fabric pants, not jeans, tend to shrink in the wash after a while too. I also LOVE footed pants because it still keeps their toes covered without having to worry about socks; the attached feet also prevent the legs from riding up constantly!
    • Footed pajamas– I would say to get about 6 of these. I prefer the snap up style for when they are really little; it seemed like the zipper kind were really bulky with the snap cover at the neck, and a few of the styles seemed like they were cutting into his throat. Again, I get a size bigger than his onesies.
    • Hats– I rarely used hats, I think I had way too many! I only used them when R was really little. He was also born with a lot of hair and they never stayed on. If you have a summer baby you may not even want hats, if a winter baby maybe just 2 or 3.
    • Mittens– Personally I think they are a joke. I learned quickly they never stayed on. What I found much more effective was using socks! Now hear me out, they are the same size as the mittens but fit more snugly on their hands so they don’t fall off, and they are thicker so they actually keep their hands warm. I will still do this with R, using the socks that he has outgrown.
    • Socks– They usually come 6 pair in a package. I would suggest buy two packs of the 0-3 month size (especially if you will use them as mittens too because this is the size I still use for R’s mittens so you will get a lot of use out of them). Once they need bigger socks I suggest only one pack, and don’t be afraid to buy them in a size or two larger than they need to get more use out of them.
    • Jackets– This depends on the time of year. I would say to always have one light weight sweater year round. In colder months you definitely need a jacket. I love buying sweaters/jackets with hoods because they help keep little heads warm without worrying about hats.
    • Blankets– As already mentioned I definitely recommend Aiden and Anais muslin swaddle blankets; you should only need one pack of 4. You also want one blanket that is a little thicker to use as a stroller/car seat blanket for colder months. This is not only an extra layer for warmth, it can be used to cover the car seat and protect baby from the cold and wind.
  • You will need someplace safe to keep baby when you need to put them down. This can be the crib, but you may also want some kind of swing or bouncy chair (when they are old enough to sit in it) to keep in the living room with you. The rock ‘n’ play is supposed to work wonders (especially helpful if your little one has bad reflux) and can double as a napper/bassinet so I am told. We had a pack ‘n’ play set up in the living room that we would put R in, when he would allow us to put him down that is. He hated his swing and only used it for a few weeks when he was older so to each his own.
  • You will need a designated place to change the baby. In my opinion, a changing table is pointless. If you really want this kind of set up I would say get a dresser changing table so you can still use it afterward. But honestly, once your baby is big enough to roll over and becomes a wiggle worm, you probably don’t want to change them on a high surface… I have always changed R on the floor and used a waterproof travel changing mat! It folds away when I don’t use it, can come with us in the diaper bag, and can be moved anywhere in the house that it is needed!
  • You will also need two pillows for feeding time. Yes, the Boppy is popular but not essential. But you definitely do want to designate a pillow (even one you already have) to help prop up baby at feeding time. You also want a smaller pillow for lumbar support to put behind your back; your back will be hurting enough as it is so make yourself extra comfy. You can even roll a bath towel to use instead of a pillow.
  • Last but not least, let us not forget the essentials which I am sure you know… But just in case… Definitely need a crib (the only case where this may be avoided is if you plan to cosleep until they are old enough for a bed and then put the mattress directly on the floor), and with the crib comes the crib mattress. You HAVE to have a car seat or you can’t leave the hospital so this is a non-negotiable item. Stroller is another typical must have, although I have heard some moms say that they exclusively use a baby carrier. The baby carrier is one of my favorite items! It is not essential because obviously you can get by without having one, but there are supposed to be so many benefits to baby wearing, and it is so convenient when we go out and don’t have to bring the stroller every time.

Ok guys, I know that was a lot and thanks for hanging in there with me. Hopefully you have a better idea of what we actually ended up using and loving with our baby (and why)! What about you other moms, was there something that you would put on this list that you loved?

10 Things To Do Before Bringing Baby Home

There are so many things to accomplish and prepare for when you are expecting a baby. Most of them are common sense, or so well known that you read about it everywhere and hear it from 10 different people. However, there were some things that I wish I had thought of before I brought our son home, and also a few things that I did and want to share. Even though I was very organized and prepared (as any good nesting mama is), there are some things that could have made life just a little bit easier. Here are the 10 things to know before bringing baby home that you probably have not heard yet:

  1. Strengthen your arms and back
    • Everyone tells you it is important to stay in shape while pregnant but they should tell you to specifically focus your workout on your arms and back. Carrying a baby all day is hard work; they are cute and little at first, but they quickly grow. Lugging around a 10 pound baby all day is quite the workout. Just try carrying around a sack of potatoes for the whole day and see what I mean.
  2. Practice holding your breath
    • I did not take a birthing or breathing technique class (I definitely don’t recommend this) and thought that I could teach myself. What I did not read anywhere was that while you push you have to hold your breath for 10 seconds at a time, three times in a row. Now this may not seem like a big deal (and maybe it won’t be for you), but trying to push after hours of exhausting labor is tough to say the least. Trying to push while not breathing was not as easy as it sounds, and those 10 seconds seemed like an eternity.
  3. Start a baby book
    • I actually did this while I was pregnant and definitely recommend it. I love to have a craft project to work on and so this was a great way to occupy my time while simultaneously getting ready for the baby. I used Shutterfly to start the baby book. (I LOVE this site, if you have never used it they are awesome! You get free prints just for creating an account and they always have great sales throughout the year. I always wait until they have a 50% off promotion to buy my photobooks after I have finish them.) Of course you don’t have any photos yet, but you can set up all the pages and customize it how you want. As you take pictures you can now simply drag and drop them onto the pages and you are ready to go!
  4. Draft a group text message
    • When you are on your way to the hospital you are going to want to let people know! Of course there are some calls you will want to make, but trust me you won’t want to make very many. What you can do is create a draft of a group text message; select everyone that you will want to tell and even write a simple message. This way as you are caught up in the moment of trying to get to the hospital you won’t have to worry about telling everyone or worry if you left someone out.
  5. Try on the baby carrier in-store BEFORE you get a belly
    • I knew that I definitely wanted a baby carrier. As I was excitedly going through Buy Buy Baby doing a registry with my husband, I realized that there were many to choose from. How to decide? Well, you could TRY THEM ON! I had no idea you could do this in the store. But there was one problem… I had a pregnant tummy and they would not fit properly like they should after the baby is here. This means that you have to hope for the best, or have your husband model them for you (because he will use it too!). We chose this one and LOVE it!
  6. Program favorite channels on your TV remote
    • We all know that there is the “favorites” button on our TV remote, but we never think to use it. Well, it is there for a reason… It must have been designed for a nursing mama who has a hungry baby with no time to channel surf. Preprogram your favorite channels so you can easily find something to watch. This is especially helpful at night when you are half asleep. May I also suggest finding a few channels that you know will have something decent to watch in the middle of the night and not just infomercials.
  7. Load up your Netflix list
    • This does along with my previous point. You do not want to waste time trying to find something to entertain yourself during feedings. And if you have Netflix you know that finding something to watch can be time consuming. Take the time before the baby comes to load up your list of things to watch so you have a bountiful selection when you need it.
  8. Download an audio book
    • If you love to read, you know that it is an activity that can be very calm and peaceful. You could get lost for hours in a good story. Well if you have not guessed already, you won’t be reading any good novels for a while but it doesn’t mean you can’t listen to one! Getting an audio book is a great thing to keep handy; you can listen to it in the hospital, during feedings, or while you attempt to accomplish tasks around the house with baby in your arms. It will allow you to multitask which is the name of the game with a baby.
  9. Set up your bills on autopay
    • You will have enough to worry about when you bring your baby home, so don’t add the stress of trying to pay all of your bills on time. Trust me, those first two weeks are a blur and you may not know the day of the week let alone remember that your phone bill is due. This is a simple thing to do but will give you so much peace of mind.
  10. Put a waterproof mattress cover on your bed
    • Most people only think that this is useful on a child’s bed, but trust me, you will want one. It will not only protect your mattress if your water breaks in the middle of the night, but it will also protect it from leaky boobs. If you did not know already, you will leak milk A LOT at first, but may also leak a little bit before the baby comes. Lastly, it will also protect against leaky diapers. Our son did not sleep in our bed, but we did play in our bed or cuddle. This trick saved us from a “poopsplosion” the first week home.

I hope that these tips help you prepare for the arrival of your precious angel!