How to Prepare for Baby

Screen Shot 2014-10-31 at 9.32.13 AMFor expectant parents it’s normal to focus on and get ready for the upcoming birth. Once baby arrives, some say, ‘We wish someone had told us to prepare more for THIS.’ Life with a new baby IS a precious time, yet at moments it can feel overwhelming.
For 25 years as an educator and postpartum doula I’ve been helping families prepare for their baby’s arrival. Easing parents’ transition during the first months is my area of expertise. For information on my services, visit http://www.dakinidoula.com/postpartum-doula.html
In this article I offer some tips on how to prepare BEFORE your baby arrives.

honor the ‘baby moon’, imagine snuggling with baby, bonding and resting
contemplate lowering your expectations/standards of what will be accomplished in a day, recognizing that you and your baby come first!
envision a very short ‘to do’ list for yourself (Realize that accomplishing one major chore daily is a triumph! Rest trumps all.)
plan realistically your partner’s participation, ie. night time waking & daily household work load, plan for once they return to work, having extra support
inform family/friends that visits will be limited in the early days and weeks
make a ‘to do’ list (chalk board in kitchen) so friends & family can check off chores they will do, ie. folding baby laundry, loading dish washer, emptying recycling, tidying up
suggest baby shower gift ideas – ie. a cleaning service, doula chef, postpartum doula
create menu plans for the first 2 week period with easy recipes
prepare & freeze 1 pot meals for the first 2 week period
designate a friend to organize a ‘meal train’
hire a ‘doula’ chef to prepare nutritious meals in your home
stock up on household supplies & non-perishables
buy paper plates, plastic utensils to cut down on time spent washing dishes
arrange for a temporary house cleaning service
video tape your favorite shows to watch later on when you are nursing your baby
pay some bills ahead of time
close off some rooms that you may not use, make space, de-clutter
set up a grocery delivery service for the first couple of weeks
organize pet care/dog walking services
line up a neighbor’s teen or a student to do odd jobs
attend a La Leche League meeting to learn from breastfeeding moms
research cloth diaper services
create a Facebook page to share info with couples from your childbirth prep class
join Facebook swap groups to find great buys on gently used baby stuff – ‘Vancouver BC Kids Shop and Swap’, ‘Baby and Children’s Clothes, strollers, toys for sale or free’

Congrats & all the best on your parenting journey! Debra Woods

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