Nursery complete? Check! Hospital Bag Packed? Check!
You have baby’s things all ready to welcome him or her home. But, what about you? Before those contractions start, you may want to prepare your own survival kit. Being a new parent is a joy, but also exhausting. Here are some things you will need to make the transition easier…
Before baby arrives, it is a good idea to prepare some home cooked meals and place in the freezer. Being a new mom or dad, you are not going to want to be slaving in a hot kitchen. But, you need nutrient-rich food to keep up your energy and strength when the baby is waking you up at night. Friends could help with this too. Have them come over and make a cooking party out of it. Have a friend that is almost due? This makes a great and practical gift idea too!
FitPregnancy has seven make-ahead meals from breakfast to dinner. This will help enormously!
Grandparents, friends, coworkers….
You will want to prepare a list and talk to the people you love about helping out before the baby comes home. You never know how exhausted you will be and having a go-to list of helpers is immensely valuable. Many will be willing to help if you only ask.
For in-home help, you might want to hire a baby nurse or a responsible neighborhood teenager to help you for a short time after the birth. Your doctor or the hospital can be good resources for finding information about in-home help, and might even be able to make a referral to home health agencies.
In addition, relatives and friends often want to help. Even if you disagree on certain things, don’t dismiss their experience. But if you don’t feel up to having guests or you have other concerns, don’t feel guilty about placing restrictions on visitors. ~KidsHealth.org
Mommy & Daddy Kits
Remember happy parents = a more relaxing environment for baby.
It’s a good idea to prepare kits ahead of time that will provide some quick “me time” when needed. Parents can take turns. For mom, this could mean a basket with bubble bath, a book, and a scented candle. For dad, this could be a candy bar, a joke book, and a short DVD. Having these things handy could give a needed break and a bit of humor or relaxation.
New parents will need a sleep plan. This could include everything thing from a “taking turns” schedule to having midnight snacks on hand.
“We’ve found that the best way to protect our sleep and make sure we’re functional for work is to take our daughter in shifts. My wife usually handles the first shift (10:30 p.m. to 2:30 a.m.), while anything after that falls into my territory (2:30 a.m. to 6 a.m.).”
~Dan, dad of Mary Elise, 11 months via BabyCenter.com
The Mayo Clinic has some New Parent Sleep Tips too:
- Sleep when your baby sleeps. Silence your phone, hide the laundry basket and ignore the dishes in the kitchen sink. Calls and chores can wait.
- Set aside social graces. When friends and loved ones visit, don’t offer to be the host. Instead, ask if they could watch the baby while you take a nap.
- Don’t ‘bed share’ during sleep. It’s OK to bring your baby into your bed for nursing or comforting — but return your baby to the crib or bassinet when you’re ready to go back to sleep.
- Split up nighttime duties. Work out a schedule with your partner that allows both of you to rest and care for the baby. If you’re breastfeeding, perhaps your partner could bring you the baby and handle nighttime diaper changes. If you’re using a bottle, take turns feeding the baby.
- Give watchful waiting a try. Sometimes middle-of-the-night fussing or crying is simply a sign that your baby is settling down. Unless you suspect that your baby is hungry or uncomfortable, it’s OK to wait a few minutes to see what happens.
Need more ideas or practical New Parent gifts? This Pinterest Board Has You Covered
Happy Survival New Parents and Congrats on Your Bundle of Joy! Hang in there, You’ve Got This!
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