7 Things You Can Do To Prepare For Your Baby Right Now

Image via J&J Brusie Photography
Image via J&J Brusie Photography

This morning, my mom called me from Babies `R Us, where she was shopping for a baby shower for a co-worker's friend. 

“Chaunie, this playpen is $200 dollars!” she exclaimed over the phone. “Should I buy it? Do they really need a playpen that plays music?”

All laughs aside, it's serious business being a first-time mom.

As a seasoned (stretch-marked?) momma, I had to chuckle a little to myself at the “first-timers” who insisted on the $200 playpen when we all know that the baby will hate it and only nap in the car seat for the first three months anyways. 

All laughs aside, it's serious business being a first-time mom. There's a lot of advice and a lot of information and articles telling you what you should buy and how to prepare. But unlike that $200 playpen, here are a few tips that you can actually use right now to prepare for life with your baby. 

Image via x86x86/Flickr
Image via x86x86/Flickr

Buy approximately 1,000 more diapers than you think you need. Unless you are lucky enough to be super popular like my brother-in-law and his wife, who scored enough diapers from the diaper party that their friends threw them to last an entire year, stocking up on diapers is a must.  At the beginning of the bringing-home-baby-phase, you'll probably get a lot of newborn diapers, but trust me when I say that those baby butts get a lot bigger a lot faster than you may think! Stock up on size 1 and 2 diapers and save yourself a lot of trouble. And if you're going cloth, buy a few different brands or kinds, so you can find the best type that works for your baby's unique (and adorable) booty.

Image via Joe Shlabotnik/Flickr
Image via Joe Shlabotnik/Flickr

Scour the clearance racks for some off-season baby clothes. This one may require some mathematical calculations, but it will be worth it. Although you can't necessarily predict exactly how big your baby will be, do some quick figuring to find out what his or her approximate size will be in the next season. You're bound to get a bunch of cutesy newborn outfits for the season your baby is born in, but the real challenge comes in clothing that incredibly-growing kid in the next season. (Which comes faster and faster each year!) So, do yourself a favor and buy a few off-season items in a size a couple months bigger now. You'll save money and your baby will be wearing it faster than you can say “snowsuit in July.”

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Image via Joe Shlabotnik/Flickr
Image via Joe Shlabotnik/Flickr

Do something completely non-baby related. Forget the advice to become all parent-like and responsible. Now's your chance to live large before you have to pay for a babysitter. And trust me, nothing puts a damper on date night like knowing each minute is costing you cold hard cash while someone else snuggles your little one at home. So throw all responsibility to the wind and do something that you would never consider doing before you became a parent. Weekend getaway, anyone?

Image via jerseygal2009/Flickr
Image via jerseygal2009/Flickr

Start a baby book now. Sure, that baby book you received from Great-Aunt Judy is full of cutesy stuff like “first haircut” and “first smile,” but the trouble with babies is that each day seems to bring a new development. So it can be incredibly hard to remember to capture each and every thing in the baby book. My advice? Start the baby book now, with reliving stories about your pregnancy, how you decorated the nursery, or how you felt the first time you heard your baby's heartbeat. Those are the memories that you will all cherish.

Image via MRBECK/Flickr
Image via MRBECK/Flickr

Practice tightening/loosening the car seat straps. Darn those car seat contraptions. They alternately protect our children and cause us hours of cursed frustration. I swear every time I'd go to strap the baby in, he or she would have appeared to grown a foot overnight. Master the art of the loosening and tightening of those car seat straps now and you will save yourself loads of time later. And protect against your baby's first word being a swear word …

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Image via Tammra McCauley/Flickr
Image via Tammra McCauley/Flickr

Make friends with your crockpot. That dinner train only lasts so long, my friends, and then it's over. And you're left alone to experience the mysterious phenomenon known as spending an entire day with a newborn doing absolutely nothing but feedings and diaper changes that at once will fly by and drag on forever–and before you know it, you'll be starving. Start a Pinterest board now of some great crockpot recipes that will help you get dinner on the table–or you know, the couch. No judgment here. 

Image via edandeddie/Flickr
Image via edandeddie/Flickr

Get some babysitter recommendations. Sure, you might have looked into daycare or be planning on staying home with your baby, but I can guarantee that the time will come when you will need the occasional after-hours babysitter. Nothing crazy, just someone that you know will be readily available for an hour or two while you go to the dentist or run in for a quick work meeting. You may not think it's a big deal now, but a trusted, available babysitter in the middle of the day that you can count on in a pinch is invaluable to new parents. Ask around or post that you're looking for a recommendation on Facebook so you can collect a few names and numbers ahead of time.

What have you done to plan ahead for baby? 

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7 Things You Can Do To Prepare For Your Baby Right Now

Chaunie Brusie is a writer, mom of four, and founder of The Stay Strong Mom, a community + gift box service for moms after loss. ... More

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11 comments

  1. Hannah says:

    I think most of these tips are good but the one that says to go out and do a getaway.. I wanted to do a getaway before I found out I was prego and was wanting to go to a beach somewhere and get to drink and enjoy myself and I was wanting to finish up some tattoo ideas I had but you cant do that stuff while your pregnant and now im disability from work and don’t have the money to do anything fun now so I just don’t think that is a good tip for everyone because not everyone has the luxury of being able to do what they want or to afford a getaway.

  2. Erin says:

    Great tips! Especially the crock pot…before my baby was born, I made up a whole bunch of crock pot meals and froze them in big zip-lock bags. It was so nice on those crazy fast/slow newborn days to be able to just put one in the crock pot in the morning and know that dinner would be ready whenever I was able to eat in the evening.

  3. mommy nhoj says:

    Officemates threw baby shower and main attraction was a 3-layer newborn diaper cake. They even gave out the excess and saved us about a month of supply!

  4. LIZ says:

    i love all this tips, tnx so much

  5. Jessica says:

    This is so helpful!

  6. Ashley says:

    I love reading this mostly because I WAS THAT FIRST TIME MOM!!! lol its hard knowing where to start and where to begin!! After having my baby, i found that all the things I wanted SHE hated!! haha go figure! Now preg with the second and all I want is diapers, the car seat and a FEW outfits!! I think we just get overwhelmed with happiness and excitement that we want all the BEST and we forget how really simple babies are, they dont care what kind of crib or play pen or swing they have, they mostly just want mommy or daddy anyway! I think this is a great post!!!

  7. Jennifer says:

    I love this! Being a first time mother.

  8. dulce says:

    I love this! I’m a new to be mommy I can’t wait meet my princess

  9. Tazzy says:

    Reading this made me feel half way unprepared but i’m glad i read it cuz it gave me more ways to go about doing things. since i found out i was pregnant i’ve been stressing really bad about what i do or dont need to get for the baby and what is and isnt important. This heled me alot.

  10. Dario says:

    great idea on diapers, doing that. car seat ready to go

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