6 Things You Don’t Need to Prep Before Your Baby Arrives
You have less than 40 weeks to do ALL THE THINGS on your list before your baby arrives. From cleaning to decorating and everything in between, it's almost as difficult preparing for your baby as it is carrying her!
The thing is, you don't have to do everything. There are certain aspects of preparing for a baby that really can wait until the baby is in your arms instead of in your belly. Here are six things you don't need to prep before your baby arrives.
It's difficult not to get excited about putting together your baby's room with the perfect bedding and artwork for the walls, and while it's not a terrible thing to have the room ready, this step can be skipped if you're running short on time or your baby arrives early.
Most mamas keep their babies close for the first few months, and by the time your newborn is ready to move in to her own quarters, you will have found bits of time to get the room in order. Instead, take time to get your own room ready by cleaning, buying lower watt bulbs, getting some new pillows and soft bedding, and creating a soothing, calming environment for you and your baby for the first weeks of her life.
So, you have some bouncers and activity centers on your registry and you get them at your shower. The logical thing to do is to put them together in preparation of your unborn baby's future playtime … right? Wrong. We made this mistake the first time around and had several big, chunky pieces of plastic taking up valuable space in our house. Save these big toys for when your new baby can sit up and enjoy them — unless you like using plastic toys as a coffee table.
Sanitizing All Bottles or Pacifiers
It's so tempting to rip open packages of bottles and pacifiers so they will be clean and ready for your baby, but here's a fact: not all babies like all kinds of pacifiers or bottles. Both of my children hate a certain kind of pacifier and refused it. I made the mistake of opening the packaging and tossing it before my son was born, so I had several useless pacis in the house, and was forced to spend money on new ones!
Sanitizing these types of items doesn't take much time at all – in fact, you'll be able to boil them in the microwave or on the stove in about 10 minutes when the time is right – so save yourself the hassle and open only one package to make sure your baby likes the brand.
Before I tell you more, I'll tell you a story about my first pregnancy. The doctor told me my son was small. Small, he said. He'll be a tiny thing, he said. My “tiny thing” ended up being an almost 9-lb chunker. The moral of this story is don't get too excited about newborn sized clothes. While washing all those little onesies before baby arrives may seem like a good idea, he might not fit into them for more than a day or two.
Most hospitals offer breastfeeding classes, but think twice before you spend too much time and money on this type of class. Breastfeeding classes are designed to provide information for a general audience of first-time mothers (or mothers who have decided to breastfeed after subsequent pregnancies). In my experience, breastfeeding isn't a one-size-fits-all type of situation. While you can get a few useful tidbits out of them, breastfeeding classes can leave you with a false sense of security. Instead, ask for a lactation consultant while you're in the hospital and get acquainted with a la Leche League or Breastfeeding Support group to help you after your baby is born. This will allow you more one-on-one personalized care to help you meet your personal breastfeeding goals.
The sudden urge to rip apart your kitchen to add new fixtures or tear down a wall to make more room in your home for the new bundle of joy can be a strong one, but resist! A clean, safe home is all your child needs. Starting home improvement projects will extend your budget and your patience, especially the closer it gets to your due date. Control your urge to start on huge projects, and focus on what's coming!
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