I like to think of myself as an organized person. And while I may not always succeed in my efforts, I can at least try. From vacations to job searches, I like to have a plan. You can just blame my military training for this need to be prepared. Having a baby is no different. And while many folks choose to focus on their registries and all the material items they’ll need to take care of the baby, there are many things (and non-things) I choose to focus on that might not be the first to come to other people’s minds. Read on for my to-do list to prep for baby (and maternity leave’s) arrival.
Prepping the house (for non-baby guests):
Knowing many relatives and friends will be on hand for the arrival of our little guy, I like to have some things ready for them. Not only did I buy new bath towels (we needed them anyways), I also made sure the guest bed had clean sheets and the fridge was thoroughly cleaned. Additionally, it can be useful to have directions out for things that need to get done, so you aren’t barking orders at folks while nursing a newborn. When our first son arrived, I had our pet’s eating schedule posted on the fridge. I also had directions up for doing laundry in the laundry room (we have some allergies that require using a specific kind of soap). Any guidance you provide ahead of time will leave less guesswork for guests who are there to help. If you want to be really ambitious, you can write out honey-do or daily task listsfor all those extra hands around the house.
Since we already have a son, I need to ensure things are taken care of for him, as well. I know that it is likely others will be taking care of him the first few weeks (and bless my family for being here to handle this task!). In preparation, I have organized his clothing drawers, which were previously a disaster. I even laid out a holiday outfit and a new ‘big brother’ shirt that can be easily found by others. My son has allergies, so he has a designated shelf in the fridge for his non-dairy items. We also have a few neighbors on call, including one who is on the emergency contact list at daycare (meaning she can pick our son up without us there). We have also taught (or re-taught) relatives how to get our son into the car seat. This includes reminders about car seat safely – like the fact that he shouldn’t be in a bulky coat in the seat.
Since our second is due this month, I have set out to get as much Christmas planning done ahead of time as possible. Some folks have already received Christmas cards, and more will be sent out soon. No, they will not have the baby on them. He is due a week before Christmas and I am not that much of a perfectionist, or that crazy. I have also started wrapping some presents. I am assuming I may have a C-section, and I don’t want to try to wrap presents just days post-op. That would be even more crazy. I have also let some things go, as has my husband. We didn’t get out all the decorations – this is more due to the fact that we don’t want to be putting them away in a month while managing an infant and a toddler. So, there is no Christmas village or garland on the banisters this year. I bet no one even notices.
At the office:
While I won’t get into all the details of transitioning out of work for maternity leave here (that would be a whole post in and of itself), I will cover a few minor things. For one, I gave a coworker who is a friend a list of folks to email when baby arrives. This way, I can just send a photo and quick announcement to her, and she will distribute for me at the office. I will also be setting my email out of office up at least a week before hand. This will ensure that I don’t get a bunch of emails – that I don’t plan to answer – in the days leading up to delivery. I already spoke to coworkers about who is taking on what task in my absence, and will include this information in my out-of-office auto-replies. Hopefully, people will leave me alone during the next few months (because I certainly won’t be taking my time to respond to everyone). It’s nice to be able to turn that part of my life off for a while.
And a few baby-specific things:
I recently washed the cover for our infant car seat. Now, I don’t know about you, but I hate doing this. When my son was in this thing, projectile vomit had to be involved for me to consider cleaning it a necessity. But I figured with a new little one getting ready to ride in it, the least we could do was clean it. It also gives me the chance to adjust the straps back down to infant size and ensure it is working properly. Other items that were recently cleaned include nursing pillow covers, cradle/bassinet sheets and any blankets I’ll have out around baby (anyone washed those living room throws recently?). And I made sure to order some new breast pump supplies (new tubes and membranes, anyone?). All of this will ensure a less rocky road to bringing baby home.
While there will likely be
some lots of things that don’t get accomplished prior to baby’s arrival, I feel a bit more prepared (and dare I say in control) knowing that I was able to prep a few things ahead of time. Leaving the household in other’s hands is a big deal for me, even for a few days, and these little to-do’s being done gives me peace of mind, as well. Now I just have to sit here and wait for baby to arrive. I so enjoy not being in control.