From the time you first hear that you’re pregnant till the time you’re ready to deliver, there’s a roller coaster of emotions, showers, and preparations made for you and your new little life.
Parents often look forward to delivery, and understandably so! It is an exciting time of life where they get to meet their little one for the first time, it’s hard to imagine a more thrilling moment.
But, as many of us realize by month 8 (some of us by the day after delivery), there’s a loooot of work that comes once the baby is delivered. From nappy changing to middle of the night feeding to adjusting to new sleep schedules and more, the tasks can seem quite daunting if you haven’t prepared in advance.
That being said, there is good news! There are plenty of ways for you to prepare for your little one’s arrival that will smooth the transition as much as possible. This article is going to overview just 7 simple steps that can put you on the path to prepared parenthood (hah!). Granted, you’ll still have late nights, but a little preparation now can save a bundle of stress later.
Step 1) Make sure your freezer is stocked and ready
Step one is really all about the kitchen. By ensuring that your freezer is stocked, you will be setting yourself up for weeks of easy pull out dinners, rather than day after day of pulling out your own hair! Meal planning is essential!
If you can’t bring yourself to pre-cook an entire meal, sometimes it can help to have at least pre-cooked some of the meat. This could be diced chicken, sausage, or maybe even beef, and can make meal prep time a thing of the past. Anything that saves you a minute will be a welcome change, trust me.
Granted your diet as a new mother and father should not subsist of prepackaged alone. But there is nothing wrong with some hamburgers and chips every now and then, so don’t be afraid to grab a box or two for a quick and easy supper. These aren’t going to top the nutrition charts and are not a long term solution, but can give you the afternoon off on a day you weren’t expecting to need it.
Frozen dinners are great because they allow you to decide in advance what you intend to eat. Whether you’re a fan of meat balls, chicken soup, meatloaf, or casserole, stocking the freezer with pre-made frozen meals can turn dinner into a simple half an hour affair, rather than an all day ordeal trying to find the time.
Don’t forget to label though, and add reheating instructions. This will save you having to look it up later, or guesswork on the part of friends and family who come over to help!
Step 2) Make sure your grocery favourites are stocked
This stocking trip shouldn’t just extend to the freezer. Make sure your kitchen, bathroom, and spice rack are all well stocked as well. The less trips you have to make to the grocery store in those first few weeks, the better.
And remember, this doesn’t have to apply to just meats and cheeses. You can take the last few months of pregnancy to stock up on all household basics, from tissues to dish soap, to laundry detergent and paper towel. Any non-perishable that you know you’ll need will be a help.
As a bonus, taking time on this stocking essentials can allow you to save money by shopping the sales. Wait till the next time toilet paper is on sale, and fill your closet. Or buy a bunch of soups that are pre-made for your pantry. Whatever it is that you need, make sure your home has it in time for the little one to arrive.
Step 3) Stock up on baby basics – nappies and wipes
Another thing your house is going to need a lot of is nappies and wipes, so get stocking up now. This is another thing that stocking in advance can save you on, so make sure to watch for those deals. There’s nothing more reassuring than knowing you’re ready for that next middle of the night change, no midnight grocery trip needed.
Have you thought about buying nappies in bulk for terrific savings? Catch have great deals all the time so check them out first and you’ll get an extra 3% off at Catch if you’re a CashRewards member too!
Step 4) Don’t forget the other baby basics – and some for mum too!
Don’t forget that while there is a lot that you can use (and stock up on) for the new baby, mum and dad are going to have needs too. These can range from extra nursing pads to ibuprofen, and maybe some easy to go snack food too for energy. Whatever it is that you guys decide mummy and daddy will need, stock up. The key here with all of this stocking up is to avoid extra trips to the store, the less time out, the better!
Step 5) Prepare for household adjustment – new brothers and sisters
One of the easiest things to overlook, and the biggest mistakes, is the impact of a new baby on potential brothers and sisters in the house. Older siblings don’t always know how to respond to a new infant, especially if they’ve just gotten out of nappies themselves, so take some time to find out where your other little ones are at. Are they anxious? Excited? What can you do to make this time special for them?