The Home Stretch
Congratulations, you’re having a baby! You might find that once it’s officially announced, time flies by. Before you know it, you’re counting down to the last few weeks until your due date. In the midst of excitement and apprehension, it’s easy to forget that there are a few things to take care of before the baby arrives.
Assembly Required: According to the www.Parents.com article “Your Preparing for Baby Checklist,” the most important item to prepare is the car seat. “Put the seat in now, so you have plenty of time to make sure it’s installed correctly.” If you haven’t done so, it’s time to get the crib ready, too.
Reconnect with Your Partner: Mom of two Becki Anderson says, “My husband and I took a baby-moon trip. It was a nice chance to take a collective breath prior to the big day.” In “14 Things to Do Before Baby Arrives,” author Kerry Egan says, “You and your honey will go out again, of course, once the baby comes, but it will be different: Some piece of you will be emotionally tethered to that little person waiting at home, wondering whether he or she is crying, missing you, etc.” Plan a fun date or a weekend getaway that allows you some pre-baby connection.
Big Brother or Sister: Speaking of connection, don’t forget big brother or sister. Siblings will be excited but will also require a little extra loving before they’re asked to share it with the new baby. Mom of two Jennie Mullinix says, “I had a mommy/daughter date with my 2-year-old before she became a big sister.”
When You Don’t Have Family Nearby: Having a little one at home and no family in town can be difficult when you’re planning for your hospital or birthing center stay. As Shawnee mom Heather Buchwitz explains, it’s all in the details. “I made a list of everybody willing to take my 5-year-old. I also included our insurance information, doctors’ numbers and a waiver to treat so that if he got hurt, they could take him to urgent care. It helped ensure that I didn’t have to worry about where he was all day.”
Make Ahead Meals: If you’re feeling extra energetic, the last few weeks before your due date are ideal for cooking ahead. Topeka mom Greta Funk says, “I made a freezer full of meals to cook after the baby was born. Best thing ever!” On www.WhatToExpect.com, the freezer friendly meals suggested are lasagna, banana bread, mini-meatloaves and bran muffins. Make sure to store in airtight containers, label clearly so that you don’t confuse foods and mark dates that they were prepared.
Once you’ve finished your list of “to-do’s,” sit back and relax. Make sure to get plenty of rest. You’re going to need it. That sweet baby is going to overwhelm you alternately with love and exhaustion, but it will be worth it. And in the weeks following childbirth, it will be nice to know that there is one less thing to worry about.
Jennifer Bosse lives in Kansas City with her husband and two kids. She is simultaneously relieved and sad to be past the newborn stage.
As always, please consult your healthcare provider with any questions or concerns.