Preparing for baby: Part One

There are many details that need to be ironed out during your pregnancy, especially during the third trimester: Setting up the nursery, having your baby shower, packing your hospital bag, taking a childbirth & baby care class, baby’s healthcare, adjusting your budget, figuring out maternity leave & childcare if you are returning to work, etc. There are so many things that are important. I will go over a few of these items today and the rest in a different post.

Setting up the nursery: Some mothers like to have the nursery set up by week 20, while others are waiting for their showers to be complete first. I think it is best to have it done around the beginning to middle of your third trimester (week 31-33). There are a number of reasons for this, but most importantly the larger you get the more you do not want to be doing this sort of work. If you are painting the nursery be sure to have your significant other do this as it isn’t recommended for pregnant women. Make sure the room is properly ventilated so when you return to the house, you are not breathing in the fumes. If any of the furniture needs assembled be sure to do this next. You want to make sure that you have all of the pieces and that everything is functioning properly before the baby arrives. After you have the rest of the items (clothes, diapers, wipes, socks, onesies, blankets, etc) be sure you have a convenient place for each of the items. Do you need more storage baskets? An additional shelf? Next, decorate the space with any pictures, art, chairs, accessories that you want. Wash your babies clothes, towels, blankets in a dye-free, allergen-free detergent like Dreft or ALL Free & Clear. As far as the bedding, I wait until the very end of my pregnancy to make the bed. I don’t want it collecting dust for weeks.

After your baby shower: Did you get duplicates? Did you receive clothing items that are just plain ugly or it is a 6 month swimsuit and your baby will be 6 months old in December? I spent the first few days after my shower sorting through my items and determining what needed returned. Most guests include the gift receipt, but if they do not you can always return items to places without a receipt. You will likely receive merchandise credit, but it is better than keeping an item that you will never use. Also, keep in mind that certain items with popular brands like Fisher Price, Pampers, etc can usually be returned anywhere that item is sold. I received 3 large boxes of Pampers newborn diapers that I knew I would never be able to use. I was able to return them to Target for store credit and buy a few items that I still needed like a few storage baskets for the nursery.

Taking a childbirth/baby care class: Many couples decide to take these classes and I think it is great. I opted not to due to my years in nursing school. I had been in a delivery room more times than I could remember and had also worked with teenage mothers where I taught parenting classes. However, I made sure to help educate my husband on childbirth a little bit so he wasn’t shocked when the experience happened. As far as childcare, it was also easiest to show him things as they happened. If neither of you has experience with newborns or childbirth I think these classes are great tools. There are so many things that many women do not know about their bodies during labor and the day of delivery is not the day to find out. Plus, this weekly class can be such a bonding time for you and your partner. Check with your doctor or your hospital that you plan to deliver at for their class times and schedules. Many of them offer the classes for free or at a low rate. (Also- Many insurance companies will reimburse any charges you pay).

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