At 38 weeks pregnant, I have been hard at work doing everything I can to prepare our home for a new baby. One thing I noticed quickly is that preparing your home for a new baby can get expensive and overwhelming.
Here are five things I couldn’t do without when it comes to baby prep. Best of all, these tips won’t break the bank!
1. Get Sleep
If there was one piece of unsolicited advice I heard more than anything else this pregnancy, it was “sleep as much as you possibly can now!” Of course with weird pregnancy symptoms and achey muscles and hormones, that hasn’t exactly been the easiest task.
On top of that, we’ve been living with a mattress that was too soft the past couple of years, and I was regularly waking up with a sore back and tossing and turning all night.
Fortunately, last month, my husband and I took a huge step to fix that. We both went to our local Mattress Firm where the manager walked us through a really fun process of testing mattresses and narrowing down which one was right for us. The delivery process was super easy — it arrived just two days later. Since then, it has it been a game-changer – we’re both sleeping better. Zero pain when I wake up in the morning. If you’re thinking about upgrading your mattress, now is a great time!
2. Get Organized
One thing I’m so glad to have done already is gotten the new babies stuff completely organized — so that the only thing missing from our nursery is… the baby. 😊
We opened all the shower gifts and totally organized the nursery and drawers. We even made a special space in the kitchen for our new baby items: bottles, sanitizers, bibs, etc.
We washed ALL of the baby’s linens: clothes, bedding, blankets, bassinet liner, burp cloths, towels… you name it. Tags were cut off, packaging discarded, and now they’ve been cleaned, dried, folded, and put in place so they are all ready to use. We figured that we better get a jump start on laundry now since we’ve heard that it piles up as soon as the baby comes along.
We also made a point of learning how everything works so we aren’t struggling with a breast pump on two hours of sleep. Or figuring out how to collapse the stroller or remove the car seat with a newborn in our arms.
3. Clean Up
Before the baby arrives, we made sure to give our house the spring cleaning of a lifetime. We cleared out closets, organized inside cabinets, dusted the highest shelves, and washed every surface and floor. And we’ve been maintaining it well, too! I think we’ll probably treat ourselves to a cleaning service — not something we usually do — the first week or two after we bring baby home to keep things looking nice while we’re running on zero sleep. Just like the organizing all of baby’s things, it’s one less chore to tackle as we adapt to life with baby.
4. Get Moving
The last big thing I’ve done during pregnancy that I highly recommend is to stay active. Of course, not everyone can do this depending on pregnancy health and possible complications, but if you are one of the lucky ladies who isn’t extremely sick or fatigued, I recommend staying as active as you can.
It’s been a cold, long winter here in Chicago, but I’ve made a point to get outside any time the temperature rose above freezing. Now that its warming up, I’ve been joining my husband to take our dogs out as much as I can. The fresh air and sunshine don’t cost a penny — and they are great for your mood, stress level and overall energy.
The best part is, being “active” while pregnant looks a lot different than when you’re not. I’m not suggesting attending an hour-long circuit or spin class. Simply going for walks, attending a yoga class or try out online prenatal pilates videos in your living room. These all make a big difference improving strength, flexibility, and energy. And they’re great for baby’s health too! I was never super active prior to getting pregnant but started a regular routine around week 20, and it’s really helped me in my third trimester. Even better: research shows it helps in the labor/delivery process and helps the body recover more quickly post-partum.
Whatever you do to get ready for your new baby, just make sure to listen to your body and stick to your own limits — you’ve got precious cargo in your belly!
About The Author
Alaina Kaczmarski A Chicago native, Alaina graduated from the Newhouse School of Journalism at Syracuse University in 2008 with degrees in magazine journalism and psychology with dreams of being an editor in New York City. Not quite able to afford the Big Apple living costs, she packed a U-Haul and headed to D.C. with stars in her eyes and not a single connection to call on. She found her first job the old-fashioned way: a newspaper ad and a solid interview. After a year at a children’s advocacy NPO, Alaina headed home to the Windy City and moved in with her mom. A few months later, unsure of what direction her life would lead, she started her blog, Live Creating Yourself, and began writing about everything she loved. Before long, she met fellow blogger Danielle Moss and the two shared a goal of creating something to inspire women like themselves, who had endless dreams but no idea where to begin. With a minuscule budget but impressive work ethic, the new friends launched The Everygirl in February 2012. Last year Alaina was named 20 In Their 20s by Crain’s Chicago Business.