Most parents agree that the three months post partum are among the most difficult months of parenting…ever.
This isn’t meant to scare you off, but to prepare you for what’s ahead. There is nothing better than meeting the baby you’ve waited nine months to know, and the highs of parenting cannot be matched. There are some extreme challenges that come with the post partum period, and it’s best to go in with both eyes open. There are so many things an expectant couple can do to prepare themselves and their home for this crazy season of raising a new born, and we’re here to help!
Preparing Your Home for the Post Partum Season
Bringing home baby is made all the easier when your home is ready to receive her. In this season you’re likely to be house-bound (if not bed-bound) whether you like it or not, so you might as well invest some TLC in your home as the due date approaches.
The weeks leading up to baby’s due date, do your best to keep the home tidy and neat. If you can afford a house cleaner, arrange to have one come by once before and once after baby’s arrival. Even on a budget, I’d say this is worth its weight in gold. Consider adding a Molly Maid gift card to your baby registry or scour Groupon for a discounted rate.
Don’t stress about baby proofing everything before baby’s arrival. This is an important step to making your home safe for your child, but a newborn baby can’t even lift his head, much less put his fingers in an electric socket, so save that for a couple of months down the line when you’re more well-rested.
As your baby’s birth approaches, start doubling whatever meals you make so your freezer has enough to sustain you when you can’t bear another night of basic pasta. If you can have even a week’s worth of suppers, you’ll be able to focus most on the task at hand – caring for your new born!
These steps may be the last thing you want to do when eight months pregnant, but trust me, being sleep deprived, healing from birth, and figuring our parenting is hard enough without doing so in a messy abode, while scrounging up leftovers for dinner.
Preparing Your Marriage for the Post Partum Season
Are you are your partner ready for this massive change ahead? Of course you aren’t – nobody is! It’s impossible to be truly ready to become parents for the first time, so don’t over-analyze or panic, but there are things you can do before baby comes to make your unit strong during the trials ahead.
If you can manage one, a Babymoon is a wonderful tradition to invest in one another before life becomes all about the baby. Whether it’s renting an Airbnb in your own city, or travelling abroad, now is the time to get away. Travelling with kids is its own breed of adventure, but this is the last chance for you to get away without having to arrange child care, so make the most of it!
As you read up on various parenting techniques and philosophies, be sure to share with your partner. Decide together on big parenting choices. What’s your birth plan? Will your nurse, bottle feed, or both? Will you sleep train or not? How will you discipline your children? Cloth diapers or disposable? Will one of you stay home with your child after the first year, or will you use daycare? It’s so crucial that a couple is on the same page about these parenting issues. While you may not decide everything before baby arrives, do your best to be united as you enter this phase.
Soak up the time you have together before your baby arrives and educate yourselves on the key parenting issues that can cause discord. Nothing prepares you for the uniting experience of becoming parents together, but prepare yourselves for a season that may be trying on your relationship.
Preparing The Nursery for the Post Partum Season
During the early weeks and months, baby may not yet sleep in her nursery. A bassinet in this season is more helpful than a crib. Typically bassinets aren’t used for longer than a few months because of their size and stability, but they are priceless when you need your baby nearby for late night feedings. I especially love the Baby Bjorn Cradle, but we tended to use the bassinet that came with our Uppababy Vista stroller – quite a perk if you’re stroller shopping!
You’re also feeding baby around the clock in these early weeks, so find a comfortable nursing pillow (I loved the classic Jolly Jumper one). A breast pump can also be tremendously helpful. I used the hospital-grade Medela pump as well as the Medela Swing Pump and both were so helpful with increasing my supply. If you’re bottle feeding, have plenty of bottles, as well as a bottle brush and dryer. I love the Medela bottles and the Beaba tree for drying the bottles and pump pieces.
I always tell moms to forget about proper clothes for their babies in the post partum days. Have ten or so comfortable body suits and footed pyjamas for your ever-sleeping, ever-eating little one, and you’ll be set. You’ll also save yourself some sanity not trying to dress a seven pound infant in jeans. I’ve been there, and it’s not worth the effort!
As you navigate these early days with your new found family, there will certainly be late nights, extra coffee, and the all-encompassing desire to google every single thing. Trust that you will get the hang of it! The learning curve is steep for new parents, but you and your baby were made for each other, and no one can do a better job for him than his parents. When the sleep deprivation slowly ebbs away, you will see that you made it, and with the most precious reward of all.