Whether you are having baby number one or baby number five, there are always many to-do’s before the baby arrives. As I am preparing for baby number three, I realized that even experienced moms can get easily overwhelmed with all the things that need to be done before welcoming another baby home.
Here are some tips that may be helpful to calm those nesting nerves!
Make a List of Baby Items You Need To Find In Your Storage or Buy. Filtering through all the stored away baby items can be time-consuming, especially when items are stored away in tight spaces like a crawl space. Ask for help getting boxes and storage containers out and start looking through older items sooner rather than later. For example, you may find that some clothing items have yucky spit-up stains on them and need to be tossed or the baby items you stored away for the future are no longer working. I started this process late in the second trimester and it was exhausting going through everything and I couldn’t have imagined doing it as my belly grew and my energy waned in third trimester.
Consider Buying Pre-Owned Baby Items or Seeking Out Hand-Me-Downs. After searching through your stash of previous baby items, you may decide to upgrade items, or you need to find appropriate weather-related clothing in the size you need for your new baby. Consider asking other moms if they have things that you can borrow or buy from them. For example, I wanted to upgrade my baby carrier and our stroller. One of my friends kindly let me borrow a better baby carrier than I own and I found a BOB stroller on Facebook Marketplace for way less than I would have spent if I bought new.
Purge Anything You Won’t Use or Don’t Want. Consider donating items you may not want to use because you are upgrading or have found something that could work better. There are several women’s shelters that accept donations along with Goodwill. Or, you could sell any unwanted items. I was able to sell a double stroller that my kids grew out of on Facebook Marketplace. It felt good to remove such a large item from our storage as we prepared to make room for our newest addition.
Make a List of the Things You Would Like To Do or Finish Before the Baby Arrives and Start Assigning Dates To Complete By. Having a plan in place can help lessen the anxiety of tackling everything that needs to be done, not only for the new baby’s arrival but also for your older kids, who are probably getting busier as the weeks tick by. For example, as I am preparing the house once again for a baby, my oldest is getting ready for kindergarten and my soon-to-be middle is getting ready to start pre-school. Getting as much ready for the start of school as soon as possible, like buying school supplies and putting them directly into backpacks, has helped lessen the weight of things to do.
Organize the House to Help Everyone Get Out the Door Easily Once Baby is Here. Only you know what will be most efficient when getting out the door. Experienced moms know that the younger your child is, the more difficult it is to get ready to leave the house. It’s especially difficult to prepare a newborn for a quick exit. It’s inevitable that the baby will have a blowout, spit up, or need to eat again as soon as you place him in the car seat to leave. So, we need to control what we can to get out the door in a timely fashion. For me, I set up an area in our house with shoes, jackets and backpacks in one place, that will make it easier for my older kids to grab what they need when it’s time to go. I also purchased closet organizers for my older kids that will help plan out clothing or items needed for each day of the week, once school starts.
Set Up Multiple Baby Stations in Your House. With older kids in the house, things are going to stay busy and making it easier to care for baby wherever you end up in the house is going to help meet everyone’s needs. Consider buying a rolling utility cart to put changing items, extra baby clothes or burp cloths, making it easier to take along with you regardless of where you end up in the house. I have space in my kitchen for a “baby drawer” where I am keeping extra baby items I may need when I’m on the main level of our house with my older kids.
Enjoy the Moments Before Baby Arrives. As cliché as it sounds, I have to keep reminding myself that it’s important to enjoy life with my older kids and husband before our new addition arrives. As exciting as it is to welcome a new member to our family, things are going to change for everyone and attention is going to be spread thinner among all the members in our family. I’ve decided to take advantage of the time left I have with my family of four, before becoming a family of five, by getting out of the house as much as possible and enjoying time spent together. We love going to the pool, getting ice cream, spending time at Easton, bowling, putt-putt and playing at the many local parks here in Columbus.
The list of to-do’s before baby arrives will continue to grow as the due date approaches, but by doing a little planning and keeping a realistic perspective, it’s possible to feel accomplished while preparing for having another newborn in the house.