This morning I got a text from a dear friend whose water broke. Precious memories rushed back to me.
I know I’ve touched on this topic before–oh the things I wish I had known before joining the motherhood club. But this little post is a gift for all my mom-to-be friends. I feel a mix of jealousy and anxiety; for the adventure you are about to embark on is as amazing and complex as life can deliver.
Here are a few things you need to put on that to do list before you pop.
1. Buy some night lights. This sounds silly, but babies are pretty sensitive to light and flipping on that 40 watt after about thirty minutes of sleep (yeah, maybe thirty minutes) is not going to be fun for you, your spouse, or that new baby. Buy a few little night lights and put them all over your house. Your kitchen, your bathroom, the hallway and all the bedrooms. Just get like 15 of them and you should be good.
2. Find out what restaurants and grocery stores deliver in your neighborhood. Friends and family are great about helping out with meals, but sometimes it happens. It’s 5 pm and everything is frozen. Before that baby comes, stock up on menus of local restaurants that deliver. Or find out about meal delivery services. Lots of grocery stores have online ordering now. You can pick everything out from your couch and then drive thru to pick up your groceries. They usually have a surcharge, but when you’re starving, who cares!
3. Ear plugs. That is all.
4. Swaddle blankets. Many many swaddle blankets in every style, size and fabric. The kind that have velcro, the kind where the arms are up in the air, the kind with weird names. You are buying sleep when you buy a good swaddle blanket. OH! And the same goes for pacifiers. You might want to have a few different kinds on hand if you plan on using one.
5. Don’t forget post-delivery recovery supplies. Make sure you have some items handy to help your body recover after delivering a baby. No matter the method of delivery, you’re going to need a few odd things you probably don’t have presently. This will save you a trip to Walgreens on your way home from the hospital.
6. Get that Netflix queue updated. I didn’t realize how much down time you have with a newborn. Lots of time just sitting around feeding or waiting on your little one to fall asleep. I suggest bulking up that Netflix list for some fun binge watching. Personal note–the show, Parenthood, not a good choice unless you just want to weep uncontrollably while holding your newborn.
7. Baby towels are not a joke. I remember standing at Wal-Mart with my nine-month belly as my mother put monkey-printed baby towels in our shopping cart. “What on earth?” I asked. But my mom is a pro. Just like you wash baby’s clothes in a gentle detergent, you’re going to want to do the same for the towels you use to dry baby. It’s just an easy way to make sure you aren’t drying or washing your baby with towels washed in regular detergent.
8. Treat yourself. There will be days after bringing baby home when you need a break. Figure out what that means to you. Coffee with whipped cream. A candy bar. A new magazine. Or your favorite Podcast. Stock up on these items. Force a reward upon yourself at least once a day. You deserve it, and you will feel like a real, living, breathing, adult human being for doing so.
Other mom friends, I would love to hear your advice as well. What wasn’t on your to-do list before your baby was born?