Investing in Family: Bringing Home Baby
It may seem intuitive to bring home a baby. I mean, you've made all the preparations, right? The nursery is ready; diapers are on hand. You're ready. Or are you? Here are some last-minute (or way ahead of time, if you're lucky) preparations that can make it much easier to settle your bundle of joy into your household...from the experience of a brand new momma!
Feed the Family
One of the things I learned by bringing home my first baby is that it is nice to have food on hand. My husband was great about taking on the grocery shopping responsibilities, but there were days where it would have been nice to pop a pre-made casserole into the oven rather than trying to prepare Hamburger Helper – or to even pick up the phone to order a pizza. We were tired. Very tired. Okay, we were exhausted.
For that reason, if you have the time or family help to make meals ahead of the day of deliverance (aka: Baby's birthday), it could be helpful to do so. Lasagna, chicken and rice casserole, meatloaf and many other meals are great to prepare ahead of time and stick in the freezer. You could even make an extra batch every time you make the meal during your pregnancy. Then just setting the oven to bake away can help you get in a good meal without too much effort after Baby makes three.
Prepare the Furry Children
Dogs and cats will most likely protect the newest member of the household immediately, but that doesn't mean that there could be some jealousy. Honestly, if your experience of bringing home baby is anything like mine, you won't have the time to dote on your furry children like you used to.
To prepare the canine and feline siblings for the human child's arrival, it's nice to introduce the bundle of joy with a little care. For me, that meant that my husband brought home a hospital blanket in which my Dear Daughter was wrapped two days ahead of our arrival home. Then, when DD and I got home, I spent some time with my “first borns.” Finally, we allowed the dog and two cats the opportunity to sniff the baby.
Make Plans with Family
In hindsight, I wish I had made more plans with family ahead of time. Yes, we planned a time when each pair of grandparents could stop over and meet our newborn DD, but we didn't plan any activities for relatives who stayed for longer periods of time in the months after the newborn stage. And frankly, we were quite boring.
Instead of expecting guests to entertain themselves in my home while the hubby and I took care of our two month old baby, it would have been nice to offer baby-friendly activities like museum outings, shopping trips and anything else that was possible to do while DD slept in the stroller. Other options, like pointing out area attractions for the guests to take in on their own could have helped as well. Had that been the case, we wouldn't have been as “lame” (my thirteen-year old brother's take on his ancient sister's new life with baby).
Of course, this isn't the extent of knowledge I learned as a new mom. No, this is just the major stuff that would have been nice to think about beforehand. Mommyhood has taught me so much more about myself, human nature and the powers of the heart. Really, it's the greatest experience in the world. Even so, it would have been nice to have a lasagna at my beck and call!
What about you, MomVesting Readers: any advice for mamas-to-be? What is your one top tip for bringing home baby?