Sugar and spice and everything nice; that’s what little girls are made of... Snakes and snails and puppy dog tails; that’s what little boys are made of. But before that new baby shows up, he might also be made of heartburn, swollen feet and strange cravings. You’re entering into a whole new chapter of your life, and isn’t it exciting? At the same time, it can be daunting, as well. How do you prepare and organize your environment so that you’re as ready as you’ll ever be when the little bundle arrives? I spoke with some honest-to-goodness brand new moms for the best, most current insight I could get. It’s fair to say that yes, experience is the best teacher, but the good news is that it doesn’t have to be your own experience to be valuable.
The First Trimester: Planning and Relaxing
The first three months of your pregnancy may be plagued with morning sickness and lethargy. Your body is getting used to being pregnant and it’s tiring work! During this period, there isn’t much that absolutely needs to be done to organize your home or preparations, except for getting plenty of sleep, as you will definitely need it! Kim Suchan, new mother to an 8-week old baby boy, remarked, “While you’re pregnant, put naps on your daily to-do list so you don’t feel guilty about taking one!”
One thing you might choose to take on during this low energy time is baby-proofing your home. Crawl around on the floor to get a baby’s vantage point. Look for hanging cords, accessible outlets, exposed corners of furniture, sharp edges, and other potential baby hazards that you might not think of otherwise. To keep baby safe from cleaning products, plan to add safety latches to your lower cabinets and easily accessible drawers. You’ll need the cabinet latches when your baby becomes a toddler, so doing it now gets it out of the way early and gets you and your husband accustomed to using them. Make a list of things to do or items to buy so your husband or a friend can implement the baby-proofing ideas for you.
If you are considering putting your new little one into day care, it’s a good idea to begin visiting facilities shortly after you discover that you’re pregnant. The demand for good day care is high and many centers will have a waiting list as long as your pregnancy! Get referrals from trusted friends and co-workers, and make a list of several day cares to visit. Says Suchan, “Be sure to drop-in to the day care centers you’re investigating, rather than making appointments.” She added, “When you call ahead to make an appointment, they know you’re coming, so they have time to prepare. But, if you drop in randomly, you get to see the center as it really is.”