25 Things to do Before Baby Arrives

Hello! Today I wanted to share 25 things you can do to prepare for a baby. We had our son about a year ago, but there were a few things we did that lessened some of the stress and a few things we wish we would have done before he was born.

25 Things to do Before Baby Arrives

1. Write a birth plan. Some women choose to write an in depth birth plan and others choose to keep it on this simple side. Think about who you would like in the room with you when you give birth and if you will have an epidural. Would you like you partner to cut the umbilical cord? Do you want baby to have Vitamin K and the antibiotic eye treatment? I like The Bumps guide to writing a birth plan.

2. Sign up for classes you would like to take. We took a breastfeeding class and a Newborn Care class that were both beneficial.

3. Pack a hospital bag for you, dad and baby.

4. Put the car seat base and car seat in the car.

5. Stock up on diaper and wipes- Once we found out we were pregnant, I bought diapers whenever I could get them on sale and with coupons. I purchased a few different brands just in case the baby was sensitive to a particular brand so we weren’t stuck with a lot of diapers we weren’t going to use.

6. Stock up on personal items. It’s good to have a few extra things like toothpaste and toilet paper so you don’t need to run to the store to pick one thing up.

7. Learn how to set up and fold down the stroller. I thought we knew how to set up the stroller, but that was not the case when we needed to use it for the first time. It took about 10 minutes and a YouTube video to figure it out. Not the best timing in 80 degree weather with a newborn.

8. Sterilize and wash bottles, pacifiers and breast pump parts.

9. If you plan to breastfeed, familiarize yourself with your pump.

10. Decide on sleep arrangements– Will baby use the crib or a bassinet near your bed? Then set up the crib or bassinet.

11. Wash babies clothes and organize them by size.

12. Clean any preowned items. We purchased a used pack and play and received a used swing as a gift. I made sure to wipe down the plastic surfaces and washed all of the fabric parts in the washer or by hand in the bathtub.

13. Prepare freezer meals. I only had a handful of meals prepared, but they were nice to pull out the first couple weeks after he was born for a quick, easy meal.

14. Pack the diaper bag and have it ready to take to the hospital.

15. Clean your home. The couple of weeks before my due date I made sure to clean up the house to make sure we came home to a clean space. The last thing I wanted to worry about when we first got home was cleaning.

16. Purchase a couple of nursing bras or camisoles. These make a huge difference when breastfeeding.

17. Make arrangements for pets and other children and pack a bag for them.

18. Select a pediatrician. Before our son was born, were able to take a tour of potential pediatrician offices and meet some of the doctors. This helped us select the pediatrician we wanted to go to.

19. Take a tour of the hospital. Know where to park and what door to go into if you need to go to the hospital in the middle of the night. Also know what floor labor and delivery is on.

20. Add baby’s expenses to your budget. If you follow a budget for your finances, make sure you add expenses like diapers/wipes, formula, daycare, etc

21. Fill out FMLA paperwork for your job. My husband and I both needed to fill out this paperwork to take time off when Baby was born.

22. Declutter– Babies are so small, but all of the things you need for them take up a lot of room. When I was in nesting mode, I tried to go through most of our house and get rid of items we no longer needed. Click here if you would like to read my post about preparing for a baby in a small home.

23. Charge the baby monitor and set it up.

24. Go on a last date before the baby is born.

25. Take time for yourself and rest. You will be busy and tired when baby is born. Make sure you take some time for self-care.

What tips do you have for preparing for a baby?

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10 Breastfeeding Tips for Working Moms

Breastfeeding is tough! Breastfeeding and being a working mom comes with a new set of challenges. I am not an expert, but I am just speaking from personal experience and what worked well for me. These are my best breastfeeding tips for working moms.  From the beginning, I struggled with my supply and ended up having to supplement with formula for the first couple of months. I worked really hard to build my supply by pumping the one side while feeding my son on the other. I also pumped once during the night to increase my supply. After a couple of months, we were able to shift towards exclusively breastfeeding after that. I went back to work when my son was 2 months old and pumped for about 10 months, until my son was one. I never had an excess supply of pumped milk, but I did have a few days always stocked up. 

This post contains affiliate links. 

Breastfeeding is tough! Breastfeeding and being a working mom comes with a new set of challenges. 10 Breastfeeding tips to help get through the challenges. #nursing #breastfeeding #workingmom

1. Learn how to use your pump

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Tips to Find Maternity Clothes on a Budget

Finding out we were pregnant made us excited for setting up a nursery and shopping for items we would need for our new addition. I was less thrilled to splurge on a maternity clothes wardrobe that I would only get a few months of wear out of. But at around 20 weeks pregnant, I was only comfortable in a few of the pre-pregnancy shirts I had, and the hair tie around my jean buttons was no longer cutting it. I knew it was time to go shopping. Along the way I found a few hotspots for maternity clothes and learned a couple of helpful tips that I wanted to share with you.

It’s hard to invest a lot of money in a wardrobe that will only be worn a short amount of time. Check out these tips to finding budget-friendly maternity clothes. #pregnant #maternity #maternityclothes #budgetfriendly
1. Retail stores:

Obviously, one place to find maternity clothing is at retail stores. One big store catering to pregnant women in my area is Motherhood Maternity. I found that many of their items were on the pricey side, unless I could get them on sale. On a desperate search for work pants, I did end up checking out their in-store selection, only to be disappointed by the fit and lack of options. Being a teacher, I needed at least one pair of khaki or black pants to make it through the rest of the school year. I had a hard time finding pants that fit well before pregnancy, but adding a bump to the mix made it almost impossible. I did have better luck at a couple of other retail stores though:

Old Navy– is where I’ve had the most luck finding cute clothes that fit well. I was able to find 2 pairs of pants for work and a pair of jeans, Jackpot! They also had a nice selection of short and long sleeve shirts and a few dresses. I imagine in the warmer months they will have more to offer. Don’t forget to check the clearance section in the back. The best part is that Old Navy has sales all of the time. I recommend going to the store before shopping online, because a lot of their maternity clothing cannot be returned to the store. You can always mail it back if it doesn’t fit though.

Burlington Coat Factory– I was able to score a few short sleeves and sweaters and a pair of leggings. The best part about Burlington is the most I spent on an item was $15. They have great prices, but it requires looking through the rack. Unfortunately, it is sometimes a hit or miss because they don’t always have a particular item in all sizes.

Kohls– I was recently in Kohls and noticed a new maternity section near the baby things. I discovered it after I swore off buying any more maternity clothes, so I only looked. Kohls is one of my favorite store to buy clothes from because their items are normally on sale and coupons can be used. They had a nice selection of nursing bras too.

Second Hand:

Since maternity clothes are only worn for a short amount of time, there is a good chance you may be able to find cute, gently used items. I was able to find a couple of items at our local Goodwill and Salvation Army store, but their maternity sections were small, so it is a hit or miss.

Check out other local second hand clothing stores in your area. Often times these store are more picky about the clothing they purchase, so their items are in better condition.

Maternity” clothes:

My last tip for finding cute clothing to dress your bump is to look outside of the maternity section for tops. I’ve had some good luck finding tops at second hand stores that fit me well. Some tops fit too loosely and look a bit tent-like, but some clothes I  found had a tighter fit (with some stretch.) Some even had an elastic band on the bottom that worked well. Shopping a size or two larger gave my tummy enough room and was long to cover my bump.

Whether you shop new or second-hand, shopping for maternity clothes can be a fun or daunting task. I remember a few weeks away from my due date I was getting a little tired of wearing the same clothing, but in the end it was all be worth it!

I would love to hear your favorite way to find maternity clothing on a budget.

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Preparing for a Baby in a Small House

When we first found out we were pregnant, we planned on selling our current home to upgrade to a bigger one. We listed our house on the market, had showings, an open house and finally had an offer a couple of months later. Within a week of looking for a new house, we found one and our offer was accepted. Long story short, the person who was going to buy our home backed out, ultimately forcing us to back out of our deal on the new house. At this point, I was 20 weeks pregnant and did not want to go through the whole process again of showings and looking for a new house, although we contemplated it. We decided to upgrade some things in our house and stay for a couple more years. Since our mortgage is inexpensive, we will be able to pay down some debt and save a nice down payment for when we are ready to house shop again. Since we decided to stay, we knew we were going to have to be strategic with making room for baby. Our house is about 1000 square feet with the master bedroom downstairs and 2 bedrooms upstairs, a tiny bathroom and only 1 closet. You read that right, our house has only one closet downstairs where my clothes live. Our house is a cape cod and the layout makes it a little challenging to optimize the space we have.

Preparing for a baby in a small house can be a challenging task, but necessary. Here are 5 tips to help you prepare before baby arrives. #newborn #baby #preparingforbaby #homeorganization #firsttime

1. Declutter, Declutter, Declutter– I spent months going through every room of our house getting rid of anything that I could before the baby arrived. I realized just how much stuff I was holding onto because of emotional reason or because I thought I could possibly use the item later on. For items I was unsure on I asked myself- have I used this in the past year? Does it make me happy? If the answer is no, I got rid of it. This will help keep things organized and make room for needed baby items.

2. Have babies clothes organized by size. As I mentioned, we have 1 closet in our entire house, so needless to say there is no closet in our babies room. All of his clothes are in a 6 drawer dresser. Before he was born, I had his newborn, 0-3 and 3 months clothes in his dresser. The rest of his clothes fit into 2 boxes: one for 6-9 months and 9-12 months. Once he outgrew newborn clothes, I pulled out his 6 months clothes and put them in the dresser. As he outgrows clothes, I have a separate box to put all of the outgrown item in.

3. Be strategic about where you can store items. One thing I wanted to do before our baby was born was to stock up on a few items we use often like paper towel, toilet paper and diapers and wipes for the baby. We were in the market for a new bed frame, so I purchased a bed that lifted up for storage underneath it. This is the perfect place to store some stockpile items. You can do something similar with under the bed tubs to store things like extra items, blankets etc.

4. Have a designated place for everything. Since our bedrooms are upstairs, I set up a pack and play in our downstairs living room for items I would need regularly. Instead of having to make the trip upstairs to change his diaper or change his clothes, I had that all in the pack and play. We used the changing pad portion often.

5. Review baby items before purchasing. Baby items are big! And there are so many different items available, its hard for first time moms to know exactly what is really needed. Before deciding to purchase an item, read reviews to see if the item is worth it and what other moms are saying about it.

I hope these tips help!

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10 Newborn Must Haves

Hello! I hope everyone is having a great weekend. Today I wanted to share some of our must have items for a newborn.

newborn essentials
1) Boppy Pillow– I have used our pillow since day one. It is great if you plan to breast feed or if you choose to bottle feed. It wraps around your waist and provides support for feedings. You can also use it for tummy time and for support when baby is sitting up. Don’t forget a cover for it.

2) Receiving Blankets/ Swaddles– Swaddling babies helps them sleep longer at night. I also use them to cover the changing pad and to throw in the diaper bag for a lightweight blanket.

3) Baby wrap or carrier– I used a Solly baby wrap around the house and when we went out. It was nice having a hands-free option to hold baby and we both enjoyed the closeness. When he was a little bit older we shifted to a Tula carrier.

4) Baby Tracker App– When we first had our son we had a lot of trouble with feedings and it was always a concern if he was getting enough milk. For the first couple of months, I used an app called Baby Tracker. It allows you to keep track of their feedings time/ amount, wet/ dirty diapers and their sleep. If you are breast feeding it has an option to time how long they feed and on which side. You can also keep track of your pumped milk supply. Keeping track of his wet/ dirty diapers helped us know if he was getting enough milk.

5) Swing– Some babies like swings and others don’t. Ours loved his swing. It was nice having him do something he enjoyed while we got ready or got a quick chore done.

6) Pack and Play– Our pack and play was nice to have as a designated changing area for baby and as a bassinet for nap time. Instead of having him upstairs by himself, we kept a pack and play set up in our living room for the first few months.

7) Sound Machine– We use a sound machine at night to give a little background noise.

8) Nursing Tank Top– Nursing camisoles are a game changer if you plan on nursing. It’s discreet and convenient to unlatch the top and feed baby or to pump.

9) Nursing Cover– Nursing Cover- I have 2 Milk Snob nursing covers that have been so handy to have when nursing on the go. They are light-weight and my son never seemed to be bothered when we used them. The covers can also be used as a car seat cover and a shopping cart cover. Multi-use products are always a plus.

10) Breast pump– I mentioned earlier that we had trouble nursing when our son was first born. Not only did he have a tongue tie that made it hard to latch, but my supply was also low. The first couple of weeks I used a pump after each feeding to help boost my supply. I also used it twice a day when I went back to work.

What were you newborn must-have items?

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