Before Emm was born, I did a lot of different things to prepare. I picked a few lists and followed them to the letter. I asked for advice and tried what ladies told me. Lists, lists, lists, lists. It’s important to be thorough! However, I was surprised postpartum. There were a few important things I’d forgotten! After all your research and info about labor and postpartum, don’t forget these five things!
Buy Size 1 Diapers
Baby showers are great for getting new stuff, and most of time you can get a lot of diapers. However, I only received newborn sized diapers at my shower, and those did me no. good. literally. Because my baby was good sized and she wasn’t home to wear the diapers I bought until she was two weeks old, I never used them. So while it’s useful to get a few newborn diapers, make sure you have more of the Size 1 Diapers! I like to use Huggies, and they’re least expensive when you buy the massive boxes from Walmart.
(Been awhile since you changed a diaper? Check out these diaper changing hacks!)
Wait til after the baby shower to buy anything
Yes, you can jump the gun and make sure you get everything you want for your baby by buying early. And if there’s a good sale, I say go for it! But don’t buy anything retail-priced until after you have a baby shower. People will get you all sorts of unexpected things! I usually ended up liking their gifts better than my own purchases, and I actually found a lot of the time that ladies would get me more practical stuff!
For example, I did a bunch of research about baby blankets and bought what had the best reviews. But at the baby shower I was gifted muslin baby blankets like these, and I’ve never gone back! They are way better!
***The exception for this is expensive items and staples. It’s alright to get your baby’s mattress and get the room all ready before baby arrives. But don’t go out and buy tens of cute little outfits until after the shower, trust me on this!
Invest in maternity/nursing clothes for a cute and comfy transition to breastfeeding
Agh… trust me, you will not feel like going shopping after having your baby (If you do, tell us your secret!). You will not want to leave the house for a long while, especially if you have to have an episiotomy. My episiotomy was several inches, and I was in a wheelchair for about a week and a half afterward. This was something I did not anticipate! My lack of mobility combined with no desire to go anywhere made things complicated for clothing. I honestly ended up borrowing my mom’s old clothing and wearing it most places. I so wish I would have had nursing clothes or kept my maternity clothes with me! They are so much more comfortable!
Even if you don’t end up having an episiotomy, labor makes things very sore down there. Tight leggings or jeans will ride up and put pressure on the most sensitive areas, so keep your maternity pants! Don’t worry about looking like you are still pregnant, you just had a baby! You’re a beast! Wear them with pride!
Research how to take care of new babies
Pregnant women usually neglect this next tip. We get so caught up in labor and delivery, we forget that we’re going to be caring for a little person right after! Perhaps we could lessen the stress of those first few days if we did a little homework about it.
I was in the NICU for two weeks after labor, so I had plenty of opportunities to ask questions about how to care for Emm. And NICUs have even stricter guidelines for parents, so I had to pass a few little “tests” to make sure I knew how to care for my special little girl.
This will probably not be the case for you.
So read up on your kiddo! There are all sorts of books about the first year, but I would suggest looking specifically into infant care. The rest of the time you will have warning transitions, times when you know you need to do some research to help your little one. But infancy has so many new things, you might find yourself overwhelmed!
Therefore, while labor is a dramatic and important part of the process (which you should definitely research), spend more time researching how to take care of your new little one.
Organize baby clothes
Baby clothes can be difficult to sort through in the moment when you need a new onesie–post-diaper-blowout. Don’t send yourself scrambling! While you’re pregnant, take the opportunity to organize your baby clothes into categories to ease the grab n’ go of the moment. Whatever you do, put the onesies closest to your changing station. You will use them almost as much as diapers!
When it comes down to it, nobody can be 100% prepared to have a baby. Experience is truly the best teacher and sometimes the only thorough teacher. But you can soften the surprise with some research, you won’t regret it!
Thanks for reading!
Any tips you would add? What surprised you when you had your first baby? Tell us in the comments below!