Looking back, I wish I had done so many things while I was still pregnant. My pregnancy wasn’t easy but I definitely procrastinated which is why we were running errands, packing the hospital bag, and doing laundry while I was in active labor. We would be having a much easier time right now if I had taken more time to prepare.
Here are 10 things I wish I had done before my baby arrived. I hope they help you as you’re preparing for a beautiful baby!
1. Freezer Meals
We were fortunate enough to have my mom fly out for a couple of weeks and she got a few meals in the freezer for us. If I could turn back the clock, I would get as many casseroles in the freezer as possible!
Here are some great freezer meal recipes. You can also follow my Freezer Meals board on Pinterest.
- 10 Freezer Meals in One Hour
- 8 Healthy Freezer Crockpot Meals
- Freezer-Friendly Bean and Cheese Burritos
- Postpartum Freezer Meals
- 60+ Healthy Freezer Meals
2. Deep Clean
- Deep Cleaning Checklist
- How to Deep Clean a Kitchen and a Bathroom
- 22 Little Known Ways to Really Clean Your Home
- Room by Room Cleaning Schedule
- The Big Spring Clean
PS: If I could go back in time, I would try and find room in the budget to hire someone for this.
3. Organize Everything
Clutter can get out of control fast which is one of our biggest challenges right now. Our baby was born right before Christmas so we were hit with holiday chaos. Toys everywhere! The Christmas tree and decorations needed to be put away. We were drowning in generous baby gifts from co-workers and church members. We should have gone through the house and donated, trashed, recycled, or boxed up as much as possible to ward off the clutter after the baby arrived.
4. Meal Plan
During my third trimester, I started working on meal planning. While I didn’t plan an entire month like I planned, I did create one awesome week. Sadly, it didn’t take long before I realized that I could not make it happen with a newborn baby. Many of the meals were too time-consuming and required the stove which, as I mentioned earlier, is not very safe while wearing a baby. I recommend creating very simple meal plans before your baby arrives.
I currently use Plan to Eat which is an awesome way to meal plan. It basically works like Pinterest where you add an online recipe to your recipe book just like you can pin a recipe to a board. They import all the info for you! Then you insert recipes into a calendar and they generate a shopping list for you.
At first, I was very hesitant because Plan to Eat isn’t free and I like free! But after using my free trial I realized that it was worth every penny. Meal planning has always been such a headache for me – I would start from scratch every week with a pen and paper and it was extremely time-consuming. Plan to Eat has made a huge difference and decreased my stress levels. I love it!
Other Meal Planning Resources:
- eMeals (There’s a 14-day free trial)
- Free Meal Planning Printables from Money Saving Mom
- Free Weekly Meal Planning Printables from Sew Much Crafting
- Free Weekly and Monthly Meal Planning Printables from Free Homeschool Deals
5. Grocery Delivery
- Amazon Fresh (You have to be a member of Amazon Prime to get a free trial)
- Peapod (select states)
- Walmart Grocery Delivery (select cities)
6. Stock Up on Essentials
- Toilet Paper
- Paper towel
- Canned/boxed food
- Frozen food
You can print out my black stock-up list here.
7. Date Nights
My husband and I were able to have a date night after my mom flew in to help out. We went to a nice restaurant and then saw a movie. It was wonderful!
I wish we had spent more quality time together before our second child was born. Now most of our energy is poured into our two girls and I miss my guy. We took our time for granted and tended to do our own things after our 4-year-old went to bed. If I could turn back time I would have spent those moments just talking.
If you’re like us and you don’t really have someone to watch your older children, there are lots of ideas out there for at-home date nights!
- Top 20 Stay-At-Home Date Night Ideas
- 45 At Home Date Nights for After the Kids are In Bed
- 20 Ideas for At-Home Date Night
8. A Little Pampering
If you’re currently pregnant, I definitely recommend taking a little time to pamper yourself before your little one arrives. If you’re on a budget, you could rely on DIY pampering. Here are a few ideas:
- Get a few items from Lush (one of my favorite stores ever!)
- Find a face mask and a new nail color at Target
- Use Pinterest to find some DIY spa ideas
- Invite a friend over and swap pedicures
- Ask your husband to give you a massage with some nice oil
9. Take More Maternity Photos
Even if they aren’t Pinterest-worthy shots, make sure you have a few nice pictures of your belly because your child will enjoy seeing them later on – and so will you!
10. Postpartum Wardrobe
I did not even think about what I was going to wear after having my baby. Sure, you can get away with wearing your maternity clothes for awhile but full-panel maternity pants won’t fit very well. The only thing I had to wear for quite a while was yoga pants and pajamas. I finally ran out between nursing sessions and got a pair of jeans at Gap and I felt NORMAL again. My wardrobe is still very limited and I am 3 months postpartum! I recommend getting a postpartum wardrobe ready with the following items.
- Get a pair of jeans a couple sizes bigger than your pre-pregnancy size (I wore a Gap size 6 before but needed a size 10 after)
- If you are nursing, get a few nursing tanks and a nursing bra or two
- Yoga pants are awesome so make sure you have a pair, you need to be comfy during recovery
- Look through your pre-pregnancy clothes and see what might fit
Some women lose their baby weight right away. Even though I am breastfeeding, I am still 15 pounds over my regular weight after 3 months and I am not losing much each week. You know why? I have the appetite of a football player. It’s more realistic to have some clothes you’ll be comfortable in.
If you’re already a mom, what did you do to prepare for a new baby?
Originally published on Apr 28, 2015.