View Full Version : Need general Advice to prepare for baby while DH is gone.
01-06-2003, 02:02 PM
Trying not to panic too much, but just looking for some general advice on things I need and things I need/should do before the baby gets here. Am trying to get a lot of my lists and stuff done before DH leaves (only 1.5 wks away) so would appreciate any and all advice you can give, whatever that may be! Thanks so much in advance. I think getting advice from those of you who've been there as to what I really need to worry about may ease my mind a little :)
EDD March '03
01-06-2003, 03:22 PM
I learned you can NEVER prepare too far ahead. The most important thing is to buy a car seat and have it installed.
Here are some other things that I found I did not have enough of when we brought the baby home:
Plenty of diapers
Meals prepared and frozen
Lots of thank you cards and stamps (you might want to print address labels now to save time later.) Also, keep a list of gifts as people give them to you since you might not remember them later.
I will try to think of other things. In the meantime, good luck!
01-06-2003, 04:48 PM
If you go to church, see if yours has a Moms Group. Our will bring meals after their members give birth.
Also, have you carseat inspected to see if it is installed right.
01-06-2003, 05:31 PM
Here are some additional thoughts:
1) make sure to pack your COMPLETE hospital bag 4 weeks before your due date
2) have several packs of diapers in both newborn and size 1 (you can return unopened packages if you need to later)
3) have a nursing area all set up with glider/rocker, nursing pillow and stool
4) have a pump already available AND know how to use it!
5) have a lot of food prepared ahead of time and frozen
6) also budget for takeout for the days when even thawing something is too overwhelming
7) have a baby tub and everything all set up
8) have LOTS of places to be able to put baby so you can get a break (bouncy seats, swing, bassinette)
9) have a sling or carrier
10) have a camera(s), plenty of film (or compact flash cards if doing digital), and extra tapes for a video camera AND know how to use them all!!!!
11) have lots of things to use as burp cloths
12) if you have any home maintenance that might need to be done, do it NOW
13) if it's a concern, arrange for a neighbor or friend to come over and do yard work after you have the baby
14) hook into a local mommy group (as great as WE are :), nothing beats sharing first hand experiences and it gets you out of the house) or La Leche League or something
15) have a diaper bag already packed and ready
16) set up a diaper changing area
A lot of these are things that we did NOT do prior to Sarah coming and I really wish we had!
01-06-2003, 05:44 PM
Hear! Hear! I second EVERYTHING Beth has written. In your case I think #14 is particularly important. In that vein I would add that you should establish a network of support people that are willing to come over day or night. It'll be important for you not only to have people willing to help with the baby and housework but also to provide you with companionship. Even with a partner at home, I found there were times when I felt we were isolated from the rest of the world. It's important to know you are NOT alone during those first days, weeks, and months.
01-06-2003, 05:50 PM
This one's more for after DH is gone, but it should help you keep things on the rails.
Keep a written list beside the calendar (a mental one won't do when you have preggo-brain!) of all the things you do need or will need done. Include even the stuff that isn't baby-related (get dog to vet for checkup, take car for oil change, etc. etc.
When people say, "Let me know if there's anything I can do," call them back later and say, "well, actually, it would really help a lot if you could... (whatever)" Be shameless about delegating - there's so much more to being a solo mother than just baby care, and you can't run at 110% the way you were used to before you were pregnant/a mom. And lots of folks are happier doing the non-baby tasks - they can be done ad-hoc and don't involve poop or spit-up.
If they pick up a task, write their name, plus date if appropriate, beside the task. This will help you feel less snowed under by all the stuff that needs doing, and people are happy knowing they're really making a difference to you. We followed this system when a friend's partner had leukemia. Suzanne was assumed to be completely taken up with Elena's care plus her own job, so the friends took on cooking, errands, notifying friends of progress... I was one of two people who walked the dog regularly. It actually worked out great - not only did I get the exercise, but I had a new boyfriend who came on the walks. Much of our initial courtship took place over the back of a golden retriever! (He's now my DH.)
A support network is the single most valuable item of baby gear you can have...
01-06-2003, 06:14 PM
I agree with everybody! A mom's group is unbelievably essential. So is contact with a lactation consultant, food in the freezer (lots of protein!), more diapers and maxipads than you can imagine using, the number of an extra pediatrician in case you turn out not to like yours, etc. You might also get the number of the student aid office at a local college. They can point you toward babysitters or mother's helpers. Stock up on things like laundry detergent, dish soap, toilet paper, etc. Keep your car's gas tank full. Have a list of people willing to be called in the middle of the night. I don't know any new mother who hasn't found herself sitting on the edge of the bed and crying at some point. You'll need someone to call. A local crisis line would work, too-- talking really does help. If you don't have a therapist, get the name of one and have it in reserve. Also, the boards at www.mothering.com have a single parenting forum, so you might get some good advice there. And we're here!!!
Rachel (used to be Rachels)
Mom to Abigail Rose
01-06-2003, 10:27 PM
In addition to all the wonderful advice, I'd recommend having someone stay with you for the first week, day and night. It is helpful to have someone to hand the baby to (if your baby doesn't like to be put down - Colin didn't) so that you can get a shower or a nap, and so that you have that extra support to get you through that week.
Also, keep up on your laundry - it stinks to come home from having a baby and see loads of laundry calling your name!
Lori & Colin 9/28/02
01-06-2003, 11:29 PM
>It is helpful to have someone to hand the baby to
>(if your baby doesn't like to be put down - Colin didn't) so
>that you can get a shower or a nap...
Oh, man, yes. I am flashing back to those first few weeks, when a shower was really hard to come by, and it just felt SOOOOO GOOOOD when I DID get one... you could have audiotaped me in there and used it for the soundtrack of a porno movie... "Ohhh, yesss...ahhhh, ohhhh, yeah, unnhhhh... ohhhh -- OOOOOOHHHH!!!!"
And I second the suggestion on the laundry too.
01-07-2003, 12:25 AM
Gosh, you guys think of it all! A few things came to mind...
Definitely stock up on diapers, but get a few small packages of different brands before committing to any jumbo boxes from a price club. You never know which will work for you. Keep receipts!
If possible, set up online or automatic payment for your bills. I know that if I had to be responsible for our finances, no bills would have been paid. This saves you time chasing after the mail truck or running to the post office to avoid late payment or fees.
I know people vary; I was lounging about in pj bottoms for a good month PP. Have comfy clothes AND a supply of clothes to wear PP. Grab some stuff out of storage now so you won't have to do it when the baby arrives. Some people are able to wear their maternity clothes for a bit after the birth. I was in between and got a few pairs of underwear to accomodate my new tummy. Some stretchy pants and loose tops that you wouldn't be heartbroken if piddled over are cheap and easy to put on.
Loads of pictures.
Maybe set up two changing areas, if possible. I have the changing table upstairs and a PNP with a changing surface downstairs. It helps to save some energy, as silly as that sounds. Don't want to discourage, but if for some reason you do require a C-section, this will make your life much easier. Along those lines, set up a comfy nap area downstairs.
Have bottles of water in your room, nursing area, etc. You'll be thirsty and probably too tired to go get them once your settled in your glider/sofa/bed.
Goodness, I think I must be the laziest person in the world. All of these things are hoping to eliminate any movement on your part! Enjoy these precious days with your DH and know that all three of you are in my thoughts.
01-07-2003, 01:18 AM
My then-husband was in the Navy and went out to sea for 3 1/2 months just days after I gave birth to Jacob 11 years ago. Something I should have done, and I'll recommend to you, is to schedule at least one thing to do each week that you can look forward to. I tended to be reclusive right after Jacob was born, but I wish I had reached out into the world. Your activity can be anything to a mom's group at the hospital you delivered at, a bible study group, a haircut appointment, a lunch date, or a wives club night out. Just schedule something with or without baby that gives you something to do besides count days until hubby is back! Maybe join a gym with a childcare area once baby is born. Maybe start a Bunco night with your friends. Don't let your life be minimized to the house! You'll enjoy life better if you are living it! (just my thoughts, from personal experience)
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