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This pregnancy has been so different than my last. On top of being WAY more sick than I was with Zoey I had very little support and help from the people around me. I was on bed rest for almost four months because my morning sickness was so bad. I would describe the beginning of this pregnancy as hell… My closest family was 40 hours away and my mom was only able to make it out once for a week because of commitments she had at home. It was tough. Kris was a saint through it all and did as much as he could to help, but medical school is extremely demanding. The point is I wish I had been prepared for this pregnancy better. A few months ago we moved to a new town and we are starting fresh. I am in a similar situation again. We have already met lots of great people here that we love, but I know what a huge transition it was having Zoey and I want to be completely prepared for baby number two. Especially since I will be handling a lot of it alone. These are the three most important things I have done to prepare physically for the arrival of baby number two, from buying an endless supply of diapers to planning out activities for Zoey to do while I nurse.
1. Stock Up On Three Essentials
The first thing I’ve been doing is stocking up on the essentials. This includes diapers, food and toiletries. With Kris having an unpredictable schedule most of the shopping is my responsibility. The last thing I want is to run out of something important while I am still recovering from giving birth.
The main essential is DIAPERS! We went through diapers like crazy when Zoey was a newborn. I buy Huggies Little Snugglers Plus from Costco because they come in such a large box AND they are such a good price. They are $37.49 for 147 and with a $6 discount (9/1-9/25) they are only $31.49, only available at Costco, you can even get them shipped to you for free. Huggies Little Snugglers Plus are designed to keep baby’s skin clean and healthy. My favorite part is they are guaranteed not to leak up to 12 hours. I plan to get babe sleeping through the night at least 6 hours by 6 weeks, like I did with Zoey, so this is an important feature for me. Right now I am only stocking up on size 1 and 2. I keep meaning to grab some NB size since you can get them online and in select warehouses for only $29.99. I am considering getting some boxes of Huggies Little Movers Plus in sizes 3-6 as well since they are on sale too ($42.99, $36.99 after $6 discount and Free shipping valid 9/1 –to 9/25 as well).
Food! This is obviously an essential. Stocking up on snacks that won’t go bad and freezer meals is a great idea. I will go into more detail about how I am doing that in my second tip.
Toiletries are another great thing to stock up on. Toilet paper, toothpaste, shampoo, laundry soap, anything you wouldn’t want to run out of. I think during those first few weeks when your body is still healing and you are getting used to a new schedule and sleeping hardly at all it can really help to not have a full plate of routine tasks.
2. Prepare Freezer Meals & Snacks
I can’t over emphasize how important this is, especially if you have a toddler or other kids to take care of! I have been using Once A Month Meals to prepare meals and stock up my freezer with dinner for after the baby is born. You can use Once A Month Meals to plan out a months worth of freezer dinners and prepare them all in one grocery shopping trip and one day of prep. I have made chili and chicken fried rice and a few other delicious dinners that I can heat up in a couple minutes. I am also doing some specifically kid friendly meals. For example I learned recently that you can freeze mac’n’cheese and grapes! I made a HUGE pot of macaroni and cheese and froze it in kid size portions in ziploc bags.
Another good thing to stock up on is non-perishable pantry items. Things like granola bars, crackers canned soups, etc. are great to have for a last second meal prep. I think having these freezer meals and snacks ready to go will really help on the days I am unable (or unwilling…) to cook.
3. Prepare A “Nursing Box”
Someone suggested this to me the other day and I thought it was absolutely brilliant! If you are bringing home baby number one this won’t really apply, but any number after that this will be a great tool. The idea is to make a “Nursing Box” full of new, self directed activities for your child. You will spend a lot of time feeding the first few weeks. Every two hours for a newborn! During this time you won’t always be able to entertain your other kids easily. The nursing box is something you can pull out right before you start to feed your newborn as a way to make that time special for your other kids too.
You can fill the box with age appropriate activities. Zoey is just about three and I am putting a bunch of sensory objects in there, pompoms, googly eyes, popsicles sticks, pipe cleaners, etc. She can use a glue stick now so I put one in there as well so she can glue things together and make creations. I made a couple boxes each just slightly different. I put a puzzle in one, a coloring book and crayons in another. I also have a few things in my closet like new story books and small dollar store toys to replenish the supply when she starts to get bored. I think this will make nursing time really fun for Zoey.
I have been posting a lot about how to get ready for baby number two lately! I don’t know if you guys are starting to be able to tell, but I am crazy about planning things out and getting everything ready in advance. New things make me a little stressed and I can bring that stress level from a 10 down to a 1 by just taking the time to write out my worries, come up with solutions and create a plan. Having baby number two with no family support and only a handful of new friends that I have met in the past month is a little bit scary for me, but having these things in place has put my mind at ease a lot.
Anyways I would love to hear from you ladies in the same boat as me what you did to get ready to bring your newborn home. How have you dealt with a lack of support from family or friends? Have you noticed a huge difference in your overall experience having a baby while living near family vs. living far away?? Anyone else gone as diaper crazy as me? I look forward to hearing your thoughts!!