Friday, July 27, 2018

Things You Must Have Ready Before Your Due Date

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There’s a lot to consider when you’re approaching your due date. By now, you've spent so many months pregnant and waiting for the big event that you’re probably desperate for your baby to just get here already! (Thank goodness Mr. Eli came ten days early!) The lists to prepare can seem overwhelming and daunting, but really there are only a few things you really MUST have ready before having your baby. Heck, you don't even need a fully-decorate room (although it's super fun)!

I get it; you’ve got a lot going on. But  chances are that, when labor does come, it’ll do so at the worst possible, or at least most unexpected time. You’ll be in bed, like I was, getting ready to head to sleep, maybe not expecting it yet and not quite packed. And just when you least expect it, you'll suddenly know what a real contraction feels like. Admittedly, that first contraction doesn’t mean you should panic. If it's your first baby, you'll probably have quite a while until you need to head to the hospital (or you'll just be sent back). When I was in labor with Eli, I hung out in the bathtub for the first three hours. Still, once contractions start, you won’t have time to think about anything but your baby and, sorry to break it to you, the pain. Though you won’t need to rush to the hospital right away, some degree of panic is normal. There’s no chance you’ll think to grab everything you need before finally setting off to have your baby. Here are some things you'll want to make sure you have ready before your due date arrives!

Your Hospital Bag 

Every maternity class you’ve attended likely emphasized the importance of packing a bag for the big moment. You've probably seen lots of great ideas on Pinterest. If not, articles like this one containing the essential newborn baby hospital bag checklist can help you get ideas for yours. I should have finished packing earlier apparently, because I hadn't and I was having Aaron go throw things in a bag in between my contractions. Looking back now, I would have packed more outfits for myself because I didn't anticipate getting peed on or spit up on, so I had to wear one of my hubby's t shirts. Make sure your clothes are super comfy and you've got nursing bras ready. I also brought my pump which was super helpful before the lactation consultant showed me what to do. I brought along my Boppy too, which really helpful with feedings. I didn't pack postpartum stuff, because the hospital will have most of that for you during your stay (and send home extras). By packing ahead of time and putting your bag by the front door, there’s no chance to forget anything. Keep your bag near the door, and rest easy knowing it has everything you need inside it. 

Your Car Keys

This seems obvious, but you NEED to find a place right next to the door for your keys. If you usually leave them in your bag, get out the habit now before it’s too late. No matter how much you think you know where they are, you won’t be able to find them when labor kicks in. By the time you’ve searched the house and returned to your bag to find them, your labor will be much further along. Besides, who needs all that stress when they’re about to have a baby? Cut it out by placing a small bowl or a hook as close to your front door as you can. As soon as you get home, get into the habit of putting your keys here. That way you’ll be able to find them right away. Keep them in plain view and easy reaching distance. 

Your Phones

It’s also worth keeping your phones by the door, or on you/your nightstand. Much like keys, phones have an irritating habit of going missing when you need them most. You could even toss your phones into the bowl by your keys. That way, you can grab them before leaving too, and message loved ones with updates. (Side note, your hubby should be the one doing this while you focus on labor!) Knowing where your phone is will also be helpful when you need to contact your nurse or midwife. They’ll be able to advise you exactly when you should head to the hospital to ensure everything runs smoothly. If your phone has a good camera, you're set there too (or you can bring a separate camera if you have one). 

Your Car Seat 

Thank goodness we had Eli's carseat installed literally the day before he came. I would recommend putting your car seat into your car about two weeks before your due date. It can't hurt anything, and that last thing you want to do is have your hubby trying to install it in a rush, or in the hospital parking garage before you bring your little one home. Make sure you have the car seat, install it, and then have someone check it- they will do it before they let you leave with your new baby! 

Baby Essentials 

Although you'll feel like there are a billion things you need for your new bundle of joy, you really just need the essentials to make it through labor and bring your sweet baby home. The hospital will have diapers and wipes and some small outfits for the baby to wear. Ours also had a Sleepsack, and they gave us a brand new one to bring home. It's fun to bring a new outfit for the baby to wear home, along with a special swaddle or hat if you have that (but again, the hospital will probably have that). I threw a few of those things in my hospital bag. Back home, make sure you have a safe place for the baby to sleep: a bassinet, pack and play, or crib. You'll need a place to change diapers, and some diapers and wipes ready for when you come home from the hospital. Other than that, some onesies, and your breastfeeding essentials (if you're planning to nurse), you should be good to start baby's life. Don't stress! 

Postpartum Essentials

Make sure you've got some pads, witch hazel, Colace, and ibuprofen on hand. It's a hassle trying to send your hubby out to get things he doesn't know anything about, so just have them ready and available at home. It will make the healing process much more pleasant. My hospital also sent me home with some extra mesh undies and things that were really helpful. And don't feel bad wearing those maternity clothes for months after baby is born! Be comfortable! 

Is your bag packed? What other essentials did you have ready before your baby arrived, mamas? Let me know if you have questions! 



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