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Yay! You’re pregnant – how exciting! (And possibly nerve-racking…) Once you’ve given birth to your sweet little peanut, you’ll hear people saying “the days are long but the years are short.”
But I’m going to officially tell you that that phrase is just as true for your pregnancy as it is for those sleepless newborn nights/days (that blur into one.)
While you might be suffering through morning sickness or swollen ankles right now, before you know it you’re going be coming home from the hospital with a sweet baby and you’ll be wondering where those 9 months disappeared to. That means that you need to start preparing for your new baby, stat.
(And while you’re at it, start thinking about packing your hospital bag if you’re nearing your due date. Don’t be like me and think “ehhh I’ve still got two weeks left.” The exact day I said that, my water broke and I went into labor…)
You might have got all the big things sorted, like a car seat, stroller, crib, etc. But beyond the obvious, here are some of the things you should do once you find out you’re pregnant.
10 Things To Do Once You Find Out You’re Pregnant
1. Grab a copy of the breastfeeding bible
The Breastfeeding Handbook is basically like the bible when it comes to breastfeeding. If you’re planning to breastfeed, there’s a whole host of issues that may come up including:
- Low milk supply
- Achieving a pain-free latch
- How to know if your baby is getting enough milk
- Breastfeeding through growth spurts
- Preventing clogged ducts (PAINFUL!)
- Pumping and storing effectively
The Breastfeeding Handbook is only $9 and it includes a 20-page handbook, printable worksheets, graphs, diagrams, pictures, tips and tricks – essentially everything you’ll need to be successful in your breastfeeding journey.
2. Take an Online Prenatal Class
I WISH I would’ve known that online prenatal classes were a thing when I was pregnant. I had no idea so my husband and I enrolled in a prenatal class at the hospital. After both being at work all day, the last thing either of us wanted to do was race straight to a prenatal class (it didn’t help that the class was held at 7:15pm on a Thursday night, and I saw my last patient until 6:45pm on Thursdays… It didn’t leave me with much time at all to race to the class!)
Online prenatal classes would’ve been an absolute lifesaver it I had’ve known about them. This online prenatal class by Hilary from Pulling Curls is highly recommended.
3. Put The House on Lockdown
It’s extremely important that you safety proof certain aspects of your home before baby arrives. You might be thinking to yourself that it’s going to be AGES before your baby starts getting into things he or she shouldn’t, but believe me, it happens a lot faster than you think. And very often, there isn’t even a warning sign!
I remember when my son was tiny, he was doing tummy time and I got up to get a glass of water. My kitchen overlooked the living room where he was laying. I stood there drinking my water and almost choked when I saw him decide to roll over about four times until he was “stuck” underneath the side table.
Up until that point, I genuinely didn’t think he could move from his play mat, let alone make his way halfway across the room.
With that being said, it’s best to baby-proof your home now, instead of having to race out and try and do it once baby is already starting to get mobile.
These are the baby-proofing products that I used and recommend:
- 50 pack of outlet covers
- Babyproof edge and corner guards
- Sliding cabinet locks
- Door knob covers
- Furniture anchor ***SO IMPORTANT***
4. Start an Amazon Baby Registry
There are a number of perks to starting an Amazon baby registry, but my favorite perk was the completion discount. What that means is that every item that you’ve listed on your registry that didn’t get fulfilled, Amazon will give you a 10% discount (or a 15% discount if you have Amazon Prime.)
This is a great way to save money on items that you need, but didn’t receive at your baby shower.
5. Join Amazon Prime
Speaking of Amazon, if you don’t already have an Amazon Prime membership, I recommend you get one.
There were SO many times when I found myself needing a certain item and just didn’t feel like leaving the house, so the free 2-day shipping was a lifesaver. Additionally, Amazon Prime members can save up to 20% on diapers and baby food, plus you get a free welcome box when you join Amazon Family (which is part of Amazon Prime.)
You also get free access to thousands of TV shows and movies. Even if you’re not a huge TV watcher, you’ll probably find yourself watching more than normal during those many feeding sessions!
You can get a free 30-day trial of Amazon Prime here.
6. Get Rid of Toxins & Chemicals
It’s no longer a “possibility,” it’s a fact – leading scientists and doctors have now stated that exposure to toxic chemicals harms brain development. Of course, none of us are going to sit there breathing in exhaust pipe fumes or spend the day spraying chemicals on vegetables while we’re pregnant, but the reality is, you don’t need to do that to be exposed to harmful, toxic chemicals – they’re all around us.
Exposure to these toxic chemicals can cause cancer, but perhaps even more frightening is the effect they have on the developing brain, particularly during the first 9 months of a babies life, when synapses are being formed extremely rapidly. (In the first 3 years a of life, a child’s brain develops around 1000 trillion synapses (connections.)
While it’s virtually impossible to eliminate all exposure to toxic chemicals, there are a number of things you can and should do before baby is born to make your home less-toxic:
- Ditch the toxic cleaning products in favor of natural, DIY options
- Stop using air-fresheners or plug-ins
- If you want scent your home, diffuse lavender or frankincense essential oil
- Stop wearing shoes inside the house (you’d be shocked (and probably disgusted) if you knew the amount of filth and chemicals that you’re walking into your house when you wear your shoes inside)
7. Improve the Air Quality in Your Home
This point goes along with point number 2, but it’s so important that it deserves it’s own section. The average adult spends 90% of their time indoors, and when you have a tiny newborn could even be more. The United States Consumer Product Safety Commission states that the air inside our home is often MORE polluted than the air outdoors, so it’s imperative that you do as much as possible to improve the air quality in your home before your little one arrives.
A couple of cheap, effective ways to improve the air quality of your home are:
Here’s a full list of ways to improve air quality in your house.
8. Prep Freezer Meals
When you’re in a sleep-deprived haze and still recovering from childbirth, the last thing you’re going to want to do is prepare a home-cooked meal. Enter, freezer meals.
When you’ve got a newborn at home, it’s so nice to be able to open the freezer and heat up a nutritious, pre-prepared freezer meal without having to chop a single vegetable. It might seem time-consuming now, but it’s worth it.
To make things a bit easier, I recommend doubling up the ingredients on everything you cook now, and then just freezer half, that way you don’t have to be making extra meals.
9. Throw a Diaper Party
Traditionally, a pregnant new mom-to-be has a baby shower, but why should us girls get to have all the fun? 🙂
If you haven’t heard of a diaper party before, it’s essentially the male equivalent of a baby shower. Basically, your husband and all his buddies get together and do whatever it is they like to do when they hang out. Maybe you can organize a few baby shower games (I actually think it’d be hilarious to see my husband and his friends playing games like “what baby food flavor is this” and not being allowed to say the word “basketball” during the entire party!)
And instead of showering the dad-to-be with soft fleece blankets and nipple cream, everyone has to bring a box of diapers. Not only is this a fun way for your partner to celebrate his impending fatherhood with his buddies, it’s also a great way to stock up on diapers!
10. Buy Puppy Training Pads
This sounds so random, but hear me out. When I was setting up my little man’s nursery, I bought two soft changing pad covers because I knew it couldn’t be comfortable for a tiny newborn to be laying on the cold, plastic changing pad.
As it turned out, the cover was constantly getting poop, pee and diaper cream on it so I felt like I was always washing them.
Then I took him to his checkup and I noticed that when they weighed him, they laid him on the table on what looked exactly like a puppy training pad. GENIUS.
I went home and bought a 100 pack of puppy training pads and it was SO.MUCH.EASIER. And pro tip – cut the pads in half – they don’t need to drape over the entire changing pad, just enough to line the inside part.
These are also perfect to take on-the-go. There were many times when I had to change my son on public restroom changing tables that didn’t have disposable liners, or even on a park bench when we were out – the training pads came in so handy.
(I understand this probably isn’t the most environmentally friendly thing to do, but when you’re in that newborn stage, I’m all for some convenience…)