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Thursday, August 11, 2011

Preparing For Baby: Start Thinking Like a Boyscout...

Their motto is "Always Be Prepared" and it should have been referring to mothers.  One of the biggest things to work on after becoming a mother is to always be prepared.  In fact, you really should start working on it before the baby comes.  Anywhere you can in your daily life, start thinking about being two steps ahead.  This type of mentality will help your days run smoother once the baby is here.

Have you ever watched an episode of 16 and Pregnant?  Does it stress you out, like it does me when you hear these young girls talking about their plans for when the baby arrives?  Like, the one girl who felt reassured by having $138 dollars in her savings account.  Because that would get her through oh, 1 month of baby expenses if that!  Or the couples who start discussing where they will live mere weeks before the baby is due.  None of these young girls seem to understand the importance of being ready whether its financially or by having the material things.  And they have an excuse...they are 16!!  Most of us however are well out of high school and can understand the major changes a baby will bring.  One of the biggest being the total disruption of your previous daily habits.

Once the baby has arrived you will be sleep deprived...surely no one has mentioned this fact to you already (ha ha).  But not only are you just sleepy, you are incapable of remembering all of the things you need for any given outing in this sleep deprived haze.  Hence the reason for always having a well-packed diaper bag.  Just as you have your necessities in your purse now, your diaper bag needs to always be organized and ready to go.  You never know when you are going to need to run out in a hurry and you don't want to waste time searching for wipes and passies.  You also don't want to get out and realize you don't have any diapers with you.  Each evening before you go to bed check your diaper bag and replace anything that is low.

Prepare for emergencies by also keeping a stash of supplies in your car.  I always have some extra diapers, wipes, a blanket, and passy in my car.  I also stash some crackers and toys for inevitable traffic, long lines, and waiting rooms.

At some point your infant is going to wake up with an ear infection, fever, or sore gums.  The last thing you want to have to do is run to a store in the middle of the night.  Always have infant Tylenol, Motrin, and Vapor rub on hand.  Even if you only have to use it once a year, that one time you will thank yourself for being so prepared.

Do not be caught in a bind by a sudden squirt or explosion...pack an extra outfit for your child in your diaper bag and possibly one in the car.  It doesn't hurt to have an extra for yourself as well.

Once you have regained your sanity and are ready for a road trip you will encounter the task of packing for a baby.  You would think something so little wouldn't require a lot of stuff but you will find that they require more than you and your husband combined.  First, start packing well in advance.  You are sure to be interrupted a million times so a head start will help.  Also make a list!  I suggest doing it the first time on your computer.  Save it so that for future trips you can just print a new copy and start checking it off. Update the list as your baby gets bigger and you are sure to reach your destination with everything you need.

By the same token it may be helpful to create and save a list for babysitters.  Whether you are using family or a neighbor you are going to want them to know all of the instructions for your baby. Although you may have to update eating schedules and sleep routines often, the basic information will stay the same.  You also won't have to think on the spot while trying to get dressed and out the door each time a sitter arrives.  Make sure to include all important numbers like your own, the pediatrician, and poison control.

Last but not least plan to start doing everything 30 minutes earlier than you did pre-baby.  There is always bound to be a last minute "emergency" when you are trying to leave the house with a baby.  Whether its due to a dirty diaper, spit up on your outfit, or in our house a wet shirt from playing in the dog bowl give yourself ample time to get out the door.

1 comment:

  1. Wow...who knew someone so little would require so much stuff!?!


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