Like most of the world, the global pandemic has you spending most or all of your time at home. Some people are taking up new hobbies, while others are binging Netflix shows. What are you doing? Are you spending this forced time at home preparing for your baby? If not, maybe you should be.
Reading helps pass the time while you’re quarantined at home. And there’s no better time than the present to read books about labor and delivery, what to expect during your baby’s first year, sleep training, the baby blues, etc. So instead of watching TV every night, read pregnancy and parenting books. They will educate you on what’s to come. Plus, bedtime reading has proven to be beneficial for adults. It can reduce stress, leaving you feeling calm and relaxed to get a better night’s sleep – something you need right now – among other things.
With a baby comes lots of love, happy memories, sleepless nights, and baby gear. Some things you know you need, and other things you may learn you need or want. Some products are easy to figure out, while others can be complicated to put together. Since you have some free time, spend it browsing online to learn about the must-have baby items, reading manuals or watching videos about how to safely use baby gear, such as a shopping cart hammock, and learning to use a breast pump.
Once you’ve researched and found what baby products you like, you can create a baby registry. This is such a fun part of being pregnant. Amazon, Target, and Babylist make it easy to register online for everything you need. And while the CDC and your state and local governments have required you to cancel your baby shower, don’t let that rob you of the excitement of creating a baby registry. Have a virtual baby shower instead!
With so many empty store shelves and some online services not being able to keep up with the daily COVID-19 consumer demands, you don’t know what baby essentials stores will have in stock when you need it or what Amazon Prime will be able to deliver in two days. Don’t wait until after the baby is born to buy things you know you’ll need. Start slowly stocking up now on diapers, wipes, formula, infant Tylenol, maxi pads, etc., so you’re not trying to panic shop with a newborn.
Some say the nesting instinct kicks in around 38-39 weeks. But why wait until a week or two before your baby is born? Start getting your house in order now. There’s nothing better after leaving the hospital than coming home to a clean and organized house. Then you can spend more time getting in all the newborn snuggles rather than stressing about how long it’s been since your carpet was cleaned. If you don’t feel up to cleaning or doing home repairs, ask your partner to do it, or have a healthy family member clean and disinfect your house while you’re at the hospital.
Here’s a simple list of baby prep tasks to get you started:
We’re all facing unknowns. As someone who’s pregnant right now, you may not know what your next OB appointment will be like, who you can have in the delivery room, whether your mom can come to town after the baby is born, or if you’ll go back to work after maternity leave. Don’t let these unknowns scare or overwhelm you. Instead, be prepared for what the world may be like around your due date by having different plans in place.
You may feel the best use of your time at home is preparing for your little bundle of joy that’s on the way. Though that is important, don’t forget about yourself. Part of preparing for a baby is making sure you’re in the best mental and emotional state to have a baby. This global pandemic can easily add more emotional stress to an already emotionally challenging time. So do things that make you happy. Take care of your mental and emotional well-being, as well as your to-do list, before your baby arrives.