Tag Archives: new moms

How to Prepare for a Newborn - SmartMom

How to Prepare for a Newborn: Month By Month

Photo from Barefoot Blonde

Nothing can prepare you for the shock of bringing home a newborn.   Whether it’s your first or your fourth, each child has a different personality and therefore a different set of realities are needed for their arrival home. Regardless, there are some basic tips about how to prepare for a newborn that can help ease the transition from hospital to home. Tackle these steps month-by-month during your pregnancy.

First Trimester: Prepare Yourself

Month 1: Get Through the Month

Sleep (when you can), eat (when you can), and begin to wrap your head around the fact that you will be adding a newborn to your family in less than a year.   Once you are able to acknowledge that all of this is happening, you can get on to the planning stage.

Month 2: Get Healthy

One key piece of advice about how to prepare for a newborn is not for the baby, but for you.  You cannot provide for a child if you are unhealthy, so getting in the habit of eating well, sleeping well and exercising are crucial for making it easy to maintain these habits after the baby comes home. Learn about the best foods to eat while pregnant and load up on leafy greens and whole grains.  Prenatal yoga is also a positive way to stay fit and toned and help prepare your body for labor and delivery.

Month 3: Start Telling People

Once the world knows, things seem to happen.   Second hand items arrive at your home, advice on what items you need (or don’t need) to prepare for a newborn start flowing in. It all becomes real. When it comes time to reveal the gender of your new little one, we have some tips on your party too!

Second Trimester: Prepare Your Life

Month 4: Educate Your Family

Now is the time to start educating your family about how to prepare for a newborn.  If you have other children, invest in books or games that talk about new babies.  Start talking about where the baby will sleep and how things will change.  Make sure the child knows that nothing bad is going to happen when the baby comes home. If you have a pet, start planning a smooth transition for them.   Have a doll that you carry around and treat like a baby.  Expose the pet to other children.  Keep certain areas off limits to the pet.

Month 5: Start Talking About Maternity Leave

Have conversations with your partner about childcare scenarios following your leave.  Sit down and budget so that you can see what needs to change.   If you are thinking of making any career moves (i.e. shifting to staying at home or going to part-time), now is the time to have the conversations with your family and then your employer about how to prepare for a newborn and balance your career.

Month 6 – Take Stock of What Your Need for the Newborn

If this is your first child, create a registry.   If this isn’t your first time around the block, see what you need and reach out to friends to see if you can borrow or use secondhand.  Otherwise, head to the stores to pick up necessary items.

Third Trimester: Prepare for Baby

Month 7: Prepare Your Home

Wash baby clothes and stock up on lotion, wipes and diapers. Disinfect baby toys that may have been in storage for a few years.   Baby proof your home so you don’t have to do it when the baby is mobile.   Channel your urge to nest into dealing with all of the details needed to prepare a space for the newborn in your home. Now is also a good time to pack your hospital bag, too.

Month 8: Install the Car Seat

It’s important to have this done prior to being full-term since you never know when the baby will arrive.   Put together any gear or toys that have directions and could be considered time-consuming.   Start cooking meals to keep in the freezer for easy preparation once the baby is here.

Month 9: Clean Your House

We never said learning how to prepare for a newborn would be all fun and games. This may be one of the last times you will be able to really clean your house (now, granted, you will be huge, so this may not qualify as the most thorough cleanings possible).   Scrub the floors.  Wash the sheets.  Complete any tasks in the house that you’ve been putting off (framing pictures, hanging curtains, etc.).

Not only will attacking these projects help keep your mind off of the pending arrival of your child, it will help you tie up loose ends before the newborn arrives and all focus shifts to the task at hand.

 

RELATED QUESTIONS

Hello! I’m a first time soon to be mommy! I’m 35 weeks and starting to prepare for my baby boys arrival. What laundry detergent is good to wash newborn and infant clothes? Thanks!

So I’m due in March.. Any tips on how to budget for a newborn? What are must haves for the baby and what can wait until later on ?

I’m being induced on Thursday. Anyone have tips? Schedule for a newborn?

Anyone start getting extra nervous in the weeks before their due date? I’m mostly prepared but so afraid of being a new parent! I’ve honestly only held a newborn a couple of times and worry that I’ll accidentally hurt him. When he cries I know it’s gonna break my heart as well. Becoming a new parent is just soooo much to take in and I don’t know what to expect. But it makes me happy to know my son depends on me too. I love him so much.

Hi moms. I’m going to having my second baby here within two weeks or less depending on when my doc plans to induce me. And it just hit me how scary it’s going to be with a newborn and a two year old. I’ve been overwhelmed with how hard it is now being pregnant and raising my daughter. So I was just looking for advise and tips to make this less scary for all of us and a little less hard. I don’t want my daughter to feel left out or forgotten

 

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Great Gifts for New Moms - SmartMom

11 Great Gifts for New Moms

Photo by Andria Lindquist

The days after a baby is born can be long, tiring, confusing and emotional. However, a special gift is a nice way to show her that you care and help her transition into motherhood.  Here are 11 great gifts for new moms to help make those overwhelming early days just a little bit easier. 

Delicious Smelling Soaps

Coming home from the hospital can be quite the adventure. A new mom feels sweaty, exhausted, and totally out of her element. Give her a delicious smelling body wash and soap set. Sometimes a quick shower is all it takes to make a new mom feel human again. Also, that quick shower is often the only alone time a new mom gets, so make her feel special and luxurious with some at-home pampering.

Food, Food, Food

The top gift most new moms want is food. Luckily these days, there are so many ways to deliver fresh food to a new mom. Many smaller groceries deliver to homes now, or you could place an order with Peapod or Fresh Direct. Remember to order pre-cut fruits and vegetables, as often new moms are “one arm down” and don’t have time to prep food. Websites like Seamless offer menus for restaurants that deliver food, in case you want to have a pre-made meal delivered.

Homemade Food

Speaking of food, you could also prepare healthy meals for the freezer and bring them to a new mom. Bringing a bag of snack foods is also incredibly helpful for those late night wake ups; make sure the food packages open easily and can be eaten with one hand, such as granola bars, muffins, or yogurt pouches.

New Mug

Often, new moms are up all night with a tiny baby, so give a new mom a mug, but make sure it is spill proof! Add in some bags of herbal tea, or if she likes coffee, perhaps some packets of instant coffee.

Subscription Service

The early days of parenthood require a lot of time being trapped under a sleeping baby; a subscription to an entertainment service would be a wonderful way for a new mom to while away the sleepy hours. Check out Netflix, Hulu, or Audible; also, an iTunes giftcard is a great way for her to buy a new movie or e-book.

Bathrobe

Since nights and days become blurred lines in those early days, gift a new, soft, comfy…and stylish bathrobe to a new mom. She will appreciate having the warmth and comfort.

Sheets

Speaking of comfort, new moms spend a lot of time in bed, whether its trying to catch up on a much needed nap or in between baby feedings at night. A set of super soft sheets would be a perfect gift for a new family.

Magazines

There’s a lot of awkward down time in new parenthood; gift a new mom a stack of magazines she would love, so she can leaf through them while the baby is sleeping or she’s feeding the baby.

A Little Bundle

A Little Bundle is a gift subscription service for new moms and babies. You purchase a box of hand-picked goodies for both mom and baby to arrive at her door monthly. It’s not easy to get out of the house with an infant, so this will give a new mom something wonderful to look forward to.

The Gift of Pampering

Give the new mom a gift certificate for a manicure/pedicure or massage, and offer to watch the baby while she runs out! Is she breastfeeding, and doesn’t want to go too far? Pay for someone to come to the house for a massage.

Help Out

Don’t have the money to buy a gift? Head over to a new mom’s house and give the gift of your time and hands. Mow the lawn, take the garbage out, take the dogs for a walk, fold laundry, or do some dishes. Even the simplest tasks can be overwhelming when there’s a crying baby in the house, so any help is always appreciated.

For the long run, this newborn sleep book will be super helpful as well!

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7 Things New Moms Do to get back into Shape - SmartMom

7 Simple Things New Moms do to Get Back into Shape

Hey, mama!  Looking to shape up this New Year? As long as you have your doctor’s blessing to start exercising again, these are the 7 simple things you can do to get back into shape.  Ready?

1) Take the Stairs (Again, and Again)

If your home has stairs, a few runs up and down (think 3-4 at a time) can get your heart pumping and boost your daily fitness (and steps!).

2) Incorporate Baby

Forget lifting weights. Your baby can make exercises even more effective. Try holding your wee one while doing squats. For older babies with neck control, try laying on your back and lifting baby (like you would weights). They’ll love the fun game and your arms will get a great workout.

3) Mommy and Me!

Check your local fitness centers and yoga studios (as well as pools!) for mommy and me options. You and baby can have fun while also diving back into light workouts.

4) Park Farther

The further you park from the entrance, the more steps you will take getting there. That makes hitting the 10k steps a day goal easier. And, for toddlers, it can be super fun if you sprint with them in the carriage to and from the door. Those giggles are worth every step.

5) Turn up the Tunes

Have music, will move, right? Turn up the tunes and dance your way through house cleaning. Who knows, your little one might even bop around with you. Faster music is your best bet, since you’ll probably raise your heart rate while dancing to it.

6) Nap Time Videos

There are tons of 10 minute exercise videos out there – select one on Netflix or pick one up at Target. Then, when baby settles for her nap, pop it in for a quick spurt of exercise. You could even do a few 10 minute workouts back to back!

7) Stroller Time

If it’s warm enough where you are, get out your stroller and head to a nearby park for a long walk. Be sure to keep up a good pace, and – for older kids – bring snacks and a drink. In cold areas, head to the mall for some indoor walking. Some even malls even open their doors early for exercisers to get moving.

 

Wand some help with this goal? Check out our post about looking good in 2014

RELATED QUESTIONS

Anybody feel too self-conscious to go to the gym by yourself?

Any pumping or nursing moms that have successfully lost weight with diet and exercise?

I’m a SAHM and it’s so hard for me to find time to exercise

Workout ideas for the summer for a busy mom?

I have a 6 month old and a husband that works a lot, how can I get in shape?

I had a c-section 6 weeks ago and want to get pregnant again. Should I get back in shape before trying?

I’ve lost 30 pounds in 9 months but still have more to go. Any tips?

How do you moms get in shape while balancing childcare and full time work?

I’m ready to get back in shape. Any suggestions how to do it?

I need to get in shape but I don’t have the energy.
 

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