Lisa at Life of a Happy Mom and I are teaming up today for a blog post on preparing for your new baby. Hop on over to her blog and see what she has to say! :)
That baby is coming. It's inevitable. But what can we do to get ready?!
For me, I already have two kids, both a boy and a girl, so I know I have ample clothing. Especially if this one is a girl like I think it is, it will be the exact same season as my daughter, making clothing issues pretty much nil. For preparing clothing, I need to get the 0-6 month clothes out of their bin in the garage and get them washed and in drawers. I'll also need to find the burp cloths and receiving blankets and get them rewashed and put in a basket.
But that's all pretty much a given, what else must we do to prepare for baby?
One big thing that I am really going to be working on this time is preparing meals for the freezer. Tammy, over at http://www.tammysrecipes.com/ has some good recipes for the freezer that she used prior to having her recent baby and I may try a few of them. I'm thinking things like bread, casseroles and loaves, soups, presoaked beans, desserts, and then making sure that I've put up plenty of vegetables and fruits from the summer harvest to compliment the meal. This is going to be a huge help in the days following the new baby's birth. Being able to pull a meal out of the freezer for dinner is going to be so much simpler than trying to figure out what to fix on top of trying to figure out a new baby and it's needs. In fact, this may be a good thing to do even now! (do you ever feel like you could be in the kitchen all day long and still never be finished?!)
Another thing that I want to have prepared this time is labor and after-birthing herbs and teas all ready to go.
I have always had a hard time keeping up my milk supply, this time, I aim to have a better experience for a longer period of time! This is the recipe that I plan on using for a tea that should really help to boost the milk supply. One other remedy I plan on using is Fenugreek in capsule form.
Mother’s Milk Tea
1/2 cup nettle leaf, dried (a vitamin factory, high in calcium, iron, potassium, etc. -strengthens and tones entire system)
1/2 cup red raspberry leaf, dried (nourishing tonic for the reproductive system, high in calcium)
1/4 cup alfalfa leaf, dried (a superlative restorative tonic, rebuilding vitality and boosting milk supply)
1/4 cup dandelion leaf, dried (beneficial for all conditions due to the wonderful source of minerals, vitamins, fiber, and micro nutrients)
1/4 cup fennel seed (Increase milk production and tone the digestive system, curtailing colic and indigestion) – you could also substitute fennel with any of these seeds: anise, cumin, caraway, coriander or dill
1/4 cup blessed thistle, dried (Stimulates the milk flow and helps restore vitality to weary mothers)
ground cinnamon, to flavor
You can make as little or as much as you desire. I choose to make a larger batch at once and used 1/4 cup as my 1 part measurement, but you could cut the recipe in half as desired. This produced about 1 quart full of dried herbs. Combine herbs well and cover securely with a lid. Store in a dark cupboard as light will cause nutrition lose. Use about 1 tablespoon herbs per cup of boiling water. Allow to steep covered for 15 minutes before consuming. Best results if you consumed 3-5 cups per day. You can change this recipe as desired, if you do not have access to all these herbs. The best galactic herbs are nettle, alfalfa, blessed thistle, and red raspberry leaf. The other herbs add wonderful nutrition and are healing to the body. The herbs can be rather bland and grassy tasting on their own, so I added cinnamon (about 1-2 tsp for this quantity), which provided a delightful flavoring. You could try chamomile or lemon balm as an alternative. A teaspoon of honey tops it off for a refreshing tea beverage.
More wonderful information on this topic I have found at Passionate Homemaking. and Keeper of the Home.
There are also prebirthing herbs to take during labor to help ease the pain and reduce blood loss afterwards, I am wanting to try that this time. A great source for herbs is Mountain Rose Herbs and Bulk Herb Store. The latter of which has a wonderful birthing kit for Mama and Baby! All natural remedies and lotions!
A great way to prepare for labor and delivering that bundle of joy is exercise! I know, I know, you're thinking (at least I am!) I'm in enough pain already, and I'm tired to-boot! Exercise?! Whatever!! Well, I hear ya. But it's still a great way to prepare for baby! ;) Just some simple walking on the treadmill is all. Nothing strenuous!
My next point is to make sure you have a routine in place before baby's arrival. If your other children know what to expect next in their day, it will make things much smoother after the baby comes. It doesn't have to be a rigid formation of your day, just something simple, but it needs to be something that you and your children can count on. In fact, I recommend that it's not too fancy-a rigid and stiff schedule/routine can be very stressful to a young mother trying to juggle life!
Read books like Babywise and take notes, keeping track of things that you'd like to try and implement into your new baby's life/routine. Most babies thrive on a routine, but all babies are different, so be prepared to adjust to their needs as necessary.
Simplify as much as possible. Eliminate all unnecissary clutter from your home and your routine. I am working on this myself. It seems that a home can take so much work to keep up with and so often there is little time for anything else but cooking and cleaning. Personally, I'd like to simplify things more so that I am able to be more relaxed and spend more time playing and learning with my kids. Yes, I want them to learn to work and be a helper in the home, but I want it to have it's place in the routine, not be what the routine is made up of solely. I am still mulling over ideas for simplifying and I hope to have a few more things figured out by the time baby #3 arrives! Think that's possible? *smile*
The most important thing to do when preparing for your new baby is to have regular prayer time. Pray for that new life. Pray for its salvation, for its well-being, for its talents, its character, and for you as you mold and fashion its life. The Lord is there to help you as you strive to do your best. So pray for your baby!
Finally, in conclusion, I want to remind you to remember to take time to care for yourself, I know it's hard to do, especially if you have other children. But at least try and take some time each day to put your feet up, read a good book, take a nap, and rest. It's important for both you and the baby. Drink plenty of liquids and eat nourishing foods. And be cheerful! :)
That baby is coming! :)