Sunday, May 01, 2005

Plan Ahead for Baby - and Make The Time Memorable!

By Brandi Rhoades

If you and your partner are expecting a little one in the future, you will want to make the time in your life when baby arrives a most memorable one - and for all of the right reasons. People are notoriously busy when their baby's arrival date approaches, but it does not have to be that way. You can work ahead of time to make sure that you and your partner are prepared for the days after your baby's arrival.

First, think about your family and friends. Everyone will want to know the goods on the new one, but you will cringe when you hear the phone ring, especially if you have a baby who does not sleep well. Instead, plan to update your phone regularly. Have your partner change your voicemail as soon as the baby arrives with the basics. Include the new baby's name, time of birth, and vital statistics. You can update it whenever you would like and explain on the message that you appreciate everyone's thoughts, and you will return calls whenever possible.

If you are going to give gifts to grandparents or to each other, purchase them well in advance. Even if you plan to have Grandma's present engraved with the baby's name, you can pick up the gift now so that it is not something you have to think about later.

You also should plan now for meals during the couple of weeks after baby is born. If you are lucky enough to have a large group of thoughtful friends or family close by or if you do not have financial considerations, then you are in luck. You can eat what everyone makes or order out. If you are like most people, however, then your family will still need to eat when you get home. Make a menu for the two weeks after baby is born. Think casserole and slow cooker. You want meals that can last more than one night and that only require a few minutes of preparation work.

Purchase the items needed for these meals weeks before baby's planned arrival on the scene. Put non-perishable cabinet items in a box and put them away from your normal grocery store. Make frozen items with an "X" and explain to everyone that those foods should not be eaten. Once the baby arrives, you can cook these meals or have your partner do it in only a few minutes. It will make at least one aspect of your life much easier.

You will want to be able to take care of baby in any room in the house, especially if you end up having a cesarean section. That means that you should put the essentials "lotion, diapers, burp pads, a blanket, and wipes" in each room. That way, you will not have to run to the nursery if you are not feeling well. You will have everything you need right there.

Taking care of these few details now can mean saving a lot of time later. You will be glad that you took the time to take care of as many things as possible before your baby came. That way you will have the first days at home to bond with your baby and rest up for the long nights ahead.

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