The following post is by editor Kara Fleck.
Time is marching along. I’m 35 weeks through this pregnancy. I’m at that stage where the newest little baby to join our family will arrive any time in the next three to seven weeks. It won’t be long now!
This is the time in pregnancy when many women begin “nesting” – putting the finishing touches on post-baby plans, doing some extra cleaning, and generally “feathering” their nests/homes in preparation for an infant.
While I’m not really the type to nest with a mop and a pail, I have been doing some “feathering” of my own around here in preparation for the arrival of a new baby.
Here are some of the things that have been going on at our house …
Preparing Siblings for the New Baby
We’ve been watching movies about new babies, reading books about new babies, and talking quite a bit about new babies and the changes that they bring to a household.
My oldest, Jillian, can remember what it was like when her younger brother and sister joined us, but Max was too young when Lucy was born to remember much and Lucy, of course, is currently the youngest child and so has no frame of reference.
We’ve been involving the kids in our “nesting” and preparations. They helped me set up diaper changing stations and organize baby clothes. Sometimes I take them with me to doctors appointments so that they can hear the baby’s heart beat.
I’ve also been trying to make sure that we have times where things around here aren’t so baby-centric. One of my concerns is that the older kids might feel lost in the shuffle.I really want each of my children to know that, no matter what changes come to the family, they are each still important and that we love them very much.
My husband Christopher and I are each making an effort, during these final weeks, to spend some one on one time with each kid. Each parent has been having a “date”‘ with each kiddo, even just something simple like a library visit or a trip to the hardware store or just a long walk together.
I’m sure that we will still go through a time of adjustment, but I’m hopeful this will help to make that adjustment smoother.
Preparing the Household
As I mentioned, we’ve been setting up diaper changing stations (upstairs and downstairs) and I have been washing and organizing baby clothes.
We’ve also been making some other changes around the house, including:
- setting up the crib, rearranging the bedroom
- emphasizing the use of our family calendar so that everyone can see events coming up
- setting up a nursing station upstairs and downstairs to help make breastfeeding easier
- making lists for the baby sitters who will be helping us out before and after the baby is born
- stocking up on items like toilet paper, shampoo, and laundry supplies so that we don’t have to worry about these things in the weeks after the baby is born
- filling the freezer with meals to re-heat and easy to prepare dinners
It has been interesting to see how my husband has been “nesting” too, doing things like building new bookshelves, installing a peg rail wall, cleaning the carpets, landscaping outdoors, and extending the closet under our stairs.
It is fascinating to me how his nesting instincts seem to veer more toward the “big picture” physical structure of our home, extending and maximizing its space, while my own instincts seems to focus more on “little picture” things like sundries, clothes, and food. And knitting. There has been quite a flurry of knitting going on.
Preparing Myself for the New Baby and for Birth
There are the physical things that a mother does to prepare for a new baby, and I’ve been doing those, like packing a hospital bag, staying active in the weeks leading up to the birth, eating well and trying to get enough rest (easier said than done at times).
However, I find myself in these weeks really focusing more on the mental preparation. I’ve had, admittedly, a few too many plates in the air recently and feel a real pull to slow down and turn inward.
I’ve been thinking quite a bit about the upcoming birth and the weeks afterward, a time which always calls on a lot from my physically but also, perhaps even more so, mentally. I am not quite centered and focused just yet, but I can feel the mental and emotional pull leading me in that direction and I’m embracing it.
As a mentor of mine says, “figure out what is essential and do only that. The rest can, and will, wait.”
And I’m taking her advice to heart. This is the time, after all, to do so. The rest will wait.
The things I’ve mentioned today are merely a portion of the things a family does when preparing for a new baby. Have you welcomed a new baby into your family? How did you prepare? Do you have any advice to give me? Things to share with other Simple Kids readers? I’d love it if you’d leave me a comment.