We all know the list for parents-to-be: Finish the nursery, install the car seat, buy the diapers... etc. But what about the other stuff? The things first time parents may not know about. THAT'S the list I want!
As Parks and I prepare to be first time parents, we know there are many, many things we will learn on the fly but we also know the power of community and listening to the advice of those who have gone before us. So, I asked my followers on Instagram about the real list we need to know about as we prepare for the arrival of Baby Frazier and oh my did they deliver!
Here's the real to-do list brought to you by some real life parents:
Pack somethings for your partner in your hospital bag
This one made me laugh because I don't think I would've thought about this (Sorry Parks)! A follower actually said she saw a video of a friend of her's husband wearing the mother's robe in the hospital because they never thought about packing him a bag. I totally get this!! Everything I see if about a hospital bag for mom and for baby - but what about dad??! We will officially be packing Parks is own bag for the hospital!
2. If breastfeeding, learn to use your pump BEFORE you go home
This was the #1 recommendation! So many moms said they got so frustrated trying to learn their pump while being beyond exhausted! Our hospital will be delivering my pump (getting free through insurance) bedside after delivery and will go over all parts and use. I am now more than ever thankful for this option after hearing from all the moms!
3. Deep clean your house and load up on detergent, dish washer soap, etc.
I am trying to have our house ready for baby by Christmas to allow for some "downtime" before he arrives. I will now be using this time to clean, clean, and clean (or hire someone to come in a clean, clean, clean. Ha!) The follower who suggested this just had a sweet baby girl and mentioned how difficult cleaning becomes when you have a newborn so having everything start out clean was a huge help! She even mentioned cleaning her car. Love this advice.
4. Install and know how to use the car seat
We all know the first part of this, but the second part... let's be honest, first time parents don't reallllyyy know how to use a car seat!! Check your area for car seat safety checks (our hospital provided a list) and then practice loading one of those cute stuffed animals you got from your baby shower into the car seat! Such great advice. Don't let the first time you buckle your carseat be when your load your baby to come home!
5. Put your hospital bag in the car... now!
My husband said I should've known this one from The Office! Ha! Anyone The Office fans and know this episode?? You and Parks would get along! Ha! I plan to have our hospital bags packed sooner rather than later and sitting by the door, but now they will be sitting in my car! A few moms shared they went to their regularly scheduled appointment and were admitted that day for delivery. Note to self: be ready!
6. Save shows to watch
SO SMART! Thankfully Parks and I never watch shows during the football season so we will have ALL the shows to catch up on after Baby F arrives! No Yellowstone spoilers, please!
7. Make your favorite freezer meals
A lot of people suggested cooking or buying some of your favorite meals to freeze. I follow Karie Lochner and she suggest doing the same! I'd love to know some of your favorite freezer friendly recipes in the comments! Spaghetti and Potato Soup are two of ours!
8. Padsicles, donut pillows, and all things postpartum
I had to google a few of these things! Ha! So many moms talked about how either 1. nice it was to be prepared for themselves in postpartum or 2. unprepared they were for postpartum! Thankfully, many of my close friends have recently become mothers and have given me the real side of postpartum. I cannot thank them enough! I feel more prepared because of their honesty! If you're needing/wanting more information on postpartum, I encourage you to find Karie Lochner on Instagram. She is a nurse practitioner with a GREAT highlight on all things preparing for postpartum. I am going to follow many of her suggestions.
9. Pick a pediatrician before birth
Our doctor gave us a heads up on this, but without her I wouldn't have known when you find a pediatrician! Per our doctor, you can call pediatrician's offices and ask for a doctor meet-and-greet. Some offer this and others don't, but we plan to start this process now! For reference, we're 31 weeks! Our doctor also told us there are three things to look for with a pediatrician: in-network for insurance, proximity to your house (you'll be making a lot of visits during the first year of life), and doctor personality fit. Thought that was good, simple advice!
10. Enjoy the process of becoming first time parents
I appreciated this reminder! We'll never get this time back. Enjoy the chaos, the unknowns, and the beauty of bringing a life into the world.
Have any more advice? Leave it in the comments!