How to Jump Start Your Preparations for Baby with a Nesting Week
Jan 05, 2020
by Christine Sterling, M.D., FACOG
Some of us experience that burst of nesting energy in pregnancy, some of us don’t. But no matter your experience, you can jump-start preparing for baby in a meaningful way with a fun and productive Nesting Week.
Before putting in all the time and energy, I want you to be crystal clear on what aspects of postpartum preparation are most important for YOU.
Take the Postpartum Prep Quiz, and be sure to enter your email at the end to receive the full results AND the Postpartum Prep Starter Kit which we will be referencing throughout our Nesting Week Activities!
What you will find included in this Nesting Week is different. If you’ve had a baby before you know the internal preparation for baby is just as, if not more, important than the external preparation. So as we organize and prepare our homes for baby, we are also going to prepare ourselves and our family in a deeper and more meaningful way.
I am so excited to have you on this journey with me!! Let’s dive in!
You will spend more time in your bedroom when baby first arrives than you ever will in a nursery. Today, pick a space in your room to get tidy and organized. I’m doing my closet! It’s kind of a disaster zone. Share your projects with me on Instagram with the hashtag #pregnancynestingweek and tag me in your stories @DrSterlingObGyn!
Do the visualization exercise from the Postpartum Prep Starter Kit (if you’ve already done it, do it again. This time you can get more detailed and hone in on the most important elements of your vision).
You do not want to have to leave your room in the middle of the night to go to baby’s room for a diaper change! Figure out where to put a mini changing station in your room. Before we knew better, we put the changing station right next to our white drapes. Did you know babies projectile poop?! We didn’t either! Needless to say, our little changing station will be nowhere near the drapes this time! We’ve turned the top of our dresser into a changing area for baby #2.
Following the instructions in the Postpartum Prep Starter Kit, make a list of your strengths when it comes to navigating new situations.
BONUS: Have your partner do it too!! This way you can talk about how your strengths complement each other.
We all love those SUPER cute newborn outfits. Baby suspenders...I mean come on! Does it get any cuter?!?! But let’s be real, most days with a newborn we won’t be going crazy with the picture perfect outfit. Most days are going to be onesies and footie pajamas. Make a little space in your room for the clothes baby is going to be wearing most frequently so you don’t have to leave your room in the middle of the night when baby has a blow out. My hubby’s underwear drawer will be doing double duty for our little one. Sorry hun!! Compromises!!
If you are following along this week with me live, today (January 8th, 2020) you can register for one of the January Masterclasses Dr. Cassidy, family therapist, and I are hosting. I can’t promise much, but I can promise this- show up for our LIVE Masterclass: 4 Steps to a Restful and Supported Postpartum for the Whole Family and your life WILL be changed!
Find a simple way to increase the tranquility and calmness in your bedroom or bathroom. I’m adding a plant and stocking up on my favorite candles. Can you see a theme developing here? I know it is more common to focus on baby’s area when doing traditional “nesting” but most of your healing and recovery is going to happen in your room, not in baby’s. I want to make sure your space is organized and relaxing. Nothing is worse than trying to rest with a pile of boxes in the corner driving you crazy!
Following the instructions in the Postpartum Prep Starter Kit, make a list of what you enjoy or what you are looking forward to doing when your newborn arrives. I’m looking forward to reading to my daughter while the little guy naps on my chest. My hubby is looking forward to making Matzo Ball soup and having cozy evenings doing nothing but enjoying each other's company. It is so helpful for me to know that he is looking forward to this, so I can be sure to help this vision come to life.
Figure out where your baby is going to sleep in your room. If you have already determined that, set up the bassinet or crib. I have my bassinet assembled and I know where I’m going to put it, BUT it has become a holding area for a lot of stuff. Today, I’m going to put everything away so my bassinet is ready to hold baby.
Following the instructions in the Postpartum Prep Starter Kit, make a list of your challenges (or weaknesses) when it comes to navigating new situations. This is something I HIGHLY recommend doing with your partner!
I have a tendency to be impatient in challenging times. I want things to be better right away! So I know I’m going to need to practice patience and remind myself to “Let It Be,” when we come across difficulties with this new baby. My husband has a hard time when he doesn’t have enough alone time to process challenges and changes. Knowing this helps me remember why it is SO important to give him space when he needs it.
Put together a postpartum recovery kit, complete with everything you need to heal after birth from nipple care to organic pads. If you aren’t sure what you’ll need, check out my Ultimate Postpartum Recovery Kit. Start to assemble, or complete, packing your hospital bag. I have a checklist for that too- The Ultimate Hospital Bag Checklist.
Following the instructions in the Postpartum Prep Starter Kit, consider your support system. Who is going to be around after baby is born? What are their strengths and weaknesses? What are the local community resources that can form part of your support postpartum (breastfeeding support groups, mommy/daddy & me etc.).
Figure out where you can safely put baby down in every room you will be spending time in. Some use bouncy chairs, dock-a-tots etc. These spaces should be free from items that baby can pull onto themselves.
Pull together a capsule postpartum wardrobe from the clothes you already have. This may seem like an item for the external preparation list but it can actually make a big difference in how you feel postpartum. After birth, you will still have a bump, usually about the size of a mid-to-late 2nd-trimester bump. For the vast majority of us, it will be months (or longer) before we will be in our pre-baby clothes. Some of the clothes we wore in pregnancy will be too big.
Put aside items with easy access for breastfeeding that are loose and cozy. Adjusting to your postpartum body can be a challenge. Having a selection of clothes that are comfortable for your transitioning body and make you feel like yourself can be so helpful. I like to buy one new piece of clothing that I love specifically for postpartum. I buy 1-2 sizes up and choose something I would feel good leaving the house in.
P.S. Cesarean incisions are typically two finger-breadths above your public bone, even if you aren’t planning a belly birth, just take a look at your clothes and find something you can wear that wouldn’t irritate that area.
Alright mommas, you did it! An entire week getting focused and prepared for what really matters after baby's arrival. Don't forget to register for one of the LIVE Masterclasses in January "4 Steps to a Restful and Supported Postpartum."
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