When we found out we were expecting, I knew my organizational skills would be put to the true test. When I found out we were having twins…PHEW, game on.
So what’s a Type-A gal to do? Well, write a list of goals and things I wanted to accomplish leading up to our babes arrival. Some items were things I’d been meaning to do for years (get up to date on our annual photo books), while other came with the territory (create changing stations so that we’d never be more than a few feet from a diaper).
Below are 12 things I’m so thankful I accomplished prior to our babies arriving:
1. Find a fun way to document your pregnancy, but don’t try to do too many different things. Making moments feel special and creating traditions is something that has always been important to me, but it can be too easy to get overwhelmed with multiple ideas as we browse Pinterest and social media. Choose one type of photo to take throughout your pregnancy to document your growing bump and make a note on your calendar to take said photos on a weekly or monthly basis (or even to mark the start of each trimester).
2. Create Pinterest boards to help organize resources for now and later (mine are broken down by Infant, 6-12 Months and 1 Year+), nursery inspiration, gift + goodies, photo ideas, and my favorite, baby style.
3. When I initially found out I was pregnant, I wanted to make sure that prior to babies coming along we had really decluttered every last nook and cranny in our home. I knew that with babies would come stuff (lots + lots of stuff) and I wanted my house to maintain a similar feel to how it had existed for so long. So, we went through our clothes, books, papers, high school and childhood memories, our kitchen, medicine cabinets and spice rack to clear space that could be dedicated to the babies in each room and closet.
4. Think through photo ideas and how frequently you’d like to document your newborns first year. Seek out a newborn photographer (shout out to our favorite, Kevin Monahan Photography) and check to see if they have any bundle packages for the first year. Since we knew we were pregnant last fall, I was able to take advantage of a Black Friday flash sale and swipe up four sessions that would take place throughout the first year.
5. Stay on top of Thank You notes! I think it is so important to acknowledge the time and effort that friends and family have put into making you and your growing family feel special. I worked to send Thank You notes as gifts were received, rather than waiting until all my showers were complete.
6. Create a draft of your birth announcement so that all you have to do is drag and drop a photo in and add names + stats. Also, take this time to update your virtual address book with any updated addresses or new friends that you’d like to send an announcement to.
7. Create file folders and memory boxes for your child (related to health, special mementos and one for everything else) so that you can begin organizing papers as you receive them. This ensures you have a good system put into place before the onslaught of paperwork arrives post-birth.
8. Set aside a day close to your due date to make a batch of freezer meals. Some of our favorite freezer meals to make are Butternut Squash + Sundried Tomato White Lasagna, Taco Casserole, Chicken + Stuffing Casserole, and a good ole’ Meatloaf. Wrap in tinfoil and label the tops with cooking instructions and contents.
9. Speaking of meals, you will likely have lots of friends and family that offer to bring you a tasty treat. Consider having a Meal Train set-up so that people can choose a day that works on their calendar and you don’t have to manage scheduling visitors over your first weeks as a new parent.
10. As you set-up all of your toys and gadgets, tape the manuals to the bottom or leave them nearby so you have them handy as you test everything out with your new baby.
11. Put together changing stations around the house. We have a single bassinet in our bedroom that we use as a changing station in addition to the station in our nursery. We also have little baskets of essentials in our living room and sunroom. Those essentials include: diapers, wipes, a Gathre changing mat, Aquaphor, a swaddle blanket and Johnson & Johnson Hand + Face Wipes.
12. Finally, this is the one time I’ll push stocking up on household essentials. Look into Amazon Subscribe & Save, but don’t forget to alter your frequency over time so you don’t end up with a surplus of stuff. It has been really nice to have paper towels, toilet paper, diapers and wipes on hand, since I haven’t had the luxury of making emergency trips to the store at the drop of a hat these first few weeks.
I really want to know one or two things you did in preparation for becoming a parent that made you feel like you were just a little more on top of life after their arrival.