There is nothing quite as exciting (or as exhausting) as the last trimester of pregnancy. The baby is coming soon and there are so many tasks to do in those last few months to be ready for your baby's arrival. Even if you are adopting or making use of a surrogate, preparing your house for the changes a new child will bring seems almost overwhelming!
As you head into the last few months before your baby’s arrival, taking the time to prepare your home will help you better handle all the changes that come. Getting your home cleaned and organized before you are juggling the demands of a newborn and your other responsibilities will give peace of mind and help you be prepared to handle any new mess or clutter that crops up. Consider tackling some of these key areas as you clean to better prepare.
The kitchen is the center of your home, where food and family meet on a daily basis. Take a few hours to inspect and prioritize these areas in your kitchen.
Dedicate time to cleaning out your refrigerator and freezer before your baby arrives. Check expiration dates on items and throw away anything past expiration as well as any food or leftovers that have been lurking in the back of your refrigerator. Wipe down the shelves with warm water and vinegar.
Just like your refrigerator, dedicate a chunk of time to going through your pantry and throwing away food items that are past expiration. Unopened cans or boxes that are not at expiration can be donated to your local food pantry. Stock up on quick, healthy snacks that you can grab on the go when you are home with your new baby. Keep a shelf stocked with bottles or breast pump supplies and be sure to rearrange a little space for kid’s snacks and food as they grow.
Babies produce an incredible amount of laundry, much of it stained. Be ready to tackle stains and higher volumes of laundry.
Stock up on baby-safe cleaners for your newborn's clothing, sheets, and towels. Take it a step further and purchase laundry cleaners that are both good for the environement and safe for your baby.
Make sure you have adequate hampers with distinct compartments to sort your baby's clothes separately from the rest of the family.
You’ve probably been in a nesting stage for a while, but now is the time to double-check, dust and clean your baby’s future room.
No nursery room would be complete without one of these. Stock up your table with extra diapers, wipes, power, creams, as well as extra clothes. Organize the drawers in a way that makes sense for you during changing. Or don't use one at all (I never did!). I kept a basket with changing supplies in the room we were in the most and just changed my babies on the floor.
If you’ve received any baby clothes, sheets, or other future supplies, take time now to organize them in the nursery closet. Clothing that won’t fit right away can be packed away or hung at the back. Extra crib sheets and pillows should be stored on higher shelves.
Tackling cleaning and organizing tasks as you prepare for your new baby is a smart way to spend those last few months before they arrive. Do some organization and be sure you have a plan for future cleaning and organization as well.
How Did I Get Here?Have you ever thought, How did I get here? I get asked this question frequently from friends, family, and people who knew me before I arrived at this place in my life. I was visiting with someone I used to work with many moons ago- before we were both married with kids. I just visited her after she had twin girls and I was dropping off her order. She asked, “How did you ever get started in all this?” I told her the quick and dirty version of the story. But later that night, I started thinking about my story. And I wondered:
Where does my story begin?
See Part 1 HERE. So here is Part 2 in my series. So after just one semester of trying my hand at fulfilling my lifelong dream of being a marine biologist, I came home with my tail tucked between my legs to figure out the rest of my life. It took me a year or so to figure out I wanted to teach. In the back of my head it was always the back up plan. After I was done swimming with the dolphins and wanted to settle down to have a family, my plan was to teach. So the long and the short of it- I started into my studies as a teacher. I save money and did my last six weeks of student teaching in New Zealand. It was a life changing experience. I got to do some pretty adventurous things (a helicopter ride, white water rafting, swimming with the dolphins, a cross country train trek, earned my motorbike license in the Cook Islands....) and met the most incredible person and teacher, Lisa. I think of her often and fondly. One day, I will visit her again. (It's in writing so it must be done!)
Soon after graduation I married my high school sweetheart and I found a teaching job not too far from where we lived. I loved the people I worked with. I worked with really great people. The kind of people you make life-long friendships with. A few years later we had our first baby. We did everything by the book. Baby shampoo, lotion, disposable diapers, etc. We did do some unconventional things- we took my daughter (and ourselves) to a chiropractor and we were introduced to essential oils when my daughter contracted hand-foot-mouth disease. My best friend's mom was our daycare provider and she used them in her home and raved about them. I was interested but skeptical. I became a believer when she sent me home with a miserable toddler and some oils. I couldn't believe how quickly she recovered. I was hooked!
While I was pregnant with my second child we bought new nursery furniture. I noticed a small sample bottle of name brand soap lying on its side on a dresser. I wiped up the small drop that leaked from the bottle and the finish came off with it. This sparked a question in my head, "What am I putting on my baby's skin?" Little did I know how much this little question would change my life. (to be continued)