Expectant parents are the target of many a marketing ploy. We want the best for the bundles of joy we are anxiously awaiting, and most of us go shopping to accomplish that. But guess what? The most meaningful preparations new parents can make for their babies don’t involve you pulling out your pocket book.
After reading this Becoming Minimalist post, I started thinking about what I think are the best ways for expectant mamas to ready themselves for their new babes.
Click through to read seven ways to prepare for a baby without going shopping:
Take It Slow 1 of 7The time before your baby arrives is too often filled with long to-do lists and stress to finish projects around the house. A new baby will flip your schedule upside down. Make sure to take time with your partner and for yourself, because time will be on short supply for the next few months.
Skip the Alarmist Baby Books 2 of 7It seems it is impossible to avoid "What to Expect When You Are Expecting" as a pregnant woman, but I think it's highly overrated. It is supposed to be a self-help guide, but with its alarmist tone and condescending attitude it becomes a handbook for every worst-case scenario imaginable. After spending a few hours perusing this book, it's easy to become paranoid that every little ache, pain, or irritation is a sign that something is terribly wrong. Do yourself a favor and direct your concerns to a birthing instructor, midwife, and/or doctor (as the author, Heidi Murkoff, is none of these things).
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Sleep 3 of 7Everyone and their dog will tell you how exhausting motherhood is. They will tell you to stock up on sleep now because you won't be getting any in the foreseeable future. Obviously sleep can't be stocked, but you can, and should, learn to take sleep where you can find it.
Borrow 4 of 7Babies"R"Us will try to convince you that you need at least 150 items on your registry. When I looked at the recommended registry list, I nearly had a panic attack. The thing about most baby gear is that at the rate your baby grows and develops they may only use or enjoy any of those items for weeks at a time. (Or they may not like it at all, I am looking at you, bouncer.) Find a way to borrow transitional baby gear. Your friends and family will probably be grateful it will be put to use!
Prepare for Your Birth 5 of 7One of the best ways to get ready to have a baby is by actually preparing to give birth (shocker!). Take a birthing class, and I don't mean an eight hour marathon class the weekend before the baby arrives. Enroll in a thoughtful class with an instructor you trust. We used the Brio method and were grateful to feel so prepared when labor came.
Build a Community 6 of 7You will gain more from talking with your friends and family about their birth and baby experiences than from almost any other source.
Relax 7 of 7Worry less about the nitty gritty. Your baby won't notice if it is wearing the perfect vintage item from Etsy or if the nursery is completely perfect. It's easy to get caught up in paint colors and fabric samples, but babies do just as well in a nursery stocked with a crib and some diapers as they do in a room decked out in the hippest decor. Just make an effort to be there for your baby. That, they will notice.
What preparations do you think are most important?