Mom Life Organizing

The 9 Musts for 9th Month {NESTING}…. Preparing the HOUSE and MOM for Baby’s Arrival

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So your car seat is in, your hospital bag is packed, and you have your “Walkin’ Papers” from your OB who says you’re ready to have this baby! But… you have 4 more weeks to hurry up and wait for your due date… But, be ready, because he could come any time… But, don’t do anything to self induce labor…. But, there is a chance you could go past your due date…. Yaddah, yaddah, yaddah. I personally think that the 9th month is my least favorite…. We’ve waited long enough to see this little guy and we’ve prepared so well… we’re ready! I always enjoy being pregnant and even told my husband only a few weeks after our first son was born that I couldn’t wait to be pregnant again. However, when you get to this point, your outlook definitely transforms from “I’m going to enjoy every minute of this pregnancy” which you do entirely, to “I’m now more excited to change a blow-out newborn diaper than bend down and put on socks (or take a shower, pick up that thing I dropped, get into a low car, or high car… you get the point)

Well, there is good news! A list in fact! For all of us anxious moms who feel productive checking something off of a list instead of staring at a clock waiting for 4 weeks to go by…. I’m sure you were either following a blog or The Bump, or any other checklist who has been telling you to do all these amazing things up until this point…. And if you’re as frustrated as me at them for ending at 36 Weeks with a “Hooray! You’re full term! Pack your bags!” “Prep for Labor” “Breathe Easy” “Prep for baby” “Take a walk” this list is for you….

1. Arrival Plan
2. Baby Break Sign
3. Password Workouts
4. Dimmer Switch
5. Husband Rations
6. Baby on Board Sign
7. Sibling Suitcase
8. Mom Bedroom Prep
9. Breastfeeding Station

They say that you will experience an “urge to nest” at around 37 weeks, which is a total understatement. My above rant is sort of what they mean, but really, truly, nesting for me is a form of panic and my body’s way of telling me that no matter how many books, websites and checklists I’ve followed, you MUST be forgetting something. So “nesting” for me really means, tearing the house apart detail by detail to identify what it is you forgot to do… {side note: the one random pregnancy side effect that gets me (with both boys now) has been memory issues! See WebMD: Pregnancy Brain. I can’t even remember my own phone number some days!}

When researching the ninth month countdown I mostly see lists that are still preparing you for before birth in the 9th month, so for this list, and for my last 4 weeks of pregnancy, I will spend them preparing for when baby comes home!

1. Arrival Plan: Partially before birth but mostly during and after, you should make some sort of plan and communicate it to family. A) How will you get from point A to the hospital, and who will be with you? B) Who will go through Labor with you? C) What are the expectations when baby comes home? Your family may have different ideas about this than you! So I assemble what I call Family Portfolios, which beware, are not for every family and can be taken easily, refused or even offensive. I have a whole supplement post dedicated to these two documents for your preparation

2. Baby Break Sign: This is a little sign that I made with scrapbook paper and modge podge… and yet it is crucial to your existence for the first few weeks, or even all year. We live in a neighborhood where there are a bunch of kids who are constantly knocking on our door to see if my husband can play (no joke), or if they can borrow a ball. We also have friendly neighbors who pop in, UPS delivery men, solicitors, etc. I thought about all those signs I see that say, “Baby Sleeping, Shhh” but that is just a reminder to knock quietly. I flat out wanted them to know they needed to go away OR that I was just not going to get up and answer the door. There are many, MANY reasons you won’t be able to get up immediately and answer an obnoxiously persistent doorbell: breastfeeding, bath time with a slippery little guy, diaper change that went way south on you, and so many more. You may also just don’t want anyone to bother you right then! So my sign says, “We’re on a BABY BREAK, and can’t get to the door” You can make yours say whatever you want.



3.   
Password Work Outs: Something that was important to me after my first son, and will be especially important to me now after our final pregnancy (still undecided) was regaining my post-baby strength. Notice I did not say “pre-baby body” because you will never quite have that back, and you shouldn’t dwell on it. You have a new glorious, childbearing body to be proud of! However strength in your core and regaining muscle memory in those abs which have been spread out for months is important for your posture and maintaining a healthy breastfeeding technique, etc. I put up this very simple routine on the nursery door frame. I call it my “Password” workouts because I use it as a “key” to go through the door when carrying the baby. Remember those old movies, “what’s the password bub?” through a peephole in a metal door? Well for this I don’t let myself out of the room when carrying the baby until I’ve completed one of these very simple routines. I mix them up too. You do need to be really careful that you don’t over do it in your first few days home though! And, for c-sections, consult your doctor before jumping into any exercise! Visit my ‘Mom Body {PROUD}’ Pin board for exciting things to try!

4.      
Dimmer Switch
: This idea was actually very nonchalantly commented on by my grandmother Joan when I was pregnant the first time… She was just musing about her babies and how, “you kids have so much more work to do now preparing for babies like installing dimmer switches and outlet covers…” My husband and I looked at each other and agreed that a dimmer switch
in the nursery was a brilliant idea and put one in immediately! Cash is nearly two and we still use that dimmer switch to ease him into bed. Or, it is great for the night time breastfeeding when you don’t want a bright light on, or want to fiddle with a bunch of lamps! Just a plain great idea!

Prepare for a new baby with Freezer Meals! You'll want to stock up in your 9th Month while Nesting!



5.       
Husband Rations: Go stock up on essentials. Better yet, stock your freezer! That’s what we did, (Built an awesome PIN BOARD too!) so that my husband could “cook” for us in a very simple way for the first months home or so that he wouldn’t starve… I know what you’re thinking, the meals are meant for mom to eat too! Well honestly, again, I won’t really have the time or energy to sit down and eat a full meal. I’ll be eating out of a bowl on the couch or in bed every chance I get. Or, scarfing while attached to my breast pump, in my office, writing a blog post, “milking” every minute the door is closed while my amazing husband juggles two boys… “Nope! Still pumping! Be out in a minute!” Check out my Family’s Favorite Crock Pot Freezer Meals HERE! Plus get freezer organizing labels!

6.      
Baby on Board: I have done a LOT of research on these signs and let me tell you, they are HIGHLY controversial…. It’s true meaning and reason for invention are controversial and mythical. Some think it is a completely useless gimmick invented to sell product and capitalize on a tragedy, though that part is a myth: Read here the Wall Street Journal’s article about the invention by Michael Lerner and how it made him a millionaire. It infuriates other drivers who think you’re claiming to be important. It has sort of become a joke or novelty in our society with all of the mocking signs made, “Dog on board” “Mother in law in trunk” yaddah yaddah. In my further research I unfortunately found that EMS responders no longer look for the signs in windows and even DISCOURAGE their use because people NEVER take them down and more times than not, the baby isn’t in the car, they see the sign, react and then look closer to see it is a parody sign, mooting its meaning, wasting precious time or it has even been known to come flying off the window in a wreck, causing more distraction and danger to the passengers… The BOB signs are actually claimed to CAUSE 1 in 20 accidents… I have even heard comments about it said to others who have it including, “oh you’re one of THOSE moms” well, which kind is that? The kind who wants her kid safe?

Yes, I guess I am…. How tragic that you are not!Some members of society actually think that a parent posting this sign in their car is a way to say, “I’m more important than your car, so beware YOUR driving” which is entirely ludicrous. I would never dare to impede someone else’s rights to drive like a moron for the safety of my own child… you go ahead and tailgate, honk, cut off and flip off all you want, my sign has absolutely NO INTENDED impact on YOUR driving. How dare I think that or presume that my small child’s life is any more important than anyone’s in your car and that I should be treated differently? We should be cautious and courtesy to all vehicles because there is ALWAYS someone’s baby inside…. A 16 year old baby, 45 year old, 80 year old, etc. The age of my child shouldn’t determine how safely YOU drive around me. And it most certainly doesn’t! That is not my intent at all. I display my sign to be courteous to YOU about MY driving. I want you to know that I might have a screaming child driving me crazy, which is why I cut YOU off, or didn’t see you waving at me at the stop sign. I want you to know that I
MAY BE an unsafe, distracted driver because of my child’s presence, so watch out for ME! I also keep my sign in the side pocket of my driver’s side door, NOT the back window. I take it down and put it up ONLY when the kiddo is in the car (and yes, sometimes I forget). I stick it to my driver’s side window, so that as you’re pulling up to pass me and flip me off for MY bad driving, you can see and think to yourself as I smile at you with big exasperated eyes while pointing at my sign, “Oh, that explains it”

a.   Truthfully,
I know there was a bit of sarcasm in that above bit, but when you first drive away from the hospital with your baby, you might be going 25 mph on the freeway, TOTALLY unintentionally. And other drivers are going to be mad at you. Who cares how they drive, honestly, you CANNOT expect your little sign to change the people in cars around you, and it’s just not reasonable and probably makes them more road raged because they think you think you’re important. You know you’re not. You know your baby is not the most important person on the planet to anyone else, but as a common courtesy YOU should try to keep up with the rules of the road and let them in on why you’re THAT driver today, not just THAT mom. And yes, I am proud to be THAT mom.

7.      
Sibling Suitcases:
When you head off to the hospital you may be dropping your older children off somewhere (unless you can bribe a grandparent to rush over and stay home with them) and they will need to be supervised for the remainder of your hospital stay. I know that we will be in the hospital for three days, so I pack accordingly to that count, plus a little extra if there is room. Now I’m sure you’re wondering, why didn’t I just pack this suitcase when I packed my hospital bags? Why am I waiting until 9 month pregnant to do this part? Here is why…. When I packed my hospital bag, my yearling was wearing 18 Month
clothes, that was 5-6 weeks ago. He is now wearing 2T clothes, so I would have had to repack anyway. PLUS the weather has changed and he didn’t own any clothes for the delivery week that would fit because they weren’t in stores for me to buy them yet. Like jackets, etc. Regardless, that is why we’re packing him now. J I also include a few special things in this suitcase including:


What to Pack

Incase  your amazingly generous yearling sitters don’t see him much or you’re in the middle of some “raising” strategy, you’ll want to include a quick breakdown of Junior’s daily life: How he goes to sleep, what he eats, if there is a special order to keep him happy, etc. You do this to make THEIR lives easier, not so that he isn’t “disrupted” from his daily life. Come on, he’s going to come home to a new sibling running the show, his little life is about to be the MOST disrupted its ever been! These three vacation days at Auntie’s are just Life Skill Adjustment Boot Camp and he needs the practice. So yes, pack him with a few comfort objects and inform  them of a few details to make their supervision easier, but don’t worry about them “ruining his little schedule” for the three days they watch him. Just be grateful they are! Send them some chocolate with a pre-apology for any tantrums he throws too! Remember, they are doing you a HUGE favor! Above and Beyond: I bought for him a few “Big Brother” books that they might read to him (I added them to the BABY section of my Amazon Store if you’d like to check them out too!) I packed in a Zip Lock bag a special outfit that I want him to wear to the hospital when he comes to meet his little brother for the first time!

8.      
Mom’s Bedroom: I’ve mentioned before on the blog that I am a total paranoid, over-preparer… that goes with this piece here. In our bedroom I remake the bed with a vinyl protective mattress sheet and a black fitted sheet in the 9th month. Warning- Graphic Details AHEAD: I do this because I have heard, had friends, and been told that sometimes when you come home from the hospital, you do bleed quite a bit and can have some accidents that have official medical terms… I don’t
know about you, but I love my very expensive mattress and those very expensive high thread count sheets we got off our wedding registry! I certainly don’t want to see them ruined if I can easily prevent any accident from affecting them. This might also come in handy in the 9th month if your water decides to break in your sleep, which I’m not at all certain on how common that is… I’m more preparing for the week after coming home from the hospital. I bought my vinyl sheet from Protective Bedding HERE and I love it!

9.      
Breast Feeding Station: Where all your breastfeeding will happen. For me, I do this using a three drawer night stand (my husband salvaged, repainted and repaired for our first pregnancy) that I sort into sections for my needs, keeping all “Boob” stuff in one central, private location. It is sort of like the “Nobody touches this dresser” area. I put it right next to the glider chair (A must for 0-3 Months and beyond! Read about my review here!) Also, in our bedroom, right by the bathroom, and shower (for those awesome times where you accidentally spray milk in your own eye struggling with the newborn)… you’ll call for your husband to take him when he’s full and you go straight into the shower without having to socialize with a visitor between the nursery and the bathroom… covered in milk and/or a bloody nipple (let’s hope not for you, but it happens!) Here are the drawers and what I put in them:

a.  Top Drawer Label: MOM DRAWER– it has all of my “boob” stuff in it, like reusable nursing pads, gels, creams, ice packs, hands-free pump bra, burp clothes for leaks, hair ties and headbands and more. See awesome MOM stuff that I use in my MOM Amazon Store Section!

b.   Middle Drawer Label: STORAGE– here I house all of the breast milk storage bags and the spare breast pump pieces as well as extra cleaning supplies for the pump. I ALWAYS keep the pump bag stocked for travel too, just like the diaper bag, so I’m ready to grab it and pump on the go, in the car, at work or wherever I may be (without the hungry guy).

c.   Bottom Drawer Label: TRAVEL– here you will find everything we need to take milk to go: insulated carriers, pump bottles, my manual breast pump, instant cleaner wipes and more.

                                i.   I’m sure you’re wondering why this stuff isn’t kept in the kitchen… because we have so much ELSE in the kitchen that it is easier to find everything here in this one spot. I also wash and clean all the pump pieces in our bathroom sink, where it can be kept private and not splayed out on our kitchen counter for all of those
awesome visitors to stare at all day. “Oh, don’t mind that, it sticks to my boobs, look how perfectly nipple shaped it is!” No, not a conversation I need to have with my father in law at the kitchen counter…. While he’s eating the take-out he generously brought me…

Well

there you have it! This is what I will be working on and fine tuning instead of pacing around waiting to pop. Or, while distracting myself from the great new random contractions that my body is practicing for the big day… Thank

you

Braxton Hicks…

See a few other helpful posts:

***As always, please refer to my About Me post for my disclaimer about all of my blog postings. Remember that I am never attempting to portray myself as an expert on anything and that these are just my humble opinions on life. I am not at all an authority on the 9th Month of pregnancy, but merely like to share another way to do it. If you do it differently I am certainly not claiming that you are wrong and I am right. There are many ways to do many things, so please do not be offended or defensive. Positive comments are welcomed, but please take your negative judgments somewhere else! I am thankful to the amazing blog moms who carried me through the first pregnancy with their blogs and advice and this is my small attempt to pay it forward to the next mom! Thank you for reading!


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