Having a baby(ies) for the first time or the third time is a huge adjustment. There are lots of things to research and do before having baby and so much more to do after they are born. To make it a little easier I have thought of a few things that were recommended to DH and I or things that we have done to make the adjustment a little bit easier and now I am sharing them with you. You might find some of these things helpful or not, but either way you will find what works best, or not, for your family.
Buy in Bulk- Before all of my babies were born I stocked up on everything. From toilet paper, to toothpaste to diapers and detergent to already cooked meals (either ones I had made and froze or from Let'.s Di.sh). One thing that is hard to do when you are so tired from those sleepless nights and possibly recovering from a c-section is to go to the store. If you have room to store stuff, then buying in bulk is so worth it. We have a membership at Sa.m's Clu.b and I buy all of our paper products there as well as many food items from there so that I always have it on hand to cook with. I buy hamburger and put it into 1 pound increments and freeze it in a ziploc. I also divide up steak, chicken and pork chops and freeze them too. I buy a 5 pound bag of corn and throw a little bit at a time on the stove top as a quick side dish. I buy snacks like applesauce, animal crackers and cheese and crackers and throw them in the "snack bowl" in the pantry for Logan to get on his own at snack time. And on the bottom of my pantry I have toilet paper, kleenex and paper towels at my disposal. It does cost a lot to buy in bulk because you are getting more product, but in the end when you do a cost analysis of the items you purchased in bulk vs. buying at the grocery store or tar.get it is usually cheaper in the long run.
Bring Baby With You-Getting out and about with your new baby(ies) can be quite the task. From making sure you have everything in the diaper bag to getting dressed and ready to get out of the house. In my experience, the sooner you leave your house after your baby is born, the better and the more you get out, the easier it is. When Logan was three months old we hopped on a plane and went to Florida in the middle of our cold Minnesota winter. We decided to go on a Saturday afternoon and on Sunday morning at 7:00am we were boarding our plane. When Caden and Colton were eight weeks old we again hopped on a plane with all three of our children to Florida. Granted it was A LOT easier to do it with just Logan the first time around, I am so glad that we did it with Caden and Colton too. It helped me know that I can get out of my house and into the world. And packing up each day to go to Dis.ney Wor.ld and other attractions helped me get into a good "groove" of getting out of the house. At these ages it was so easy to travel too because the babies slept so much still that the flights were very calm and even going to Dis.ney Wor.ld was fairly easy because they slept through most of the day. When we went with Logan to Florida we did not go to Dis.ney, but we did hang out a whole lot by the pool, have a couple of drinks and just relaxed while our new bundle slept peacefully between our legs on the lounge chair poolside. BEST TRIP EVER!
Keep Your Diaper Bag Packed- Plan ahead and make sure you have everything in the diaper bag. When I stock my diaper bag I put everything and more into it. I have 10-15 diapers, a whole pack of wipes, four bibs, four burp cloths, des.it.in, toys, diaper changing pad, extra outfit in case of a blow out, wallet, and cell phone. I use a back pack right now because I need to have both hands free for both babies so all of this stuff fits nicely and it is easy to carry. I do keep a sample size thing of formula in the diaper bag so that I don't have to refill it that often, which leads me to my next topic...
Formula By The Pitcher- In addition, I make a pitcher of formula at a time and fill a days worth of bottles each day. When I go someplace I put the premade bottles in a cooler with an ice pack and when it is time to eat all I have to do is pull the bottle out of cooler. This may not work for everyone though. I have always given all three of my boys their bottles straight out of the fridge cold so they are not used to getting a warm bottle. Obviously if your newborn is having a hard time maintaining their body temp, I would not serve them a cold bottle out of the fridge. Even though my boys did not have a hard time maintaining their body temp, I did wrap them in a blanket when I fed them. For us, convenience of having pre-made bottles has been a life saver, especially when both babies were screaming to be fed at the same time. When they were really little we would fill a cooler of eight bottles and bring it up to our bedroom at night for those middle of the night feedings so that all we had to do was pull two bottles out of the cooler.
Date Night- It is important to get out of the house or to spend time together inside of the house. When Logan was three weeks old I felt like I needed a little break. We brought him to my parents house and then DH and I went to a movie at the theater down the street from their house. It was a nice, short little break and allowed DH and I to get out of the house for a bit. We did go out occasionally without Logan, especially when we were invited to functions without children. However, now that we have three children we find that it is more important to go out together. It is hard right now to have that quality time with DH at home after the kids go to bed because we have so much more going on during the day that it is hard to keep up with other things so we end up doing them after the kids go to bed. We thankfully have our nanny who is able to come and babysit the kids so that we can get out of the house for a couple of hours. We usually go out about one time/month, but if we are invited to other functions we do go out more often.
Make Friends- If you are deciding to be a SAHM after having your baby(ies) then try to make friends that are also home during the day. I had a really hard time adjusting to being a SAHM after Logan was born, not because I didn't want to be home, but because it was a huge change for me. Thankfully I had a few other friends who were also SAHM that I would get together for play dates with. Now that Caden and Colton are here, most of my friends have older children. I joined an early childhood education class with other moms whose children are Caden and Colton's age and I am also a member of my local moms of multiples club. It is fun to meet new people to share similar experiences with and to ask for advice from.
Do Laundry At Night- When all of my babies were still getting up in the middle of the night I would do laundry. Before I went to bed I would throw a load in the washer. When we got up to feed a couple of hours later I would put it in the dryer and throw a new load into the washer. When I got up a couple of hours later I would pull it out of the dryer and hang it and throw the load from the washer into the dryer. Repeat, repeat, repeat. There is so much laundry to do with newborns as well as laundry from the rest of the members of the family, that I found this to be a time-saving way to do laundry.
These are just a couple of things I thought of that have made my life easier. I hope you found something useful out of these suggestions and if not, that's fine too. :) You will find what works best for you and your family. :)
What tips do you have to make our lives as moms just a little bit easier?