Glad I was on Pinterest and found this article a couple months ago it really helped as the intense nesting phase began.
1. Freezer Meals
I had planned on doing more of this before our first baby came and I didn’t-we didn’t. It meant A LOT of takeout, fast meals, frozen meals and unfortunately both the creation and agitation of gall stones AND a LOT of weight gain. This time around we also have a crock pot which is going to help a lot but I have already begun using it as a tool to ensure that we have chili and casseroles ready to go for the first few weeks.
- 10 Freezer Meals in One Hour
- 8 Healthy Freezer Crockpot Meals
- Postpartum Freezer Meals
- 60+ Healthy Freezer Meals
2. Deep Clean
I definitely am not the tidiest of people. In fact when we moved in with our in-laws when X was just a month old we were unfortunately constantly at odds since they (who had a nanny) could not understand why I made it a zero priority to ensure the sink was empty and garbage/recycling was immediately taken out. It was the primary reason living with them only lasted an entire three months.
Even now, very pregnant, nesting and hoping the baby comes early I am still not in any mood to seriously scrub my house. I am lucky enough to have a maid come twice a month to deep clean our house as a perk of my man’s job. I would HIGHLY recommend this be added to your wish list/baby shower list. It’s really a priceless gift for a new mom. For me, being pregnant with a toddler: keeping the toys off the floor, the laundry done/folded/put away, the dishwasher and counters empty and cooking is really all I can handle. More than I can handle some days. If you want some tips on cleaning though, these are awesome:
- Deep Cleaning Checklist
- How to Deep Clean a Kitchen and a Bathroom
- 22 Little Known Ways to Really Clean Your Home
3. Organize Everything
This is my absolute favourite thing (and David’s least favourite part) of pregnancy for me. Nesting means organizing, tidying and purging for me the borderline hoarder. It’s been essentially crucial first with Baby #1 I moved from a two bedroom with storage unit into a one bedroom with a man who had a furnished apartment and new baby items. With baby #2 we are adding and extra little person with even more toys and baby stuff to our existing two bedroom so we need again to make space. I have been very busy clearing shelves for new baby, washing and putting away his clothes, organizing hand me downs by age group, etc. This has meant a lot of purging of my own crap and everything people bought my son he never used and the stuff I bought thinking it would be useful for our family and isn’t.
4. Meal Plan
So in 2013 (Pregnancy #1) I went from 162lbs to 215lbs by the time I gave birth. Breastfeeding brought me down to 190lbs. Stopping breastfeeding, not getting enough exercise and not eating right brought me back up to 225lbs by the time I started my second pregnancy early 2015.
Luckily for me in this pregnancy I have LOST weight and am at 218lbs. It’s partially because I have been so active- I not only pick up and carry a nearly 30 pound child twenty times a day, we take 1-2 20 minute walks every day. I also have been eating smaller, cleaner meals. Being diagnosed with gestational diabetes I have a meal plan for diabetics which is actually awesome for everyone. Six small meals a day, choosing specifically the times of day to eat carbs and what to eat them with (pairing carbs with fibre and protein).
What I have been doing this past month is planning a diet which is essentially the same small meals every day all day (it’s also been super helpful avoiding heartburn/nausea) and then having varied dinners with the hubby so I have some variety. It helps me not have to think about eating while I’m pregnant and exhausted, which will only get worse when I am sleepless with a newborn.
- Free Meal Planning Printables from Money Saving Mom
- Free Weekly Meal Planning Printables from Sew Much Crafting
- Free Weekly and Monthly Meal Planning Printables from Free Homeschool Deals
5. Grocery Pickup Service
I started using Click & Collect as soon as it opened with the Superstore near our place and it has been a life saver. Months ago a Baby Gourmet (“Fruit squeezie” as we call them) would keep X occupied literally an entire shopping trip. Now they’re not only seen as a necessity by him (my own fault) he’s done and wants the others in the cart pretty much by the next isle. He’s painfully cute and people love talking to him and touching him which he sometimes loves but most of the time he’s not into stranger attention. Then there’s the shy avoidance or screaming, SO much fun.
With Click & Collect they keep a record of all your purchases online and in store and prioritize the things you buy most often. SO HELPFUL for baby brain. Once I place the order I choose when it gets picked up and they will actually grab my reusable bags from the trunk and then load the car for me…no need to step out of the car. AMAZING. What I need to do is start using Flipp which my friend just turned me onto. I plug in my shopping list (which I can organize from my Click & Collect list) and it will actually give you a list of the cheapest stores for each item in your area (you can even select which stores you actually shop at. I’m lucky in that David actually enjoys taking X grocery shopping and so we can do the main shopping trip through Loblaws and we can use Costco, Farm Boy and Whole Foods for the bulk/fruits & veg stuff and they can have daddy/son time running out and pick that up when things are cheaper there.
6. Stock Up on Essentials
- Kirkland size 5 Diapers for toddler daytime, size 1 for new baby
- A new tub of Coconut oil (what we use to lube him up nightly-especially crucial for his eczema)
- Toilet Paper
- Paper towel
- Pasta sauce & tomato paste for casseroles
- Frozen veggies and proteins for creating freezer meals
- Peanut and almond butter (fast easy lazy meal)
- Pampers Baby Dry size newborn for baby (we already had some and the midwife gave u) and size 6 Diapers for toddler nighttime and naptime when he pees A LOT
- Fruit squeezies
- Pop (my pre-breastfeeding addiction)
- Rice and rice pasta (for freezer meals)
- Ezekiel bread (for peanut butter/almond butter also my toddler will eat almost anything spread on toast)
- Baking supplies (because baby #2 is born around the holidays and we love to bake and have cookies on hand for the visitors)
You can print out Preparing for Baby: Stock Up List here.
7. Date Nights
One of the reasons it was so important for me to move home to Ottawa from Toronto was because I have an amazing network here of family and friends who have become family who can help out with my son. Once he started sleeping through the night we were able to take more advantage of babysitting at night. It took a little more time for him to get used to daytime/being put to bed by people. My first overnight away from X was in June (he was born in January). David and my mom watched him and I went to Pride in Toronto. Our first date night (X was already asleep) was for my birthday in July. Our first overnight without X together was when he was over one years old.
Being so exhausted in my first pregnancy we didn’t go out for quality time together nearly enough. Knowing now that it will likely be a very similar timeline before X and Felix will be babysat by family I have toughed out many an exhausted night just to do dinner and a movie with my man. We’re also doing his Holiday Party just before Felix is born as well (unless he is early).
Not everyone is lucky enough to have that help, or perhaps you just want to be cozy at home while you’re exhausted and pregnant so here’s some at-home date nights:
- Top 20 Stay-At-Home Date Night Ideas
- 45 At Home Date Nights for After the Kids are In Bed
- 20 Ideas for At-Home Date Night
8. A Little Pampering
In August I got a balayage dye job which is like a subtle highlights/ombre blend and I LOVED it- so pretty and low maintanance. I was hoping to get it done again before baby #2 but I don’t think it’s feasible time or money wise. I am however going to get a mani-pedi and a massage. Maybe even a labour-inducing massage in the week before the due date.
If you’re on a budget, you could rely on DIY pampering. Here are a few ideas:
- Get a few items from Lush and a funky bath light toy from the dollar store and candles
- Use Pinterest to find some DIY spa ideas
- Invite a friend over and swap pedicures
9. Take Maternity Photos
Ok so because I am a photographer and I spent YEARS doing maternity photos before I ever became pregnant I spent a lot of time planning what I wanted when it was my turn. I had hoped for an under water maternity shoot but I have very poor lung capacity so that’s out. For Xavier I was hoping for both an indoor studio shoot AND and outdoor winter shoot but as we only had a few days in Ottawa where my friends are photographers, it was freezing at the time AND we had a holiday party and baby-shower planned I settled for just the one indoor shoot. I’m hoping for an outdoor shoot with snow this time around though.
Not everyone is photo-crazy like me or has photographer friends/the resources for a professional photographer. Otherwise you can potentially find a newbie photographer looking for maternity models to build their portfolio (they can be discounted or even free). Otherwise I would at the very least suggest getting your partner or friend capture you and the bump outside in the final season of your pregnancy with a point-and-shoot camera or even phone camera. That way you’ll always have that memory of you and baby before you finally met face-to-face.
10. Postpartum Wardrobe
The biggest shock post partum was how my body had permanently changed. My body looked like it was entering the second trimester and my boobs were out of control. Plus I had like NOTHING to breastfeed in public in.
- Look through your pre-pregnancy clothes and see what might fit-especially anything that’s cotton or stretchy so you will be comofrtable
- Make sure you have yoga pants/comfy jeans around the size of your maternity pants (maybe a size smaller) so you can easily leave the house with baby and still feel comfortable
- Make sure you have at least one good comfy nursing bra (get fitted in your last month) and a couple season-appropriate nursing shirts or at the very least v-neck/wrap tops or dresses
Some women lose their baby weight soon after, but nearly every new mom will tell you it took at least 3 months before they really started feeling like their clothes fit like they used to (for me I still have a little box of my favourite pre-pregnancy clothes that have yet to fit me over two years later).