Nesting for a better fourth trimester
1. Prepare, store and freeze meals ahead of time or find an organic/grocery delivery serviceThe fourth trimester is all about eating and napping—for baby and you! I just know you’ll be doing an amazing job at keeping your baby’s tummy full (and diaper clean!), but don’t forget plenty of yummy meals for your tummy, too! Take a little time in your third trimester to make sure your food situation is dialed in for your fourth. If you enjoy cooking, take advantage of your nesting itch and prep a few weeks worth meals ahead of time, put them in single-serve containers, label them, date them and freeze them. Or, treat yourself to a grocery delivery service; there are lots of options. It can be fun finding the one that works for you! You’ll be surprised how many times you quietly thank yourself as you enjoy a delicious meal with one hand while cradling a sleeping, eating or crying infant in the other!
2. Get your baby essentials opened, washed, sterilized and readyWhen you arrive home with your little one you’ll want to have all of your essentials in place and ready to go.
- In the Nursery: Wash all of those adorably tiny baby clothes, swaddle blankets, bibs and burp clothes, then put them away in the dresser—place the jammies and burp clothes on top for easy access because you’ll reach for these a lot! - Open the diapers, wipes, lotion and diaper rash cream. Have them ready-to-use at the changing table.
- In the Kitchen: Wash, rinse and sterilize all of those breast pump accessories, baby bottles and nipples. You’ll be really glad you did at three o’clock in the morning! - Dial in those meals for mama (check out #1 above).
- In the Bathroom: Wash and rinse baby tub and baby toys (well, you may not need the toys right away, but since your nesting …). - Open the head-to-toe baby cleanser and have it ready-to-use by the tub for baby’s first bath. Seriously, does anything smell better than a baby?!
- In Your Bedroom: Make sure the co-sleeper is secured to the bed if you have one. - Keep a handful of extra diapers, a box of wipes, a few swaddle blankets, burp cloths, bibs and jammies handy for late night wardrobe changes.
- In the Car: Install, level and secure the infant car seat and base. There are a lot of firehouses that can do this for you, too. - Keep an extra burp cloth and bib in the seatback pocket for easy access … just in case. Trust me, you always need at least one within reach!
3. Treat yourself to a massage or mani/pedi … or bothDon’t forget to pamper yourself during those last few weeks of pregnancy. A pregnancy massage is an amazing treat for your mind and body. It’s also a great way to relieve stress, help with labor and keep your baby as healthy as can be. When you feel good, your baby feels good! Tip: According to acupuncturists, expecting mothers could give birth early if their ankles get massaged. I’m not sure exactly where it is, but there is a point between your knee and your ankle that may help induce labor. So (unless you’re past your due date!) ask the therapists to avoid that area.
4. Don’t be shy, now is the time to ask for help
- Call your tribe: your mom, mother-in-law, sisters, aunts, and friends. Ask them how long they’d like to stay with you during your fourth trimester. Try to plan for at least one extra pair of hands for the first four to six weeks. It is a huge stress reliever to have someone helping with laundry, light housekeeping and general household management … but let’s be honest … LAUNDRY!
- Talk to your husband or partner about how they can help during those first few months—he’ll feel better knowing how to help you and his new baby and you’ll feel better knowing he feels better.
- Start interviewing nannies or better, a night nurse, if you’re going to need or want one, it may take a bit longer than you think to find the perfect caregiver. And don’t forget the reference check! Most moms are very happy to share their experiences with their first caregiver. It’s a sweet time and if they had a good experience, they will be the first to tell you! It also explains if they don’t call you back… next! LOL!
The third trimester is a wonderful time for you and your baby. Soak up the last few weeks of having a wiggling, kicking little one inside your belly and get ready to have all of that wonderful wiggly-ness filling your arms and heart once he makes his debut! It’s also the perfect time to plan ahead and make your fourth trimester as easy and stress-free as possible.
When you’re prepared, you can take time every day to pause (at least thirty-five times), look at your little love bug and breath in all of the soft, yummy cuteness!
We’d love to see pictures of how you prepared for your fourth trimester, take a pic and share it with us and our community of new mamas on Instagram using the hashtag #newmamamoment. Happy nesting!