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Preparing for Baby : Your Nesting Instinct

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There is nothing like late pregnancy to inspire all sorts of new feelings, including the mysterious “nesting” instinct, which can be alien to women who have previously shown no interest in housework. But go with it! Not only will your home be ship-shape by the time you have your baby in your arms, but you’re likely to spur your labor along, too.
  • Get your hospital bag packed—having this ready will prevent last-minute scrambles or having the task hanging over your head

  • Fill out hospital pre-registration forms

  • Change the beds and organize the linen closet—you are bound to have visitors over the first few weeks, and it will help to have everything ready

  • Do one of those once-in-a-lifetime spring cleans; you may never feel like it again, and the energy you exert will ensure that you fall into a deep, restful slumber

  • Consider inviting a few friends for a day of spring-cleaning—you’ll get it done in a flash, and have some company at the same time; what’s more, you can ask someone else to do the heavy lifting and bending

  • Now’s the time to invest in natural cleaning products, not only to ensure that your house is squeaky clean, but also so that there are no chemicals around to endanger your new baby’s health

  • Open all the windows and air out the house; clean the rugs, and let the light in

  • Sort your baby’s clothes into sizes, so you don’t find yourself digging through piles to find something that fits once the baby is here

  • Give your cupboards a once-over and check for anything that might be in low supply; chances are you won’t get out much in the early days after the birth, so ensure that all the basics are in stock

  • Do the same in the bathroom, and treat yourself to a lovely, soothing bubble bath at the same time

  • Prepare a few freezer meals: there can be nothing better than having a prepared, healthy meal on hand when your arms are full with your new baby and you lack the energy to get dinner on the table

  • Stock your fridge with good postpartum snacks

  • Make a list of everyone you’d like contacted after the birth

  • Prepare your birth announcements—address and stamp envelopes, or design something that can be sent via the internet, slotting in your new baby’s photo and details at the last moment

  • Produce something creative—paint your baby’s nursery, cross-stitch a little pillow or picture, start a scrapbook, or simply write a letter to your baby to put in a keepsake box

  • Spend some time finding good online sources for baby necessities, or create a new “baby” shopping list at your favorite online grocer—when time is tight, all you’ll have to do is press a button

  • Consider investing in a diaper service if you are thinking about using reusable diapers

  • Get your finances in order—pay outstanding bills, and budget for the coming months; you won’t want reminders causing you stress when you are busy with your baby

  • And don’t forget to make time for yourself—schedule a manicure, pedicure, or massage; not only will time be tight after your baby arrives, but money may be, too

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