As any new mom will tell you, no matter how much you prepare… you’re never really prepared for the arrival of a new baby. You can read books, prepare a nursery, stock up on diapers and bottles, but a baby changes our lives in ways we never really imagine. Luckily, most of those changes are for the (much) better and there are things we can do to mitigate the upheaval of our lives brought on by a sweet 7 pound package.

Preparing for Baby

Preparing for Baby

1. Educate Yourself. Particularly important if you are expecting your first baby, read up on the practicalities of parenting a newborn. As the saying goes, “knowledge is power” and, yes, that applies to knowing how many dirty diapers to expect from a 2 week old baby. If you plan to breastfeed, read some basics about latching on and what to expect from nursing to build your confidence. There are TONS of amazing resources both online and in good old-fashioned books. You won’t regret taking the time to educate yourself.

2. Purchase Essentials. As you know there are thousands of baby products out there, and there are a few that you simply must have on hand when you bring baby home from the hospital (or even in the hospital!). In addition to the five baby registry must haves, get diapers – even if you plan to cloth diaper, many find it easier to use disposable for the first few weeks – and other baby registry essentials. You’ll also want some products on hand that help you to soothe baby like pacifiers and swaddle blankets.

3. Stock Your Freezer. So even though new babies sleep a lot, they still throw your daily routine upside down making tasks like cooking dinner seem overwhelming. Put your nesting instincts to work and prepare some freezable meals ahead of baby’s arrival so you have some easy go-to meals with little preparation. There are lots of great ideas on Pinterest for freezer-friendly and crock pot recipes. If all else fails, stock up on your favorite take away and delivery menus!

4. Line Up Help. Listen, we know it’s hard to ask for help. Really hard. But, if possible, it’s amazingly beneficial to have a support system lined up to help when baby arrives. Whether it’s an online community to vent to and chat with, friends bringing meals or family to help care for your child(ren), help comes in many forms and is vital for a new mom.

Join the Conversation & Win!

We want to know: What did you do to prepare for baby’s arrival? What baby products do you need on hand when baby comes home? Anything you do to prepare around the house? 

Twenty (yes, 20!) of you who comment will receive a NUK Advanced AirShieldTM Orthodontic Pacifier.

NUK Advanced AirShield Orthodontic Pacifiers

We are proud to partner with NUK, the number 1 selling pacifier brand in North America, to spread the word about the new Advanced AirShieldTM Orthodontic Pacifier. Designed with three times the air circulation as traditional pacifiers, the AirShieldTM Orthodontic reduces the risk of skin irritation. The advanced orthodontic nipple supports the natural development of jaws and teeth and provides baby a great soothing option to help avoid thumb sucking. The sleek button pacifier has a puller to provide two way to hold the pacifier. The Advanced AirShieldTM Orthodontic Pacifier is available at Walmart, Target and Amazon.com.

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Giveaway ends April 26. Winners will be selected at random from relevant comments. Open to 18+ residents in the 48 contiguous states. This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of NUK. The opinions and text are all mine.



Kate started The Shopping Mama™ in January 2009 when, after graduating law school, she traded in online legal research and writing for locating the best products for children. She shops for three kids ages 8, 6 and 3 from their home in Japan. Her military family is making the most of back-to-back overseas assignments by traveling every chance they get.

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  1. 1.

    My must have through my first two children and I’m going to assume will be the same for Baby #3 (due September 14th) is the Boppy pillow! That thing is a lifesaver! 🙂

  2. 2.

    My absolute must-have has been a pack-n-play with a bassinet and changing table. All 4 of my kiddos have slept in it in our room until they were big enough to sleep in their own bed. That includes the first two being twins and sleeping in it together until they were about 4 months old. The added plus of the changing table was being able to do those late night changes with everything right there and easily accessible. We use ours ALL the time when we travel, when I need a place for baby to be safely put down away from siblings, when my twins needed to be separated, for other people’s children that needed a place to nap or sleep overnight, etc.

  3. 3.

    my must have was a video monitor, helped me sleep easier knowing i could see my little one anytime day/night. on my registry i had mostly toys, bottles, and an ergo

  4. 4.

    We had everything on our registry from onesies, to video monitor, to bottles for feeding pumped milk, to baby nail clippers. The most used item we bought was our Fisher Price Rock ‘N Play Sleeper, where baby can nap/sleep on an incline. This is truly a sleep saver for new parents!

  5. 5.

    i think a baby swing is a lifesaver. Its the only way my babies would sleep outside my arms

  6. 6.
    Cassandra Eastman

    The woombie was a miracle for my daughter we used it everynight until she was a year old!

  7. 7.
    Amanda Alvarado

    My must have was a sing and a play yard with a bassinet and changing table. Also a good nursing pillow! I loved my boppy!

  8. 8.

    After having two it really depends on the child. My first loved the swing and bouncer. The second loved the pack n play? Go figure who knows what my third will like?

  9. 9.
    Arlene S.

    I absolutely could not live without the co-sleeper, the Rainforest bouncy seat, and My Brest Friend nursing pillow! A Pack and Play is also great for the first 2 years.

  10. 10.

    Prepare the nursery, wash all the clothes and blankets etc. Also prepare downstairs essentials knowing having a C Sec and won’t be able to walk up the stairs for a bit. So having double of everything upstairs and down. Diapers diapers diapers. I felt with my first son I was always asking my husband to stop at store to get diapers. So second time around make sure we have enough! Sterilize all the bottles. Lastly stock up the freezer with dinners! I had great friends who came over one day and all we did was cook the entire day for meals for freezer. It was the best thing I did to prepare!

  11. 11.

    Must have on registry is the boppy! And I highly recommend the maternity sleeper boppy for during pregnancy!

  12. 12.

    I had a video baby monitor, car seat and stroller on my baby registry among many other smaller items. A must-have for me was definitely the My Breast Friend nursing pillow. I couldn’t have lived without that for the first few months!

  13. 13.
    Denise Konkel

    breast pump and nursing pillow for breastfeeding mothers!

  14. 14.
    Kenny Hall

    Definitely a car seat cover (to protect baby from the elements), a binky, and some nice receiving blankets! Also I like ‘swaddlers’.

  15. 15.
    Stacey B

    My must have currently on my registry is a double stroller. I will have a newborn & 2 year old

  16. 16.
    Kenny Hall

    A swing!

  17. 17.
    Nicki Joseph

    A good breast pump and a rocking chair

  18. 18.

    We loved the swaddle blankets when our daughter was born.

  19. 19.

    The Exergen Temporal Scanner is a must have!

  20. 20.
    Ashley S

    Our glowing seahorse saved our lives.. put our little man to sleep every time!

  21. 21.
    Vanessa Coker

    This is baby number two for us. So I am only going to have a video monitor on it. Somehow, we managed to get by without one for the first baby but I did and still wish we had one in his room (he’s two now).

  22. 22.
    Kathleen Fitzsimmons

    I put a few big items like a playard, baby monitor, and baby swing and all of the essentials like baby bottles, diapers, changing pads, etc. I skipped putting clothing on there.

  23. 23.
    Nicole Larsen

    A have a few things like a stroller, bath stuff, diapers, and a baby monitor–I’d like one of the nice baby monitors with a video monitor you can watch them on.

  24. 24.

    I loved having a portable little seat, rocker,bouncer for my daughter that you could carry to different rooms so baby was close to you but not necessarily in your arms 24/7. And probably a swaddle blanket.

  25. 25.

    Our daughter in law is expecting baby#2 in June. With our first grandchild she loved the Sweet Peace swing…..I have given several for baby shower gifts.

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