prepping your life and business for a new baby
It's crazy to think that I'm only about seven weeks away from meeting our new baby boy! If any of you have multiple kiddos, I'm sure you understand when I say that most of this pregnancy, I've been forgetting that I'm even pregnant. Chasing around a curious toddler will do that you, I guess! However, these days, the little guy taking up precious space in my body keeps giving me many not-so-subtle reminders that he's there as he kicks me in the ribs and does a dance party on my bladder.
So, I've dedicated the next month and half to some serious nesting, baby prepping, and business delegation. I'm cleaning out all the closets and drawers, waking up in the middle of the night with additions to my to-do lists, hiring on new faces for the company, and soaking up all of the cuddles I can with my firstborn son. And husband. And dog. Everyone needs a little extra lovin' before bringing a new little human into our family!
Do you find yourself in a similar place right now? Pregnant with your first or second babe? Trying to figure out what in the world you're going to do with your business? Or maybe just trying to figure out how to prepare for a new baby? I've got you covered. Below I've included my top favorite baby items (not the full registry!), as well as my key advice for baby prep as an entrepreneur. Hope it helps!
My Favorite Baby Gear
- Peg Perego 4-35 Carseat: It's lightweight, simple, and has a super high safety rating!
- Go Joonie Carseat Cover: I'm so excited to use this cover for our carseat over the summer-- it's breathable, rain/wind resistant, and super lightweight! Also, this company founded/owned by a fellow #bosslady, which I obviously love.
- Baby Jogger City Select Stroller: We opted for this mega stroller the first time around, knowing that we were hoping to have more kiddos. Again, it has a very simple design, it's easy to fold, and can hold a lot! We love this stroller for traveling so we can pack the base with bags and jackets.
- Wubbanub Pacifiers: I know, pacifiers are controversial to some, but personally, they saved me from going insane those first few months of newborn life. The way I see it, is they can't be 15 and still sucking on a pacifier, right?! So what if it calms them down now? The wubbanub (pacis with the stuffed animal attached) are great because they don't get lost as easily as the single paci does. I tried the natural ones-- my son just never liked them!
- 4moms Mamaroo: This technological wonder never really rocked Jonathan to sleep, but it did give him a a safe place to hang out and watch the action when he was too little to move around much. I wouldn't invest in buying one though-- ask around to see if friends have one to borrow first!
- 4moms PlayYard: Literally one of my favorite purchases. This "pack and play" is way easier to set up and take down than the 'normal' ones that most people get. It's simple design with a bassinet attachment is perfect for your newborn baby, up to toddlerhood (it has a very large base, so your kiddo won't feel squished!).
- Dockatot: Another life-saver right here! We used this cozy thing day 1 home from the hospital, and Jonathan slept wonderfully in it. The covers are easy to wash, which is a bonus. It's also like a traveling bassinet... we took this with us on a few roadtrips, and it was nice to have a place for him to sleep in that he was already used to!
- EarthMamaAngelBaby Nipple Butter: Good gosh, I cannot even tell you the trauma that my nipples endured over the first month of nursing Jonathan. Couldn't have made it through without this nipple butter, which helped me heal and survive. Also, great for moisturizing lips, hands, and cuticles ;)
- Honest Co. Soothing Bottom Wash: Poopy diapers are not for the faint of heart. But good lord, if I have to KEEP wiping to get everything clean, I just can't even. That's why I love this spray-- I can give one good wipe, spray a few times on the bum, and then the rest of the mess wipes up pretty easily, and smells good too!
- Keekaroo Changing Pad: Speaking of gross diapers-- sometimes the contents of those said diapers can end up all over your cute little changing table. That's why I love the Keekaroo Peanut-- it's wipes clean in a second! And it's not rock hard. I still like to put a little burp cloth down sometimes so the mat doesn't feel too cold on the little babe's body, but overall, this thing is amazing.
- Soothe & Sound Sound Machine: I've got a graveyard of these things, so I can say, hands down, that this sound machine is the bomb. The volume can go up pretty high, which is great when you've got a lot of guests in the house, and the white noise setting isn't jarring like some tend to be. This buddy is a bit too big to travel with on an airplane, in my opinion, but sometimes I still try to stuff it in because I love it so much.
- ErgoBaby360: As much as I loved the idea of baby wraps, Jonathan and I just couldn't quite get the hang of them. Plus, he was a massive baby. Although the Ergo was a bit more to haul around, I always felt so much more comfortable wearing him in this than anything else!
- Letterboard: I know these are super trendy right now, but they're also a really cute way to capture monthly milestones of your new babe! Put the month on it, dress your baby in a cute outfit, add some adorable props (stuffed animals, confetti, lol whatever!), and snap a pic! It doesn't have to be fancy, but it's a fun way to remember those milestones.
- Promptly Childhood Journal: I'll be honest, I didn't use this last time around, but I'm so excited to use it this time! I was SO bad at recording facts in Jonathan's baby book because it felt like a big, overwhelming task. That's why this journal is so amazing-- it's straightforward, to the point, and doesn't ask too much of you. But it will help you to remember the important things about your new little one's major milestones!
- Magnetic Me Onesies: Yet another life-saver. These onesies have magnetic snaps, so you don't have to use any brainpower or finger muscle effort to get that onesie on and off in the middle of the night. Plus, they're really soft. Jonathan pretty much lived in these 24/7 for the first 6 months of his life!
- Robe: Every new mom needs a pretty robe. It makes you feel a little less of a mess, it's easy to nurse in, and it has to be soft. I personally love this robe from Poppy & Dot!
Keeping Your Business Afloat With a Newborn
- Create a Timeline: It's important to get realistic with yourself. Take a look at your planner or calendar (I love my Pace & Pattern!), and mark up the weeks leading up to your due date with important dates/events, and what you would like to get accomplished each month. Personally, I've decided to finish all major business-related tasks by the month before my due date month, because I want to reserve that last month for doting on my son, doing the practical prep work for the new baby (like laundry and last-minute shopping!), and rest (before I become sleep-deprived).
- DELEGATE: I'm serious here-- don't plan on doing anything that uses actual brain-power the first month of postpartum. You just can't. You're living off of little sleep, food from kind friends, and baby snuggles-- but don't expect to make any major life decisions, work on your business financials, nothin. It's okay to build in a maternity leave for yourself. You need it! So take some time to list out all of the practical tasks and responsibilities that will need to be taken care of while you're off the grid, and assign those to some trusted individuals. This doesn't necessarily mean that you need to officially hire new people (you can if you feel ready though!)-- you could also reach out to family and friends that have certain skill sets that match up with your needs. After having a newborn, your circle of loving friends and family are LOOKING for ways to support you-- give them something, and make it very specific. Give them all of the contacts that they might need, all of the access to documents and online resources so that they only need to reach out to you for help when they're desperate. Delegating tasks and responsibilities will make your 'maternity leave' feel so much more peaceful!
- Stock the Kitchen: Make sure you have a plethora of healthy snacks and meals on hand! No one wants a hangry mama AND a hangry newborn. And yes, this definitely includes ENDLESS SUPPLIES OF ALMOND BUTTER. Personally, I could live off of avocado & almond butter toast alone. However, I also plan on prepping some smoothies in the freezer so I can easily throw everything in the blender, and I plan on leaning on some food love from friends and family in the form of homemade meals or giftcards. Oh, and our favorite thai takeout of course (Thai Cafe in Broad Ripple!).
- Clean/Organize Your Home Office: Before the baby comes, take time to go through those piles of mail on your desk, the stack of business cards, and the flagged emails. The key is to not have any loose ends floating around when the baby comes, because whether you realize it or not, those loose ends can create a sort of heaviness or burden on you when you don't tend to them. Take care of it now, and free yourself up. This might take you a few days, but trust me, it's worth it! It's also important to freshen up your home office space-- wipe it down, clear it off, simplify your organization systems-- this way, when you're ready to start working again you won't feel overwhelmed, but rather energized instead!
- Email: Create an 'away' message for your incoming mail that will direct senders to one of your staff, assistants, friends, etc. Somehow, make it clear that you're only available if the matter is very urgent because you're busy keeping a tiny human alive at the moment, thank you very much.
- Social Media: After bringing your little one into the world, you may find yourself scrolling through instagram and facebook a lot while breastfeeding or pumping. However, that does not mean that you have the mental capacity to post beautiful photos with witty captions on your business account. Do what you can to plan out your posts for the first two months postpartum so that you don't have to put any effort into that area, while still showing up for your followers. Also, they probably want to see a photo of your adorable squishy baby, so don't be afraid to post something personal too!
- There Will Always Be More: And when all of that is said and done, you will realize that there are still a million things that you weren't able to tackle on your to-do list before the baby came. And you know what? That's okay. The world will not fall apart because you forgot about the event you committed to attending, because you never answered that one email, because you Pinterest board isn't up to date. Let it go and focus on the new life in front of you. You can catch up on all of the things that you forgot to do once you have more energy again. The beautiful thing about entrepreneurship is that you get to make your life what you want it to be. You're in control of your time, your schedule, and your work-life balance. This is a season where life and motherhood will absolutely outweigh work, and that's okay. You're doing amazing things, and you should be proud. Don't allow the guilt of not working on your business sneak in, because right now, it's simply not invited. This is a sacred time for you and your family-- soak it in.
I hope that some of this advice could be helpful for you, in whatever season of motherhood and/or entrepreneurship you find yourself in! I'm an open book when it comes to life, business, and motherhood, so if you have any other questions, don't hesitate to ask! I'd love to hear what your absolute favorite baby gear is and what advice you might be able to give me as I prep for baby 2! Even though gone through life with a newborn once before, I haven't done it with a toddler crawling all over me and drumming on everything in the house-- so any tips would be welcome!