This post about my dream career was sponsored by AT-A-GLANCE as part of an Influencer Activation for Influence Central and all opinions expressed in my post are my own.

The best ways to prepare for your new baby!

When I ‘spilled the beans’ and told my girlfriends I was pregnant and due in April, they all assumed I had everything figured out. I heard lots of “oh I bet you’re so organized with everything”, “I’m sure you’ve already heard about x, y or z”, or “you’ve probably already done x a while ago”. Well, NO for the record I haven’t done any of those things yet and my head was officially spinning! Since this is my first pregnancy I had (read: STILL have) no clue what I’m doing or what I should be doing.

I decided early on that I wanted to make the most of my pregnancy time and get as much done as possible. And I’m not just talking about baby stuff. This includes non baby related projects that I want to get done around the house (arrr …. getting blinds for the home we’ve lived in for over 2 years). You know those projects that unfinished drive you crazy, but you just haven’t carved out time to complete yet. While I know I keep busy NOW, but I had NO idea what life was going to be like come April with a new baby boy joining the family. So no time like the present (or the next 9 months)…..

The best ways to prepare for your new baby!

How I Prepared for Our Baby!

Baby List

The very first thing I did was create a master list of everything that needed to be done before the baby arrives. Since I wasn’t really sure WHAT needed to be done, I spent the first month asking my friends lots of questions, reading books, and … well Googling. I complied over 100 things that needed to be accomplished before April. I know I know. That sounds CRAZY. While over 100 things to do does sound a bit nutty, I made the list extremely granular to help me take action on it.

For example, instead of just listing ‘baby announcements’ as a to-do item, I broke it down further – 1) make a list of everyone we want to send baby announcements to, 2) get addresses of everyone, 3) find a announcement design that I like. While breaking down an action item into smaller items adds a lot more to-dos, it also makes it much more ACTIONABLE.

If you need some help coming up with your list, check out my Top 10 Unique Things to Do Before You’re Due to get the ideas flowing.

The best ways to prepare for your new baby!

Home Projects

I spent a good two hours walking through each inch of our townhouse one weekend writing down every project I would like to get done (if time were no object). In a way it was kind of a ‘dream list’. Once completed, I reduced down the list to the realistic projects that were important to complete. This ended up being about half the items on the list to get done before the baby arrived.

Calendar 

Now that the to-do lists were complete (or work in progress) I moved everything over to my calendar. I’m a pen and paper gal, especially when it comes to huge projects (did I just call having a baby that?? Well, you know what I mean, right?!). Incorporating my baby tasks in to my AT-A-GLANCE calendars made perfect sense. I simply denoting baby oriented events and tasks in a blue pen.

I took my baby list & home projects list and designated a specific month that I will commit to accomplishing each task. This alone made me feel SO much less stressed. Huge to-do lists are great and all, but then you’ve got to get the work done. Keep in mind that in the 3rd trimester you may be less mobile AND you have no control over your due date! My goal is to have everything accomplished 1 month prior to my due date. This leaves me a little wiggle room for last minute odds & ends in case the baby arrives early.

Here’s how I organize my calendars ….

The best ways to prepare for your new baby!

Weekly calendar

  • Tracking how far along I am by weeks
  • Details on doctors appointments, baby showers, & baby classes
  • Find available slots of time to complete items on my master to do list (making a calendar appointment helps me get the work done!)
  • List of questions to ask my doctor in the Notes section for the week of the appointment

Monthly calendar

  • Vacations
  • Doctor appointments & classes
  • Tracking how far along I am by weeks
  • Due date!
  • Family & friends visiting

Suggestions

In the back of my planner, I keep a list of baby product suggestions I receive from friends. Until a friend mentioned to me, I never heard of Boppy, FridaBaby, or Bumbo before!

The best ways to prepare for your new baby!

The best ways to prepare for your new baby!

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The best way to prepare for your first baby!

 

 

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This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #FormulaForHappiness #GerberTarget #CollectiveBias

I would have NEVER thought to do #4 before I was due! Good list of things to do before I have my baby.

Expecting a baby??? Then you know there’s a LOT of preparation needed! You’ve likely gotten all the fun stuff done (picking out adorable baby clothes, having your showers). You’d done all the practical tasks (putting together the crib, installing the car seat). Now here’s some things you might not have thought of yet.

I reached out to my most organized mommy friends to get their most surprising tips on what to-do before you’re DUE!

1 If you’ll be bottle feeding (or find out that you’re unable to breastfeed), make sure you stock up! Gerber® Good Start® Gentle Stage 1 Infant Formula is made for baby tummies (from birth to 12 months old) and is modeled after the gentleness and nutrition of breastmilk. More and more moms are looking for foods with non-GMO ingredients and Gerber® listened! Their Gerber® Good Start®
Formulas are all made with non-GMO sources. Plus a well fed baby is a comfortable baby, and that means everyone is happy, including mom 🙂 . Gerber sent me some samples to have on hand, but you can stock up at your local Target! Here is a CARTWHEEL offer you can use from 9/4 – 9/17.

2 Prep lots and lots of frozen meals. Dedicate a day to make lots & lots of meals. Even if you’re not a huge fan of frozen food, you’llappreciate having ready made meals available. My sister would bring over frozen breakfast sandwiches to all her new mommy friends. Mom and dad can now have a nice hot breakfast EASILY!

3 A clean car is appreciated any day of the week, but you’ll REALLY appreciate having your car cleaned out BEFORE you little baby arrives. Instead of cringing every time you put your baby in a car seat of a clean car, you can be patting yourself on your back that you planned ahead and finally cleaned out the car!

4 You’ve probably stocked up on more diapers than you could have imagined, but what about all the non-baby items you need around thehouse? It’s a great time to stock up on as many of those day to day non-perishable supplies as you have room for. Think toilet paper, detergent, dog food, cleaning supplies. The last thing you want to be doing is making trips to the grocery store for ONE item.

I would have NEVER thought to do #4 before I was due! Good list of things to do before I have my baby.

5 Some of you may have already begun to think about what you want your baby announcements to look like. You’re one step ahead! But what about making a list of WHO to send those announcements to? And extra points if you start collecting home addresses now! Remember how annoying it was to collect these for wedding invitations? You definitely don’t want to be hunting down addresses in between baby feedings!

6 While you’re deciding what to pack in your hospital bag, make sure to think about any arrangements that you’ll need at your home while you’re at the hospital. Do you have a dog a home that will need to be taken care of? Other kiddos? It’s wise to have a couple of friends / sitters available since you’re likely not going to know EXACTLY when you’re going to need them!

7 Are there any upcoming birthdays that you’ll need to shop for? Will Christmas be approaching shortly after your due date? Buying AND wrapping those gifts NOW will take a lot of pressure & stress off of shopping with your new little one. (Do you notice the theme of not wanting to shop with a little one?) 

I would have NEVER thought to do #4 before I was due! Good list of things to do before I have my baby.

8 Decide if/how you want to document your baby’s growth. It’s always fun to see the pictures of babies each month as they’re getting bigger & bigger! Taking time to decide where and how you want those pictures to look is not only fun pre-baby project, but you’ll have more time to come up with creative ideas!

9 Pre-register at the hospital. No one likes paperwork, especially when you’re about to go into labor. Most hospitals allow you to pre-register all your medical information & insurance paperwork. Then when it’s time to go, you’ll only need to fill out a couple forms to get checked in. Call your hospital or ask your doctor what their process is!

10 Make sure you have comfortable clothing for after the baby is born. This might not seem too fun because when you’re pregnant, nothing seems comfortable, but you’ll be thanking yourself after the baby is born! The rule of thumb is clothing that fit you at 6 months pregnant will be your best bet immediately post delivery.

I would have NEVER thought to do #4 before I was due! Good list of things to do before I have my baby.

What’s your best ‘to do before you’re due’ tip?

 

 

 

I would have NEVER thought to do #4 before I was due! Good list of things to do before I have my baby.

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Any time I ask my mother-to-be girlfriends what I can buy for their little ones, diapers are ALWAYS on the top of the list. Although I love a practical gift, it’s not exactly as fun to shop for as say … little girls outfits, right? For me, the practical side always wins and I’m off to the store to buy diapers 🙂 . Never wanting to miss an opportunity for a DIY, my girlfriends get their diapers with a side of an adorable baby shower decoration. I’ve been making these diaper cakes since my first girlfriend had a baby (BEFORE the days of searching Pinterest for instructions!), so I was ecstatic to partner with Pampers to show you my modern twist on the classic baby shower diaper cake!

The diaper cake is a classic staple at any baby shower. Step it up a notch with this modern sophisticated twist on the classic for your next shower!

Pampers is offering big savings in this Sunday’s paper, with two high value coupons. Get your scissors out because there will be a coupon offer for $3 off two bags, or one box, of Pampers Diapers OR Training Pants in the P&G newspaper insert. Additionally, there will also be a coupon for $1 off Pampers Splashers Swim Diapers. These coupons are good at any mass, discount or grocery stores where Pampers Diapers and Training Pants are sold.

Supplies for the Diaper Cake

  • 1 large package of about 60 Pampers diapers size 3 or above (Pampers Swaddlers are recommended – because they are white)
  • Bag of rubber bands, assorted sizes (or about 60 small, 6 large)
  • One bottle of Champagne (this will be the base of the cake AND an awesome surprise for mom & dad!)
  • Ribbon at least 1 in. wide to go around each of the three layers
  • Scotch tape
  • Stapler
  • Decorations for on top of the cake (I opted for my easy to make coffee filter flowers)

The diaper cake is a classic staple at any baby shower. Step it up a notch with this modern sophisticated twist on the classic for your next shower!

The first step is to start rolling your diapers. If you purchase plain white diapers (Pampers Swaddlers are a great all white option), then simply roll the diapers front to back using a rubber band to tightly secure in the middle. Since I didn’t have all white diapers (I used Pampers Baby Dry), I rolled them inside out to hide the design on the outside of the diaper. You’ll want the rubber band secured tightly in the middle so that the whole cake will have a uniform look. I used about 50 diapers total on this cake.

The diaper cake is a classic staple at any baby shower. Step it up a notch with this modern sophisticated twist on the classic for your next shower!

Take about 9 of the rolled diapers and stand them up in a ring around the Champagne bottle. You may need a couple more or less diapers depending on the size of your diapers & champagne bottle. Put a large rubber band around this first ring so that the diapers hug the Champagne bottle. Do the same exercise a second time, making a second larger ring of diapers around the bottle. I used 14 diapers for my second ring. Secure with a large rubber band.

The diaper cake is a classic staple at any baby shower. Step it up a notch with this modern sophisticated twist on the classic for your next shower!

Now that you’ve got the base of your cake done, we’re going to do the same thing for the second layer.  My second layer used 9 diapers. Again, secure the entire ring with a large rubber band.

The diaper cake is a classic staple at any baby shower. Step it up a notch with this modern sophisticated twist on the classic for your next shower!

My second layer of diapers started to cave inward following the shape of the bottle. To help make the diapers stand up straight, I padded the sides of the bottle with a couple non-rubber banded diapers. It made a huge difference on my second layer.

The diaper cake is a classic staple at any baby shower. Step it up a notch with this modern sophisticated twist on the classic for your next shower!

Finish off with the top layer. Mine took 5 diapers. As you’re completing each layer, ensure that your large rubber band is in the middle of the diapers. That way when we place the ribbon around the diapers it will hide the rubber band easily.

The diaper cake is a classic staple at any baby shower. Step it up a notch with this modern sophisticated twist on the classic for your next shower!

Once your cake is complete, it’s time to decorate! Since I was aiming for a clean sophisticated look, I kept it simple with just two strands of ribbon per cake tier. Each ribbon should be 1 inch longer than the circumference of the tier. The key to making the ribbons have a really clean look is to ensure that they’re smooth and unwrinkled. Using a towel as a buffer, I quickly ironed each of my ribbon strands to smooth them out.

The diaper cake is a classic staple at any baby shower. Step it up a notch with this modern sophisticated twist on the classic for your next shower!

To secure the ribbon around each cake tier, you could use glue to make it look seamless on the back. That seemed a little too messy & complicated for me, so I opted for the easy way: paper clips for the large ribbon and scotch tape for the narrow ribbon. The key is to pull the ribbon tight BEFORE paper clipping / taping the ribbon ends together to ensure it stays put. Another benefit of this method is that the diapers don’t have glue on them when they actually get used!

The diaper cake is a classic staple at any baby shower. Step it up a notch with this modern sophisticated twist on the classic for your next shower!

I opted to decorate the cake with flowers for a elegant touch. To make these flowers, you can follow my coffee filter flower guide. Yes, those are actually coffee filters!

The diaper cake is a classic staple at any baby shower. Step it up a notch with this modern sophisticated twist on the classic for your next shower!

Visit www.pampers.com to learn more about Pampers products, join the Pampers Rewards program, and find ideas and information to help your baby get the most out of love, sleep and play! Check out Pampers social media channels:

Facebook https://www.facebook.com/Pampers
Twitter https://twitter.com/Pampers
YouTube https://www.youtube.com/Pampers

The diaper cake is a classic staple at any baby shower. Step it up a notch with this modern sophisticated twist on the classic for your next shower!

May you be able to give the mother to be a ‘practical but fun’ baby gift!

The diaper cake is a classic staple at any baby shower. Step it up a notch with this modern sophisticated twist on the classic for your next shower!

 

 

 

The diaper cake is a classic staple at any baby shower. Step it up a notch with this modern sophisticated twist on the classic for your next shower!

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