Baby #4 Prep!

So how are we getting ready for the arrival of baby #4 in a couple of months?  Well, honestly, as far as the baby goes there isn’t much to do.  Since we cloth diaper, I already have all the diapers I need.  And since this is baby girl #4 goodness knows we don’t need anymore pink and purple outfits ;-).  Breastmilk will arrive when it’s time.  If there’s one thing I’ve discovered about babies over the last 5 years of much pregnancy, it’s that they don’t need much more than that.

But what DOES need to be done is preparing for the rest of the family to be able to continue functioning smoothly and happily while I’m taking time to bond with our new baby (and nursing every hour around the clock haha!).  And since I’ve learned that I do not do that crazy nesting like other women, I prefer to prepare now, before I get huge and uncomfortable, instead of waiting for that mythical nesting burst of energy.

Here’s how we family prep for baby #4:

  1. FOOD: This is the number 1 challenge post-partum.  Sam is a super hard worker and really picks up the slack in the kitchen.  But he doesn’t really like to cook, and he doesn’t feel comfortable cooking most things that don’t come with easy instructions (aka hamburger helper).  Last time around I was not prepared with enough easy meals set aside, so this time I am determined to be over prepared!  I have canned several rounds of beef stew, ham and beans, sloppy joe meat, and soups.  All he’ll have to do is pop the top off and warm up.  And the family will still be getting somewhat healthy, preservative free meals. I’ve frozen trays and trays of homemade “TV dinners” (check those out here: https://wp.me/p8t3Rv-u2) that will just need to be warmed in the oven.  I’m not too worried about breakfasts since we always have a big tub of oatmeal and plenty of eggs from our chickens.  I do think I will stock up on some pre-packaged snacks and probably some hamburger helper type meals as well.  I know how fast our family of five goes through food and I know that even when I get back to cooking, I’ll still want some easy meals for the rough days!

    Several quarts of ham and beans will make for some easy lunches postpartum
  2. DIAPERS: The cloth diapers make this cheap and simple.  The only thing I really need to do is buy a package of disposable newborn diapers for that first week.  I’ve already stocked up on size 5s for Annie.  I usually take a week or so off of cloth diapering when there’s a new baby and I’m recouping and bonding.  Plus newborns are so skinny minnie (at least ours are!) that even flat diapers don’t quite fit for the first week or so.
    We already have plenty of diapers! Just need to go through and reorganize a bit to prepare for two in cloth.

     

  3. BIG GIRL STATUS UPGRADE: Ivy and Myka have an idea of what’s coming soon, but little Annie will be just about to turn two when the baby arrives.  Over the next couple of months I will be working on encouraging Annie to see herself as a “big girl” now.  Letting her make more choices about clothes.  Moving her from her high chair to a seat at the kitchen table.  I’m not a psychologist, maybe this is all a waste of time, but I feel like celebrating and encouraging some more independence will make the transition into middle child seem more of a promotion than an unwanted shock.  But I do draw the line at the crib and playpen.  She’s keeping those for a while.  Two is still only two!

    Annie has been upgraded from the floor booster seat to the table. She’s pretty excited!
  4. BASEMENT SHOPPING: Of course, there’s the inevitable task of dragging a few things up from the creepy, old-house, dungeon basement.  And washing it.  Though, I’ve really discovered that babies don’t need much of anything.  So the plan is to dig out the bassinet, infant car seat (which is hopefully not expired, but I will have to check that!), a small bouncy seat, and the Tupperware of newborn clothes.
  5. BIRTH AND POSTPARTUM SUPPLIES: I’ve got a small list of items I need to pick up from the store for the midwife, but I’ve already collected most of it.  And I still have several unopened packages of stuff from last time around.  I did purchase a girdle/wrap for postpartum on Amazon.  I borrowed one last time from our midwife and it make a BIG difference in offsetting back pain and that general wet-noodle feeling you have in your super stretched out postpartum core.  Highly recommend getting yourself some support, even if it’s your first or eighth baby!  This is the one I purchased after a little bit of research (I know it say “C-Section recovery, but it’s also helpful for recovery after delivery in general), but still wanting to stay on a small budget (amazon affiliate link): https://amzn.to/2JD1YT5

That’s about it.  Not too much to get done…just a lot of waiting ahead!