We still have about 5 months until baby Whitaker makes her debut, but we've already started preparing for when she is here. I'm not just talking about getting all the things she will need. We've also started talking about how we are going to keep our heads on straight and make sure she is happy and healthy. These may not work for everyone and they may not even work for us, but hopefully these will help any other new moms-to-be out there start thinking about their own Formula for Happiness.
Make a plan of attack
I read this great article the other day about how two new parents never really talked about how they would handle the middle of the night feedings. They both just assumed that every night they would both wake up for feedings so they could be together as a family spending time with their new baby. They quickly realized it was crazy to have both of them awake all the time and their relationship was suffering because of it. They needed to sit down and talk about how they would handle it.
Chris and I have already had this conversation. I am a night owl (though I might fool you these days) and am typically up a few times a night, pregnant or not. I have no problem getting up and then going back to sleep after I've used the bathroom or had a snack. About 4 am is when I really starting getting my "good" sleep and I am not a morning person at all. Chris sleeps soundly through the night and it is usually me nudging him awake to get up and turn off his alarm at some ungodly hour like 5:30 am. He is much more of morning person. We've already decided that I will do the overnight feedings and he will get up with her in the morning so that I can get my "good" sleep. I'm sure this will take some adjusting when the little one gets here but we've talked about it and have a loose plan that will be a good starting point for us.
Don't be afraid to ask for help
I am not one to ask for help but I know I'm going to need it when the baby comes. Problem is, I am terrible at asking for help. That's why I've started asking for help now, with the hope that this will make asking for help easier for me when the baby comes. Practice makes perfect right?
Realize you're already not in control
This is probably the best piece of advice I've been given so far and it's been great to keep in the back of my mind as we start preparing. No matter how much I try to prepare, carefully choosing which bouncer or type of bottle to register for, it's not really my decision. This little babe will get here and may hate a bouncer and we may have to try dozens (lets hope not!) of different bottles and nipples before we find one she likes. Realizing this now has really helped take the stress off while registering and trying to make the seemingly endless decisions that already need to be made.
Try to get as much sleep as possible
Now I know you're all probably thinking "yeah, right!" and "easier said than done!" but hear me out. I think it is important to start thinking about how you are going to do this when baby gets here. I already mentioned that we have a plan of attack as to who does what but there are also some other things we are doing now. First off, I'm reading a lot of different books to get an idea of the strategies out there. I may or may not agree with all the things I am reading but this makes me feel more prepared with an arsenal of options to try when baby gets here.
To all the new and veteran mommies out there - What is your formula for happiness? What other things should we start doing now to prepare for a happy and healthy baby?