By Barbara Collins-Myers
1. Organize your home before the baby arrives. Dealing with a new baby takes enough energy without having to sort through clutter. Start early! Many a baby has arrived much earlier than expected.
2. Buy a diaper bag with several compartments and keep it stocked with: blanket, extra outfit, diapers, wipes, ointment, snacks for Mom and feeding supplies.
3. Place containers filled with diapers, wipes and ointment around the house. You won't want to walk to the nursery every time your newborn needs to be changed.
4. Have a baby memory book, a baby how-to book and a notebook ready and accessible. You can fill-in, find out and make notes whenever you have a spare minute.
5. Plan on relaxing your housekeeping standards the first year after baby's arrival. Focus on the baby's and your needs. Aside from basic clothes washing and meals, the house can wait.
6. Develop a feeding "system." If nursing, have a small bag filled with the essentials: small pillow, blanket, bottle of water, cloth, which you can grab at a moment's notice when baby is hungry.
7. Make lists. It only takes a moment to jot down errands to run, items to buy and things to do. The next time someone offers to help, you'll know exactly what needs to be done (and maybe if they see the list, they'll help even more).
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