Preparing for a baby is SO important as you head into life with a baby. The more preparation you can do BEFORE baby, the better. 🙂
Today’s guest is Carly Sachs from The Mamma’s List. Carly is a mom of two lovely ladies who is passionate about talking about the reality of motherhood. She blogs about making the transition to motherhood, parenting, awesome products, and staying sane at The Mamma’s List. She’s the creator of the Conquering Postpartum. baby prep course as well as The Breastfeeding Breakthrough Ebook. Her hope is that by sharing stories, tips, and tricks she’ll make new motherhood easier for the next round of moms. Connect with her on Facebook, Pinterest, or Instagram, or sign up for her newsletter!
Big thanks to our sponsor The Organized Home — bringing a new baby home makes having your life organized and simplified is SO important!
In this episode
Why it’s so important to prepare for baby in advance.
Setting up my baby’s space
Setting up automated deliveries
Setting up a nursing/diapering space
How to have friends help out
Things you need to have on hand for baby
Other things that might interest you
Producer: Drew Erickson
Check out my other household tips podcasts:
[00:00:00.130] – Hilary Erickson
Hey, guys, welcome back to the Pulling Curls Podcast. Today on Episode 125, we are talking about organizing for a baby, which I am 100% here for because it is not going to get easier when the baby is out. So let’s untangle it.
Hi, I’m Hilary Erickson, the Curly Head behind the Pulling Curls Podcast, where we untangle pregnancy, parenting, home and even travel. We know there’s no right answer for every family, but hopefully we can spark some ideas that will work for yours. Life’s tangled, just like my hair.
[00:00:45.790] – Hilary Erickson
Hey, guys, before we get started, leave a review and subscribe while you’re there, it totally helps you hear every single episode, so you’re not missing one. In case you don’t see me on social media, subscribe and leave a review review is totally out. Please leave a review.
[00:01:00.380] – Hilary Erickson
Okay. Today’s guest is the Mama behind the Mama’s List and all of its social media channels. She aims to prepare Moms for what postpartum is really going to look like. She actually has a course coming out called Conquering Postpartum, which I think is awesome. It’s all about just getting prepared for what life is going to look like after you have a baby. I want to introduce today’s guest Carly Sachs.
[00:01:22.750] – Hilary Erickson
Do you ever just feel like it’s unfair that some people can have company over at a moment’s notice their house is just super easy to clean up and they can relax on the couch with Netflix where you feel like you always have things to do around your house. That can totally be you.
[00:01:37.050] – Hilary Erickson
The organized home is all new in 2021. We’re talking about decluttering, zones, organization systems that actually work. We’ve got assignments and challenges. I hope you’ll join us. You can use coupon code UNTANGLED. Look for the Organized Home, link in the show notes.
[00:01:52.570] – Hilary Erickson
Carly, welcome to the Pulling Curls Podcast.
[00:01:54.820] – Carly Sachs
Thanks so much. I’m so excited to be here.
[00:01:57.230] – Hilary Erickson
Yeah. I think this is such a great topic because a I loved organizing before I had a baby. I think nesting is true and real, right?
[00:02:05.190] – Carly Sachs
Absolutely. And once it hits, it kicks in and you’re like, in a frenzy. So I think it’s important to kind of focus that effort as well.
[00:02:12.420] – Hilary Erickson
Yes. Organize the right things instead of the 600 times you fold their onesies.
[00:02:16.030] – Carly Sachs
[00:02:17.180] – Hilary Erickson
But also there’s so much that organizing can do for us, like make life easier after the baby comes, which is so important. I think I always forget that with every baby about how little I need to do after the baby comes.
[00:02:29.520] – Carly Sachs
Yeah. And I think that’s one of the biggest things that I try to remind moms to be that you really need to focus on life after as well. So many people focus on the prep and the getting there in the first and all that, which is so important. But your life totally changes every single time you add a new baby, not just the first baby. It could be baby two, three, whatever things really do change. So getting your life set up and organized for that transition is so important.
[00:02:53.450] – Hilary Erickson
Yeah. I remember thinking we needed new blinds or something in the nursery, and I was like, oh, we’ll just get that later. And then after I had the baby, I was like, Why did I think that I wasn’t going to do anything later?
[00:03:04.650] – Carly Sachs
Yeah, that’s totally true. Okay.
[00:03:07.290] – Hilary Erickson
Before we get started, we wanted to just quickly discuss FMLA paperwork, because if you’re pregnant and you have a job that offers you benefits like FMLA, then it’s so important to get started, like, wherever you are at, right?
[00:03:20.340] – Carly Sachs
Yes. So I think one of the things depending on your HR Department. Of course, the forms are going to be slightly different for your company, but the process is generally the same and that you would need to get your life forms, request your absence, et cetera. With your HR system, or whomever is in charge of your absence management at my company. We did that of 30 to 60 days. It had to be filed 30 to 60 days before the birth. That may change depending on the company.
[00:03:46.800] – Hilary Erickson
So that’s your due date. Like, that’s what you’re aiming for, right. Due date. Okay.
[00:03:50.420] – Carly Sachs
Yeah. Before your due date. And so they say the 30 days before because they want to make sure that the baby doesn’t come earlier and that you haven’t gotten your paperwork, et cetera. So it’s before the due date. And then depending on what your company’s policy are, there’ll be a few different forms you can fill out, and some you can actually even fill out before the baby arrives. So there’s usually an FMLA form for self. Sometimes there’s an FMLA bonding for baby. You’ll get like, an insurance paperwork to add the baby to your insurance.
[00:04:17.750] – Carly Sachs
And sometimes you’ll even have a parental leave document, if that’s applicable to your company or your organization and even short term disability. So if you’re going to be paid through short term disability, you can start that paperwork before. So I think that’s super important to just get all of that on the docket, reach out to your HR Department, or whomever would be processing that paperwork. So you’re not scrambling thinking, oh, my gosh. I’m going into labor. I really need to figure out how to get all this with the logistics of being out on leave and being paid and having my job held.
[00:04:47.530] – Hilary Erickson
Yes, I’ve seen women filling out. Well, a lot of them bring it to the hospital because I guess the doctor has to sign something saying they had the baby. So that’s always fun. And FYI. He signs that when you’re up and postpartum, they’re always like, right after birth. They’re like, I have a paper for you to sign and the doctor’s, like, Just enjoy the baby. I have to come tomorrow. We will see each other. I will sign it then, which is crazy.
[00:05:08.290] – Carly Sachs
I understand why we need to have paperwork, but the fact that we’re worried about bringing the paper to the hospital, but, yeah, it is part of the process. So making sure that you have the paperwork ready and stored in the right place so that you don’t forget it is really important.
[00:05:22.700] – Hilary Erickson
Yeah. I would definitely make a folder or whatever your system is that is just for that paperwork. And you may also have to put a bug in Dad’s ear also.
[00:05:30.960] – Hilary Erickson
[00:05:31.590] – Carly Sachs
Absolutely. And for me, for the baby’s paperwork. So again, a lot of these can’t be filled out before the baby arrives. So the pediatrician, if you have one for the baby, we’ll have to fill it out after the baby is born. I just stuck it in my diaper bag so that I didn’t forget it. Once you have that packed diaper bag, if that’s ready to go by the door, you’ve already got that covered and you’re not running out the door to your two day appointment thinking, oh, my gosh.
[00:05:54.490] – Carly Sachs
Did I grab the paper? Because that’s probably one of the last things on your mind.
[00:05:58.130] – Hilary Erickson
Oh, that’s super smart. Plus, if then like, I always brought my diaper back to the hospital, if it was there, the pediatrician could sign into the hospital if you were, like, on top of it, I guess.
[00:06:06.770] – Carly Sachs
Right. Absolutely. That could even happen then as well. Yeah.
[00:06:09.700] – Hilary Erickson
Okay. So let’s talk more about organizing your house. Let’s talk about just a few things that people can do to really get prepared at home.
[00:06:17.200] – Carly Sachs
Awesome. So one of the things that I think this isn’t exactly a physical space delivery, but it’s more about organizing your house and streamlining your household system. I think getting your automated delivery set up and totally ready for the baby is super important. So for us, that was like setting up all of our grocery ordering and recurring items. So, like, just toilet paper, paper goods, anything that was coming in an ongoing basis, really getting those places stocked, like in your house, we have extra toilet paper. We have extra all of the paper goods, et cetera.
[00:06:50.320] – Carly Sachs
Already, like in a stockpile, like in a pantry, having that stocked and then getting those online or anything that you have recurring set up was super important, because again, anything you think is going to happen after the baby that could go out the window, just depending on your delivery, depending on how you’re feeling. And then obviously, just with that huge change in your life, waiting for later isn’t usually the best option. So for us, getting the space set up and kind of stocked was really helpful.
[00:07:17.860] – Hilary Erickson
That’s such a good idea when I had a baby that wasn’t, like, even an option. I’m sad to say, but I definitely did a Costco run. So even if you’re not planning on getting the recurring purchases, although I totally would especially diapers and wipes. Oh, my gosh. That would have been so handy at least go to the store and do a stock up of, however you normally do it, right?
[00:07:35.120] – Carly Sachs
Yeah, absolutely. And so whether or not you do online. I mean, I think now, especially now, probably with the way things have changed and shifted online. There probably are more people getting that stock up and doing online delivery. But even if you’re not, whatever you have going, just make sure you have that space in your house stocked as much as you can. I know, depending on space, that can be challenging, but especially having diapers and wipes and any space that you have for things to stock up, getting that ready, doing Costco run or setting up an auto delivery, if that’s how you do things.
[00:08:05.450] – Hilary Erickson
Yeah. I just had a student in my class say everybody told us to only get one pack of newborn diapers, but we needed, like, seven packs. I was like, oh, that stinks. Do you have a recommendation about what I always said two packs of newborn and then one. What do you think?
[00:08:19.910] – Carly Sachs
So I was in the same situation with baby number one. We used newborn for, like, two months, and so I didn’t have enough. I don’t think you should prepare for that. I agree. I think you probably need at least two packs of newborns because if not, you can gift them. It’s not too much. It’s always something that you can gifting. I wouldn’t say how you’re measuring, because I think that those are wildly off, depending on what you would actually expect. I was supposed to have a seven pound baby and had a five pound baby, so that didn’t exactly translate for me, but at least two packs, maybe three.
[00:08:54.090] – Carly Sachs
I’m thinking you can read it and then get more as needed, but then definitely one. You’re not going to run out of size ones like it is shocking the number of diapers that you are going to need.
[00:09:03.020] – Hilary Erickson
Yeah, because those newborns come in like a pack of 40, which is like two days. I felt like, yes.
[00:09:09.550] – Carly Sachs
Who would have thought that you could go through a pack of diapers or 15 diapers in one day, but it’s totally possible and will happen.
[00:09:17.310] – Hilary Erickson
[00:09:18.110] – Carly Sachs
[00:09:18.570] – Hilary Erickson
What else should we be preparing?
[00:09:20.200] – Carly Sachs
So I love the idea of setting up a nursing station and a diaper changing station. So these are definitely not things you would have had in your house if you hadn’t had a baby before. But getting a space set up, I think, is really helpful and will ease coming home. So you’ll be spending a lot of time changing diapers and nursing, and you won’t always be in the same spot, and you hopefully won’t just be stuck in the baby’s nursery all the time. So having a diaper changing station on the floor of your house, which is literally can just be a small Caddy with some diapers wipe, diaper cream and like a mat having that in a separate location can be a huge help, especially if you’re a C section mom and you aren’t really moving around a lot.
[00:09:57.950] – Carly Sachs
You don’t want to be changing levels. Getting that set up before the baby comes is really helpful. And then the same thing for nursing, like if you’re planning to breastfeed, that’s going to happen everywhere, it’s going to happen for a lot of times in a lot of different locations. And so having water, a couple of extra breast pads, a snack available is really helpful as well.
[00:10:17.250] – Hilary Erickson
Yeah, I had always seen other people change their baby on the floor, but I had a fourth degree of pediat. Like there was no getting on the floor for me. I loved my changing table. I feel like that is an area of dispute on the Internet. Some people hate them and some people, but I love mine. Judge me.
[00:10:31.170] – Carly Sachs
No, we use the top of a dresser. We still use it at 18 months, and so yeah, I think we have that and we love it upstairs. I did get a mat, and when my baby was a newborn, I had a pack and play set up downstairs that I wasn’t running up and down the stairs all the time. But yeah, I definitely agree that elevation is key, and I don’t change the baby on the bed without a map. I know some people do it, but that’s a risk.
[00:10:55.360] – Carly Sachs
That is a risk waiting to happen.
[00:10:57.230] – Hilary Erickson
I hate laundry so much. Yeah, in case it’s your first rodeo, the baby could poop like everywhere all over your comforter. And you know how hard it is to wash your comforter people. So I even just had, like, I found him at Goodwill. Old mats from old other diaper bags that people just sent to Goodwill. And I had one in my room, one in the living room, one everywhere. So they’re super handy.
[00:11:20.200] – Carly Sachs
Yeah, the mat is clutch, especially in those early days, like you don’t even know what’s coming out. So yeah, making sure there’s a mat or something under there is pretty critical for managing laundry prep. Yeah.
[00:11:32.510] – Hilary Erickson
Okay. What else should we be organizing?
[00:11:34.360] – Carly Sachs
I would also organize all of anything that you can get from a cleaning standpoint and set up in advance cleaning. And I consider feeding ourselves as part of my household organizational schedule. So cleaning and meal prep. If you have someone who wants to gift you, this would be great. But setting up either laundry or cleaning services for that first month postpartum is super helpful. And then obviously doing any deep cleaning or any prep that you want to have your home before is really important. So like you mentioned earlier, you’re not going to get to it later.
[00:12:05.600] – Carly Sachs
Cleaning the inside of your windows. That is not going to happen. Those windows still like that first one postpartum. So doing any deep cleaning of your house and then setting up any recurring help that you can for us. It’s a great splurge, or anyone wants to gift you that. That’s awesome from your mom or mother in law. So we tried to get the house as clean as possible, and then we did prep freezer meals. I am not a freezer meal prepper, but having freezer meals available was really helpful, especially during the first six weeks when sleep schedules are just crazy.
[00:12:38.320] – Carly Sachs
Just doing a batch day of cooking, even if you’re like me and aren’t really into freezer meals and freezer meal prep, it’s just very helpful to have an emergency meal on one hand. And then if anybody offers to set up a meal train for you, that is lovely and wonderful. And to get that set up as early for those early days as well.
[00:12:55.010] – Hilary Erickson
Yes, so much. Actually, when people say they’re in early Labor, I’m like clean. That’s such a good way to get something done and to move your body, like get in there and do your tongue because you’re going to be on hands and knees. You’re opening up your hips like you’re shifting your hips in different ways. You’re probably grunting.
[00:13:12.340] – Carly Sachs
That’s a great idea.
[00:13:13.410] – Hilary Erickson
I never thought of that because it’ll get done again when they’re teenagers, right?
[00:13:19.920] – Carly Sachs
It’s certainly not happening the first month or two. You might as well do it now.
[00:13:24.700] – Hilary Erickson
Yeah. And you want that to be clean if, for some reason, I don’t know, you’re not supposed to take a bath. Although I was supposed to do, like, six baths in the tubs and my husband anyway, it’s so nice to have a clean bathroom because you’re injured. You want a clean space?
[00:13:39.520] – Carly Sachs
Yeah, well, we used our tub, too, for our baby. It was easier depending on the situation in your bathroom set up like our bathroom. And our bathtub was actually easier to fit in baby tub than the nursery. So we ended up using our master bath bathtub for the baby at first.
[00:13:56.400] – Hilary Erickson
[00:13:57.090] – Carly Sachs
[00:13:57.890] – Hilary Erickson
Yeah. And so just having it clean makes it so much better. Great early labor tip, everybody. Yeah, get in there, scrub it out. All right. Anything else people could be like having on their radar?
[00:14:06.640] – Carly Sachs
So I organized our medicine cabinet before, and I also got a few things for the baby. So like infant Tylenol motion and children’s Benadryl. Obviously, you’re not giving those immediately. When your baby comes home, you won’t need them. But 03:00 a.m. When your infants two months old is not a great time to realize you don’t have infants Tylenol. So I tell people to stock up on that. You might not need it for a few months. Hopefully you won’t and use your doctor’s discretion on that.
[00:14:31.790] – Carly Sachs
But even just the Benadryl, I had never thought about that. But having that on hand for when you start solid in case there’s an issue, I just like to have that stuff on hand and available. So getting the medicine cabinet kind of restocked and then anything that you can help streamline or systemize in terms of offloading, like household chores. So if you want to make a how to list on how to turn on the washer, how to load the laundry anything like what you typically how to organize the pantry, whatever it is when someone comes over and offers to help, it’s so much easier to be able to hand them a list of like, I would love it if you threw in a load of laundry.
[00:15:04.570] – Carly Sachs
This is how you do it because you don’t want to create more work for yourself by having to teach them how to go do the laundry. You want to be able to give people an opportunity to help you. And if they offer help, take them up on it and setting that up beforehand is really helpful.
[00:15:18.260] – Hilary Erickson
Oh, that’s such a good idea, because I think a lot of times I’m like, what can I do? Can I throw in a load of laundry and people just kind of, like, stare at me like my washing machine is so confusing, you’d never get it to start or something like that. So I love that idea of just putting a little because at first I was like to tell your husband how to do the laundry, but now it makes more sense if you had a friend come over.
[00:15:36.230] – Carly Sachs
Right. Hopefully your husband is doing the laundry frequently. But yeah, if you have somebody who else who offers because I find even my mother who’s here all the time will ask me, oh, well, how should I do this or how do you want this done? Because they want to be your friends and your in laws and relatives want to be the most helpful to you in that moment. And if you have to actually get up and then teach them how to do something, it’s less helpful to you.
[00:15:58.220] – Hilary Erickson
Yes, I love that. And I love the idea of just kind of streamlining all those different things because you don’t even know after the baby, you could be stuck at the hospital or all those kind of different things. So what a great thing to have if people are coming over to help and also people want to help like they really do. And so just thinking of things that people could come do anything from, like, meal prep or even just coming over and folding laundry with you so that you have another human being to talk to, just think of those things as you’re getting going.
[00:16:26.930] – Hilary Erickson
So that when somebody asks you’re not just like, blank face, big eyes, I don’t know.
[00:16:30.480] – Carly Sachs
Yeah. Because let’s be honest, you need help. Right? Like you do need help with something. And so having to figure out even in that moment sometimes is hard. So having that list of oh, I typically do these things every week, even if it’s like, oh, I need to dust the bedside table. I don’t know. Whatever you’re comfortable asking for. Help with, but I think it’s really helpful because the person asking does want to help you. They want to do something, but a lot of times they don’t know what to do.
[00:16:56.070] – Hilary Erickson
Yeah, this is awesome. I think people are going to be so much more prepared, and I think it’s so important. Obviously, you also need to take a prenatal class. But luckily, my class is pretty short and you could also clean while listening to my class if you really wanted to or fold laundry. I have to say folding baby clothes was one of my favorite things to do before I had a baby. I have no idea. I do not fold clothes now. I’m not very good at it.
[00:17:16.440] – Carly Sachs
But yeah, they’re so cute. I think that it makes you happy.
[00:17:20.660] – Hilary Erickson
Yeah. So get in there, get prepared so that life is easier after you have a baby. Also, visit Carly on the Mama list anywhere else they can find you.
[00:17:28.580] – Carly Sachs
Carly. I’m also on Instagram, Pinterest and Facebook, but yeah, the blog is the main place.
[00:17:34.070] – Hilary Erickson
Yeah, and so great organizing tips from Carly. I hope you guys will visit her there. Well, thanks for coming on, Carly.
[00:17:39.450] – Carly Sachs
Thanks so much for having me.
[00:17:41.060] – Hilary Erickson
I love this episode, you guys, because it’s so easy to just think miserable right now because you 100% are. I’m not saying that you’re not, but you can do things easier right now than you can when you’re hauling a tiny person around with you. For the most part, there are things that do get easier, like bending down and picking stuff up like that is easier. But you’re also not supposed to pick stuff up that’s super heavy after you have a baby. Anyway, getting prepared before you have a baby is so important, which is why I totally recommend my prenatal class, because when I went to go teach for my hospital, they again had like, everything’s just Sunshine and rainbows after you have a baby.
[00:18:14.970] – Hilary Erickson
As their postpartum section. Like, here are a few pads and you’ll do fine. And I was like, oh, no. And I put in two new sections. And then when I made my own prenatal class, I implemented those two sections. And people love how honest and real I am about what to expect after you have a baby. So check out the class. Check out Carly on the Mama’s List, and we’ll see you next time.
[00:18:35.300] – Hilary Erickson
Stay tuned for next week’s episode. If you’ve ever thought that your health insurance was too expensive, I’m going to show you a kind of an alternative. We’re going to talk about how it all works, so stay tuned for next Monday’s episode, for sure.
[00:18:46.440] – Hilary Erickson
Thanks so much for joining us on today’s episode. We know you have lots of options for your ears, and we are glad that you chose us. We drop episodes weekly, and until next time, we hope you have a tangle free day.