With nearly 4 million babies born in America every year, you can bet plenty of new mommies are wondering how best to use their time during maternity leave.
Here are 15 unique ideas of what to do on maternity leave to help you fully experience the joy of this short, and wonderful time.
1. Get Photos Taken
Oh, those sweet little newborns only last so long. They look different with every passing day. Don't let that newborn face pass you by.
Be sure to arrange newborn photos or a family photo session during your time off.
2. Order Vital Records
Sometimes new mommas forget to order their baby's vital records during the chaos of bringing a new baby home.
Maternity leave is the perfect time to order copies of the baby's birth certificate and social security card.
3. Eat Yummy Food
Mom, that baby belly will disappear. You'll return to a regular workout routine. Maternity leave is the time to boost your milk supply and enjoy a hearty meal.
4. Start a Baby Book
Create a baby book. Include photos, the birth story, and any other items you want the baby to see when he or she is older.
5. Join a Parenting Group
Finding mommy friends or other new parents to talk with will bring insight and comfort to your new life.
6. Develop a Sleep Schedule
Newborns have no set sleep schedule. But, towards the end of your maternity leave, you should be able to start seeing signs of a routine. Help baby and yourself by sticking to a regular routine.
7. Nail Down a Care Plan
If you're heading back to work, maternity leave is the perfect time to find a high-quality caregiver.
8. Accept the Lack of Control - Hire a Parenting Coach!
You've had a baby. Welcome to a whole new life. Things will never be the same again. The sooner you accept the new lack of total control, the better off you'll be. Schedule a free 15-min consultation with our Wunder parent coaches!
9. Pump Extra Milk
If you've decided to breastfeed, maternity leave is the perfect time to pump a little extra milk. Especially if you're planning to return to work full-time and need to leave the baby with a caregiver.
10. Nap, Nap, Nap
Honestly, this can't be overstated. Every single chance you get to enjoy some extra shut-eye, TAKE IT.
Babies don't keep and neither will you if you don't sleep while you can.
11. Take it Easy
Doctors often recommend no strenuous exercise for 6 weeks after delivery. So, take it easy with light walks or doctor-approved exercise.
12. Scope the Parks
In the coming days, you may spend lots of time at the local park. Find the best ones where fellow mommies and babies might gather.
13. Pamper Yourself
You just popped a baby out. It's time to "treat yo-self." Get your hair done. Eat dessert. Buy some new clothes. Whatever makes you happy.
Work and tantrums and sleep-loss are coming...
14. Plan a Pumping Routine
If you're planning to pump at work, gather your goods. Get your pumping bag and supplies ready so you can store milk away from home.
15. Make Some (More) Freezer Meals
You probably did this before the baby came. But if you're wondering what to do on maternity leave, making freezer meals for your return to work will be a lifesaver. It'll also leave you more time after work to enjoy newborn cuddles.
Still Not Sure What to Do on Maternity Leave?
Don't stress, mama! As long as you've stayed in touch with work and hammered out details, just take this time to enjoy being home with the baby.
If you're planning to continue work from home after the baby comes, read our tips for new moms working remotely.