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Are you getting ready to welcome a new baby? Here’s a list of 40 things to do before your baby is born to help make the transition easier and help you prepare before baby comes.
With each of my pregnancies, I remember how excited I felt after getting a positive reading on the pregnancy test. I also remember feeling overwhelmed as I thought of everything that had to get done before the baby was due.
Obviously, there were a lot more things to do during the latter pregnancies but nonetheless the first one was particularly nerve racking because I had no idea what to expect. Along the way, I put together numerous lists of things I had to do before the baby arrived.
This is the list I wish I had. It is the ultimate list of 40 things to do before baby is born and will help you get ready so you can enjoy your baby and the precious time after the grand arrival.
40 things to do before baby is born and will help you prepare for a new baby
1.Start a Pregnancy Journal
Keeping a pregnancy journal will allow you to chronicle your pregnancy, record the important milestones as well as plan for the baby's arrival. You can use your journal to keep notes as you brainstorm baby names, design the nursery, interview pediatricians etc.
We've designed a pregnancy journal to help you get started. Simply download the planner, put it in a binder and you are good to go. The pregnancy journal includes a 9 month perpetual calendar to keep track of ultrasound appointments, pages for nursery design plans, baby registry lists and much more. Having a planner will ensure that you accomplish all the things to do before baby comes around.
2.Manage the Baby Registry
Though at first managing the baby registry looks like a piece of cake, you can get overwhelmed if you don't have a plan in place. From identifying the baby registry must-haves to picking the right place to register for baby gifts, it is important to start working on the baby registry early on.
We've put together the Ultimate Baby Registry List and it will be a wonderful resource as you pick your baby registry essentials. It's also one of my most popular posts.
3.Design Baby's Nursery
It's never too early to start planning and designing your baby's nursery. You'll have lots of decisions to make from picking the nursery styles to colors and fabrics. By starting your nursery design process early on, you can work on the nursery over time and fill the space with things you love.
4.Plan a Babymoon
Once your peanut gets here, it's going to be quite a while before the both of you can get away just by yourselves. So make planning and going on a fabulous baby-moon a priority.
5.Search and Register for Child Care Options
You may be surprised to hear that many of the best child care centers have long waiting lists. If you plan on going back to work after your maternity leave, choose a child care center and put your baby's name on the waiting list.
6.Take a Birthing Class
If it's your first pregnancy, sign up for birthing classes. It will help you and your partner get an understanding of what to expect when you go into labor and delivery. Talk to your doctor to find out what classes are offered in your area.
7.Tour the Maternity Ward
Most first time parents have a lot of anxiety as they think about the delivery and all that goes into it. Plan a tour of your hospital's maternity ward so you can familiarize yourself with the registration procedures as well as see the rooms and facilities. Often, just talking to the wonderful delivery nurses who deliver babies every day, will help put your mind at ease.
8.Pre-Register at the Hospital
The last thing you want to do after your water has broken or after the contractions have started, is to wait around until they get all your information into the hospital's computer system. Call the hospital and pre-register for delivery. Doing so will ensure that the hospital has all your insurance information and practitioner contact information when you arrive for delivery. Also, make sure to inquire about your insurance deductibles and make arrangements for payment if needed.
9.Schedule a Maternity Photo Shoot
Though many of us don't feel so great about our bodies during pregnancy, the bump is quite something and you should take some pictures to document your pregnancy. Finding a maternity photographer who you can be comfortable with is key to a great maternity photo shoot.
10.Book a Newborn Photo Shoot
Though your due date maybe month's away, look for a good newborn photographer and book a photo shoot. Decide on the kind of photo shoot you want and talk to the photographer about your ideas.
When you go to the hospital to deliver, the nurses will want the contact information of a pediatrician who you've chosen to provide care for your baby. Most often the pediatrician will visit the baby within 24 hours of delivery and do an examination of the baby.
Talk to your family and friends and get recommendations for pediatricians. It's always a good idea to meet and interview the doctors before picking a pediatrician that best aligns with your family's needs .You can download the pediatrician interview questionnaire here.
12.Buy nursing bras,tanks etc
You'll need to buy some clothes that are comfortable to wear when breastfeeding and caring for your little one. Nursing bras, nursing tanks, yoga pants and robes were some of my go to essentials during the early days.
13.Buy the remaining items on the baby registry list
After the baby shower, take an inventory of what you received as gifts and what's left on your baby registry list. It's time to come up with a plan to purchase whatever baby essentials you still need.
14.Wash Baby's Clothes
You've probably looked at the adorable baby clothes you've bought as well as received as gifts many times. Use a mild detergent and wash those clothes.
15.Organize Baby's Room
From folding baby's clothes and putting them away to getting the diapering station together, it's time to organize the baby's room.
16.Re-arrange the Master Bedroom
Have you decided where your baby is going to sleep once you've brought the baby home from the hospital? Often times, babies sleep in a bassinet in the parents room for the first few months at least. It makes feeding, changing and monitoring the baby so much easier.
If you've decided to keep the baby in your room, it's time to rearrange the master bedroom so you can make space for baby's little bassinet.
17.Make travel arrangements for family
If your family is planning on visiting for the baby's birth, talk to them early to figure out their plans and time commitments. Not only will you need to make arrangements for their stay with you but also whose going to pick them up from the airport and so forth.
Having family around during the first few weeks will be of immense help. You can count on them to keep the household running so you can devote your time to the baby and catch up on some sleep.
18.Install Baby's Car Seat
You'll need to get your baby's car seat installed. Once you've installed the car seat, have a certified technician inspect your baby's car seat and installation.
19.Pack the hospital bag
As your due date approaches, consider getting your hospital bag together. Don't forget to pack things for yourself, the dad and of course the baby.
20.Stock up the pantry
The last thing you'll want to do during the first few weeks is to go grocery shopping with the little one in tow.Stock up on groceries and make sure there's plenty of essentials, healthy snacks,etc on hand. You'll be surprised to find out how hungry you can get when you are breastfeeding.
21.Declutter the house
Once you have a baby, you start to accumulate so much stuff from baby clothes to baby toys. Declutter the house now and get rid of things that you don't need. It'll make things a lot manageable in the future.
22.Organize the home
You'll need to get good at time management when you become a parent. Having an organized home will allow you to manage your time efficiently. Start a filing system for your paper work, automate your bill payments, plan your meals in advance and start going to the grocery store just once a week.
23.Make freezer meals
If you are not going to have your mom or mother-in-law stay with you during the first few weeks after the baby's born, consider making some meals and freezing it. You'll be so tired and with so little sleep, cooking can get cumbersome during the first few weeks.
24.Get a haircut and a mani-pedi
As your due date quickly approaches, take some time off to get a haircut and pamper yourself.
25.Take an infant CPR class
If infant CPR was not covered during your birthing classes, then register for an infant CPR class. It will give you the confidence to take care of the baby should an unexpected event or emergency occur. The American Red Cross offers Pediatric CPR classes throughout the country.
26.Shop for post pregnancy clothes
After delivery, though your baby bump might be gone, it will take a little longer for your body to get back into your pre-pregnancy body. In the meantime though, you'll need some clothes that are comfortable and suitable for breastfeeding.
27.Plan some date nights
Once you've returned from your most awesome baby-moon, it's time to keep it going with some fun date nights.
28.Get as much sleep as you can
Sleep is such an elusive luxury once you become a parent. So, don't feel guilty, sleep in late and get as much sleep as you can now.
29.Invest in a good camera
If you don't have one already, invest in a good camera to capture all the sweet little moments that await your beautiful growing family.
30.Charge the camera batteries
You never really quite know when the baby is going to come. Make sure the camera always has a fully charged battery for when you go into labor.
31.Make a birth plan
There are so many decisions to be made during labor, it makes sense to go over the different options beforehand and have plan in place. From electing to go with an epidural to whose going to cut the umbilical cord, have a plan and make sure you talk to your doctor about the plan.
32.Pick baby's name
If you haven't already picked a name for your little munchkin, it's time to roll up those sleeves and get to work.
33.Choose birth announcements
Go through the different options for birth announcements and pick your favorite design. Once the baby's born and photographs are in, you can send the announcements to print.
34.Waterproof the car and bed
As your due date approaches, you might want to consider water proofing your car and bed. When your water breaks, you'll be well prepared.
35.Childcare arrangements for older kids
If you have older kids, you should have a childcare plan for when you are in delivery and at the hospital.
36.Buy big sister/big brother gift
Once again, if you've got older kids, get them something really special. Give them the gift either when they visit the baby at the hospital for the first time or when you take the baby home from the hospital. They'll really appreciate and remember this gesture for years to come.
37.Download useful baby apps
From apps to track feeding times, wet diapers and the amount of milk consumption- there are so many apps to make taking care of a baby a little easier. Download a few of those apps to help you along the way.
38.Talk to the Benefits Department
Do talk to the benefits department about adding a baby to your insurance policy and the procedures involved.
39.Research and Compare 529 College Saving Plans
It's never too early to learn about 529 college saving plans and what you can do to ensure your baby's future is secure. A 529 plan is a tax advantaged savings plan designed to encourage savings for future college costs. Once you've received your baby's social security number, you can enroll in a 529 college saving plan .
40.SET UP THE MUST HAVE STATIONS IN YOUR NURSERY
Set up these must have stations in the nursery for diapering, breastfeeding, pumping and for your postpartum recovery. Read the post below to find out how to set up each station with the essentials.
There are so many things to do before baby is born and I hope this list helps you plan for your baby's arrival.
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