If you didn’t know, I am a big-time planner. I like to know what to expect and I like to be prepared. Of course, I can’t really know what to expect when it comes to birth or raising a newborn since I’ve never done it, but I can read up on it and ask other ladies all the questions. One thing I can do for sure is try to be as prepared as possible when it comes to things to do before baby arrives.
As I’ve entered the third trimester, sleep has become harder and harder. Because of my giant tummy? Yes. But also because I can’t seem to turn my mind off. It runs a mile a minute about everything from the nursery to getting a carseat to freezer meals. I lay awake at night thinking of all the things that need to get done in the next two months and it’s overwhelming. That’s why I’ve been creating a list. Every time I think of something or get some sort of advice in this area, it goes on the list. That way I know it’s there, I know I need to do it, and I don’t have to lay awake thinking about it!
This is the list I’ve prepared for myself of things to do before baby arrives. I’d love to hear what you think needs added to my list, or perhaps if there are things on here I shouldn’t worry about. Give me your wisdom, mamas!
Things to Do Before Baby Arrives
Create one or update your will — If anything were to happen to mama and daddy, who is responsible for taking care of baby?
Paint and/or decorate the nursery — This is a fun one!
Buy any necessary items that you have to have at baby’s arrival — Carseat is number one since you need it to get baby home, a place for baby to sleep is important whether it be a bassinet, crib, or pack-n-play. Diapers and wipes are also a must! It’s a great time to review your registry after a shower and see what you still need.
Install the carseat — Make sure you do this correctly. In fact, it’s a good idea to get a lesson from someone. I’ve heard you can go to your local police station and they will teach you how to install it properly.
Take an infant CPR class — This is something we both really want to do before our baby girl arrives. After reading my friend’s blog post with a very scary encounter where they almost lost their 3-year-old to drowning, I added this to my list right away.
Write and send thank you cards — Whether you had a shower or not, you probably got some gifts along the way. Be sure to write thank you cards to those who got you something for baby. Even just a quick note can mean a lot and show your appreciation.
Take a birthing class — I cannot wait to do this. I’m feeling so anxious about labor and delivery, so I’m really looking forward to going to a birthing class and learning more about what to expect and what my options are. I think it will ease a lot of the anxiety that comes with the unknown.
Take a breastfeeding class — If you plan to breastfeed and it’s your first time, you probably have no idea what you’re doing. I know I don’t! And I’ve heard it’s not as easy as some make it out to be. I plan to take a breastfeeding class from a lactation consultant so I can learn all the best tips and tricks for this feeding method. I’m also planning to go to some La Leche League meetings, so we’ll see what those are like — but I’ve heard great reviews!
Clean your house — Now is the time to deep clean and reorganize. It will probably be instinct to do so thanks to nesting anyway. I already reorganized our kitchen pantry. And I know I’ll want to clean all the floors really well before she arrives (even though it will be awhile before she can crawl!)
Wash baby clothes — I read that you should do this, and I thought, “Really? Is that necessary?” So I asked a bunch of my friends who are mamas what they did. All of them said they washed their baby clothes before baby wore them and they all used a baby detergent or a free and clear detergent. This is to protect baby’s fragile and sensitive skin. We plan on using the same detergent for everyone in the house, so we’ll see what I end up buying. I don’t plan to wash ALL her clothes that I own yet, but definitely the newborn and 0-3 month sizes so they are ready for her.
Make freezer meals — A lot of women like to get ahead on meals so they don’t have to do as much cooking when they are completely sleep-deprieved. Sounds like a smart idea to me! Find some great freezer meals to make, set aside a day to cook away, and then load your freezer so you’re ready.
Stock up on products — Buy a few extra essentials like shampoo, soap, toothpaste, canned goods — whatever you know you will need and will probably run out of once baby arrives. This way you are stocked up and don’t have to make a store run with a newborn in tow.
Anchor large furniture to the walls — Did you see that video recently of the twin boys playing in their room? The dresser fell over on top of one of them. It is such a scary video. I could hardly watch it. It wasn’t until I saw that video, though, that I realized how important it is to anchor furniture! I most definitely want to make sure all our dressers, bookshelves, or other large furniture is anchored to the walls before our baby starts crawling. By the way, in case you didn’t see the video the little boy was OK and his brother pushed the dresser off of him.
Baby proof your house — Furniture’s not the only dangerous thing in your house. It’s time to baby proof everything from outlets to cabinet doors to sharp corners of tables or other furniture.
Make a birth playlist — I made sure it was allowed for me to play music in my hospital room during labor and delivery, and now that I got the OK I plan to make a birthing playlist. I’m not sure yet if I want upbeat music or more calming music. I may make two so I have both options depending on what’s going on and how I’m feeling. I think having my own music going in the background is going to help me through all that pain. I like the idea of worship music playing while our daughter comes into the world.
Pack a hospital bag — When it gets even closer to your due date, it’s time to pack a hospital bag. I honestly think this is going to be so exciting! Pack your essentials for the hospital and keep a bag by the door or maybe already in your car.
Recruit help — Whether it be your husband, your mom, your mother-in-law, a sister, or a friend, have someone available to help you through what is about to be some major changes. My mom is coming to stay with us at first so she can help with whatever is needed. My husband will be taking paternity leave once my mom leaves. We are doing it this way so that I don’t have tons of help and then everyone goes back to work and I’m left totally overwhelmed. My mother-in-law is also planning to come at some point to help too. I love the idea of having someone there to help with cooking or laundry or rocking the baby so I can rest. Plus, I know I’m going to have a ton of questions so having some moms there to help is going to be so nice!
Make your wishes known — Some women would love for every family member to come to the hospital and welcome the baby, while others would rather everyone stay home and let her rest. Some people welcome visitors right away, and others would rather you wait until you are invited. Whatever it is that you prefer, make your wishes known. Let people know they are welcome to come see the baby, or let people know you’d like them to hold off for a couple weeks. If folks know beforehand, they are more likely to comply with what you want.
What would you add to this list of things to do before baby arrives? Is there anything you don’t think needs to get done?