My daughter is going on five months now and it still feels like only a few days ago I was running around this house like a mad woman double and triple checking everything on my list before I was getting induced the next day. With my son my water broke prematurely so all I grabbed with me on our way to the hospital was underwear and a toothbrush because I was too busy calming my husband down who was freaking out thinking he was going to have to deliver our son in our living room. So the second time around I made sure I was prepared early, like six months early!
These are some of the things I made sure I had done before my due date, and believe me some of the things like preparing meals ahead you will thank yourself because even though you may be swollen and uncomfortable now you will not want to be cooking while you’re on 3 hours of sleep and just birthed a baby 48 hours ago!
15 Things To Do Before Baby Arrives
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1. Freezer Meals – When it get’s closer to your due date start preparing some good freezer friendly meals. I made sure to stock up the house on our grocery necessities and packed our freezer full of our favorite meals because the last thing you will want to be doing that first week is cooking. This gives you a break and more time to focus on your new little bundle of joy.
2. Bookmark Birth Announcements – Start browsing sites like Tiny Prints who offer adorable birth announcements. And bookmark the ones you like so that after the baby is born it’s one less thing you have to do.
3. Schedule Newborn Photos – It’s a lot easier to photograph a newborn that first week they’re born. Waiting a few weeks makes a big difference because they’re more alert and usually when you change poses or try to use different props they’re fussier because they want to be swaddled. So try to book an appointment with your photographer ahead of time to ensure that you’re able to get in a newborn session, most photographers are booked so far in advanced anyways!
4. Finish Nursery – Make sure all of the last minute touches are finished and all of the baby furniture is built. You want the room ready for the baby to use it as soon as you bring them home! Nothing like trying to build furniture or paint a room when you have a newborn!
5. Choose Your Babies Name – Some people know what they’re naming their child before they even find out their pregnant. If it was up to me baby naming would have been a lot easier if my husband would have just said his usual ‘ Whatever you want’ reply. So before we knew the sex of our baby we came up with a baby name brainstorming list that narrowed down our top 3 that we both agreed on. I included the list in with the printables included in this post!
6. Packing Your Hospital Bags – I started packing my hospital bags early and kept it in the car once it was packed. It’s a good idea to have a list that you can check off once you pack the item so you know nothing is left out and what’s already packed. I’ve included our hospital bag printable with all of your labor and delivery necessities in with this post!
7. Wash, Sort, Organize – After your baby shower I’m sure the nursery is filled with bags and bags of clothes. Start washing the clothes, blankets, and bedding with a gentle detergent. After everything is washed start sorting and organizing the clothes by size. Because your baby will be growing so fast it’s ideal to keep out a few sizes bigger so that you’re not constantly unpack and packing clothes away.
8. Schedule a Pedicure – Probably the most important tip is to take care of yourself. So take yourself out and get pampered. Because once that baby comes it’s going to be so hard to find time for yourself not only because your newborn is going to want you 24/7 but you’re not going to want to leave them! And your feet could use some attention considering you probably haven’t seen them for a few months!
9. Date Night – With how busy your husband and you are with preparing for your new baby you have to remember that besides becoming new parents you are husband and wife! And that date night isn’t going to come as often as it does before the baby arrives so get in those last few dinner dates and enjoy some alone time.
10. Sterilize Bottles and Breast Pump Supplies – Even if you don’t plan on pumping if you’re breast feeding it’s still a good idea to have a breast pump ready because labor is unpredictable. I was unable to breast feed my son with his birth defect so I pumped and with my daughter I had all intentions of fully breast feeding but she had high blood sugar so they ended up supplementing formula, after that she ended up having latching problems so I pumped. So start sterilizing everything now so they’re ready to use.
11. Big Brother/ Big Sister – If this is your second child don’t forget to show you’re oldest how important their role of being a big sibling is going to be. In my Promoted To Big Brother – Tips For Preparing Your Toddler post I went into detail about creating big brother/ big sister baskets, making a gift for the nursery, or a sibling celebration to help transition into your new larger family!
12. Finalize Plans for Other Children/ Pets – Contact your baby sitter or pet sitter and finalize everything to make sure you have someone to watch your child or pets on the day of labor.
13. Water Proof Your Bed and Car – I wish I would have done this with my first child because my water broke at 7 am while I was in bed! So the second time around I kept extra towels and blankets in the car and near our bed!
14. Install the Car Seat – A week or two before your due date read over the car seat manual and install it according to Safety Regulations.
15. Preregister with the Hospital – Unless you want to answer your families health history and search for insurance cards during labor make sure to preregister with your hospital. Most hospitals offer this and usually recommend it. It eliminates a lot of steps that you’ll have to do the day of labor.
And be sure to check out our Free 12 Month Onesie Printable Stickers that you can use to capture those monthly milestones!
Download Your Own Hospital Checklist & Baby Name Brainstorming PDF Here
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Katie @ Cup of Tea Blog says
Prepping freezer meals was key! We received quite a few meals post-delivery from friends, but once that ran it’s course, I was SO grateful I prepped meals ahead of time. Pinned!
So many good points! It is amazing what we learn after having 1 kid.
Alida ~TheRealisticMama~ says
Great list! Freeze meals are a must, we lived off of them and eggs for quite some time!
What a good list! The freezer meals is a must, especially if you have no family near by!
I totally agree with the freezer meals! After our first it wasn’t such a big deal and he was still so young that it wasn’t a huge deal after our second, but after my 3rd and 4th, I was so incredibly happy to have meals that didn’t take much effort on my part. Had I not done all the work earlier, my kids may not have eaten much those first several weeks.
Yona Williams says
I LOVE that hospital checklist…very helpful. I never would have thought about doing freezer meals, but that is such a smart idea, and I bet it comes in handy for everyone…and you can still eat healthy without relying on take out.
Louida (@MissLouMae) says
I wasn’t prepared with either one of my kids. And I wonder why I was a wreck! LOL! Thanks for the tips! I agree with everyone else that freezer meal is a must because you won’t have time to cook after the baby arrives.
I was super prepared for my first. He was 12 days late so I had been prepared longer then expected. With my second I was scheduled an induction but you always forget something.
I love the printable! I wish I came across this article before I had my girls. All these tips would have come in handy!
Joanna Sormunen says
Great to do list! And the tips are awesome for a first time mom! I really love the printable. I wish I had found this before I had my son.
Mama's Happy Hive says
This is SO helpful! I will bookmark for my second child. 🙂 Thanks for putting this together for us.
Very helpful list. I’d like to add towels and sound machine to the “mommy” list. I think the hospital towels are too small and hard (possibly from all the bleach), and if you are lucky enough to get any sleep, the last thing you want to hear is someone else’s baby crying and wake up thinking it’s your own. Also, there’s no need to hear anyone else’s labor screams!
we knew the names of the kids before they were born. It helped with the nursery..
Liz Mays says
Wow, you really have it all together here. This is a fantastic list to go by.
Danielle Stewart says
Wow I am sure this will be very helpful to new moms. I wish I had something like this when I had my son.
Kero Pinkihan (@Kero_P) says
great post for expectant parents. thank you for sharing. will pass this on to our neighbor who is due next month
Debbie Jean says
Freezer meals are a great suggestion! I had to have an emergency c-section last time and wished I had thought of that beforehand!
This list is super useful — I’m going to share it with my best friend who is due any day now
Dawn @ Pin-n-Tell says
Love the info you’ve provided. Anyone who is about to have a baby should def check out this list. I’m so sharing with my friends who are expecting 🙂
Elayna Fernandez (@thePositiveMOM_) says
I love your tips. I followed most of these, especially because we had a hypnobirth with a midwife and we were still at the hospital. I have a tradition to write an acrostic poem with the baby’s name with words that “predict” their talents, and I like to call the baby by her name when in the belly, so I have to have to have to pick a name as soon as I find out the gender. Taylor Bare AKA hubby was chuckling at me because I had a pedicure and I told him my toes were pretty much all the baby would see when coming to the world, so I wanted them to be extra pretty. LOL
Lexie Lane says
oh my gosh! I feel like a bad mother! I honestly did not do a single one of these! My baby came too early 🙂
Dana (@Prudentwisdom) says
Thanks for sharing on Blogger Brag Pinterest Party!
Such a comprehensive list! I love the free printables! I would say to start researching photographers far enough in advance as some of the good photographers book up quick!