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Are you newly pregnant and you don’t even know where to begin with preparing for your baby? Here is an amazing list of things to do before baby is born… Trust me, you’ll thank me for it.
Congratulations, mama! You got a positive on your pregnancy stick! Now is the time to start preparing for your little baby’s arrival. You’re probably thinking to yourself – I have so much time. Why should I be preparing now?
Trust me, mama. It’s never too early to prepare for a baby!
Unfortunately for me, I was not able to paint and decorate our little guy’s baby room, we were in the middle of a PCS move. We did, however, make sure that we had everything we needed for little James’ arrival.
That way when we were moved into our new home we had everything covered and could move in smoothly!
I want to make sure that you are as prepared as you can be with little baby is born! Now let’s get to your checklist – you’ll want to make sure you pin this post as a reference for later. You know, sometimes mommy brain can make you forget things haha.
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Things to Do Before Baby Is Born
Are you ready to be prepared for that precious baby in your belly? I know I couldn’t wait to get started!
1. Make your first prenatal appointment
FIrst things first, you will need to call your doctor and confirm your pregnancy. Once you do so you will be referred to an OBGYN and your first prenatal appointment is generally scheduled within the first 10 weeks.
From my experience, they use a vaginal ultrasound to determine the gestation of your pregnancy. They will give you an estimate date of delivery once they’ve determined how far along you are.
2. Set up a baby registry
This was one of my favorite things about being pregnant – creating the baby registry! If you’re on the fence on where you want to register, I do recommend Amazon. My first baby registry was on Babies-R-Us but they closed unfortunately.
Target has a registry too but I love all of the perks of registering with Amazon. You get all of the perks of Prime and a free gift box when you register! One more amazing thing about Amazon, they have amazing deals when you subscribe to their diapers and wipes subscription.
Not a prime member yet? Learn about the perks here – I LOVE the free 2-day shipping!
3. Come up with your birth plan
If this is your first birth plan, let me explain what a birth plan is. A birth plan is a document that shares how you wish your labor and delivery will happen.
An example of a birth plan would be an unmedicated vaginal birth or a scheduled induction or c-section. My first pregnancy wasn’t how I wanted it to take place at all, I ended up leaking amniotic fluid and needed to be induced. My second pregnancy became a scheduled induction due to my baby not thriving (I had a high-risk pregnancy).
Just remember birth can be unpredictable – try to be as flexible as you can.
You May Also Like: 16 Powerful Birth Affirmations + Free Printables
4. Prepare your baby’s sleep station
Let’s determine where your baby is going to sleep. Are they going to be in a bassinet or play yard in your room? Are they going to be in a dock-a-tot with you? Whichever route you choose, just ensure that you take the proper precautions.
Whichever you choose, make sure you have everything sufficiently put together and have all of the important essentials like diapers, wipes, burp cloths, and clothes nearby.
The most important step is to make sure that your baby’s sleep area is safe and free from cords, curtains, etc. These things can easily tangle or cover your baby when they sleep.
5. Pick your Pediatrician
This is honestly one of the hardest decisions you will face before having your baby. You’ll have to determine which Pediatrician you want your baby to see and whether or not your insurance will cover the visits.
I have been fortunate to have an amazing Pediatrician with our second baby. He listened to every question and fear I had, did his due diligence.
If you however find that you do not like your child’s Pediatrician that is perfectly fine, seek out another until you find the perfect match for your family.
6. Invest in a crib
Don’t stress out about the price tag of cribs, these are investments for your child. Most cribs now convert into toddler day beds, you won’t have to purchase another bed for a few years!
We went with a crib that had a diaper changing attachment. There is no wrong choice when choosing a baby crib. Take your time, mama.
7. Check to see if your insurance covers breast pumps & storage bags
This is a very important task to do before baby is born. If you plan on breastfeeding or exclusively pumping, you will need to have a breast pump. Contact your insurance and determine if they cover breast pumps and find out which model.
TRICARE covered the basics and if you wanted to upgrade to the higher options, they required you to pay the difference.
You will need a prescription, or script, from your doctor for both breast pump and storage bags.
8. Will you be returning to work?
Discuss with your partner on what will happen after your baby comes and postpartum recovery. Will you be returning after the first 6 weeks are up? Will you be staying home until baby is in school?
I did both, I stayed home with our first because my husband was away on a deployment. Our second baby I tried my hardest to work after I had him but it just wasn’t in the cards.
Whatever you chose just know that there is not a wrong or right answer to this. You do what is best for you and your family and don’t let anyone shame you for your decisions.
9. Visit your hospital’s labor and delivery ward
You will want to schedule an appointment with your labor and delivery ward. The hospitals I delivered at had group ward visits and it was so exciting! You get to see the rooms you would be delivering in, the nursery, and more.
Definitely schedule a walk through! The hospital will help you understand what is to be expected once you’re admitted – you don’t want to go in blind!
10. Take all the naps
I can’t say this enough. This is one of the most important things to do before your baby is born. Seriously. My boys are 3 and 7 and let me tell you, I still have a hard time getting a full night’s rest.
Can’t get comfortable with your growing belly? There are amazing pregnancy pillows for you, whether you are a side sleeper, back sleeper, or front sleeper.. invest in one!
11. Go on a Babymoon
You will want to try and plan a baby-moon before the birth of your baby. Trust me. Alone time will become harder and almost non-existent. When we were pregnant with our first born, we planned out a trip to Myrtle Beach for our anniversary/baby-moon.
It is still one of my most memorable trips to date. Don’t stress out though, once baby is a little older and you have adjusted to becoming a mother and a family of three – you will have those romantic date nights again.
You May Also Like: 9 At Home Date Night Ideas for Parents
12. Pack your hospital bag
Prepare that hospital bag, mama. I was so excited to see baby that I had my hospital bag packed the start of my 2nd trimester – I know, crazy. You’ll want to have everything for you, baby, and your husband for the hospital stay.
You’re not moving into the hospital, just pack the essentials! If you’re not sure about what to pack, I do have a hospital bag checklist right here. There is everything I brought to both of my deliveries and a free checklist you can print and take with you to ensure you don’t forget anything!
13. Pre-register at the hospital
Hands down the most important thing you need to do before baby is born. The hospital needs all of your important paperwork, insurance information, and drivers license. You will want to have this all taken care of prior to being admitted or risk being surprised by a crazy bill.
You also want to register before you are in extreme pain from labor – the last thing you want to deal with is having to fill out documents while managing contractions.
Do it now!
14. Pick out your baby’s car-seat and properly install it
Choosing a baby’s car-seat can be a challenging feat in itself. There is just so many options, where to even begin? First you want to ensure that you pick a car-seat that has protection in case you get into a car accident – you need to protect your precious one.
Second, you want to ensure that you purchase a new car-seat. I wasn’t aware that car-seats expire after a few years!
Lastly, make sure you have your baby’s car-seat properly installed. We were fortunate to have a summer baby shower for every mom expecting during the summer. There they had firefighters waiting to properly install your child’s car-seat! Contact your local first-responder, they will be more than happy to help you.
15. Take a birthing class
I do recommend taking a birthing class at your local hospital. I unfortunately did not with my first and I regret it to this day, I was not even remotely ready for birth and the recovery was terrible. Due to the lack of preparation I pushed way too hard and didn’t know what to expect.
Please, please take a birthing class. They are there to help you prepare for birth and they are all done with certified personnel. Trust me, mama. You’ll be thankful for going through birthing class.
16. Go to a breastfeeding class
I wish they had online breastfeeding courses when I was pregnant. Again, I was not prepared with breastfeeding just like I was not prepared for birth. When my first baby wouldn’t latch right away – I almost quit, just like that.
It took a knowledgeable Pediatric nurse to help me work with different positions and how to guide his mouth onto my breast. You are full of hormones and trying to adjust to motherhood, try to help this transition by taking a breastfeeding course at your hospital or online!
17. Pick a baby name
Picking our baby’s name was one of the most exciting parts of being pregnant. My husband had a running joke when I was pregnant with my first. Every time someone asked what he was going to name our first, he said it would be Thor. When the day came and the nurse asked us what the name would be, he said James – needless to say everyone was shocked!
We took family names and used them as inspiration for our son’s names. With the exception of Jaxson’s first name. Can you tell we were huge Sons of Anarchy fans?
I know choosing a name can be challenging so if you can try to have a few names between you and your spouse before your baby is born.
Need some baby name inspiration? Check out these baby name posts:
- 25+ Southern Baby Girl Names + Their Meanings
- 60 Beautiful Japanese Baby Girl Names
- 20 Strong Japanese Baby Boy Names
18. Have a baby shower
We were blessed with my first baby shower, I mean seriously blessed. I wasn’t expecting to come out with so many baby essentials. I seriously thought we would’ve had to get a few more things prior to baby’s arrival.
That is the wonderful thing about baby showers. Your friends and family come together to bless your new addition with essentials and they are also so much fun!
I’ve always enjoyed going to baby showers, whether it was for me or for a friend. If you’re interested in hosting one, you can find some game ideas in this post.
19. Put baby gear together
Now is the perfect time to put all of your baby’s gear together, their: baby swing, bouncer, crib, bassinet, etc. This will help alleviate any frustrations when you come home with your baby after they are born.
The last thing you want to be doing is having to assemble your baby’s gear and find out that it’s broken or missing a piece – trust me, save yourself some trouble. You’ll transition to motherhood easier with everything prepared.
Not sure what to get your baby? Here are 16 baby products you’re probably forgetting to put on your baby’s registry.
20. Stock up on diapers and wipes
It’s important to stock up on diapers and wipes, mama. Seriously. The first few months baby will poop, pee, and spit-up a lot – like a lot. At my second baby shower I asked the guests to just bring diapers as a gift since it was more of a sprinkle instead of a baby shower.
I already had a boy and most of everything I needed but my friends insisted in throwing a little sprinkle to welcome little Jaxson into our lives.
Thanks to the gifts in form of diapers, I didn’t have to buy new diapers for a few months. I do, however, recommend you purchase only a limited amount of newborn sizes. Our oldest outgrew newborn diapers within the first week and required size 1.
If you have Amazon Prime they do have some amazing savings (15%) if you subscribe to their diapers and wipes subscription. You should definitely check it out.
21. Pick up postpartum essentials
By your third trimester, I highly recommend stocking up on your postpartum essentials. I had such a hard recovery with my first baby, I was so glad that I stocked up on these essentials before baby was born.
You will have postpartum bleeding up to six weeks, I do recommend stocking up on maxi pads! Like diapers, I would start stocking up on them well before baby is due.
Another recommendation is finding comfortable clothing! I lived in my husband’s sweatpants the last couple months of my pregnancy and well into my postpartum.
22. Start writing in your baby’s journal (or keepsake)
I was gifted cute little baby journal’s at my baby shower, they really are adorable ways to keepsake your pregnancy journey and your baby’s birth.
Didn’t get one from your baby shower? Don’t fret, there are cute ones you can get yourself:
I love looking back to the days we had our two precious boys, it’s amazing to think that they were that little!
23. Determine if you want visitors the first few days
Very important. Some families do not want any visitors the first couple weeks, and that’s perfectly okay. We flew my mother in law out for two weeks to help me with the baby and around the house.
I still laugh to this day. We purchased our mother in law’s plane ticket a few months in advance, and the day she was scheduled to fly out I had to be induced.
They were actually on the way to the airport when my husband called to let them know I was in labor. As soon as my father-in-law dropped her off at the airport, he started driving down from NY. He was 15 minutes late but he made good time!
Whatever choice you make, just know it’s totally up to you. Don’t let your friends or family guilt you into visiting. This is an important time for you and your little family.
24. Stock up on breastfeeding essentials
If you haven’t already, look into breastfeeding essentials like the breast pump. More often then not your insurance will cover your breast pump and storage bags.
I would start stocking up on baby bottles, bottle warmer (our baby loved warm milk), bottle cleaner and brush, etc. You will also want to get extra parts for your breast pump!
For more information about breastfeeding essentials and work (if you’re returning to work), check out my breast pump essentials kit.
More Breastfeeding Related Posts:
- The Advantages and Disadvantages of Breastfeeding
- How to Properly Store Breast Milk
- 5 Alarming Signs Your Baby Is Not Getting Enough Breast Milk
25. Download diaper changing & breastfeeding tracker
This is very important to have. I learned the hard way that baby wasn’t getting enough breast milk from my breast with my second child. These amazing apps can be downloaded on your mobile phone!
It allows you to keep track of wet and soiled diapers and how often your baby nurses. Important information for your child’s Pediatrician as well!
If you suspect your baby is not getting enough nutrients – please consult your Pediatrician.
26. If you have pets or children, make plans for them
When we scheduled my induction for my second baby, it was set for a date when my husband’s sister and father would be in town. It was a fortunate time since we would need help with JJ (big brother) who wouldn’t be allowed in the labor ward while I was in labor.
Make sure you plan out who will be taking care of your pets while you are in the hospital as well! You don’t want to come home and have to clean up after your pets because they have been sitting in the house for the last 48 hours.
27. Invest in nursing bras
I bought a few good pairs of nursing bras well into my first trimester, my boobs were starting to get larger and standard bras were just way too uncomfortable.
My favorite nursing bras were the sports one since I was doing a lot of walking. Not only are they great for support, they are great for breastfeeding. It allows for easier access!
28. Wash your baby’s clothing and bedding
Wash everything, I mean everything. Your baby’s skin is super sensitive! If you don’t already I do recommend purchasing detergent specifically for sensitive skin.
If you’ve received hand-me downs from your family or friends, I do recommend washing them as well. They have probably been sitting collecting dust in the attic – like ours. Every time our little guy outgrows a size, we go up and grab big brother’s clothes and wash them for him to wear.
29. Organize all of your baby’s clothes
Once everything is thoroughly washed – start organizing your baby’s clothes. Your baby will have a lot of clothing and cloths, you will want to have everything put away before baby is born. Trust me. You don’t want to be worrying about the mountain of clothes and blankets sitting in a hamper waiting to be folded.
30. Prepare your baby’s diaper changing station
Our designated area for diaper changing was right next to the crib. We bought a comfortable changing pad for baby and stocked up the diaper changing essentials in the drawers below.
We also had a small basket filled with diaper essentials that we could carry around with in the house if we weren’t in the baby’s room. Wherever you choose, just make sure you have the important essentials.
31. Stock up on house essentials
You will definitely want to stock up on your house essentials before baby is born. The last thing you want to do is go to the store with a newborn because you forgot to pick up toilet paper or your cleaning supplies.
Make sure you have everything stocked up, i.e. laundry detergent (sensitive), toilet paper, shampoo, etc. Stock up on snacks too, I was always hungry from the breastfeeding.
32. Prepare & freeze meals
I was fortunate enough to have my mother in law for two weeks after having my first, and I truly needed her help. I had a very bad recovery, I couldn’t even walk up right let alone sit up to grab the baby out of the bassinet.
She did most of the cooking for me. If you don’t have anyone coming to help you after baby is born, I do recommend preparing and freezing meals. You will be thankful to have meals prepared in advance, trust me.
Don’t have meals frozen? Don’t worry! I’ve seen friends get together for a meal train to ensure that mom and baby are fed.
33. Prepare your baby’s diaper bag
Prepare your baby’s diaper bag! Make sure you have the most important essentials in there, i.e. extra baby clothes in case there is an accident, baby bottles, formula (if you plan on formula feeding), burp cloths, wipes, diapers, pacifiers, etc.
You’ll want to make sure that you have a changing pad in there too, some places don’t have liners for their changing stations. I’ve had instances where I had to do it on the floor, pack that bad boy up!
34. Paint and decorate your baby’s room
If you’re planning on painting and decorating your baby’s room, do so well in advance to allow the paint fumes to simmer down. Trying to decorate or paint after baby is born will be a challenging feat! Unless you’re like me and had to do a big move two months after baby was born.
Waiting to find out the sex of the baby the day you deliver? There are plenty of gender neutral colors and patterns you can choose from.
35. Capture your pregnancy with a journal
I loved keeping track of my emotions, baby kicks, and milestones in a pregnancy journal. It is really fun sitting down and reflecting on how you were feeling during your pregnancies.
I took weekly photos of my baby bump – and I have it stashed away in my pregnancy keepsake.
36. Get a pedicure & your hair done
Now is the time to pamper yourself with a pedicure and a new haircut! You will have a harder time getting any of these done after your baby is born. I usually get my pedicure during the third trimester of my pregnancy.
I remember going with a group of ladies I went to work with and they surprised me with a dinner and small baby sprinkle. It was a great time.
Go pamper yourself, mama.
37. Pamper yourself with a prenatal massage
Yes, even more pampering. My husband surprised me with a wonderful prenatal massage. It was very relaxing and helped alleviate my worries (temporarily haha). If you can I do recommend splurging for a prenatal massage.
If you can’t get away to get one, there are other ways to take care of yourself during pregnancy.
38. Get your car ready for baby time
Closer to the end of my pregnancy, I started preparing the car for our trip to the delivery room. You’ll want your hospital bag, boppy (yes you’ll thank me) ready and check your oil, and fill up your car.
You don’t want to be half way to the hospital and stranded because your car ran out of gas or overheated.
39. Find a baby class
When I was pregnant with our first baby, the military base had amazing resources for new parents. It was both fun and informative! They had really fun games to make the learning process fun and engaging.
They had our husband’s wear a fake belly so they can sympathize with us, it was truly fun. All jokes aside, going through a baby class will definitely prepare you for what’s to come!
They had diaper changing stations, baby safety, and more.
40. Lastly, choose a birth announcement
The best part about delivery – announcing your baby’s arrival. There are so many cute ways to announce your little one’s arrival, I had my friend create cute little announcements for me to print and share with friends and family.
Phew! That was a lot but I hope that this helps you prepare for baby a little easier. I know I was scrambling to get everything done because I didn’t have amazing resources such as this.
What were your favorite things to do before baby is born? I’d love to hear all about it.