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Are you getting ready for the arrival of your new baby? Here are some last-minute things to do before baby arrives so you can be fully prepared for “labor day.”
As a new parent, you must be getting pretty excited for your new bundle of joy to arrive. We totally understand!
Preparing for a baby is no easy feat, and it’s so great that most parents have 9 months to prepare for the arrival of their new family member.
Before you meet your new bundle of joy, here are some things that you should check off your to-do list to make sure you are really prepared in every way for your new addition.
16 Things to do before baby arrives checklist
1. Install the car seat
Every car seat is different, but here is a basic video explaining how to install a basic car seat.
2. Wash all baby clothes
Whether you got your baby clothes all-new from the store or you got a bundle off a friend, you’ll want to wash all your baby clothing before your little one arrives.
Make sure to wash all the crib bedding, swaddles, burp cloths, and blankets too.
If you really wanted to, you could wash your nursing clothing in the same detergent as well, so the baby is surrounded by the same scent of freshness.
We did some research and a lot of baby detergents are full of chemicals! Here is a list of detergents that are hypoallergenic and have no dyes that could irritate your baby’s delicate skin.
Make sure to stock up on baby detergent because you’ll be doing a lot of washing when the baby arrives.
3. Pack your hospital bag
Packing your hospital bag is a very important thing to do and you should be all ready to go with your packed bag by week 37.
We created a handy hospital bag checklist so you can be sure to pack all the items you need and nothing extra in your hospital bag.
4. Make a “get to the hospital” plan
Talk to your partner about your “get to the hospital plan.”
If this is your first baby then you should know what to do if you start labor while you’re partner is at work and you’re at home.
You should not be driving yourself to the hospital when you are in labor.
To avoid an ambulance bill, have a plan of action and have your husband/partner be ready to leave work at the drop of a hat when you call.
Most employers will be very accommodating to the birth of a new baby and should have no problem if a worker needs to take off during the day to go have a baby.
Make sure you know your route to the hospital too and have an alternate route in mind just in case there is annoying construction or a traffic jam during your drive to the hospital.
5. Take a hospital tour
Most hospitals have an option for new moms to take a hospital tour before delivery day.
Take advantage of this and know exactly where you need to go when you go into labor. Make sure the person who is taking you to the hospital is with you on the tour because they will be the ones wheeling you to the labor and delivery ward.
6. Prepare for labor
Labor is not an easy task and it is important for all new moms to know what to expect during the labor process. Being mentally prepared will help to be physically prepared.
You can take an online birthing class to make sure you’re not missing any important information.
7. Set up breastfeeding station
Whether you plan on breastfeeding or formula feeding, you’ll need a baby feeding station in your home.
Prepare a calm and quiet place in your home where you can sit comfortably and have access to all your feeding supplies.
Here are some basic supplies you may want to keep in your feeding station:
- Lanolin Cream (for sore nipples)
- Breastfeeding Pillow
- Gel Pads
- Nursing Pads
- Breast Pump
- A couple of receiving blankets and burp cloths
8. Have all postpartum supplies ready
Your recovery postpartum will take some time and you should have all the things you need to make you feel the most comfortable before the baby arrives.
Here is a basic list of postpartum essentials that you should have on hand:
Pads: You’re going to need lots of pads! Most women have no idea how much bleeding will happen after delivery and you’re going to need about 6 weeks worth of pads.
Perineal Spray: Maybe you haven’t heard of this miracle spray, but it’s a lifesaver for the hoo-ha. You can use it for pain relief before and after childbirth too and it’s organic to boot.
Peri-bottle: The hospital may, or may not provide you with one of these, but it’s a good idea to have one in each bathroom of your home. Please keep in mind that the hospital may give you one to bring home.
Tucks Pads: Childbirth will leave you with some burning and itching, and these Tucks pads can help relieve some of that discomfort. If you can’t find tucks pads, a pad soaked in witch hazel can do the trick as well.
Disposable Mesh Underwear: They aren’t beautiful, but they will be lifesaving when the hospital doesn’t let you bring extra underwear home with you! This disposable underwear will save your regular underwear from needing to be thrown in the garbage.
Granny Panties: Large and comfortable underwear is going to be your best friend when you’re all done with the disposable mesh ones. Postpartum bleeding sometimes lasts weeks, and you’re going to want to be comfortable through that entire time. You can go back to your cute undies when you’re all done bleeding and feel more human again.
If you will be having a c-section, be sure you have several pairs of high-waisted and supportive undies specifically.
Stool Softener: Pooping postpartum is a very uncomfortable subject, and it may be a painful thing so stool softeners are going to be a must-have item for postpartum care. Some women prefer to have Metamucil or a drink like it, others prefer a pill form. That’s totally up to you, but something may be required to get things moving.
9. Have a maternity photoshoot
A maternity photoshoot is not for everyone, but if you want to document your bump, you should have one!
Sometimes you may feel unattractive during pregnancy but the thing is, most people see you in a whole new light. You look truly beautiful, and it might be nice to have some photos to look back on to remember the days of the bump.
10. Have your baby shower (or at least have registry prepared for a post-baby baby shower)
Whether you have a baby shower before or after the baby arrives, you’ll want to have your registry all filled out and sent out to your friends and family.
Have your friends throw you a shower so you can relax and really enjoy your special day while you still have the energy to gather with friends.
If you have a shower after the baby is born, that’s great too, just have your registry prepared so people can purchase the gifts you will really need for your little one.
11. Prepare freezer meals
Cooking will be the last thing on your mind when your baby arrives. In fact, most mothers forget to feed themselves completely in a sleep-deprived new mom state.
Avoid this by having freezer meals prepared in advance. There are many resources available for preparing freezer meals in advance so it’s a good idea to do some research and then do some cooking.
12. Deep clean the home
The last thing you’ll be doing after you bring your new baby home is cleaning the house.
Recruit a friend or your husband and do a deep clean of the home.
This vacuum mop is a great idea to get those floors really clean before the baby comes. Seriously, the best tool to clean the floors.
This is a great time to do any professional cleaning that needs to be done around the house too.
13. Get all non-baby household items stocked
Just as you are preparing your home with freezer meals and a deep clean, you’ll want to ensure your home is fully stocked with all those other items that you use on a regular basis.
The last thing you’ll want to do is run out of something and have to run to the shop with a newborn baby when you’re still recovering postpartum.
Here is a handy checklist for non-household items that you should stock up on before the baby arrives.
14. Have diapers in different sizes on hand
The thing about diapers is, that you never know which size you’ll need right away. If the baby is tiny then premie diapers may be what is needed, and sometimes newborns are born on the larger side and skip the newborn size completely.
It’s a good idea to have premie, newborn, and size 1 diapers on hand before the baby arrives.
PS. Don’t forget the baby wipes!
15. Arrange for help
If you have a friend or a family member that can come help you out with your new baby, you should have them stay with you for a week or so after birth.
If you don’t have outside help, try to get your husband or partner to take a week off work to help you with the baby. That first week is the hardest, and you’ll need all the help you can get.
The very last thing you need to do before the baby arrives is REST.
Your baby is going to keep you so busy and you’re going to be very tired after labor, delivery, and then bringing the baby home.
Being well rested before labor begins will help you through that difficult time where you will need all the energy you can get.
Getting ready for baby to arrive
Be sure to check every item off of the last-minute things to do before the baby arrives checklist and you’ll be so ready that no one will believe you’re a first-time mom.
Enjoy your new baby, and don’t stress about the big day. Your body will know what to do, and the doctors, doulas, and midwives are there to help you through any complications.