Leading up to baby’s arrival it might feel like your to-do list is a million miles long, but have no fear! We’ve narrowed the list down to the 10 most essential things for you to do before baby’s arrival so you can relax and enjoy the last few weeks of your pregnancy. Okay, okay, maybe enjoy is the wrong word (cue heart burn, constant peeing, not sleeping, swollen, uncomfortable…), but maybe you can stress less knowing these things are checked off your list.
Install baby’s car seat: This one is a no-brainer. The hospital won’t let you leave with your baby if you don’t have a car seat properly installed, so make sure you do this around week 36-37 just in case your baby surprises you and comes early. You can usually go to a local fire or police station if you want guidance on installing your car seat properly. At the very least make sure you read your manual thoroughly. It may seem obvious, but there are a lot of small but very important details when it comes to installation and proper buckling of your little one!
Stock up on the essentials: The truth is you really don’t need much those first few days and weeks home with baby, but you’ll want to make sure you are stocked up on the few things that matter most: Diapers, wipes, swaddles, baby PJs, lanolin and/or gel soothies, breast pads and the .
Make a communication plan: Once labor starts everything else begins to blur. Making a communication plan ahead of time will help you make sure you notify who you want, when you want. Discuss with your partner who you’d like to notify (if anyone) once you’ve checked into the hospital and decide how you want to break the news once baby arrives. If you decide on a mass email, you can begin a draft that has everyone’s emails already entered in so you don’t miss anyone. Regardless of your method of delivery, it will be good to have a list prepared with the names of people you want alerted.
Order your breast pump and learn the basics (if you’re breastfeeding): The vast majority of health insurance companies are required to provide a breast pump to a new mother within the first year of their child’s birth. Do your research ahead of time to find out if your insurance will cover a breast pump, and if so, which ones and how you can order. We highly recommend ordering your breast pump, sanitizing the parts and spending some time learning the basics of use before your baby is born. Trust us when we say that when you are is not the most convenient time to start sanitizing your pump and figuring out how the heck to use it!
Decide where baby is going to sleep: Babies don’t need much their first few weeks, but one thing they definitely need is a place to sleep. Make sure your bassinet, co-sleeper, etc. is set up and ready for baby’s arrival!
Wash all the baby clothes: And prepare to stare at all the tiny pajamas and onesies and totally have “a moment.” Yes, you will have a baby in those tiny t-shirts very soon! Practically speaking, you’ll be glad you washed and sorted all the clothes ahead of time so you’re ready when your baby needs to be changed three times before 10AM.
Make freezer meals and a stash of healthy, one-handed snacks: When you’re sleep-deprived and figuring out your new routine with baby home, the last thing you want to stress about is trying to cook dinner. Have a few freezer meals prepped and ready and stock your pantry with healthy snacks you can eat easily with one hand (think almonds, dried fruit and protein bars). You can also designate a friend to set up a if that’s something you’re comfortable with.
Waterproof your bed (yes, we said YOUR bed, not the baby’s): For starters, you’d hate to ruin your nice mattress if your water breaks while you’re sleeping. The more likely scenario, though, is that your post-baby night sweats will soak through your sheets and down to your mattress. We hope someone has given you the heads up on night sweats. If not… you’re welcome.
Get your diaper bag prepped: Take the stress out of your first outing with baby (which will most likely be a trip to the pediatrician’s office a couple days after your little one is born) and pre-pack your with everything you’ll need: diapers, wipes, change or two of clothes, pacifier, burp cloth, and .
BONUS: Be really, really, ridiculously lazy: We’re not going to tell you to stock up on sleep because we all know that (very unfortunately) you can’t stockpile sleep and tap into it when you’re really tired. If only! But, we will say that while post-baby date nights are highly likely, lazing away an entire Saturday binge-watching TV shows and lying in bed probably won’t be happening for, like, at least 10 years. So live it up while you still can by doing absolutely nothing.