Getting ready to have a baby is one of the most exciting things in the world. But it is also one of the most nerve-racking. So today, we will be going over 15 important things to do before baby comes, so that you feel prepared and at ease once is “go time!”
After having two kids and my “water breaking” with both, I can tell you that being prepared for birth is the best thing you can do.
Most articles you find online about preparing before delivery will tell you to go get a pedicure and schedule a night out with your girlfriends. As important as self-care and pampering yourself is, this article will focus strictly on “vital” things you should before baby arrives.
So, grab a pen and paper, or bookmark this article, and let’s get ready to have a baby!
Before Baby Comes Checklist
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Although most babies arrivals happen between 38-42 weeks, that isn’t the case every time.
Some moms will have scheduled inductions/c-sections, while some others will find their water breaking or going into labor naturally and unexpectedly.
Whatever your situation turns out to be, ensuring the following things are taken care of before baby comes (a week or two before your due date) is a good rule of thumb.
1. Pay Bills ahead of time
The last thing you want to think about doing while in labor or during the initial newborn days, is think about paying bills!
Make a list of all of your bills and pay them ahead of time. In addition, if you have the money and pay your bills through your bank, you can also schedule payments so that they are paid on the exact days you schedule them.
Not having to worry about paying your bills by scheduling a few upcoming payments will give you much-needed peace of mind.
2. Meal Prep and Meal Freeze
Another thing you should consider putting on autopilot is making meals.
Especially, on the first few days at home with the baby, making meals will be a hard task to accomplish. Between postpartum recovery, breastfeeding, exhaustion, and everything else that comes with a newborn baby, not having to worry about making meals it’s sanity-saving.
A week or so before the baby comes, spend an hour creating a meal plan.
Two options that can save you a lot of time are:
- Batch cook meals ahead of time and freezing them
- Meal prep raw ingredients into ziplock bags for each recipe and freeze, then cook them in an Instant Pot or a Slow Cooker when ready to eat
A great resource that can help you with meal planning and prepping is Eat at Home Meals.
3. Charge All Electronics
Another thing you want to consider doing before baby arrives is to charge all electronics you are thinking about taking to the hospital.
When my kids were born, we used our Sonny camera to take pictures, but since we don’t often use it, it would have been easy to forget. So, we made it a priority to charge it ahead of time and then place it in our “Daddy Bag”.
Other electronics you might want to consider charging:
- Video Camera
- Picture Camera
4. Take a Really Good Childbirth Course
Whether you haven’t yet taken a childbirth class OR are unhappy with the one you took (probably at your birthing hospital), make sure you enroll in a really good childbirth class. Whether you are having a home birth or hospital birth, natural to medicated, the ease of your labor and delivery process will depend on how informed you are and the strategies you are able to implement because of that knowledge.
I can not stress enough the importance of this!
5. Create a Postpartum Care Plan
The combination of tending to a new baby, caring for your postpartum body, and the lack of rest and sleep could prove to be quite the load.
Preparing for the baby’s arrival isn’t only about getting ready for the baby. You must also take into account that you will be undergoing significant changes after birth and you should be ready to tackle some of your expected postpartum needs.
6. Put together a Postpartum Care kit
Out of all of the things to get ready before baby arrives mentioned on the list, putting together a postpartum care kit is one of the single most important things you should consider doing.
The postpartum care period is one of the most exhausting and trialing periods of the entire child-bearing process. So, making sure you have the necessary essentials to help your body heal faster and properly is vital!
Here is all you need to know for creating the ultimate all-natural and non-toxic postpartum care kit.
7. Stock up on Groceries and Toiletries
Something else you should consider doing before the baby is born is stocking up on groceries and toiletries. An important part of the healing and postpartum process is eating healthy meals and snacks.
The last thing you want to see after coming home from the hospital is an empty fridge and one toilet paper left in your closet.
Here are a few things you should consider getting in you grocery haul before baby comes that will go along way:
- Wheat crackers
- Frozen veggies
- Frozen fruits (for smoothies)
- Wraps (they last longer in the fridge)
Toiletries & Home Essentials
- Toilet paper
- Paper Towels
- Dish soap
8. Put together your Hospital Bag for Baby, Mom, and Dad
Another important thing to have ready is your baby hospital bag. Some moms start to get their hospital bag ready early on and then forget to finish completing it.
The last thing you want to happen is to go into labor unexpectedly and scramble to remember what to take!
So, take a few minutes to go through your baby hospital bag list and make sure everything is ready to go.
If you have no idea what to pack in your hospital bag or aren’t sure if you have everything you need, check out these two articles:
- Ultimate Hospital Bag Checklist for Baby, Mom, and Dad.
- What to Wear After Giving Birth at the Hospital (from Head to Toe)
9. Wash Baby Sheets
Most moms-to-be know how important it is to wash all of the clothing and fabric that the baby’s delicate skin will come in contact with. However, most babywear and blankets are washed early on in the second trimester after the baby shower.
If all of the baby blankets and bedsheets were initially washed and put away, then no problem. But, if you washed them and lay them out on the baby’s bed or bassinet you should consider rewashing them.
Usually, dust and other environmental pathogens tend to settle on fabric surfaces that have been lying still for a certain length of time.
So, give a quick wash to all of the baby items that have been laying around or that need to be washed for the first time.
10. Clean Carpets
Talking about cleaning and dusting, another surface that collects a lot of dust and allergens, are carpets.
If you have carpet in any room of your house, giving them a good clean is a great idea.
If you have the money, you can pay a company to come out and professionally clean them. Professional carpet cleaners are super effective in removing stains, dirt, and allergens.
Or simply enlist dad to get it done!
11. Assign a Pet Sitter
If you have pets, it is essential to make a plan for them while you are in the hospital.
It is important to understand that while dad might be able to go back and forth between home and hospital after the baby is born, you don’t really know how long you will be in labor for.
So, enlist the help of friends and family to stop by the house and check on your furry friends.
Make a plan, talk it over with the designated sitter, and create a visible written plan that the sitter can clearly follow.
- Food (amount and frequency)
- Medication, route, dosage
Trust me, the last thing you will be doing while in labor is answering a pet-sitter’s call. So, make sure it is all worked out before your delivery.
12. Waterproof your Bed
This might sound like an uncommon advice. But, from a mama who had a “water break” twice, you might want to protect your bed mattress by using a waterproof mat.
The last thing you want to deal with, is your water break while you are sleeping and then having to clean up bloody fluid from your mattress, instead of heading right away to the hospital.
Other places to keep protected with these waterproof pad during your third trimester are the driver seat of you car and the couch or recliner you sit on often.
They will also be really handy during your early postpartum recovery phase since mild-moderate discharged is expected.
Note: These are also great for potty-training… but we’ll cross that bridge when we get there. 😉
13. Build the Bassinet and Other last-minute items
Making sure the baby’s bassinet, pack-and-play, and/or swing are put together and ready to go is another must!
Many moms-to-be focus all of their time and attention on the nursery, but quite frankly, especially in the first few weeks, the nursery will be the last place you’ll be in.
When you bring the baby home from the hospital you will want to be close to the baby at all times.
They feed often, they pee often, they fuss often, they need cuddles often… so you will need access to them at all times. So, a bassinet and/or pack-and-play are really handy items that can facilitate that.
A baby swing is also a great alternative to keep the baby happy. If you have to wash a few dishes, or make yourself a quick snack, a swing can definitely buy you a few minutes as it cradles and rocks your little one.
14. Install the Baby’s Car seat
You will not be taking the baby home unless you have a properly installed car set, period.
Have your husband take on the task of installing the baby car seat and ensuring it is properly installed.
There are many inspection stations that will check your car seat installation efforts, such as local automobile dealerships, police stations, firehouses, hospitals, and many more places.
To find an inspection station near you, check the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). All you have to do is scroll all the way down and type in you zip-code to see the inspection stations in your area.
15. Gas up!
Having a full tank of gas before the baby arrives is also a great thing to do.
It saves you the hassle of stopping at a gas station with a newborn on board. You will have a pediatrician visit a few days after the baby’s arrival, and putting gas should be the last thing you want to worry about.
16. Contact your HR Department
With all of the baby frenzy it is very easy to forget about important paperwork.
Reach out to the Human Resources department of your job (and/or partner’s job) and ask to see that all of the following things are good to go:
- Was FMLA (Family and Medical Leave Act) paperwork was completed, filed, and approved?
- Do you know the exact dates of your maternity leave (and/or your spouse’s)?
- Was the baby added to the insurance policy? If not, do you have the required paperwork to submit it after the baby is born.
Write all of the important details down in a sheet of paper or on your phone so that you don’t forget it.
17. Pre-register at your birthing hospital
If you haven’t done so already, check with your birthing hospital if you can pre-register.
Some hospitals will give you the option to schedule a hospital orientation and allow you to fill out initial paperwork.
Our hospital for instance, required for us to make a list of “allowed guests” that would be authorized to visit while we were in the hospital.
Related Article: What to Expect During a Hospital Birth (Step-by-Step)
I didn’t want to end this list with reminding you about the obvious… GET SOME REST!
I know resting can be hard to do especially in the third trimester. Between nesting, pregnancy back pain, possible Braxton Hicks, and everything you have to do to get ready for baby, it might seem that rest is the last thing on your to-do list.
Although rest is the last advice in this list, it is by far the least important.
Labor, especially for first-time moms can be long and exhausting… and coming in already tired isn’t a good idea.
You can still accomplish everything on this list, and rest by following some of these simple tips:
- Take periods of rest in between tasks
- Drink plenty of water
- Sleep with a body pillow
- Enlist some help to complete harder tasks
- Make a plan and stick to it
Note: If you need help with further third trimester planning and getting ready for baby, don’t miss the Third Trimester Checklist (Printable Bundle).
★ Related Articles:
- 37 Moms Share Their First vs Second Labor Stories
- How to Prepare for Labor (Mentally, Physically, Resources)
- 13+ Permanent and Temporary Postpartum Body Changes (+ Care Tips)
- 11 Things to Expect After Birth (& Tips to Heal Faster)
- 3 Must-Take Online Breastfeeding Classes for New Moms
- Best Pregnancy Products and Resources Master List
I know how overwhelming it feels to think of all the things you have to do before the baby comes.
It is my hope that with this checklist you are able to focus on the most important tasks before you go into labor.
Remember to be kind to yourself. Motherhood is a journey not a destination, so slow and steady is the best way to approach it.
So excited for you mama. Happy and healthy delivery. ❤️
What task on this checklist do you still have to get done before the baby’s arrival?
Don’t forget to pin for later…