Getting ready to meet your little one? Make sure you don’t forget these 20 Important Things to do before Baby Arrives, so you can sit back & relax!
The weeks before your baby arrives are truly special. You’re past the stage of morning sickness and other difficulties and while your belly does get in the way of a good night’s sleep, the excitement of meeting your baby trumps everything else!
So, it’s only natural that you’ll want to spend every waking moment after the baby’s birth caring for her. The last thing you want to do then is to worry about what to make for dinner, or go shopping for paper towels! To prevent things like this from stressing you out, we’ve put together a list of things to do before baby arrives, so you can sit back, relax and enjoy your time with your baby!
1. Sort things out at work
Okay, so let’s get the biggest stressor out of the way – your work! You’ll probably inform your workplace around the 4-month mark, so be sure about how you want to plan your maternity leave. Gather all the information about your company’s HR policies, and be aware of your rights as a new mother. Planning everything out in advance will make life easier not just for you, but for your teammates as well.
This is also a good time to think about when you would like to be back, and what arrangements you need to make. Does your workplace have a creche or daycare center? Will you be hiring a nanny to care for your baby while at work? These are important questions that need plenty of thought and planning.
2. Make space for baby
A baby may seem like a very small person, but that small person takes up a lot of space! Don’t wait for the baby to come to start thinking about your sleeping arrangements. Whether you opt for co-sleeping, an attached crib, or a separate nursery altogether, start preparing the space and having everything set up.
Even if you’re not having a separate room for the baby, it’s a good idea to demarcate specific areas to keep her things. This is when you can think about getting a crib, mattress, changing table, or comfortable chair for nursing. Another good idea is to get blackout curtains, so it is easier for you to sleep whenever you get time, even if it’s sunny outside.
3. Stock up on baby supplies
It’s unbelievable how much stuff a tiny person needs! Babies need loads of things, and it is crazy to leave all the shopping till the very last minute – especially since you’ll need many of the items immediately after birth. Make sure to have enough diapers, baby wipes, onesies, blankets, and other essentials.
It is important to wash everything your newborn will use, including clothes and bottles, if using. The same goes for breast pumps and their parts if you plan to pump. Don’t forget to include things like a laundry hamper, baby monitor, or white noise machine.
Some families may not prefer to shop for the baby before its birth. In this case, it helps to have a full list ready with a family member to whom you can entrust the shopping. Alternatively, you can go to a baby store, gather everything you need, and leave it with the store so you can pick it up later. You may have to pay a small amount to hold on to your things, but it’s better than shopping from scratch at the last minute.
4. Keep postpartum essentials handy
It’s not just the new baby who’ll need lots of things after birth; the new Mama has her own needs too! Get a postpartum kit ready with everything you’ll need for those weeks following birth. Fill it with sanitary pads, a tummy shaper, witch hazel pads, breast pads, nursing bras, and nursing covers. You may also consider a nursing pillow, doughnut pillow, and perineal spray. Have a kit packed for the hospital as well as one at home to use as soon as you get there.
5. Get up to date on appointments
No, we aren’t talking about your maternity appointments, although you should have them as per schedule. We are talking about checkups for other aspects of your health, like your eyes, teeth etc. Get all your routine checks done so you’re healthy and ready to completely focus all your attention on your baby. Do this well in advance so you have enough time for any treatment options like new glasses or a filling.
It’s a good idea to do this for your partner and other kids too, so you’re not stressed with following up with these tasks when the new baby is here. Use this opportunity to go through your medicine cabinet and get rid of anything that has expired. Stock up on first aid supplies and common medications for the whole family.
6. Complete pending household projects
Household projects are always a pain, and they’re the last thing you want to undertake with a new baby in the house! Including household projects in your list of things to do before the baby arrives is smart, since you can get all the fumes and dust done with early on.
Make a list of all household maintenance tasks, and share it with your partner. These may include servicing the air conditioner, humidifier, or water filter, booking the gas cylinder, or servicing your car. If anything needs repairing, get it done right away, and fix issues like mold, which can be dangerous to the new baby.
7. Hire a cleaning service
You don’t want the baby to enter a dirty home, do you? But that doesn’t mean that you have to get down on your hands and knees to do the actual cleaning yourself! Instead, hire a cleaning service for a good deep cleaning of your entire home. They’ll do the job efficiently and perfectly, and you can enjoy the results. You can also spend some time every day decluttering a different part of the house, so you have more room for baby stuff.
If you have pests, this is a good time to call in a pest control service. Remember that the products used by the cleaners or pest control service may not be suitable for pregnant women and children, so you may want to move out of the house till it’s ready.
8. Stock up on household essentials
Babies can be messy, which means you’ll run out of hand-wash soap faster than you think! When listing out things to do before baby arrives, make sure to include household shopping. Stock up on paper towels, non-toxic cleaning products, detergents, and personal care products like soap, shampoo, and toothpaste. Shopping for these things in bulk will help you save money and you don’t have to worry about them spoiling.
9. Assemble all the baby gear
So we know babies need a lot of stuff, but not all the things they need are cute like booties and caps – babies also need some heavy-duty items like prams and strollers! If you plan to use any of these for your baby and have them bought and sitting around in a box, it’s time to assemble them. Don’t underestimate baby gear – the assembly of some of them can really test your patience!
Take everything out of the box, assemble it, and test it to make sure it is free from defects and safe for the baby to use. The most common purchases in this section are car seats, prams, rockers, and bassinets.
10. Have proper systems in place
Once your new baby comes home, it’s going to turn your life upside down – as well as the rest of the family’s. Prevent things from descending into utter chaos by planning early and setting systems in place. If you have a maid or helper, discuss any change in her work routine – you may have to pay her a little extra if she’s going to take up more tasks.
Make sure your partner has access to the phone numbers of your maid, driver, security guard, gardener, kids’ school, babysitter, etc. Make sure everyone is aware of their respective chores and duties around the house so your home runs like a well-oiled machine – even with a little baby in it!
11. Sort out your finances
A new baby is going to take up all your time and attention, and this can lead to forgetting about payments. Avoid this problem by clearing any invoices early on and setting up an auto-payment system with your bank. This makes regular payments much easier, especially for things like credit cards, where non-payment fees can be huge. You can also use a subscription for things like diapers or other regular items – many online portals offer this service which also gives you a discount.
12. Make and freeze meals
Most things can wait, but everyone is going to need food as soon as you get home! Prepare for this by making as many meals as you can in advance, and then freezing portions in zip-lock bags. You can do this gradually – when you make a meal for dinner, double it, so you can freeze half of it. Repeat this every day and you’ll soon have a good collection of frozen meals for your family.
Not only is this healthier than ordering in, but it is also more cost-effective, and reduces a huge amount of stress for new parents. We recommend doing this even if your mother or mother-in-law is coming to stay with you – it frees up their time to take care of you and help with the new baby.
13. Prepare your guest room
In most families, the new Mom’s mother, sister, or mother-in-law stays to help with the care of the new baby. If this is going to be the case in your home too, make sure they’re comfortable. Set up the guest room with fresh sheets and towels. Make sure the air conditioner or heater is working, as the season requires. Check if the internet connection in the room is strong – if not, get an extender. Including this in your things to do before baby arrives puts you at ease since you know that your home is always ready.
14. Spend time with older kids
If you have older kids, you need to make sure that you’re spending enough time with them so they don’t feel left out. This is also important to prevent any resentment from building toward the new baby. This list of things to do before baby arrives has many tasks – get your kids involved in some of them! They’ll love arranging baby’s things, choosing a color scheme for the nursery, or going shopping with you.
Try not to make any major changes in your child’s life around this time, like changing schools, potty training, or moving him to a big bed. If these changes need to be made, give them enough time to adjust so they don’t associate any negative feelings with the baby’s arrival.
15. Arrange for pet care
Pets can be sensitive to the arrival of a new baby, and may think of it as a rival – especially since you’re spending so much time and attention on it! Stock up on your pet’s food, medicines, and toys. Make sure all its vaccinations are up to date and visit the vet for an overall health checkup.
Make arrangements for your pet’s care when you’re at the hospital. It’s not a good idea to have pets in the same room as a newborn baby, so get your pet to sleep in a bed of its own – you may have to start this training process early. Invest in doggy gates or nets to keep the baby safe.
16. Book a salon session
Caring for a new baby is no joke – it is not an exaggeration when we say that it will leave no time for you to care for yourself, especially in the first few weeks. So make the most of the time before baby arrives and indulge in some self-care. Book a session at the salon and get yourself a manicure, facial, or whatever your heart desires. It’s a good idea to go for a practical, ‘wash-and-wear’ haircut that’ll be easy to manage when you’re super busy with the baby. Coloring your hair is best avoided since the chemicals in the dye can be harmful.
17. Gather information
If you’re a first-time Mom, there’s a lot you’re going to learn – about yourself and the baby. It helps to be informed and educated about the upcoming changes and it’ll also ease the process. Go on and read up on topics like breastfeeding, breathing during labor, caring for an episiotomy, and more. Be sure to get your information from reliable websites, though, like My Little Moppet, for example!
18. Shortlist baby names
Some hospitals require the baby’s name when preparing their discharge papers, or sending the birth information to the government’s registry. Rather than scrambling for a name at the last minute, do your research and make a shortlist of a few names for boys and girls.
If you sit with a list like this for a while, you’ll gradually find yourself gravitating towards a particular name, which makes it easy to finalize your decision when the time comes. Since this is a process that’ll involve a lot of back and forth with your partner, it makes sense to start well in advance!
19. Plan Birth Announcements
In this day and age, you can’t have a birth without having a birth announcement to share on social media! Plan out a design for the birth announcement in advance, so all your partner has to do is fill in the details and send it out. You can also get custom designs for birth announcements from graphic designers. If you plan to have a newborn photoshoot, make sure to book your photographer in advance too.
20. Pack your hospital bag
The doctor will give you a due date, but your baby may have other plans! That’s why it’s always recommended to expect your baby any time after completing 32 weeks of pregnancy. Prepare for an unannounced arrival by having your hospital bag packed and ready, so in case you need to go in a hurry, all you need to do is grab the bag and go.
After crossing the 32-week mark, at any point in time, you should always have these things ready:
- Car with a full tank of fuel and a waterproof mat
- Waterproof mat on the mattress
- Fully charged phone and power banks
Just because we’ve given you a list of things to do before baby arrives, it doesn’t mean that you should spend all your pre-baby days ticking things off a list! Delegate, and split the tasks with your family members. Starting early will give you plenty of time to get things done and still have time to relax. We recommend taking a short trip with your immediate family or your partner, also known as a baby moon. Even if you can’t go anyplace far, you can still check into a nice hotel for a staycation. Enjoy the break by doing nothing and just relaxing – – crucial, because it’ll give you the mental and physical energy to care for a newborn!
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