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What You Really Need To Do Before Baby Is Born
Preparing for your baby to be born is one of the most exciting things to be planning for. But, with everything that needs to be done for you to be truly prepared for your newborn baby to come home with you, it can get overwhelming.
So here are 34 tasks that you absolutely must do before your baby is born.
*Disclosure: I am not a doctor. These are just my tips from when I was preparing for my babies to be born. This page may contain affiliate links, however, I will never recommend anything that I do not believe in and use myself. You can read more about my disclosure policy here.
1. Make Your Birth Plan
So if you have never made one a birth plan is just basically what your ideal birth experience would be. For example, if you want to have a vaginal birth or if you would like to have an unmedicated labor and delivery, you would add that into your birth plan.
A birth plan is also very helpful for explaining to your doctor exactly what you would like your birth experience to be like.
Of course, sometimes circumstances can cause a birth plan to be changed at the last minute such as if your baby’s breathing is in distress or if the pregnant mother has preeclampsia (high blood pressure during pregnancy).
And even if this does happen to you and your labor and delivery experience isn’t quite what you’d hoped to try to stick to at least some part of your birth plan to make your child’s birth special.
2. Pack Your Hospital Bag
Once you enter your third trimester of pregnancy, your doctor will likely advise you to start packing your hospital bag for your hospital stay.
This is the perfect time to get everything that you, your baby, and your husband will need for a few days at the hospital for labor, delivery, and also postpartum.
And if you happen to be having a planned c-section here is everything you will need to pack in your hospital bag for a C-Section delivery.
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3. Pick A Pediatrician
Picking a pediatrician for your baby really is one of the hardest things to do before your baby is born. The biggest reason is that it’s hard to judge how “great” of a pediatrician they will be until they are actually around your baby.
I went through a few different pediatricians until I found just the right one that actually treated my baby as a person and talked to her.
Another thing that I looked for in a pediatrician for my baby was a good listener. As a new mom, I wanted to be able to talk with my baby’s pediatrician about any concerns that I had without feeling rushed or brushed off.
And don’t forget that if you don’t like the one you pick out at first, you can always change later.
4. Pick Out And Install Baby’s Car Seat
Infant car seats are often a hot topic among many moms and I think it’s because they are all trying to make the “perfect” decision as far as which one is the safest and most comfortable for their baby.
And for a car seat, there are a few things you want to remember. First of all, I would not use a used car seat because you never know if it was in an accident. Plus many parents don’t know that car seats expire after around 5+ years.
Secondly, choose a car seat that has been crash-tested and has impact protection for your baby’s precious head.
And lastly, one thing I always looked for in an infant car seat that has a click in and out base to make taking your baby’s and their car seat in and out of the car easily.
5. Pre-Wash Your Baby’s Clothes And Bedding
You may wonder why you need to wash your baby’s clothes and bedding if they are brand new from the store.
But if you purchased your baby’s clothes and bedding from a store, they’ve been in a factory and processed, shipped out, and probably touched by many different customers inside of a store. So, for this reason, you should definitely wash them before your baby is born.
And if your baby’s clothes are hand-me-downs make sure to wash them as well because you don’t know where they were before you received them.
6. Ask Your Insurance If They Cover Breast Pumps
If you plan to breastfeed your baby, having a breast pump will be a huge lifesaver. Now there are several different types of breast pumps available but here is a guide to how you should pick out your perfect breast pump for your needs.
Did you know that your health insurance will likely cover the cost of your breast pump for free? Yes, check through the link below to get your free breast pump.
7. Invest In A Few Good Nursing Bras
Another important thing for breastfeeding success is comfortable and supportive nursing bras like these.
Having good nursing bras with easy breastfeeding access helps make nursing your baby quick and much easier for both mom and baby.
8. Make Freezer Meals
After giving birth to your newborn baby, you will be exhausted and even after you come home from the hospital, one of the last things you’ll want to do is spend your time cooking an entire meal.
This is why making freezer meals ahead of your baby’s birth is absolutely brilliant. It’s simple. All you do is prep the meal as if you were about to cook it but instead put it all in a freezer bag and place it in the freezer.
And once you are home from the hospital, just follow the instructions for finishing it. So if it is meant to be cooked in the crockpot just dump it in that morning and crank the crockpot up. Viola dinner’s done that afternoon.
9. Take A Childbirth Class
Never underestimate the power of taking a childbirth class. I learned so much about what to expect from my childbirth class with my first pregnancy.
They give you advice for having successful labor and delivery and also give your great pain relief tips. Just check with your hospital to find some in your area.
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10. Check Out Baby Classes At Your Hospital
And just like childbirth classes, baby classes teach you about how to care for your baby and what to expect in the newborn stages.
This was also helpful for my husband since he was going to be helping in taking care of our baby.
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11. Purchase A Crib
There are tons of different cribs available now – it’s truly amazing to see all of the options. Really the biggest differences are price and all of the different designs of the cribs.
I have always gone with the most affordable option that also fit in with our nursery decor.
12. Learn The Breastfeeding Basics
Breastfeeding is certainly not always “natural” especially when you are trying breastfeeding for the first time.
One great way to learn all you can about the basics of breastfeeding before your baby arrives is by taking a class online taught by a lactation consultant. Milkology is the best one I have found and I highly recommend it.
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13. Decide If You Will Be A Stay-At-Home Mom
Once you are pregnant, one of the most life-changing decisions that have to be made is whether you will be a stay-at-home mom or go back to work after your maternity leave (6-8 weeks after having your baby).
Really the decision is different for every mom and it’s entirely personal. I believe that whatever works for you and your family is what you should do.
Another option that many moms are not yet aware of is being a work-at-home mom. That way you can make an income from home while caring for your child at the same time.
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14. Take A Hospital Tour
Taking a hospital tour may not be at the top of your to-do list when you become pregnant, but it is very important to know exactly what to expect and where you have to go once you get to the hospital to deliver your baby.
Many hospitals offer a hospital tour for expecting moms in their third trimester to come and see the maternity floor and also to ask any questions they may have about their hospital stay.
15. Pre-Register At Your Hospital
While on the subject of the hospital, you should definitely make sure that you pre-register before you go into labor to help with the process of your hospital delivery.
The reason to get all of your registration done ahead of your labor is that this way you won’t have to be registering while you are in labor and in pain.
16. Make Sure Your Car Is Ready For Labor
The last thing you need to happen when you go into labor is for your car to run out of gas. It’s best to make sure that your car is always filled up and ready for your baby to be taken home from the hospital.
Another thing to get done before your baby comes is getting your car cleaned really well to ensure it is ready for your baby to ride home in. So giving it a good vacuum and deep cleaning any problem areas is very helpful.
17. Make A Plan For When Your Labor Starts
Making a plan for you and your partner for when your labor starts is a great idea so you don’t have to make huge decisions and everything will just be planned out ahead of time.
For example, having your husband planning to grab all hospital bags and call any family members to let them know that you have gone into labor is a great way to help you out since you will likely not be wanting to do much due to labor pains.
18. Start Thinking Of Baby Names
Your baby’s name is truly one of the special things that you actually get to decide before birth and give them something incredibly special.
However, actually choosing just the right name can be hard to decide on. So it’s a good idea to go ahead and start picking out names before your due date to have one chosen or at least have some options.
19. Assemble Baby Gear
When you are in the third trimester and starting to get ready for your baby to be born, be sure to get all of your baby gear assembled and ready for use. Since things will be busy when you and your baby come home it’s so much easier to have everything set up.
This includes your baby’s crib, bassinet, stroller, swing, anything that needs batteries like a baby monitor or play mat.
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20. Take Plenty Of Naps
When you are pregnant, you are literally making a new little human and that is very tiring on your body. That is why you should always listen to your body when you feel tired. Your body needs the rest to continue to take care of you and your unborn baby.
And once your baby comes home, napping will be a little trickier since you will be on call for feedings and diaper changes 24/7. So kick back and take a nap anytime you feel exhausted. Trust me your body will thank you.
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21. Deep Clean Your House
There is nothing more frustrated than coming home from the hospital to a dirty house. Seriously, not only will you be completely exhausted from adjusting to your new role in motherhood, but your baby will be needing you constantly.
And many times, moms in their third trimester will start nesting which is when you feel the need to clean to get prepared for your new baby. Having a clean home to bring your baby home to will help ease a ton of stress and ensure that your baby’s new environment is nice and clean.
22. Write Letters To Your Baby
I started writing letters to my baby when I first found out I was pregnant. It was partly a letter to her, but also a letter to remind myself about everything I was feeling and what I was planning during my pregnancy.
Looking back on those precious thoughts that I had about meeting my little baby are truly special and can never be replicated.
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23. Have A Romantic Dinner Date
When your baby is born, romance is probably going to be one of the last things on your mind. Seriously, the first few weeks postpartum will be spent breastfeeding, changing diapers, and catching up on sleep.
But don’t worry, your romantic life won’t be gone forever, but it may be weeks or months before you feel even remotely in the mood. And that’s okay.
So take advantage of the time you have now before your baby arrives and spend plenty of time alone with your husband. Plan a romantic dinner date, or snuggle up on the couch and watch a movie together.
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24. Prepare Your Baby’s Sleeping Area
One crucial part of preparing for your baby’s homecoming is to make sure to have a safe and secure sleep area for your baby to take naps and sleep through the night in.
Whether it’s in a crib or a bassinet next to your bed make sure there are no dangerous cords, drapes, or anything that can harm your baby around their sleeping area.
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25. Consider How You’ll Diaper Your Baby
It’s all got to go somewhere!
Diapering has changed tremendously recently and it’s really a great change. When I first found out I was pregnant, I didn’t know there were other ways to diaper your baby. Truly! I had only ever heard of using disposables and that was what I knew about.
But once I had my daughter, I learned all about cloth diapering and how it was so beneficial for our baby and our budget. So we also cloth diapered our second child. I literally fell in love with cloth diapering.
Of course, not everyone likes cloth diapers. Some parents are strictly for disposables and that’s perfectly fine. I think whatever works for your family is what’s best.
So before your baby is born, give it some thought and make an informed decision on whether you want to use cloth diapers or disposables.
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26. Stock Up On Maxi Pads
Before your baby comes, be sure to stock up on a lot of maxi pads. Trust me! After you give birth you will be having the heaviest period of your life for a few weeks.
And having these already on hand will save you a ton of time and from having to run out to the store.
27. Make Plans For Older Children or Pets
One thing we had to differently during my last pregnancy was to make plans for our daughter that was only 3 years old. We had to figure out where she would stay during my hospital stay, and what to do if I went into labor in the middle of the night.
Luckily we had family nearby that could keep her for a few days while I was in the hospital having her little brother.
And if you have older children or even pets at home, make sure that you already have a plan in place for when you are going into labor and at the hospital.
Do you already have a baby book just waiting to be filled with all of your baby’s firsts?
I did! But I also started a baby journal for my baby to write letters in and add little memories and special pictures in. You can learn how to start your own baby journal here.
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29. Stock Up On Household Staples
Stocking up on household stapes is just another must to put on your list for preparing for your baby. Although the two may seem unrelated but think about it. You will likely be home for a few weeks recovering from childbirth and won’t really want to go out for a run to the store. So having everything you need is crucial.
Especially the basic needs like:
- toilet paper
- paper towels
- cleaning supplies
- shampoo and conditioner
- and more…
30. Pay Your Bills
Get all of your bills caught up and paid. The last thing you need to do is let your bills go unpaid because you are so sleep deprived. So get on it and get everything set up for your postpartum recovery.
31. Decide When Family Can Visit
Now this will be different for everyone and every situation. We had a very difficult time when our first child was born with dealing with our families. I had an unexpected c-section and just felt that we not only didn’t get any rest but also didn’t spend enough time getting to know our daughter.
So talk with your spouse about when you feel comfortable letting family and friends come to visit your newborn baby.
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32. Download A Breastfeeding And Diaper Tracking App
You will be asked a thousand times by nurses and your child’s pediatrician, “How many times are you breastfeeding per day?” And “How many wet diapers are you changing?”
Knowing these numbers is very important in monitoring that your baby is getting enough to eat and growing properly. I always suggest an app that can track both so you don’t have to fiddle with a paper and pen. Also, we always have our phones so it’s only natural to have it all there ready for you.
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33. Set Up A Diaper Changing Station
Just like a sleeping area, you will need a designated diaper changing station where you keep diapers, wipes and diaper creams. Having it all in one place makes those sleepy nighttime diaper changes a bit easier to navigate.
We always had a little diaper caddy ready with all we needed next to our bed to make diaper changes simple, but if you prefer a diaper table in your home, get it all set up and ready to greet your baby.
34. Have A Baby Shower
Baby showers are so much fun for everyone. Well except maybe dad’s.
But for an expecting mom, a baby shower can help a ton with all of your baby needs and essentials. We had one for each of our pregnancies and were truly blessed with so many clothes, blankets, and special baby gear that we needed.
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