The Ultimate Checklist of Things to Do Before Baby Arrives
When you’re pregnant, sometimes the days feel like months and the months feel like years…but eventually, the third trimester creeps up on you quicker than you imagined it would!
If you feel nervous about being prepared for your new baby, don’t panic.
Here is a complete list of things to do before baby arrives.
You can check them out below.
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Things to Do Before Baby Arrives
Pack Your Hospital Bag
Whether this is your first baby or your fourth, you never know when your little one will show up.
Pack your hospital bag with the essentials and the things you know you’ll want to have at the birth.
Make a list of items you’ll want to add last minute (because it’s very possible you’ll forget your phone charger in a rush).
You can grab a free printable pdf hospital bag checklist here.
Have the Birth Announcement Ready
If you plan to send out a birth announcement or post one on social media, have it ready ahead of time so you only have to add the information and a photo.
You probably won’t want to worry about colors and fonts in the days after giving birth.
Take Maternity Photos
This one is probably pretty obvious as you HAVE to take maternity photos before the baby is born.
But this is just one of those things that is so much fun to look back on.
Pick Out a Pediatrician
You aren’t just given a pediatrician after the baby is born.
You have to find one.
So before the baby arrives be sure to search for available pediatricians in your area.
You’ll also want to make sure that they take your insurance as well.
Write Your Birth Plan
How do you want your baby’s birth to go?
Do you want to try giving birth naturally or do you plan to have an epidural?
Who do you want to have at your birth?
Think of all the details that matter to you and write it all out!
Of course, things don’t always go as planned, but having your birth plan written out can help you and anybody involved in your birth to keep things running as smoothly as possible.
Post you may like: How to Write a Birth Plan for First-Time Moms
Buy a Breast Pump
Figuring out which breast pump you want is another one of those things you probably don’t want to hassle with after your baby’s birth.
A breast pump should be covered by your health insurance, but you’ll want to call your insurance company to learn if they have any stipulations, such as what type of breast pump is approved, where to purchase it, and more.
Have Your Baby Shower
It’s a great idea to have your baby shower at least a few months before giving birth.
That will allow you to determine the baby gear you’ve got covered and what you still need to purchase.
You can start planning your baby shower by checking out these baby shower games (that aren’t totally lame).
Prepare the Older Siblings
If you have older kids, try to prep them for what life will be like after having the baby.
Let them know what life is like with a newborn baby (i.e. lots of crying, feeding all the time, night wakings).
Prepare your kids if you’ll have family staying to help, friends helping with carpools and other changes.
Your older kids will likely cope better with the craziness of the newborn period if they’re expecting changes.
Prepare to Add Baby to Your Health Insurance
Let your health insurance know about your pregnancy and when you’re expecting to give birth.
You’ll have to provide more information after your baby is born, but hopefully it will go quicker if you do a little work ahead of time.
If your baby will have different health insurance options (like CHIP or Medicaid), look into what information you’ll need to provide once your baby is born.
Establish Who Will Help While You’re in Labor
When you go into labor, who will watch your other kids?
Who will make sure to feed your dog while you’re gone?
Before you give birth you want to make sure you have a babysitter, friend, or family member who’s able and willing to come at a moment’s notice.
Talk to them beforehand so that they know the plan and be sure to have your emergency contact information ready for them as well.
Have a Date Night
It may be a while before you’re able to go on a baby-free date after giving birth, so take some time to connect with your partner before your due date!
Take a Babymoon
If you’re able, take some time and go on one last relaxing hurrah before the birth of your new baby.
Plan a getaway that works for you, whether it’s a full-on couple’s vacation or a weekend away.
You could also plan a staycation and go to your favorite places that may be hard to visit once the baby comes.
Go Out With the Girls
Go out and do something fun with the girls!
Whether it be shopping, getting your nails done, or seeing a movie, go out with your gal pals one more time before the baby comes.
Because once the baby is here it may be a while before you’re able to again.
Set Up a Baby Registry
Consider all the clothing and gear you’ll need for your new addition and set up a baby registry on Amazon, Target, or another favorite store.
This will allow you to have a list to send to anybody who wants to help you prepare for your baby’s birth.
A registry can also help you stay organized and keep track of the items you need.
Have Freezer Meals Ready
Your future self will be SO grateful if you stock your freezer with meals before giving birth.
Fill it up with meals from the store (like lasagna, stir fry, or other pasta dishes) or your favorite freezer-friendly meals you can prepare ahead of time.
You can also store items like cooked ground beef, shredded chicken, and more.
Buy Baby Clothes
You may get a lot of clothes from your baby shower, but do an inventory to ensure you have enough and that you have the right baby clothes.
Your baby won’t always need a fancy flowery dress or a cute pair of overalls, but lots of pajamas or onesies may come in handy.
Clean Baby Items
Whether the baby items are brand new or not you NEED to clean them.
Other people have either touched them in stores or they’ve been sitting in a box in a dirty basement.
So be sure to give all the baby clothes, toys, and equipment you plan on using a nice cleaning.
Test Out Baby Gear
Sometimes items from the store can be defective.
So it’s best to test out all baby gear before actually using it with the baby.
That way you know it’s safe and that it works.
And if it doesn’t then you’ll be able to take it back and get a new working one before the baby comes.
Take a Childbirth Class
Prenatal classes can teach you how to recognize signs of labor, what to expect when giving birth, what your birthing options are, how to cope with childbirth, stages of labor, and so much more!
Sign up for a class (or multiple classes) so you can feel more ready for your baby’s birth.
One class that I recommend is this online prenatal course that helps moms prepare for their hospital birth.
Buy Baby’s Car Seat
There will come a time when you’ll actually be able to leave the hospital with your new baby.
If this is your first pregnancy, it may feel surreal that you’ll be trusted to buckle your tiny baby into a car seat and just drive back to your house.
Be ready with an appropriate car seat and install it in your car once you’re close to your due date.
Make a Postpartum Kit
You’ve probably thought a lot about what the baby needs after birth, but your body will need some TLC, too.
Create a postpartum kit with items that can aid the healing process, like witch hazel pads, pain relief spray, stool softener, pain relievers, and maternity pads.
Some hospitals provide these items, so you may want to check ahead of time.
Related Post: How to Make a DIY Postpartum Care Kit for After-Birth Recovery
Pregnancy automatically makes you more tired.
But having a newborn will make you feel exhausted.
So take advantage of any extra sleep you can get.
Pick Out Baby’s Name
Choosing a name can be tough, but if you’re unsure of what your baby’s name will be, try to set a deadline ahead of your due date so that you and the hospital staff can actually refer to the baby by its name!
Buy a Baby Book
A great idea is to buy a baby book before giving birth.
In your baby book, you can write down memories, birth details, and more.
This is a wonderful keepsake that you can start at the hospital.
Take a Hospital Tour
Plan ahead of time and schedule a tour of the Labor and Delivery area where you plan to give birth so you’ll feel more oriented and comfortable during your stay.
Many hospitals or birthing centers also include tours with their prenatal classes.
Take a Breastfeeding Class
If you’re a first-time mom, a breastfeeding class will be invaluable!
They can teach the basics of breastfeeding, how to help your baby latch correctly, how to build a healthy supply of breastmilk, different breastfeeding positions, and more.
You can read reviews of the best online breastfeeding classes here.
Buy Formula (if Bottle Feeding)
If you already know you’ll be bottle feeding your baby, stock up on formula ahead of time!
It can be helpful to have baby formula on hand even if you plan to breastfeed.
If any feeding issues arrive, you’ll be grateful to not have to run to the store for formula!
Buy Baby Essentials
When shopping for baby items, consider the various essentials you’ll need for your baby, including items for sleeping, feeding, diapering, dressing, bathing, and general health.
You can snag a printable newborn checklist here.
Use it to help keep track of baby items you have and ones you still need to get.
Set Up Baby’s Nursery
Get the walls painted, put up fun and cute pictures, and buy any baby furniture you think you’ll need in the nursery.
This is something you really want to get done BEFORE the baby is born.
Ask for help and get it done because you do not want to mess with it while taking care of a newborn.
Go Grocery Shopping
As excited as you may be for your new arrival, you’ll probably want to avoid situations that are just more stressful with a newborn…like grocery shopping!
Stock up on the non-perishable or freezer items you know you love ahead of time.
You can also buy extra bread or muffins and store them in the freezer.
Establish Who Will Help Out After Baby is Born
Taking care of a newborn is a lot of work and takes a lot of your time.
See if a family member, friend, or postpartum doula can help out after the baby arrives.
They can help with cleaning, cooking, and with your other kiddos.
Have Your Parental Leave Set Up
You may not know exactly when you’re giving birth, but you can plan the details of your parental leave ahead of time.
Inform your HR staff or manager of the details you know.
If your spouse or partner has parental leave available, encourage them to discuss details as well.
Stock Up on Household Items
The nice thing about toilet paper, paper towels, and other household items is that they won’t go bad…at least not for a long time!
Stock up on your essential household items so you don’t have to make any midnight runs to the grocery store when all you want to do is sleep.
Finish Any Household Projects
If you have any projects that you’ve started try to get them finished before the baby is here.
It’ll be a lot harder to get them done once there’s a baby around.
Baby Proof Your Home
Get a head start on baby-proofing the home!
Easy ones you can start setting up now are outlet plug-ins, cabinet locks, and baby gates.
Throw Away Expired Foods
Food goes bad and sometimes it happens when you don’t even realize it until months afterward.
So go through your pantry and fridge and throw away any old and expired food you have laying around.
Clean Your Home
Nesting is a real feeling that women get.
And one of those nesting projects that comes up is cleaning.
But even if you don’t get that nesting feeling it’s still a good idea to clean your house before you give birth.
That way you won’t have to worry about a big ‘ol mess when the baby is here.
Deep Clean Rugs & Carpets
Even though newborns don’t move around much doesn’t mean they won’t be on the floor.
Tummy time is done on the floor and before you know it they’ll be playing and crawling all over your carpets.
So before the baby is born, deep clean all your rugs and carpets.
And I don’t mean just a good vacuuming.
You want to either buy or rent a carpet cleaner.
This will help make your carpets fresh and clean.
Spend Quality Time With Your Older Children
If you have older children, their world may be turned upside down with the arrival of a new sibling.
Even if you feel like you have a million things to do to get ready for your baby, you and your kids will likely be grateful for the extra quality time before the craziness ensues.
Get Amazon Prime
Exhausted from taking care of a baby all day and night and don’t want yet another task of going to the store?
Before the baby comes sign-up for Amazon Prime if you don’t already have it.
With Amazon Prime, you can get super fast shipping (sometimes even same-day shipping depending on where you live).
This will really come in handy if you need diapers, wipes, household items, or some food for around the house.
You can sign-up for Amazon Prime’s Family subscription here.
Know Your Birth Control Options
One of the things your doctor will ask about shortly before your due date is what birth control you plan on using.
So before you have the baby be sure to research them so that you can figure out what type of contraception you want.
Certain ones can be at the hospital after you give birth.
Set-up Auto Pay or Pre-Pay Bills
Being a new mom is exhausting.
And you’ll be so tired and caught up with taking care of a tiny human that you’ll probably end up forgetting certain things.
One thing you don’t want to forget about though is paying your bills.
So set up auto pay and pre-pay any bills and subscriptions you have.
It’ll just be one less thing to worry about later.
Fill Your Gas Tank
Once you get into the last month or so try to keep your gas tank full.
And at the very least try to do this a week before your due date.
You don’t want to be in labor rushing to the hospital and realize you need to stop for gas.
Find a Doula
If you’re looking for some extra support during your birth a doula is a great option.
Doulas help support you in any way they can during labor.
And doulas aren’t something you find at your local hospital.
You have to find one during pregnancy so that when the time comes they’re prepared and can come to the discussed location of where you’ll be giving birth.
You can find a doula near you here.
Get a Photographer for Birth Photos
A birth photographer is another thing that you can’t just ask for at the hospital.
You have to find one from a photography studio and set it up beforehand.
Or if you’re comfortable with it ask a family member or friend to do it so that they know the role they need to play and can prepare themselves.
Secure an Appointment for Newborn Photos
Depending on the photography studio it could take a couple of weeks or so to get an appointment and the newborn stage doesn’t last long.
So if you can try to schedule an appointment for newborn photos a week or 2 AFTER the due date.
Or at least call the studio and ask them about their schedule and see how open it is.
Some studios aren’t as busy so you may be able to set up an appointment after the baby is born.
What Should Your Partner Do Before the Baby Arrives
Have your partner help out with any of the things on this list.
Whether it’s watching your other kids so you can have a night out, helping you pack, or getting the nursery and house ready.
Here are some ideas of things that dad can do before the baby arrives:
- Let Work Know if They Will Be Taking Time Off
- Have a Boy’s Night Out (he will be a parent soon too!)
- Painting the Nursery (dad will have to do this since pregnant women should not be around paint fumes)
When is The Best Time to Do These Things?
A lot of these things can be done during the last trimester.
The only things I would suggest doing during the second trimester are:
- Setting up your maternity leave with work
- Call Daycare Centers to check availabilities
- Find a doula
- Start the nursery
- Look up baby names
- Go on a baby moon
Though you can do these things whenever you’d like honestly (just make sure you give yourself enough time).
Other Posts You May Like:
How to Dress During Pregnancy Without Maternity Clothes
The Best Pregnancy Journals for New Moms
Best Labor Tips for First-Time Moms to Make it Easier (and less painful)
What other things should you do before the baby arrives? Tell me below in the comments! And if you liked this post, give it a share. Thanks!