New Baby Checklist: 13 Things To Do Before You Go Into Labor
Prepare for your baby’s arrival ahead of time with the help of this new baby checklist. This way, you feel more confident and empowered going into labor and childbirth!
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In this article:
- Treat Yourself by Having Regular Me-Days
- Go on a Baby Vacation to Spend Quality Time with Your Baby Daddy
- Have a Girls Day (Or Night) with Your Besties
- Document the Progress of Your Pregnancy to Remember This Special Time
- Find Parenting Inspirations to Help You Prepare
- Nest but Don’t Stress by Focusing on the Essentials
- Stock Up on Essentials to Save Time
- Make a Decision About Important Legal Matters by Creating a Will
- Talk to Your Boss to Work Out Your Maternity Leave
- Figure Out Your Childcare Options and Make Arrangements
- Make a Decision About Breastfeeding
- Consider Your Birthing Options and Create a Birth Plan with Your Partner and Doctor
- Pack Everyone’s Hospital Bag so You’re Ready to Go
13 Things to Do Before the Baby Comes
1. Treat Yourself by Having Regular Me-Days
As soon as your baby arrives, the last thing you’ll make time for is yourself. So make the most out of this time when nobody needs you.
Here are some things you can do while you’re waiting to pop:
- All-day movie marathon at home in your pajamas
- Think of something you want to learn and take a class
- Check out your local music scene and go to a concert
- Spend some time in the salon to get your hair done or have a mani and pedi
- Visit a museum or art exhibit
- Go shopping just for you
- Join a prenatal exercise class (ex: dance or yoga classes)
When your baby arrives, giving up me-time temporarily will come naturally. So in the meantime, do the things that make you happy so you won’t feel like you’re missing out on too much when you’re home all day with your newborn.
2. Go on a Baby Vacation to Spend Quality Time with Your Baby Daddy
Make the most out of your wait and spend some couple-time with your partner. Go on a trip and enjoy each other’s undivided attention. You may even want to pack some sexy maternity lingerie while you’re at it.
You and your partner will have your hands full once your baby arrives. New parents often trade in couple-time for sleep. So even if you can’t manage to take a trip during your pregnancy, try to squeeze in as much couple-time with your partner.
3. Have a Girls Day (Or Night) with Your Besties
Scheduling and planning can get tricky when there’s a baby in the mix, so schedule a last hurrah (or two) with some of your best girlfriends. Have them over for an old-fashioned sleepover, put on your PJs, and watch your favorite rom-coms all night long.
By making the effort to spend time with your girlfriends, you’re letting them know they’re still an important part of your life even if you’re about to take on this new role as a parent. Motherhood can be challenging and no one should have to go at it alone.
4. Document the Progress of Your Pregnancy to Remember This Special Time
Don’t let your pregnancy pass without documenting your favorite moments. Here are some things you can do to keep the memories alive:
- Find out your due date and take monthly photos of your bump
- Film your baby’s kicks and tumbles
- Journal or write a funny letter to your baby that you’ll give him/her when he/she’s older
- Schedule a maternity photo shoot with your partner
- Film family and friends baby announcement reactions
Nine months can go by so quickly and before you know it, you’re holding your perfect little angel in your arms. You’ll be glad to have a few mementos of this special time in your life.
5. Find Parenting Inspirations to Help You Prepare
Taking care of a newborn is tough and you’re bound to have a bad day every now and then. During these days, you may find it helpful to look to other parents you admire.
The are many celebrities or political figures who share their parenting experiences. You can also look to people within your circle of friends or even your own parents for advice.
There are a lot of websites and books dedicated to parenting, so you may want to start looking before you pop. They may even be great company at 3 a.m. feedings.
6. Nest but Don’t Stress by Focusing on the Essentials
Don’t fall into the trap of thinking that you’re nursery has to be perfect and Instagram-worthy by the time your baby arrives. At home, all your baby really needs is:
- weather-appropriate clothes
- a place to sleep (a bassinet or a cot) and bedding
- diapers and wipes
- bottles and formula (if you plan to feed using formula)
It’s definitely fun to shop and nest while you wait for your baby to arrive. If you have the energy, time, and resources to set up your nursery, by all means, have fun!
7. Stock Up on Essentials to Save Time
As you prepare your home for your baby, you may also want to prepare for the task ahead. The first few weeks taking care of a newborn can be a blur and you’ll want to save what little time you have for sleep.
So, stock up on household essentials so you won’t have to spend time running errands or going shopping. A week or two before your due date, you may want to take a trip to the grocery store and buy a couple of weeks worth of food and supplies.
RELATED: Pregnancy Checklist Per Trimester | Don’t Miss A Single Developmental Milestone!
8. Make a Decision About Important Legal Matters by Creating a Will
A will may be the last thing you’re thinking about as you make preparations to bring a new life into this world. It’s worth discussing your options with your partner to be prepared for all of the possible outcomes, even those that are unlikely.
Here are some helpful discussion points:
- Who will take care of your child in case the unthinkable occurs while he/she is a minor?
- What assets do you have?
- Who are you giving these assets to?
- Who will be in charge of your assets?
Talk to a lawyer and find out how you can turn your preferences into a legally binding document.
9. Talk to Your Boss to Work Out Your Maternity Leave
Not all workplaces or companies have clear policies regarding maternity leave. Take some time to discuss your options with your superiors.
It might be helpful to go over the United States Department of Labor’s Family and Medical Leave Act. If your company is covered under this act, and if you’re an eligible employee, you should be entitled to at least 12 weeks of unpaid maternity leave.
Dealing with the uncertainty of job security can be stressful for an expectant mom, so it’s best to know your options early on.
10. Figure Out Your Childcare Options and Make Arrangements
Try to figure out your childcare options before the arrival of your baby. That way, you can consider all of your options and avoid making decisions based on convenience.
If you’re fortunate enough to have relatives who are willing to lend a hand, you may want to work out a schedule in advance. That way, you can have a sense of order and predictability.
If you’re looking for daycare or child care providers, make a list of your top contenders and do your research. Try to find some time to visit the daycare or get references so you’re in a better place to make this important decision.
It takes a village to raise a child and the sooner you sort out your village, the better.
11. Make a Decision About Breastfeeding
Are you going to feed your baby formula from the get-go or are you going to attempt to breastfeed your child? It’s easier to prepare if you make this decision before giving birth.
If you’re planning on formula-feeding your baby, then you’ll need to choose the formula and buy a set of bottles.
There are a few things that may make breastfeeding easier, such as:
- breast pumps and bottles
- nursing covers
- nursing pillows
- nipple cream
If you want to try breastfeeding your baby, it’s helpful to communicate your choice with your partner so that he can support you. You can also take some classes to help you prepare for breastfeeding.
12. Consider Your Birthing Options and Create a Birth Plan with Your Partner and Doctor
These days, you have a lot of birthing options. It may be overwhelming to consider these options while you’re in labor, so it’s very useful to come up with a birth plan before delivery.
What is a birth plan? A birth plan is a document that contains all of your labor and delivery preferences to your health care provider or doctor.
Here are some details you may find in a birth plan:
- Mother’s personal and medical information
- Medical provider’s information
- Delivery plan
- People present during labor and delivery
- Labor preferences
- Fetal monitoring preference
- Pain relief preference
- Delivery preferences
- After-birth preferences
You can discuss your options with your doctor and your partner. Just keep in mind that there are instances where your doctor may have to deviate from your birth plan to address certain medical concerns.
13. Pack Everyone’s Hospital Bag so You’re Ready to Go
One of the last things you’ll probably do before giving birth is packing the hospital bag. Don’t forget to pack for everyone in the family — that includes you and your partner.
You’ll also need a car seat for transporting your baby from the birthing center or hospital to your home. Your baby is considered full-term by the time you hit the 37th week, so try and have these ready by your 36th week of pregnancy.
Find out more about things you have to do before you go into labor in this video from JESUSlucky1:
Nine months might seem like a long time for some people, but it’ll be over before you know it. Make the most out of this time so that you can focus on your baby later on.
As you prepare for the arrival of your baby, don’t forget to take care of yourself. A happy and healthy mama will make for a happier and healthier baby.
Have you tried doing anything on this list? How did it go? Let us know in the comments section.