You are pregnant! Congratulations mamma!
It doesn’t matter if you are in your first, second or third trimester, I know that you just can’t wait to meet your baby. Pregnancy is like a roller-coaster, and the good news is that every pregnancy is different. It doesn’t matter if you are having a girl or a boy. Or twins! 🙂
With my first pregnancy, I did a lot of mistakes, mainly because I didn’t read and educate enough. But you know how they say, you have to make a mistake in order to learn from your own experience.
I promised myself that I will be totally prepared for my second pregnancy and in order to do that I made this list. It is a very long list and I hope I didn’t forget something. Let me know in the comments below if you have more ideas and tips to do before baby arrives.
You are probably thinking that there is not much to do, but it is very easy to overlook a few things.
This post is something I wish I had read before I had my baby.
Why to DO these things?
When I was pregnant, no one told me that the first two months would be so hard and exhausting. I didn’t sleep, I couldn’t sit (because of the episiotomy), I couldn’t use the bathroom, I was exhausted and trying to adapt and learn to breastfeed, with painful mastitis (twice). Because I was so overwhelmed and also my beautiful baby boy is not that good sleeper, I really wish I had read these things before I had him.
I don’t want to scare you, only to prepare you.
I changed so much after having my baby, and these things are those that came in mind to share with you. Of course there are more, and I would love to see some in the comments.
I wish you all the best!
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Things to DO before your baby arrives
One of the most important things to do before your baby arrives is deep clean the house. In order to do that, you should pay attention to several things. Before and after baby your life will change dramatically. Before
At the end of the pregnancy, there is one symptom that it is common and it’s called nesting. You will feel an urge to prepare for baby and clean the house. One thing to keep in mind is that when you have a baby you have to be careful about the products you use. There are many non-toxic cleaning products you can find, just make sure to have plenty of them or at least for the next few months.
Another very important thing is to clean your carpets. Carpets are one of the nastiest things in your house so please clean them well before your baby arrives. Or, buy new carpets and have peace of mind.
Don’t forget to clean your freezer well, and also buy a bigger one if your current one is small. I still have a small freezer and I think it is about time to change it.
You will spend some time in the car too so make sure to clean your car, especially the inside. Deep clean your car and install a car seat for the baby. You can’t leave the hospital without one.
Don’t forget to buy a diapers bin or some kind of a disposal system. Diapers can be really smelly and one of the best products you can have is a diaper bin. And you will use it at least the next 18 months.
Same as with the cleaning products, you should have a baby detergent and also a baby fabric softener (if you plan to use one). I would not recommend you to wash baby clothes with the same detergent you use for you. Some newborns can be very sensitive so bear in mind that if your baby is sensitive, you will need to wash your clothes with baby products too.
Don’t forget to wash baby clothes and also iron them (at least in the beginning). I don’t iron all of them anymore, but in the beginning, I did that. One of my greatest memories is when I was holding those little clothes in my hands. I still remember the smell. I was so excited to meet my baby boy.
Also, don’t forget to buy soft baby blankets and wash them too. Find practical baby clothes. I know that you are all excited and would love to dress your newborn like a superstar, but hey, your baby will sleep, eat and poop. Yes…only that. Oh, and CRY. 🙂 Find some that are very easy to use, without too many buttons and I would recommend you to use only cotton materials.
It is very important to prepare yourself too for the first few months. Find postpartum clothes for you, bigger and comfortable. If you plan to breastfeed then have some breastfeeding clothes too. I have breastfeeding T-shirt, pajamas, a shirt, and a dress. Don’t forget a breastfeeding bra.
You will also need postpartum panties, and this is something you should include in your hospital bag. But something I don’t want to forget the second time is to buy bigger underwear. Big underwear will make you feel comfortable. You won’t have time once the baby arrives so prepare now. Also, don’t forget to take big cotton pads.
Also, pick a go home clothes for you and your baby. This was so exciting. When you leave the hospital, make sure to wear something comfortable but also cute so you can take pictures for Welcome Home Baby.
Set the nursery for the baby. A separate room or sharing the same, it doesn’t matter, now is the time to prepare it. Buy a new baby mattress and set up the crib. Using a pillow is not recommend for the first year.
For the nursery, you will need blackout curtains (you will thank me later) and a white noise machine (or an app on your phone). Babies tend to sleep longer with white noise in the dark. Also, buy a baby lamp with dim light and get a nursing pillow if you plan to breastfeed.
Stock on baby essentials. You hear this a lot I know. And you may be wondering what are those. Well, every baby is different and I can’t really answer this question, but I am sure you are doing your research. Have at least 10 different baby clothes for a newborn (0-3 months). You will change your baby at least once or twice a day in the beginning. Diapers are definitely essential. I recommend using soft ones for sensitive skin. Also have creams and lotions, baby wet wipes, baby soap, and baby bath tub.
You will also need baby nail clippers and a baby comb.
If you plan to breastfeed your baby then I would recommend you to prepare while you are still pregnant. First, educate on the importance of breastfeeding. It is not something that comes naturally, at least it did not for me. Breastfeeding can be really hard, so educate now. There are great websites and blogs you can find but also you can attend a breastfeeding class. You will need a breast pump, check if it is covered by your health insurance, and also milk freezer bags. I use the Medela Harmony manual breast pump and Lansinoh milk freezer bags. I am very satisfied.
You will also need bottles. I didn’t use them a lot, but if you don’t breastfeed you will definitely need them.
This is the time when you need to organize everything. Make a place for the new baby, organize baby’s clothes and make some space.
Visit the hospital where you plan to give births and make a birth plan. Who do you want to be with you, natural, epidural, c-section? Pick emergency numbers just in case. Also, make sure to attend classes at your hospital. They are very helpful. Make a plan what to do when labor starts.
Something that is very useful is to learn about labor pain and contractions. The pain is natural but women tend to tell scary stories and to exaggerate. Look out for late pregnancy complications and also be prepared for the postpartum body. You must remember that you are beautiful and your body is magical. It makes a baby! Hey, you are growing a little human there.
Prepare your medicine cabinet for the first few weeks and stock up on hand sanitizer. Never forget to bye a hand sanitizer. This was a life-saving for the first few weeks for the family, but also the guests. We still keep one around. Your pregnancy is the time when you have so little energy, but it is time to work more. You won’t have this much time with a baby around.
While you are preparing for the baby to arrive, make sure to have some ME time. You are in charge for that time and believe me, when baby arrives you won’t have too much time for yourself. Prepare a self-care kit for the first few weeks and treat yourself.
This is the time for you and only you. Life after baby is beautiful but very different. Go out shopping with your friends or ALONE. Buy things for you and only you. Go out to eat with your husband or ALONE. Enjoy the meal alone! You can focus on the meal and don’t worry about a thing.
Wear earrings; drink hot coffee or tea; put the glass on the coffee table; arrive somewhere on time and lay down all day.
Read books. Real books. With a baby, it can be really hard to read a physical book. Now, I read only digital books and listen to audio books. Something I missed but I really wanted to do it is to have a pregnancy journal. But, I am so happy that my sister gave me a personalized baby book that I really love.
Don’t forget to plan a birth announcement. Who and how do you plan to announce the birth of your baby. Look for some baby poses and plan for newborn photos, but also take more maternity photos.
Finish any house projects before the baby arrives. Painting the walls, new closet, changing the carpets, changing the windows, etc. Make sure to be ready on time. Check for any issues you may have. We had a problem with the windows and I am so happy we moved out from that apartment.
Also, this is a time for you and your hubby to enjoy. Watch movies and your favorite TV shows. When the baby arrives, you will watch cartoons. 🙂
Go on a date night with him. There won’t be any for some time and make sure to enjoy them now.
Go on a babymoon where you can make daddy feel special. Before baby arrives, discuss important decisions such as vaccines and also, don’t forget to decide should you bank your baby’s umbilical cord blood.
It is about time to pick a name. If you know the gender then it is easier, but make a list and decide before the baby is here. Also, download a baby application. It will be very useful for the first few months because there are so many things that only an app can remember. You will be in shock for the first few weeks and a baby app can help you understand everything. I didn’t even know that there is some condition such as baby blues, but I found it on the baby app.
SLEEP! I don’t want to scare you, but something I really miss, and maybe the only thing that I miss is a good night sleep. So, sleep now and relax as much as you can. Sleep deprivation is yet to come.
In order to have more time to sleep with a newborn, instead of cooking while the baby is asleep, prepare freezer meals now for the first few weeks. Also, make and freeze lactation cookies, you can find wonderful recipes online. Breastfeeding and sleep deprivation will increase your appetite so make sure you stock healthy snacks. You won’t be so excited to cook, believe me, so make a good meal plan for the first month or so and find a grocery delivery service.
It is best to pick a pediatrician for the baby now. Find a good one and make sure it is close to your home. Also, learn how to take care for a newborn, and it is always better to consult a pediatrician.
DON’T FORGET to find help for the first 2-3 weeks. This is very important and you will need help, believe me. Also, make plan B and plan C just in case. Everything is possible so plan B and C are here and you won’t be stressed if something incidental happens.
Also, make a plan to save money. Babies are expensive and it is never too early to think about the future.
Dear mama, make sure to take care of yourself and to practice self-love. Don’t forget to be the best role model for your child. Day by day, prepare for a new role in your life – mother.
Have a baby shower, and pack your hospital bag in time.
Now relax, and make your own list. Is there something else you need to do before baby arrives? And did I mention that it is the time for you to sleep and lay down all day? 😀
These are 90 things to do before your baby arrives but I am sure there are many more. With all these information, I really hope you will be much more prepared for everything and you won’t be too much stressed. Wishing you all the best!
Here is a checklist for you, just in case you forget something! Good Luck and have the best fourth trimester ever!