21 Things Every Expectant Mom Should Do To Prepare For Baby
1. Make time for you and your partner. This is number one for a reason! I remember the last date Jay and I went on so vividly because it was so special. I wish we would have done more of it. Don’t get me wrong, I love our family of 3 dinner date nights, but there is something so special about making time for just the two of you.
2. Register at the hospital. This may be a no-brainer, but it’s important that you don’t wait too long to do this. Most hospitals will have time at the end of your hospital tour to register, but always call to make sure!
3. Stock up on the non- baby essentials. There are the obvious things you need for baby, like diapers, wipes, etc. But there are non-baby things you will soon find out are just as important as the baby essentials, such as batteries, thank you cards and stamps. Read the full list here.
4. Take a breastfeeding class. If you plan to breastfeed, I would highly suggest signing up to take the Milkology Online Breastfeeding Class. It’s an hour and a half and covered everything from how to position baby to feed, signs of low milk supply, what type of signs to look for to ensure baby is getting enough to eat, how to manage your milk supply, pumping and storing expressed breast milk, and SO MUCH MORE!
The course is only $19 and you can sign up for it here! You can use the code SWADDLES10 for a 10% discount!
5. Pack your hospital bag around 37 weeks just to be safe. Read my list of what I couldn’t have lived without, what I didn’t need and what I WISHED I had brought here. Make sure dad has a bag packed too! A tip from Jay to all other dad’s- pack a sweater! They keep it super cold in the hospitals.
Also be sure to check out our DIY Padsicle post. It’s a must have for postpartum care and you can take a few to the hospital with you!
6. Pack the diaper bag. This one is really important! There is no worse feeling than being out in public with a poopy baby and realizing you do not have diapers, wipes or a change of clothes. But I’m not speaking from experience or anything (fingers crossed). Here’s how to pack the PERFECT diaper bag.
7. Take a Birth Class. If you have not been able to find the time to go to your hospital for a prenatal class, PLEASE take one online! The information you learn will give you so much peace of mind and confidence when going into delivery.
I suggest Liesel’s from Mommy Labor Nurses Online Prenatal class. She is a L&D nurse and has become one of the top labor and delivery Instagram accounts! You can use the code SWADDLES10 for 10% off!
8. Schedule newborn photos. Newborn photographers book up quickly and can be expensive. It can take a while to find a good one within your budget. Alot of photographers will offer package deals for maternity + newborn sessions. You want to take newborn photos within the first 10 days of baby’s arrival so be sure to schedule before going into labor!
A quick tip- I think the best way to browse for photographers in your area is Facebook! Type in your city name + ” newborn photographer” into Facebook search bar and you can scroll through the photos until some pop out at you!
9. Make freezer meals. You will be so thankful you did once baby is here! It was so nice to be able to put hot, healthy, and delicious meals on the table because I had prepped them before my daughters arrival. Here is a list of my favorite freezer meals.
10. Find a pediatrician. Like searching for a photographer, this one takes research too! Read my post on the questions to ask and things to look for when searching for a baby doctor.
11. Install baby’s car seat around 37 weeks. You want to make sure it is installed properly for baby’s safety.
13. Get an Amazon Family Subscription and set up your diaper and wipe deliveries. I can say without a doubt that Amazon makes my life SO. MUCH. EASIER. Since Emmy was born, I have had diapers, wipes, toilet paper, paper towels, laundry detergent, and even our air filters delivered using Amazon Family. You get a discount for every subscription you add. You can sign up for a free trial here.
14. Prepare for breastfeeding. reastfeeding can be tough. You will need supplies such as breast pads and nipple cream. Make sure you have a good water bottle on hand. You might want to go ahead and stock up on some lactation support supplies in the case you need a little assistance producing milk. You can ready up on the products I depend on to keep my supply up here.
15. Clear out a drawer for postpartum clothes. I went to Forever 21 and bought a bunch of leggings and T-shirts in a size larger than I normally was and had a special drawer for them. Being able to get dressed quickly in something you know will feel comfortable in the 4th triemester helps alot!
16. Get your carpets cleaned. You will be happy you did during baby’s tummy time. You can do this yourself by renting a machine or hire a professional. Either way, it’s money well spent!
17. Pick a birth announcement. You will want to send out cards shortly after the newborn photo’s come back. Make sure you have mailing addresses on hand as well. My favorite places for online prints are Minted and Zazzle. I used Zazzle to print my wedding invitation and Emmy’s first birthday invites so I can vouch that it is good quality at a killer price.
Even though you won’t be able to print until the baby is born, you can at least pick out what you want so you can ensure you get the right photo to fit the announcement (horizontal vs vertical, close up or far away, etc)
18. Research, find, and register with a daycare. If you plan to return to work after having baby, you will want to find a place where you feel comfortable leaving your little one. The best places usually have a waiting list so start contacting them early! Be sure to get a list of documents you will need to provide once baby is born.
19. Finalize your birth plan. You can download our free template through this post. It’s very thorough and gives you a ton of options regarding all areas
20. Wash and organize baby clothing. This one is listed last for a reason! If you start doing this too soon, you will end up continuously washing as the clothes continue to come into your home! Wait until about 37 weeks to do this. It will save you time and energy!
21. You absolutely, without a doubt, have to relax. Whatever that may be… reading a book, taking a hot bath, or binge-watchin Parenthood until you can’t cry anymore. Keeping mama calm during those final days is important for both of you. Enjoy this special time.
BONUS: Be sure to order all your free baby gear. Find the list here!