There are so many things to do before baby arrives. As we get further into our third trimester, it almost seems like the list gets longer and longer. And if you’re uncomfortable it may seem like you’re never going to get everything done. At least that’s how I felt.
With all the anxiousness that comes along with being pregnant, I made a list. And because one of my goals is to offer balance throughout the ups and downs, I wanted to share with you my list of things to do before baby arrives.
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It’s not extensively long, but these are things I recommend you add to your list of things to do before baby arrives.
Wash clothing and sheets
This one is sort of given and one you’ll probably find on every list out there. This was one of the first things I did. Since we were using a lot of the same clothing/sheets/blankets from my first born (woo-hoo for having the same gender both times), everything was in storage. If it wasn’t in plastic tubs, then they were in plastic bags.
So, I got everything out and started throwing in load after load until it was all finished. Don’t forget to wash with Dreft (make sure it’s stage 1 for newborns)! Or whatever laundry detergent you feel comfortable with when it comes to baby. I organized it by sizes: newborn-3 months, 3-6 months, 6-12 months.
I packed away all the bigger sizes.
Get your space ready
The second on my list of things to do before baby arrives was getting the babies space ready. Start early with this to give yourself ample time to prepare the nursery or the space you’re using for baby. If you have to re-do an entire bedroom, it may take weeks to fully complete, especially if you have to paint.
My advice: Ask someone else to paint it for you. Air the room out before you start decorating. Delegating this task will give you time to work on other stuff that you have on your list of things to do before baby arrives.
Put together your crib
Something else that should be common sense, right? We decided to use our old crib. (We kept everything in the event we had another child the same gender.) It saved us money and wasn’t a hassle since everything for it was stored in one of our closets.
My advice: If you decide to do this or pack your crib away for future use, make sure you don’t lose the hardware for it! Put all the screws/important pieces in a baggie and tape it to one of the crib pieces.
Pack diaper bag
Another really important one on the list of things you need to do before baby arrives! I had most of our bags packed and sitting by the door by 36 weeks. Some may think that is early, but I’d rather be too early than late. The last thing you want to do while you’re having contractions is remembering everything you need to pack in a hospital bag.
At the very least, write down a list of everything that you need to pack just in case you go into labor early. Then, you’ll have a list instead of trying to remember everything.
There will be a future post about what I packed in our hospital bag! Stay tuned!
Organize the house
This is a definite! Add it to your list of things to do before baby arrives this minute. Some mamas might go through this in their nesting stage. I did!
Some areas I decluttered were:
- Our closet – We had so much clothing that we didn’t use, some that we’ve had for years that sat around. I had jeans that I didn’t fit into so I donated them. I packed away all the clothing my toddler grew out of and will get it back out once our second born is old enough to fit into it.
- The pantry – Our pantry is combined with our laundry room. I installed shelving units in there so we could keep things more organized and in one place. Before, everything we placed wherever we could find space for it. It makes life so much easier.
- The fridge – We gave our fridge a really good bath. Seriously. I think this is a must for any list of things you need to do before baby arrives. Over time, food spills and instead of cleaning it up right then and there we let it go. Or maybe there’s some extra jelly on the outside of the container and now it’s all over one of your shelves. Get a pair of gloves out and disassemble the shelving and give it a good scrub. It might take you a good hour or two but it’s worth it. Since we did that, I make sure to keep up with it. Now all I have to do is get a rag and wipe down a shelf rather than having to take shelves apart.
- Kitchen cabinets – Our kitchen is small. We don’t have a lot of space so this was a must on our list of things to do before baby arrives. We sorted our food and tossed anything past expiration dates, organized containers and threw out ones without matching lids, and even packed away coffee mugs that we didn’t use.
This might not be important to you, which is totally okay. We don’t have an abundance of space for a lot of extra stuff so having this on a list of things to do before baby arrives was a must!
Yep, we invested in a chest freezer. This is something that my husband had on his list of things to do. After breastfeeding my first born, I know how much space frozen milk takes up. Pumping would require extra freezer space and even though our house came with two fridges, I was a little worried that it wouldn’t be enough room.
The other good thing about chest freezers is that you can prepare a bunch of meals and freeze them. You’ll be so busy with the baby and other kids in those first few weeks that you will thank yourself for this!
That leads me to the next thing you should have on your list of things to do before baby arrives: Freeze meals. I didn’t do this with my first and I wish I would have. After having my first born, I was overwhelmed with breastfeeding and the lack of sleep. The last thing I had the energy for was to stand in front of the stove. Thankfully, my husband took over for me with this and would come home and cook after working all day. He was my savior (and still is).
That’s why I added it on my list of things to do before the baby arrives. I wanted to be more prepared. And let me mention that we had extra help from my in-laws at that time because we lived with them. With our second, we live in our own place and I knew that help wasn’t going to be at the tip of our fingers so to speak. I understood the possibility of how exhausted I may be in the beginning until I get the hang of having a newborn with a toddler running around.
Stay tuned for a special post about freezer meals!
Of course, this only applies if you plan to breastfeed. Make sure you get yourself a pump. It’s possible that you can get it free or discounted through your insurance. That’s what I did. But, every insurance is different so make sure you call them and ask what your benefits are and if it’s offered under your plan.
You may also need a prescription from your doctor to submit to them or the place where you’ll get the breast pump from. I went straight through Medela and got their basic pump since it worked well for me last time. With my first, I purchased the Medela Harmony when I got tired of using my electric pump. Sometimes it even worked better, too, so I plan to use that this time around as well.
My advice: If you’re using an old pump, make sure it still works before baby arrives. You may need to replace parts too.
Gift for my first-born
This one was really important to me. I stayed home with my son almost the entire time since he was born. Naturally, he is attached to me and I didn’t want him to feel left out when his brother arrived. I wanted to do something special for him. I tried to think of a few different ideas that would convey the message that we didn’t forget about him just because there was a baby in the picture. Having a baby is a big change after all. Not just for mama but for the entire family.
Stay tuned for a post about what I got him!
This one isn’t a requirement, of course! We had carpet and wanted to install wood before the baby arrived. Nonetheless, it was added to our list. I wanted them finished by the time the baby arrived. At the time, I was still in my first trimester so there was plenty of time for it.
My advice: Get your home improvement projects done before the baby comes. Otherwise, you’ll be pushing it back and replanning on when you’re going to be able to get it done. Decide if it’s a crucial thing. Does it absolutely have to be done right away?
Take a Vacation
This is something we planned. But, depending on how your feeling in the different stages of your pregnancy, you may not feel up to sitting in a car or on an airplane. That’s why we decided to nix the idea, figuring that it was useless if everyone couldn’t enjoy it.
There were things we wanted to get done around the house too. So, we made them a priority, deciding it was best to go on vacation.
This one goes hand in hand if you’re working, whether at home or out of the house. If you work out of the house then make sure you’re updating your boss with whatever projects you’re working on. Remind them of the likelihood that you may need to leave early or push things back depending on when the baby decides to arrive.
Plan out the things you need/want to get done if you work from home. My goals were to finish editing one of my novels, finish another novel, and start this blog.
I was able to finish the first two by the time I entered my last month of pregnancy. The other is one I understand I may have to finish sometime after the baby comes.
Be prepared and add this on your list of things to do before baby arrives.
List of people to call
Something that everyone may not think about, but it’s good to have on your list of things to do before baby arrives if you have a big family. Or a large number of people that you want to know what’s going on with your progress. Even if you only have two people you want to call. Make sure you have their numbers easily accessible. Or to make it a little bit easier, delegate this task to your spouse/partner.
This is super important if you want your mom or someone else to be there every step of the way for support. If you’re able to keep them informed then they can meet you at the hospital, which may help ease your mind.
If you have other kids this may already be done, which was the case for us. But it doesn’t hurt to check over things and make sure it’s in tip-top shape for safety.
However, if this is your first baby then you’re going to need to babyproof things, making sure everything is safe. Once your little one starts to crawl (and walk) he/she will be all over the place. Kids are natural explorers so they’re going to want to check out every little thing.
Here are 20+ Tips on Babyproofing Your Home from Parenting Magazine.
Activities for other kids
I wanted to make sure that my toddler would be content, especially in the early days/weeks. With such a big change, I think it’s good to have positive distractions for your other kids in the event you need to focus on the baby for a few minutes for a feeding or diaper change, etc. Here are some ideas you can add to your list of things to do before baby arrives:
- Separate toys – This prevents them from getting bored with their toys. Depending on the age of your other kids, it helps instill a sense of independence allowing them to pick for themselves.
- Schedule play dates – If your siblings have kids then you can plan days they can hang out with their cousins.
- Activity time – Put together some easy, quick clean up crafts for them. Or grab a handful of sticker/activity books and let them go to town.
Your list of things to do before baby arrives may be a little different than mine.
Of course, everyone has different priorities. For example, buying a chest freezer may not be a necessity for you. But, I really hope that this list helps give you a little more peace of mind when it comes to being prepared for your little bundle of joy.
What did you have on your list of things to do before baby arrives? I’d love to hear so share them below!