Giving birth isn’t just about pushing the baby out. With it comes being ready in every way that you can—be it with baby clothes, car seats, your insurance coverage, and all the other things that constantly bother you as your clock ticks.
If it keeps you awake at night, it’s really helpful if you write things down on a piece of paper. Prepping will definitely reduce any anxiety that you feel if you’re a first-time mom-to-be, or even if you have given birth before. After all, no two births are ever the same!
Making a checklist will make you feel more organized and prepared before officially becoming a parent, so here's a list of the things to do before your baby arrives to help you feel ready for delivery day.
1 Start packing your bags. Be it in a hospital or a birth center, always make sure that you have everything you need packed on your bag. So many things are going to happen and the last thing that you’d want is to panic while trying to hold it over one contraction after another. Today is the day to start preparing: Get this checklist and start packing your hospital bag!
2 Choose a pediatrician. If you’re going to be a mom for the first-time, make sure to put this on your list. For sure you know someone close to you who has given birth, so try to ask for their advice. It will be much easier for you to choose from a list of recommended pediatricians than searching on your own. Before you decide on your pick, also check that he/she is a member of the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP).
3 Wash baby’s clothes. If you are using either new or hand-me-down (from your older kids or their cousins) baby clothes, it is good to wash them first before your newborn wears them. Doing this will soften the new clothes and remove any unnecessary chemicals in them, making them safer for your baby’s delicate skin. Checkout some of the cutest baby clothes we found online here. It will help with the same on hand-me-downs, especially in getting rid of the storage smell and dusts they may have. You know you can’t be too careful! ;)
4 Invest in a nursing bra (or two or three) - Because your body has been changing during pregnancy and postpartum, you are unlikely to fit into your pre-pregnancy bra. According to an Ohio pediatrician Ann Witt, wearing a bra that is too tight may cause the milk ducts to become plugged. Nursing bras are usually designed to have a wider band and more room, providing the much-needed comfort to your breasts. They also allow you to reveal one breast at a time, a key consideration if you are nursing in public. If you’re not yet convinced, here are more reasons why you should invest in nursing/maternity bras.
5 Attend classes at your hospital. A lot of hospitals offer valuable classes for parents-to-be. You can sign up for both childbirth and baby care classes, or maybe breastfeeding if you’re planning it. Learn as much as you can, as early as you can to familiarize yourself. List down any questions and ask them to the teachers/nurses who are in charge of the class.
6 Install your new baby’s car seat. You don’t want to find yourself installing your newborn’s ride just as when you are about to pop! This is something that you can take care of even months before you are due. Car seats are not hard to install but some parents who do not know how to properly do it could be making mistakes endangering the safety of their little one. If you’re in doubt, search for child passenger safety (CPS) technicians in your community who can check to make sure your car seats are installed correctly.
7 Make a birth plan. Finalize your birth plan and have the copies ready to take to the hospital with you. It’s always nice to feel in control of what’s going to happen before, during, and after your labor. However, remember that birth plans aren’t always followed. Things may change for your safety and the baby’s, so you should be flexible in this.
8 Do a test run to the hospital. Many would think that this is not really necessary when they have been to the hospital or birth center at least once. But knowing how long it takes exactly to get there will definitely lessen your worries of not making it to your birthing place right on time. You’d want to be familiar with the hospital surroundings like which floor or room to go to and everything else.
9 Be intimate with your partner and have sex. It is generally safe to have sexual activity, as long as your doctor isn’t telling you otherwise. One of our articles related to this says that sex increases contractions in your pelvic floor which helps to strengthen the muscles you’ll need during childbirth. That’s right. Sex can be your pelvic workout routine as preparation for the big, delivery day.
Another point is - if it’s your first time to become parents, you should also take this opportunity to be intimate and have the time only for the two of you, before you officially become a family of three. 👪
10 Set Up The Nursery. The next big thing you’re probably excited about is setting up the baby nursery. Whatever things you like to put in the baby room, make sure that it’s safe. If you are stuck on how to set it up, here are some super awesome nursery room ideas you can choose from.
11 Make time to clean baby feeding stuff. Thoroughly clean baby’s bottles and pacifiers by sterilizing them and also have your breast pump supplies clean and available for use.
12 Review your insurance coverage so you know what to expect with your billing. Take some time to understand what your insurance can cover to be ready with the financial stuff early on. The last surprise you wanna get after delivery is a whopping bill that your eyes can’t believe!
13 Decide on your little one’s name. If you’re still undecided on what to name your baby, we got a list of gender-neutral names that you can look at. Mix and match them together to get the cutest name for your newest bundle of joy. 👶🏽💝