When I was pregnant, I made a list of things I knew I wanted to get done before baby got here. I knew that once she was here, I wanted to be able to focus on taking care of her and learning how to be a mom. That meant I wanted to be as prepared as possible to make the newborn period hopefully a little bit easier and a little bit less stressful. Now that I am on the other side, I am thankful I did every one of these things on my list! They all helped tremendously in helping me feel on top of things and organized – which meant I wasn’t as overwhelmed as I could have been. Today I am sharing this list to hopefully help any other future mamas out there prepare!
My Pre-Baby To Do List:
–Meal Prep and Have a Plan for the First Weeks at Home: See my blog post here all about how I planned and prepped for food. This is one of the best things I did! Figuring out what to eat was not stressful at all – and we had good food to eat every night.
–Pack Your Hospital Bag: see my hospital bag packing list here! I had mine ready to go by 37 weeks. But I started packing/getting things together around 32 weeks.
–Put together a diaper caddy: I go into more detail in this blog post, but having this ready to go when we got home was so helpful! (Make sure to stock up on diapers and wipes too!)
–Pack your diaper bag: We didn’t take this to the hospital but I had it packed and ready to go before her arrival. You will have to go to the pediatrician the first week and the second week, so having this already done was nice so I could just grab and go! (Leaving with a newborn is stressful enough)
–Complete Nursery: Even if they aren’t sleeping in the nursery right when you get home, I think it is worth it to have the nursery complete before baby arrives. Because one day you will transition them to the nursery, and you do not want to be decorating/putting a room together while you have a baby to take care of.
-To go along with that, I had the pack in play (with bassinet insert) and a caddy with baby essentials set up and ready to go in our room before my due date. I recommend doing this as well so you don’t have to worry about trying to get things together the day you come home!
–Deep clean house well: I keep my house pretty clean but in those final weeks I a hired a cleaning lady to help me with cleaning and also did some really good cleaning myself so I knew the house would be “good” for a while. The cleaning lady also came at about 3 weeks PP to help too!
–Keep up with chores the last few days: Along with that, as my due date neared, I made sure I was on top of laundry, dishes and basic chores like cleaning counters, vacuuming and “picking up”. That way my house was pretty much always picked up and “ready to go” so that I didn’t come home to a ton of laundry or a dirty house. Between deep cleaning and doing this, I didn’t really have to “clean” my house for the first two weeks.
–Take baby care class/read books/research baby sleep: I took the Mommy Labor Nurse Newborn 101 class, read Moms on Call and read a ton of other websites/blogs on baby care! I wanted to learn as much as I can so I wasn’t so overwhelmed. I also researched a lot about baby sleep. I got some tips from Moms on Call and also the Taking Cara Baby’s Instagram page. I will put all of my sleep tips into this blog post soon. Researching how to take care of a baby really helped me feel as prepared as I could!
–Stock up: In the final months, go around your house and take inventory of household items. Make a list of anything you will run out of in the next few months and stock up!
–Finish Buying Everything from Your Registry: We did this once we got our completion coupon so we were able to have everything bought and put away way ahead of time! With all the stuff you have to buy, there is a lot of boxes and packaging to undo and dispose of – on top of putting everything away. It takes a while!
–Make a list of daily “Must-do’s” once the baby comes. Having some goals everyday helped me make sure I could stay sane. Obviously, the main goals are making sure baby is eating/sleeping/changed but after that I had daily and weekly goals. The amount/effort of the goals has increased slowly as she has gotten older! At first these were just things like eating, showering/personal hygiene, picking up around the house, washing bottles and doing laundry. But I have added more things like cooking, working out, cleaning, etc! Making a list just made me feel less overwhelmed and able to get the “essentials” done.
–Make a to do list of things that must be done after they arrive (but can’t be done before). I knew I would probably have mom brain and I didn’t want to forget any of these so I made a list. For me this included:
- Adding her to insurance through work
- Confirming maternity leave through work
- Making Pediatrician Appointment
- Schedule Newborn Photos (we had someone booked but you have to schedule the actual day after you know when they arrived!)
- Creating Birth Announcements/Photo Books once you have photos back
- Hiring Child Care: We did nanny interviews and toured a day care! (But we thought about and researched what we wanted to do for childcare before she was born)
While you will never be 100% prepared to bring home a new baby, no matter how hard you try, I think being prepared as you can be goes a long way in saving your sanity. It is just so much less overwhelming if you have things put together and ready to go before baby gets here so you can really focus your attention on them while still making sure you are meeting your basic needs as well!