Congratulations, you’re expecting a little bundle of joy! You’re probably wondering what you need to do before baby arrives. Assuming you’ve already picked out the big items for baby (the crib, clothing, car seat, etc.), this list addresses the needs for the parents-to-be! Whether you’re six weeks in or six weeks to go, here is a collective list of 15 things you might want to do to prep for your little baby’s arrival.
1. Stock up.
Your choice of what you think is necessary and what is not, but I definitely recommend stocking up on things that have no expiry date. The first few weeks, you are probably not going to want to go out for a can of soup or a pack of toilet paper – especially with a newborn. Stock up on products like paper towel, cleaning products, toilet paper, shampoo & conditioner, soap, laundry detergent, as well as soup, freezer meats, pasta noodles, etc.
Also, take this opportunity to build a little stock-pile for your little one. If you plan to formula feed, keep an eye out for sales and get a few. (I recommend getting multiple different types as you never know what your Baby will take to.) If you are going to be using disposable diapers, use this chart and fill Baby’s closet. Wipes are also handy to stock up on!
2. Take maternity photos.
I did not take professional maternity photos and I highly regret that I don’t have many photos from one of the best times of my life – growing my own child. You will love that bump tenfold once you meet the baby that was living inside it, so capture photos! It’s absolutely magical what your body was able to do.
3. Schedule newborn photos.
Don’t leave this for after the birth of your child – it’s going to be next to impossible to find a good photographer for a good price available so last minute (keeping in mind that you want to take these photos within the first 10 days of baby’s life). A lot of photographers offer deals for a maternity + newborn package, so take advantage of the cheaper prices!
4. Make freezer meals.
After giving birth, you’re not going to want to cook. Whether you had an easy, natural birth or not, no one wants to do additional work with a newborn. Having ready-to-go meals will be extremely useful for those first few days/weeks after baby’s arrival where you’ll be hungry but busy. Set aside a weekend just before your due date to completely stock up your freezer with ready-made meals for yourself and your family!
5. Buy a reusable water bottle (or five).
Breastfeeding makes you thirsty, and drinking water is extremely beneficial for upping your milk levels. Having a water bottle or two (or six, like me) in the fridge ready to be used at any time will be something that you’ll be thankful for when that thirst kicks in. Reusable water bottles offer the added benefit of being cheaper long-term and safer for the environment!
6. Research and register with a daycare.
Even with a parental leave of 18 months (Canada’s longest option), it’s wise to register with a daycare. Some daycares have a waiting list of 2 years so doing this early will help save you in the future. Research all your local daycares and schedule tours – make sure to be prepared with a list of questions!
7. Wash and organize baby clothing.
Before attempting this, keep in mind that some newborns won’t fit newborn clothes depending on their size. You may want to consider washing a few newborn items and all of the 0-3 month items just in case. This job can be taxing but it will be nice not to have to worry about doing it after the baby arrives! It is definitely a job you’ll enjoy when you’re in the nesting stage of the pregnancy.
Nothing makes you realize how much stuff you have like adding a baby and baby things to your living areas. Take a weekend now while you have no interruptions to really downsize. Get rid of all the things you haven’t touched for years. Check out the Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up to really discover how to rid yourself of unnecessary clutter. Doing this will make #9 much easier.
9. Deep clean.
You won’t want to wash and clean when you have a new baby – you’ll want to sleep and eat! Having the house cleaned before baby arrives will lift a weight off your shoulders. One of the best tips I received was hiring someone to clean my house while I was in the hospital. Coming home to a clean house was very appreciated.
10. Go on a date night.
Go on multiple date nights, actually. Have a day each week designated to date nights, because life after baby will not be easy for your relationship. It really helps to have that pre-baby bonding to avoid the post-baby sleep-deprivation time loss.Whether you're six weeks in or six weeks to go, here is a collective list of 15 things you might want to do to prep for your little baby's arrival. Click To Tweet
11. Finish any projects.
This can include organizing your photo albums, planting your garden, creating event invitations, etc. These very simple tasks will become extremely difficult once there is someone around who depends solely on you. Try to get as much as you can done before baby arrives.
12. Decide on when to stop work, if applicable.
Most pregnant people can work until delivery, possibly a week or two before. When I was expecting Charlotte, I decided to come off a month early because everyday tasks, such as pushing the triple stroller or changing diapers, were becoming too difficult for me. (I worked in a nursery at a daycare.) Knowing I was going to come off work early, Tim and I put money aside so that we didn’t need to push our pennies for that month. This worked nicely for us as I got a month to completely prepare for my daughter without any financial stress. Charlotte even greeted us a few days early!
So make sure to discuss a timeline with your partner and set money aside for the time that you will not be generating an income or getting parental leave pay.
13. Set up the nursery and the bassinet.
You’re not going to want to come home from the hospital only to need to set up the bassinet and wash all the extra baby swaddles. Have the nursey set up (or at least, have things in places you know you can find them) so that life can continue relatively smoothly when you return from the hospital.
14. Install the car seat.
There is no way you’re going to want to do this for your first time as you’re leaving the hospital with a brand new human. Set up the car seat around 34 weeks to save you the stress later on. Don’t forget to practice with it too! Try using a stuffed teddy bear and buckle it in. Get familiar with how your baby’s car seat works.
15. Most importantly, think about how you’re going to parent.
There’s a good chance you’ve already thought of this, but keep the conversation going. Discuss it very thoroughly with your partner. Check out parenting articles and fully immerse yourself on the pros and cons to each parenting style. What one do you identify with most? Study on how to make yourself the best parent possible for your child and keep studying far after they make their appearance.
Want to continue the conversation?