9 Important Things to do Before your Baby is Born
Pregnancy is exciting. There are tons of things to do to prepare for baby, and nine months to get them done. I’ve seen plenty of pregnancy checklists and to do lists, but many of them miss some of the bigger decisions and tasks that need to be done before your baby arrives. When I think back to my first pregnancy, it’s pretty easy to narrow down the most important things that need to be done before you welcome your baby into the world. Here are 9 important things you need to do before your baby is born.
If you haven’t checked out the Oh Baby Pregnancy Planner, it is the perfect accompaniment to this post! It includes everything you need to cross these tasks off your to do list and more. It’s packed with provider questionnaires, “must-have” checklists, trimester to do lists, pre-baby checklists, labor and delivery prep sheets, and even newborn care sheets. It’s the perfect tool to help you navigate bump life and prepare for baby.
Interview and Select an OBGYN
You probably won’t have your first OBGYN appointment until somewhere between 8 and 10 weeks. Depending on when you find out about your pregnancy, this gives you a little bit of time to interview and select an OBGYN. Maybe you’ve had the same doctor for years, and that’s great, but you want to make sure you’re making the best choice for who is going to help bring your baby into the world. Instead of just seeing your OB for an annual exam, you’ll be seeing this person at least once a month (once a week toward the end) for the next nine months. The best way to search for OBGYNs is actually to decide on the hospital first. You can compare hospitals and ratings at leapfroggroup.org. You’ll want to look for a hospital and an OB that’s in line with the type of birth you wish to have.
Stock up on Pregnancy and Postpartum Essentials
You know how they say babies are expensive? Well… it’s true, and it all starts with pregnancy. You and your ever changing body will need quite a few essentials to make it through all four trimesters (yup… I’m including the postpartum phase as a trimester because your body continues to rapidly change post-baby). You don’t have to spend a fortune, but you’ll want to be prepared for things like morning sickness, your growing belly, leaky boobs, postpartum bleeding, and more. I have a few posts dedicated to these “essentials”, but you can find full printable shopping lists for pregnancy, post-baby household items, postpartum, breastfeeding, and more in the Oh Baby Pregnancy Planner.
Create a Baby Registry
In my opinion, one of the most important things you need to do while you’re pregnant is create a baby registry. Like I said, babies are expensive, so the more strategic you are with your baby registry, the more prepared you’ll be without breaking the bank. I created an entire post that shares my favorite tips and tricks for creating your baby registry. And, if you haven’t already, you can download my free printable baby registry checklist here!
Prepare your Home for Baby
When you’re pregnant, it’s hard to imagine, but soon, your entire home will be overcome by all things baby. From your kitchen, to your living room, and even your car. These tiny little humans actually take up a lot of space. Preparing your home for baby is more than just designing a nursery. (In fact, both of my kids didn’t sleep in their nursery until they were four months old). You can read my favorite nesting hacks here, and I included a full baby proofing and home preparation checklist in the Oh Baby Pregnancy Planner.
Evaluate your Budget
Like I said before, babies are expensive. It’s hard to tell ahead of time how much of you’re going to spend on baby, but it’s smart to get an idea of what your new family budget will look like. There are so many things to consider. Will you send baby to daycare? Will your family go down to one income? Will you breastfeed or formula feed? The list goes on and on. It’s not impossible to have a baby on a budget, but you have to have a good plan in place. If you’re not sure where to start when it comes to building a budget, saving on baby essentials, and tailoring your income to meet your new needs as a parent, I highly recommend the Baby on a Budget course. It’s a comprehensive course on how to financially prepare for parenthood.
Decide on Childcare
Believe it or not, you should start thinking about childcare for your baby at least a few months before they’re born. This is a big decision and you want to make sure you don’t limit your options by waiting until the last minute. You’ll have to decide if you want to take your child to a daycare center, an in-home daycare provider, a babysitter, a nanny, or become a stay at home mom. For me, this was one of the biggest decisions I had to make when I was pregnant with Weston. If you work a traditional schedule, this is where your child will spend a big chunk of time. Exploring your options, doing your research, and asking the right questions, will make this transition so much easier when the time comes.
Note: When it came down to it, I decided to become a stay at home mom after Weston was born. However, I did visit several daycare facilities while I was pregnant and before I had made my decision. I’ve included a childcare questionnaire in the Oh Baby Pregnancy Planner because this was one of the most overwhelming pre-baby tasks I faced.
Take a Hospital Tour
Before your baby arrives, it’s a good idea to take a tour of the hospital where you plan to deliver. It might sound a little over the top, but knowing where to park, what doors to enter through, where the elevator is, and what floor labor and delivery is on, is so important. When you’re actually in labor and suffering through contractions, you’ll be grateful that you know exactly where to go and what to do when you arrive at the hospital. Just trust me on this one.
During the first year of your baby’s life, you’ll be spending a lot of time in the pediatrician’s office. Between well visits, vaccines, and illnesses, you’ll be seeing your pediatrician a lot. Those check ups start just a couple days after you get home from the hospital, so you’ll want to make sure you interview and select a pediatrician prior to the birth of you baby.
Create a Birth Plan
As women, we all have different thoughts and ideas about how we’d like to deliver our babies. There are so many different options when it comes to pain, labor positions, pushing positions, post-birth procedures, etc. I encourage women to learn about birth, create a birth plan, and keep an open mind. When it comes to babies, you can almost guarantee that everything won’t go according to plan. But, that doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t get educated and have a clear vision for how you’d like things to go. To me, creating a birth plan is an important tool for relieving stress, fear, and anxiety about childbirth.
I hope this list of things to do before your baby arrives helps you stay on track and feel prepared to welcome your little one into the world. Pregnancy and motherhood can be overwhelming, but doing your homework and crossing things off your to do list can make things so much easier. Best of luck, mama!
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