Pregnancy 101: 12 Things You Should do Before the Baby Arrives

*contributed collaborative post

Pregnancy is an exciting part of life as you look forward to welcoming a new family member. It can also be overwhelming to prepare for their arrival with all the nerves, anxiety, body changes, and discomforts.

However, there are a few things you can do to make your transition to motherhood easier. The following checklist will help you relax and enjoy spending time with your new bundle of joy.

Image via Shutterstock by KieferPix

1. Buy a waterproof bed pad

If you keep worrying that your amniotic fluid will break any time soon, even in your sleep, you could be nervous that it will damage your mattress. Good quality and waterproof bed pad will help you sleep better without any worries. You can place it under the bed sheets or on your side of the bed. When you are almost due, it is common to make a few trips to the bathroom than normal; anything can happen, and it is better to be prepared.

2. Attend prenatal classes

Check to see what baby classes your hospital offers. You can learn tips on how to breastfeed, bathe your newborn, change a diaper, and swaddle a baby. Be sure to carry a notebook to write down points you need to remember. You can take your husband along, and if you have any additional questions, teachers and nurses can help you out. You could even form lasting friendships with people who attend the classes.

3. Decorate and set-up the nursery

Don’t rush to set-up your baby’s nursery during the last minute. Buy a video or non-video baby monitor and make sure it works, black-out curtains to help them sleep, a crib, and two waterproof bed pads for the mattress. Babies can easily mess up their beds by throwing up, or as you change their diaper, they could leak. Instead of rushing to clean a bed pad in the middle of the night, you can replace it with the extra one.

Set up an area for changing your baby, preferably a regular dresser with a table topper, get yourself a rocker/glider for when you want to spend time with the baby in the nursery, and decorate it with soothing colors, pictures, dolls, and toys.

4. Install a baby seat in your car

A Baby seat is crucial for your child’s safety, especially if you are going to drive around with them most of the time. Although installation isn’t that difficult, you will need to check for places that offer these services and pick one that is ideal for your car and newborn before you give birth. The last thing you want is to deliver and realize that your baby’s car seat is at home, or you didn’t get one yet.

5. Do a safety check for your house

Babies grow up fast. While you might think that they are a long way from reaching cabinets and coming into contact with harmful chemicals, it’s only a matter of time before they start crawling and putting everything into their mouths. Therefore, it is better to do a safety check before the baby comes, and you find yourself juggling with many tasks and a minimal amount of sleep. 

Store medication and cleaning products out of sight, install locks for your cabinets, if you have any firearms, remove ammunition and put it away, get a fire extinguisher, first-aid kit, and install carbon monoxide and smoke detectors.

6. Stock up supplies for the nursery

Once your nursery is ready, stock up necessities like

Onesies: Have newborn size and the next size up that can last a week.

Wipes and Nappies: For the first few weeks, have diapers that are newborn size. You can stock up on other sizes just in case the baby is big or grows up fast.

Swaddle blankets: The soft and stretchy ones are the best.

Footie PJs: Baby outfits can be so cute, but your baby will live in footed pajamas and onesies. Get those that have a zipper, as opposed to so many tiny buttons that require a lot of time and work.

Baby oil and soap: Babies are blessed with soft and smooth skin. However, it is also very delicate. Buy soap and oil products that have baby skin care natural ingredients like almond, chickpea, Aloe Vera, castor oil, olive oil, and natural Zinc.

7. Clean your rugs/carpets

You and your baby will spend so much time on the floor. From playing, changing diapers, and tummy time, these activities will have you in close contact with your rug or carpet. The last thing you want is for you and the child to start coughing because of dust or to have their clothes dirty after rolling on the carpet. Prepare early by hiring cleaning professionals or renting out carpet cleaning equipment from a hardware store.

8. Keep a packed bag ready

When you are almost due, you can go into labor at any moment. And since you never know when that will be, keep a bag ready for you, the baby, and even your husband if necessary. You can pack newborn nappies for the baby, sanitary towels for you, your clothes, blankets, clothes for the baby, and other toiletries.

Sometimes complications can occur in the hospital as you give birth, which would require you to stay for an extra couple of days. Keep another packed bag in the house where your husband or family members can easily find it.

9. Have a test run to the hospital as you tour it

If this is your first pregnancy, a test run will help you determine how much time it will take to get to the hospital, where to park, and where to go. A hospital tour will keep your mind at ease because you will familiarize yourself with the labor room and recovery area. You will also know if there is anything extra you need to bring along to help you stay prepared.

10. Discuss maternity and paternity leave with your HR Department

Once the first trimester is over, you can disclose the news of your pregnancy to your HR Department and colleagues. Discuss how much time you will be getting for your maternity leave and if it will be paid or unpaid. Another crucial topic is you and your unborn child’s health coverage through your workplace. Your husband should also disclose the news to his employer and seek a paternity leave when nearing the due date. This information will help your employer understand whenever emergencies come up.

11. Make plans regarding your other kids and pets before labor

If this is not your firstborn, make plans regarding your other kid/s and pets (if any). Find someone to take care of them, could be a relative, friend, or trusted neighbor. Also, make a list of essential information like allergies, medication, foods to be fed, your phone numbers, vet and doctor contact information in case of an emergency. Inform the caregiver of any daily schedules like school hours, pick up hours from school or daycare, other activities, and nap time.

12. Get your hair and nails done

When your newborn arrives, you will hardly have time to get your hair and nails done. Also, the salon is not a great place to bring a baby with all the blowing of hair and fumes of nail polish. If you want your hair trimmed, go a little shorter for it to last, and get a manicure that can last months. Looking great during delivery will also come in handy as you take the first photos of you and your bundle of joy. You might miss the freedom to do this things post baby!

Bottom Line

Motherhood is an amazing journey, and you need to prepare for it in advance. Before your due date, get your nails and hair done, hold a discussion with your HR manager regarding paternity or maternity leave, keep a packed bag ready, familiarize with the hospital, and attend prenatal classes. Also, set-up the nursery and stock up supplies, clean your carpets, and run a house safety-check. Lastly, throw a baby shower to celebrate the expected newborn and your transition to motherhood.

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