Whether you’re having your first baby or your third, one thing you have to do is put together a list of things you need for a new baby — you can call it a baby checklist before baby arrives. Lucky for you we have put together our own list of 9 Things You Must Do Before Baby Comes to get you ready.
This post is sponsored as part of a series in partnership with Kimberly-Clark.
Why you need a Baby Checklist
When I was pregnant with my third baby (my third in four years), I knew what to do — at least I thought I did. But so many people would say, “three is the hardest” or “that was the worst one” or “how are you gonna handle that?” — they had me pretty scared. I knew I needed a baby checklist to be more prepared than ever to handle two toddlers and a newborn.
Every baby is different and everyone’s situations are different, but one thing I can promise you is that if you do these 9 things (or even just as many of them as you can) your postpartum baby experience will be 100% easier and more enjoyable than it will be if you don’t. Trust me on this one!
9 Things you MUST do Before Baby Comes
Doing this baby checklist will make your final weeks of pregnancy and your first few months of the baby so much easier.
1. Stock Up.
After the baby comes you won’t want to put on clothes let alone drag a baby grocery shopping in the precious minutes you get between feedings. Trust me, when you are so exhausted you laugh cry twice a day. As soon as I got pregnant we started setting aside a little money each month for our big “stock up”.
Then, when I was about 36 weeks or so we went to Costco and filled both of our cars. I particularly focused on canned/dry things and others that are quick and easy like protein bars and slim fast shakes.
You don’t only want to stock up on food, but also toiletries (nothing like being out of deodorant to make you HAVE to go to the store) and of course baby stuff (check out this website for amazing deals on diapers and wipes). I also highly recommend having some baby Tylenol and a thermometer on hand so you don’t have to take a 2 a.m. Walgreens run the first time the sweet baby is sick.
2. Prep Baby’s Stuff.
Not only do you want to have plenty of diapers, wipes, formula, etc. on hand, but you will want to know where things are and have them organized. I washed and folded baby’s clothes and organized the first few months worth in his drawers. I also washed our car seat inserts, swing insert, and baby bedding.
Pull out the baby toys and send them through an empty dishwasher. Stock your changing table with ointment, and other baby toiletries. The Nose Frida is a freakin’ miracle worker (you can thank me later.) If you are into organic stuff you may try making our DIY diaper cream, too!
3. Freezer Meals.
As much as you won’t want to go to the grocery store, you won’t want to cook dinner either. I can totally remember before we had kids saying things to my husband like, “once we have kids and I’m staying at home I’ll be able to cook a lot more” or “I’ll be better at cleaning” HAHAHA!
With babies two and three I got smart and had my freezer stocked full of meals (breakfast options, too). It saved me so much time, stress and money. Plus, it kept us healthier since I wasn’t having husband swing through a drive-through on his way home from work every day. Find a few awesome freezer meal compilations here, here or here to get you started.
Guys, it’s not pretty but it’s the reality. Just in case you didn’t know this already, you will have all nine periods that you missed in the few weeks after babies delivery. Furthermore, you will be in quite a bit of pain down there from, you know, pushing a baby out. Sarah informed me about these padsicles when I was pregnant the last time around and *cue heavenly angels singing* let’s just say I’m a big fan. Find recipe and instructions here.
5. Get Ahead.
If you work from home, as I do, taking any kind of a break just meant I had to work overtime in advance. So I worked my tail off while I was pregnant to get ahead as much as I could work-wise so that I could have a bit of “maternity leave”.
Whether or not you are planning on working after baby, get ahead means prep for anything you can in advance. When I had my third, it was a few weeks before Mother’s Day. So I bought gifts and wrote cards for the lovely ladies in my life ahead of time. Even little things like that can take a huge load off and your postpartum self will thank you. If you have other children at home (like I did) I also prepped some fun toddler activities so that I had a trick or two up my sleeve when somebody was about to go postal.
6. Pack Your Bags.
Get your hospital bag and diaper bag packed and ready early! My first babe came 5+ weeks early for no apparent reason. You never know when they’re gonna come.. so be prepared! You can find our free printable hospital bag checklist here, and our diaper bag essentials listed here (or see video below) if you are interested!
7. Clean and De-Junk.
Before my third baby, my nesting urge definitely kicked in. But I knew we were trying to save money and we already had plenty of baby things. So I channeled all of that energy into getting rid of the extra crap we already had. I made a nesting checklist and after many late nights/Saturdays we cleaned out every single drawer, cupboard, closet and room in our entire house.
I may or may not have sobbed like a child after I checked that last box. BEST. FEELING. EVER. Also, even if you aren’t OCD like me and don’t want to take 17 trips to the D.I. to donate your old stuff, give your house a good deep clean before the baby comes. We did this every Saturday leading up to my due date. Just remember after the baby comes you will not have the time/energy to scrub your toilet for a while. This will bring you peace of mind.
8. Do Your Research.
If you are a go-with-the-flow kind of person, research may not be for you. But if you are nervous about bringing baby home, there are tons of books/articles, etc. that can bring peace of mind! I remember being a first-time mom. For me, it was nice to flip through this book to my child’s age and see whatever I was worried about was totally normal! Also, prenatal classes can be helpful whether or not you are planning on going natural. Most hospitals have them for free, so what do you have to lose? Also, I talk about a couple of things I learned after my first baby in this article.
After you have done this baby checklist, relax. Seriously, you’ve earned it. Take a bath, read a book, then go to sleep. Take time off. Sleep in. Get a pedicure. Take lots of naps. Did I mention sleep?
Nothing in life is better than newborn baby snuggles… nothing. So do everything you can now so that you have plenty of time to enjoy that babe, it goes by crazy fast.
Are you getting ready for a baby? Or maybe you have great advice for other moms. Leave a comment below and share your sweet baby photos by tagging us on Instagram!
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