Pregnancy Checklist: Things to Do Before the Baby Arrives
When you’re preparing for parenthood, you’re making dozens of decisions you’ve never made before. What crib should you buy? Do you want to use a baby carrier or a stroller? Should you get gender-neutral clothing so you are ready for the next baby, too? All the tiny details can be mind-boggling—not to mention overwhelming and stressful. Organizing your pregnancy by creating a pregnancy checklist can relieve some of that stress.
At Women’s Care, we encourage you to focus on the preparation for parenting items on the checklist below. These actions should help you take care of your whole family’s health and get you ready to tackle the challenges of parenthood.
Make a birth plan
Your birth plan will describe how you want your labor and delivery experience to be. For instance, do you want an epidural for pain relief? Who do you want in the delivery room with you? Do you want to preserve the umbilical cord blood? You should give a copy of your birth plan to your doctor and nurses so they know what care to provide to you and your baby.
Decide between breast- or bottle-feeding
Will you breastfeed or feed your baby formula? We recommend researching which option fits your needs and lifestyle best before making a decision. If you plan to breastfeed, you may want to read about breastfeeding and obtain a breast pump (which should be covered by your health insurance). If you choose to feed your child formula, have a supply ready at home for your new baby.
Attend parenting classes
Most hospitals provide free or low-cost parenting classes or prenatal programs for expectant parents. These classes can improve your emotional readiness for a baby while teaching you the parenting techniques you’ll need for a healthy, happy baby.
Build a support team
Caring for your new baby can feel overwhelming. Sometimes, you need to do more than just create a pregnancy checklist to lower anxiety. Identify the people in your life who can support you for those important first weeks of your baby’s life. These people may include your partner, parents, siblings or friends. Your support team should be there to give you the emotional help you need when you are sleep deprived or anxious.
Choose your childcare provider
Before your baby is born, you should know where they will receive childcare. Are you or your spouse staying home with the little one? If not, have a daycare lined up and ready to take care of your little one. Some daycares have waiting lists for infant care, so you should look into these options during your second trimester.
Buy a car seat
You should have a car seat that is the correct size for an infant long before your due date. You will not be able to take your child home unless you have a car seat properly installed and ready in your vehicle.
Finally, there are certain supplies you should have ready for your first days of parenthood. Add these supplies to your pregnancy checklist to help you reduce stress when the baby arrives:
- Maxi pads
- Witch hazel
- Nipple cream (if breastfeeding)
- Stool softener
- Freezer meals that can be made easily
- On-the-go healthy snacks
- Newborn diapers
- Formula (if not breastfeeding)
Preparing for a new baby will look different for every family, and there’s no one-size-fits-all approach to parenting. At Women’s Care, we’ve helped bring thousands of babies into the world. We understand how to help get physically and emotionally ready for your child, no matter your family’s lifestyle or circumstances. Learn more about Women’s Care pregnancy and birth services.