It’s baby season! Congratulations to all the parents-to-be! You may be wondering what you need to do to get ready for baby, what needs to be done now, and what can wait until after the baby comes. Well, you’ve come to the right place!
Must-Do’s Before Baby Comes
A Place for Baby to Sleep
Whether you’re planning on giving baby a crib in their own room, a bassinet by the bed, or bed-sharing, you’ll need to get baby’s sleep space prepared before they arrive. Make sure there are no loose blankets or sheets and keep baby’s bed free of any pillows, stuffed toys, and bumpers as these can also pose a suffocation hazard. Remember, when it comes to baby’s bed, boring is best. A fitted sheet is all your baby will need to sleep comfortably and safely.
If you’re planning on bed-sharing, the same rules apply. Remove all blankets, pillows, and anything that could be a hazard to your baby. This may take some getting used to but it’s worth it to keep baby safe. I recommend giving baby their own space in your bed by using a small bassinet like the SwaddleMe By Your Side Sleeper(affiliate link). The breathable mesh sides and padded metal frame will help keep adults away from the baby while sleeping and give you peace of mind.
Another option would be to keep baby in their own bassinet by the bed. The Arm’s Reach Concepts Mini Ezee 2-in-1 Bedside Bassinet(affiliate link) hooks up to the side of the bed for easy access to baby in the middle of the night. Along with its mesh sides and storage pockets, it also has one side that can be folded down to allow for less stress on your back when lifting baby.
Install Car Seats
The hospital will not let you take baby unless they see that you have a car seat installed and you don’t want to be struggling with installing a car seat after enduring hours of labor (both mom and dad). Make your life easier and install the car seat ahead of time. I recommend that you install car seats in both your cars as you never know when you’re going to need them.
The best car seats are usually those that can be easily transferred from the car with baby still snuggly buckled like the BOB Rambler Travel System(affiliate link). This will make your life much easier when baby has fallen asleep in the car and you don’t want to wake them, trust me! On top of that, these car seats are, often times, available with a stroller that you can easily snap the car seat into. If you’re going to splurge, now is the time. The car seat and stroller are going to get a ton of use so don’t skimp!
Should-Do’s Before Baby Comes
Prepare Freezer Meals
You are going to be so glad you prepared meals ahead of time. Caring for a newborn is a round-the-clock job and you are not going to have time to cook. I recommend making meals and freezing them ahead of time to last you up to 6 weeks. Here are my favorite sites for freezer meal recipes:
Do not skip this step in preparing for baby. You’re going to need nutritious, filling food that can be ready at the drop of a hat. In addition, I’m certain you would rather not break the bank on ordering delivery every day!
Prepare A Baby Essentials Kit
The last thing you’ll want to do is have to run out to the 24-hour drug store at 2 AM because you don’t have what you need for baby. I usually give this as a gift to moms-to-be at their shower because it is seriously a life-saver! Here are some suggestions for your baby essentials kit:
I recommend purchasing a diaper caddy like this Munchkin Portable Diaper Caddy Organizer(affiliate link) to place by the bed (or on the bed), so you can keep diapers, wipes, diaper cream, and all your baby essentials close by.
Stock Diapers Everywhere
It’s an excellent idea to have a diaper caddy or basket that you can use in any room of the house. You should keep it in the room that you’ll be spending the most time in, probably where ever the couch is because you’ll be spending a lot of time there in the beginning. I recommend the Munchkin Portable Diaper Caddy(affiliate link) (basket) because it is super cute and has a ton of little pockets.
Definitely stock your car(s) with emergency diapers and wipes. I recommend using a portable changing station like the Premium Diaper Changing Pad by BubuBabes(affiliate link) which comes with a changing pad and space to keep extra diapers and wipes.
Create A Dual Changing/Sleeping Space
Even if the nursery is just in the next room, it’s a good idea to have a centrally located changing area in the room you spend the most time in during the day. I highly recommend using a pack n play like this Graco Pack ‘N Play Playard with Reversible Napper and Changer(affiliate link). It has a changing table that turns into a napper to suit all your newborn’s needs. It also has plenty of space next to the changer/napper to store diapers, wipes, clean clothes, and other necessities so they are organized and easy to access. When baby gets a little bigger, the changer/napper comes off to reveal a play area!
Stock Nursing Stations and/or Get Bottles Ready
If you’re planning on breastfeeding, it’s important to have lots of water and snacks close to where you’ll be nursing all day. Be sure to stock water bottles and easy snacks by the couch and your bed as well as some entertainment like the TV remote, magazines, or the Amazon Fire TV Stick(affiliate link).
If you’re exclusively formula feeding or supplementing with formula, wash and sanitize the bottles in advance so they are ready for when baby comes home. Sign-up to receive samples from formula companies so you’ll have some options. Some babies are sensitive to allergens like cow’s milk and soy so it’s nice to have different formulas available, just in case.
Deep Clean The House
Whether you’re doing this yourself or you’re paying someone, getting the house nice and clean before baby comes is a must. Newborns are sensitive to allergens like dust and animal hair so it’s best to have a clean house before baby settles in. If you’re having trouble getting labor started, you can try cleaning the tub or shower yourself!
If you would rather pay someone to do the dirty work, Amazon offers home services(affiliate link) in most areas with a variety of prices and companies.
To-Do’s That Can Wait
Baby-proofing is not an absolute must in those early months so if you’re a little behind, don’t sweat it. Baby won’t be mobile for quite some time so you can lock up those cabinets and fence off staircases when you feel it’s necessary.
Washing Baby’s Wardrobe
Washing all of baby’s clothes is not necessary before they come home. Just have some clean options available in newborn and 0-3 sizes. You’ll have a little time later on to wash the rest.
Stocking Up On Toys
Toys are not going to be of any use to baby until they are able to use their hands to grab. That being said, it’s a great idea to have an activity gym like the Skip Hop Baby Treetop Friends Activity Gym/Playmat(affiliate link) so baby can get lots of tummy time and be enticed to roll over and explore their world.
This list doesn’t include everything you’ll need to do to get ready for baby but it’s a good start. Try not to stress about getting everything done; you’re going to do great no matter what! Congratulations!
Disclaimer: This post is the opinion of the author. Always speak to your doctor before beginning any exercise plan or changes to your lifestyle. The information provided in this post is for entertainment purposes only and is not intended to provide medical, legal, or other professional advice. Read and/or use any of the information from this post at your own risk. Some or all of the links displayed on this site may be affiliate links.