The Preparing for Baby To Do List: 10 Ways to Decrease Stress Before Baby’s Arrival

Preparing for baby in the month before the little bundle of joy arrives can be hectic whether it’s your first baby or your fourth. The baby preparation shopping list seems daunting let alone how to prepare for a baby mentally. With so many things to do before the baby countdown, you don’t want to forget a single one. Use this list when preparing for baby timeline and you will be prepared with time to spare!

Plan One Last Date Night With Your Husband or Partner

Sure your belly is huge and you may not be the most comfortable you’ve ever been, but it’s important to make time to do something special with your significant other before the baby arrives. Enjoy a special date night with your spouse or partner. It could be dinner and dancing or a romantic night at home. If you are having a second baby (or more!), include older children for one more special family outing before the new family member arrives.

One idea that can help couples reduce stress in preparation for the arrival of their new baby is a babymoon. A babymoon is a mini getaway for the couple to reconnect before their new bundle of joy arrives. It can be a weekend away at a bed and breakfast, or a quiet cabin in the mountains. It might be a trip to the city for a play and a museum. Again, if you have older children, you might want to include the entire family on the pre-baby trip. This can be a great way to get the family to bond and spend time together before the new little one arrives.

Preparing for Baby’s Sleep Area

Babies do not need a ton of gear. Of course, swings and bouncy seats can be helpful but don’t panic if you don’t have them before the last baby countdown. Just be sure the baby has a safe and comfortable place to sleep, like a crib, pack ‘n play, bassinet, cradle, or co-sleeper.

Make sure the mattress is firm, read reviews on bedding, and make sure the sleeping area is free of any clutter or hazards. It is important to ensure that the bedding used is free of any chemicals or toxins. It is important to follow guidelines provided by the American Academy of Pediatrics, such as not placing any pillows, stuffed animals, or blankets in the baby’s sleep area.

Install the Car Seat

It’s important to get the right advice when it comes to car seats for your baby. Consulting experts, like those at the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, can help you determine which seat is best and how to properly install it. Many baby stores and car seat manufacturers offer safety classes and advice to help guide you. Knowing you’ve done your due diligence can help alleviate some of the stress associated with preparing for baby.

When preparing for the baby’s first car ride, be sure to read the manual and install the car seat according to all safety regulations. Don’t hesitate to visit your local police or fire station and ask for help: they likely have officers who are trained in car seat installation and will install it for you, for free. As for when to put the car seat in, it’s best to wait until a few weeks before your due date. Why? If you get into a car accident and the empty car seat is in the car during the crash, its integrity has been compromised and you’ll probably need to replace it with a brand-new car seat.

Learn All You Can About Feeding Your Baby

If you plan to breastfeed, read about it before the baby countdown. It also will help to have the phone number for your local La Leche League on hand, too. La Leche League is a worldwide organization that promotes breastfeeding through support groups for new moms. If you have a breast pump, read the manual and familiarize yourself with all its parts and mechanisms. If you plan to formula feed, sign up for coupons on formula websites. Be sure to have a few different types of bottles on hand – you never know what kind your baby will like best.

Wash Linens

Washing new linens before bringing a baby home is an important part of any parent’s preparation checklist. Not only does it get rid of any impurities that may have accumulated during packaging and transport, but it also ensures a softer and more comfortable surface for the little one. But to make sure no harsh chemicals come in contact with your baby’s skin, it is important to use a special detergent like Dreft – specifically made for babies.

READ MORE: Cloth Diapering Accessories

Baby detergents are usually free from harsh chemicals and ingredients that may trigger allergies. They also contain mild fragrances and may be more gentle on fabrics, ensuring your baby’s skin is kept safe and protected.

Finalize Plans for Older Children and Pets While You’re in the Hospital

When you go into labor, you’ll need someone “on call” to take care of older children and pets. Think about where the kids will sleep, who will get them to school or daycare, and who will bring them to the hospital to see you and their new baby!

Be sure to plan for your fur babies, too! Someone will need to make sure they are fed, walked, and cared for while you are in the hospital with the new baby. Sometimes the same person who cares for the older children can do both, and sometimes it needs to be someone else. Plan accordingly.

Be Prepared With Diapers, Diapers, and More Diapers!

The Preparing For Baby To Do List: 10 Ways To Decrease Stress Before Baby's Arrival

If you plan to use cloth diapers, you’ll want to have about 30 diapers on hand before the baby countdown. (That allows for about 10 diapers a day and laundry every third day.) It’s also helpful to have a few different brands on hand so you can test out the ones that work best for you and your baby before you commit to buying many of that one kind. If you plan to use disposable diapers, it’s also helpful to have a few different kinds around – Luvs, Huggies, Pampers, and Healthy Baby. Certain brands work better for some babies than others.

Preregister With the Hospital

Many hospitals allow you to pre-register. Usually done online, this is a great way for you to get all the paperwork out of the way before you arrive to give birth. It saves time when you’re in labor and – hopefully – eliminates a few steps. No searching for insurance cards or answering medical history questions while trying to breathe through a contraction!

Pack Your Hospital Bag

Dig out your overnight bag or small duffel bag and pack your robe, pajamas, and slippers. If you’re still using much of what you’d like to pack, make a list. That way, when you go into labor, even if you are not fully packed, you can quickly grab all the items on your list and get out the door.

READ MORE: Tips and Tricks for Preparing Freezer Meals

If you plan to bring your favorite pillow from home to the hospital, be sure to put it in a bright, colorful pillowcase. That way when it is time to go home, you will not forget the pillow. Typically hospital bed linens are all white.

Prepare Some Freezer Meals

The Preparing For Baby To Do List: 10 Ways To Decrease Stress Before Baby's Arrival

Set aside one day to do some grocery shopping and cooking. Those first few days at home with a new baby are hectic and it helps to have quick and easy meals on hand – things you can just defrost and eat. Freeze foods in single-sized portions, which cuts defrosting time to a minimum.

READ MORE: 7 Items to Consider for Your Hospital Bag

Other ideas are crockpot or Instant Pot freezer meals. You do all the preparation ahead of time, and freeze the ingredients until the day you want to cook that meal. This works great for families with multiple children.

When should you start preparing for a baby?

It is never too early to start preparing for your new baby! It is important to start making preparations at least one month before your due date. Everyone’s Preparing for Baby Arrival Checklist is a bit different, but here are a few things to consider when making your own list:

Start nesting. Put together a nursery or a room for your baby and make it comfortable and cozy.

Get the essentials. Stock up on diapers, wipes, formula, and other necessities so you are ready when the baby arrives.

Research baby gear. Research and consider the best baby gear such as a car seat, stroller, and swing.

Decide on a birth plan. Have a plan in place in case you need to go to the hospital in an emergency.

Prepare for postpartum. Have a care plan for yourself such as who will help with household chores, meals, and childcare.

Create a baby budget. Determine how much money you will need for baby items, diaper costs, and childcare.

Take a childbirth class. Learn more about the labor and delivery process, so you are prepared for the big day.

Get organized. Keep track of your paperwork, appointment dates, and other important tasks.

Make a list of contacts. Have a list of contacts such as family members, friends, and medical professionals who can help if needed.

Enjoy some relaxation time. Take some time for yourself to rest and relax before the baby arrives.

How much should I save when planning for a baby?

Having a baby is an exciting time, but it comes with its own set of financial preparations. Creating a budget, researching potential costs, and setting aside money for potential medical expenses are all important steps to take. How to prepare for a baby financially? That is the ultimate question for all new parents.

Now, with inflation, the cost of raising a child to age 18 in the United States not including college expenses is about $310,000. To help you prepare financially, experts recommend setting aside at least 6 months of income in case of any emergency or unforeseen expenses. Additionally, it’s wise to start an account for college expenses and begin saving as soon as possible.

Take the stress out of preparing for baby by having a plan during the last month of pregnancy. Make sure you have all the essentials, like linens, the car seat, diapers, bottles, and any other supplies that you’ll need. Have a plan for who will take care of older children and pets, while you give birth. Remember, the best-laid plans keep stress at bay, but it’s important to expect the unexpected. Having a flexible mindset will help you to adjust to any curveballs that may come your way during your last month of pregnancy.

Enjoy your pregnancy, and learn 20 Ways to Pass the Time Before Your Due Date.



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The Preparing For Baby To Do List: 10 Ways To Decrease Stress Before Baby's Arrival
Krista lives in New York with her husband and their 3 year old daughter. In October, they welcomed a second baby, a boy! She teaches English at a local college and loves to read, shop, and cook. She enjoys blogging about motherhood at The Quinntessential Mommy. You can contact her via email, twitter or visit her blog.

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