In the months leading up to the arrival of our sweet Nolie I read hundreds of Pinterest and blog posts about things to do before your baby arrived. Looking back on it, here are a few of my favorites that I found most helpful!
Install the car seat: I just assumed you buckled it in. However, it is actually recommended that you have someone who is certified do it! That may sound daunting, but it’s actually really easy. There was someone certified at our birth center who just came out to our car with us after one of our birthing classes and installed it. You can also reach out to your local police department. There should be someone on staff who is designated to do this! Lastly, you can always ask your hospital if they can perform this service, some do.
Find a pediatrician: When we started this process some of the best advice was to look for someone who fits into our lives and philosophies. Some things we considered included distance from our house, if our insurance accepted them, if they made house calls, if there was an after hours option already established, etc. We were also told that you can request to interview doctors! It’s actually more common than you would think. Lastly, our care provider suggested that we decide how we felt on vaccinations and to make sure our pediatrician was of agreement!
Birthing classes: There are so so many types of birth classes. It’s important to find one that fits what you are wanting to get out of your birth! Also, I loved that we were able to take a newborn care class, as well as a breastfeeding class. One thing I wish we had taken the time to do would have been the infant CPR class. We just ran out of time! However, Soph took it and she loved it.
Buy a waterproof mattress pad: All i’m going to say is that you don’t know when your water is going to break, but if it happens while you’re in bed you don’t want to have to deal with cleaning up sheets and your mattress when there are other things at hand!
Buy a baby book: This is something you may want to do before the baby gets here. That way during the last month you have something to distract yourself! I also wanted to be able to bring it to the birth center with us so they could put her cute little newborn footprint in it! You can click here to see what baby book company I am IN LOVE with).
Prewash your baby’s clothes: Not only will this give you something to do while nesting, but it’s also super practical! Babies skin is very sensitive and this helps to make sure nothing irritates her.
Make freezer meals: Everyone’s birth is different and everyone’s recovery is different. However, it cannot hurt to have a few remade, frozen dinners in the freezer. That way you don’t have to feel dependent on anyone, but you also don’t have to try and make a complex meal while nursing your newborn!! If you type “freezer meals” into Pinterest you will have so many great options!!
Clean out a memory card for your camera: During my last month I found an old memory card (actually, it had all of our pictures from London and Paris!!) and uploaded everything onto our external hard drive. Then I was able to delete everything on the memory card. Even though I knew there was no way we would need that much space, it still felt good to know that if we were up for it, we could take as many pictures and videos that we desired! (We actually did take a ton of pictures of her).
Stock up on essentials: This was such a great idea! I saw so many different people’s ideas of what was most important to stock up on. However, I liked the idea of non perishable food items, toilet paper, diapers, wipes, dish soap, laundry detergent, nursing pads, pads, shampoo, conditioner, and deodorant. That way you never find yourself out! I knew that if we had run out, obviously Michael could just go after work if I didn’t feel up to going out with Nolie. However, I wanted him to be able to come home and relax! I don’t want him to be working hard all day and then coming home to a long Honey-Do list.
((Also, if you want to know how I stocked up on diapers and saved literally hundreds of dollars, click here!!)
Take some maternity pictures: Soph and I spent an afternoon doing these, but I wish I had remembered to do more before Nolie came, but with Michael!! I kept meaning to, but I put it off and put it off until the last week or two. At that point I could barely walk and I was the size of an elephant. IF I could go back, I would have done a really thought out session with Michael at the end of my second or very beginning of my third trimester. I still felt like I was able to stand for more than ten minutes and I wasn’t quite as bloated (everywhere) as towards the end.
Mani/Pedi: There are so many reasons to do this. However, I will just say that one, it will help you relax as your nerves go crazy waiting. Two, while everyone is really just going to want to see and take pictures of the baby, don’t forget that a lot of those pictures are going to include your hands! You don’t need your chewed up, half painted nails immortalized. Lastly, my cousin put it perfectly. She told me that I was about to push a very large baby out of my body. Statistically, you will also push out everything else down there. You will be covered in sweat, tears, and who knows what else. There is a HIGH probability that you’re not going to feel incredibly pretty or feminine. However, a good manicure gives you one thing to look down at and say, “oh yeah, I have something together today.”
Make Postpartum “Padsicles”: If you are able to have a vaginal birth- naturally or not- you are going to want these. You can google dozens of different tutorials! I waited until it was too late (baby girl was three weeks early) and I wish I had made them sooner!
I hope these twelve ideas are helpful to you! Feel free to comment below any ideas you would add!