15 things to do before your baby arrives – getting things in order
As excited as you are for the new baby to arrive, you may want to tackle some things at home before the big day. There will be a million things you will be doing around the house to make sure everything is ready for the arrival of your munchkin, but there will also be a zillion things you will be forgetting!
It is important that you get things in order around the house before the delivery, rather than trying to do some of them when you are sleep-deprived. If you are in your third trimester now, then it’s time you start checking off this list to help make your transition easier and avoid any last-minute panic.
THINGS YOU NEED TO DO AT LEAST A MONTH OR TWO IN ADVANCE
1. Buy baby clothes, socks, mittens, caps, blankets and accessories
You will need a lot of baby clothes and accessories right from the moment your baby is born. Hence, it’s always smarter to start buying these items a month or so before the delivery, to make sure you have enough in stock. Once the baby is born, it will get difficult to constantly keeping buying these items (as we realized, unfortunately!). You will also need to give them a good wash before you start using them. Arrange your cupboard space for the new baby, buy all your baby clothing and accessories, wash them thoroughly and set up the cupboard in advance. This will be of immense help to you once the baby is home. If you are planning on using cloth diapers, then have at least four to five dozen of such diapers ready to use. Here’s a quick list of things you will need to buy for the baby:
- Vests, front-open tops, onesies and bodysuits
- Cloth diapers
- Hand mittens
- Swaddling blankets
- Thicker blankets
- Baby carrier
- A car seat (if you intend to use one)
- Bibs or burp cloth
2. Buy a crib/cradle/cot or a baby bed
If you are planning to make you baby sleep in a cradle, then start looking up for one right around the seventh month of your pregnancy. It will not be an easy task to select one, so take your time, select the best possible option and purchase it. If you are making an online purchase, make sure you have a back-up option ready, in case the one you selected does not get delivered on time or at all. If you are planning on co-sleeping with your baby, you may want to invest in a baby bed equipped with a mosquito net, which you can place on your bed. Most new moms swear by these beds, as they ensure your baby’s safety. Such beds are also known as baby nests, mattress set, gadda set or bedding sets.
3. Buy a waterproof bed pad or bed protector
You will need one for you as well as for the baby. Unlike what’s shown in movies, your water may not always break when you are conveniently standing in a place that will be easy to clean up later on. Your water can break while you are sleeping. This bed protector will ensure that your mattress is protected from all the amniotic fluid. You will also need a bed protector for your baby if you are opting for cloth diapers. Make sure you buy a protector of a superior quality – do not invest in cheap plastic protectors, which will make a lot noise while sleeping.
4. Pack your hospital bags
You will need to pack three bags – one for you, one for your baby and one for your partner. Its best if you start arranging these bags once you reach your 34th week, as it will give you enough time to buy everything that’s needed. Pack this pack and keep it near your main door or in the car, so you can just grab it on the go, once your contractions begin. Here is a handy list of what you need to pack in your bags.
5. Buy a hot water bag
Chances are you already have one to help you with your pregnancy pains, but if you don’t have one, then buy one now. A hot water bag might just be your new best friend. I had a C-section and a hot water bag helped me immensely in easing my back pain. You may also. You may also want to invest in some good quality pain-relieving Ayurvedic oils, as I did, which coupled with the hot water bag, helped me reduce my pain considerably.
6. Zero down on a pediatrician
We made the mistake of not picking a pediatrician before our baby’s birth and that led to a lot of problems later on. There is no fixed timing for your baby to fall sick, and if you should need the services of a pediatrician, say at midnight, it’s always best to have one on speed dial. Check with your friends, look up reviews online, check with your hospital where you plan to give birth and then if possible, meet your pediatrician before the delivery. This way you can be rest assured you have the best help available for your precious one.
7. Buy all your essentials
There will be a lot of essential items you will need right from the moment you come back home with the baby. Below is a summarized list of things you should purchase and stock before you leave for the hospital.
- Medicine for your baby’s colic – this will be one of the most important things you will need. Make sure you have some in stock. Consult with your pediatrician on the best option.
- Baby wipes – stock up on may packets of these
- Massage oil for both baby and mama – here is list of oils which are good for your baby.
- Saline nose drops – consult with your pediatrician on this. I required one, since my baby had a cold at around two weeks old.
- Baby nail clippers
- Baby ear buds or q-tips
- A flask – you will need to take one to the hospital with you as well
- Hand sanitizers – stock up on them, you will need quite a bit once the baby is home. However, some moms opt not to use too much sanitizer and rather wash their hands (and make everyone else too) and that’s perfect as well
- Baby toiletries such as soap, shampoo, lotion, powder, diaper rash cream
8. Buy clothes and accessories for your self
You will require some ‘special’ clothes post your delivery, which will help you breast feed your baby easily (if you are breastfeeding). Night dresses and dresses with front open buttons or zippers are what you will need.
However, whether you are breast feeding or bottle feeding, you will need some comfortable clothes nevertheless – you probably won’t want to wear your maternity clothes now and your pre-pregnancy clothes may not be the best fit right away. Along with your clothes, you will also need to buy couple of nursing bras, nursing pads and maybe even a breast pump.
9. Pick a photographer
If you are planning on doing a new born photoshoot, then you might want to start selecting a photographer, right about now. Check with your hospital also, if they have the option available. Some hospitals have in-house baby photographers, like we did and they come around to your room and take the picture. You may also want to have a photoshoot done once the baby is home and for that, it’s advisable to select the photographer before the delivery, so you have everything sorted out. You may also want to do a test run with them by getting a maternity photoshoot done.
THINGS YOU NEED TO DO AT LEAST A WEEK IN ADVANCE
10. Thoroughly clean the house
This includes vacuuming your upholstery, carpets, bed and mattresses, cleaning out the kitchen and re-stocking it and rearranging the furniture if need be. If you live with pets, then you may want to get them groomed as well, check for ticks or fleas and get their de-worming done, if it is due. Post the baby, the initial few weeks, you may be too tired to do any of these things.
11. Clean the bedroom/ set up the nursery
Clean up your bedroom, change the bedsheets, pillow cases, and remove any small objects from the reach of your baby (sure they won’t be able to get to anything initially, but better safe). If you have nursery for your baby, you should have everything set up by now. You may also want to change the curtains of the room your baby will be in, to something that can help keep the sunlight out for when your baby is sleeping.
12. Re-stock your kitchen
Purchase a lot of non-perishable food items for your kitchen and stock up on your spices, oil and seasonings. You will need a lot of healthy food post your delivery, but sleep-deprived times are not the best of times to go grocery shopping. Stock up on lentils, rice, and wheat flour, oil, spices, and legumes such as kidney beans, black-eyed peas, dried peas, and chickpeas. You can also chop up a lot of hardy vegetables about a week before the delivery date and store them in the freezer. This way you can save a lot of time later on. Most Indian homes have their special blend of spices and wet pastes which they use for cooking, so you can make a large batch of these and store them in the fridge.
13. Prepare some meals and keep them ready
Freezer ready meals are very common in countries, but maybe not so much in India. However, once the baby arrives, it might get very difficult to cook regular meals right away. It would be a good idea to get some food cooked and frozen which can be consumed by the family members or your partner later. This way in the initial week after you come back home with the baby, you will need to worry about preparing fresh meal just for you. Some ideas could be half cooked roti (chapathi/tortilla), which can be heated and cooked quickly, half- boiled chickpeas, kidney beans or any such beans which can be easily converted into a dish etc.
14. Make sure you have enough cooking gas
If not, place an order for it, so that you don’t run out of it half way through your cooking later on. You may also want to invest in appliances such as an electric kettle of an induction stove which can help reduce your cooking time.
15. Get your car checked and serviced
You do not want a nasty surprise right when you are ready to leave for the hospital. Get your car serviced a week before the delivery date at least to avoid any issues. Keep your hospital’s ambulance services details handy as well, for emergencies.
Hope this list helps some of you get prepared for the delivery but the most important thing is not to worry if some of these things are not done. Keeping your mind clear and happy during the delivery is more important than any of these points. Also if you have any points that we missed then add them in the comments section.