Most pregnant women cannot help but think about their new babies that are arriving soon. Having about nine months to prepare before they are finally born, you can think of many things to do before your baby arrives. You will surely be busy just before her birth, and much busier when she arrives, so be sure to prepare and organize these before the big day.
Things to Do Before Baby Arrives—Prepare for Labor
To reduce anxiety over the process of giving birth, mothers-to-be are advised to prepare for labor and delivery. This includes learning how to breathe and relax effectively during the various stages of labor and how to position the body to facilitate a smooth birth.
1. Take Childbirth and Parenting Class
First time parents are often unprepared to undergo childbirth and everything else that comes with taking care of a newborn baby. Family and friends will offer a lot of advice and opinions, but it may be helpful to take prenatal classes as well as parenting lessons to help you learn more about childbirth and baby care. These are more reliable sources of knowledge, which can empower you to make informed decisions during the process of parenting.
2. Pack Your Bag
No one can predict the exact date when labor will begin, so to avoid panic, pack a bag that will carry the things you need to bring to the hospital. A small overnight bag with your pajamas, slippers, robe, and other essential items must be ready when you begin to go into labor. Alternatively, you can make a list of items to bring and grab them when the time comes.
3. Prepare Freezer Meals
Buying food from the supermarket and preparing them when the baby arrives may not be a practical chore to do. Instead, prepare meals ahead and keep them in the freezer, so you can eat them during the first few days after childbirth. Make sure to stock up on staples that won’t spoil, such as lasagna and casseroles.
Things to Do Before Baby Arrives—Have Some Fun
It may take a long time before you can find some fun and relaxation when the baby comes. So try to enjoy yourself while you have the energy and the time before giving birth.
1. Have a Date with Your Husband
Spend some special bonding moments with your husband before your baby arrives. If you have other children, you can also plan to have a family outing and enjoy their company while you have the energy and time to relax.
2. Get Out with Your Friends
You may have less time with your friends after giving birth, so take this chance to go out with them and have some fun. You can do a variety of activities, such as going to an art gallery, learning gourmet cooking, or even taking yoga classes. These can also help you be more active and reduce unnecessary weight gain.
3. Pamper Yourself
When the baby arrives, you are bound to get plenty of things in your mind and pampering yourself is probably the last thing that you’ll give a thought to. Doing it beforehand would surely cheer you up for all the efforts that you’ve made to deliver the baby.
“I am a simple woman who does not need too much maintenance. But one thing I did best for myself before my baby was born was to have a pedicure with a friend. A woman’s postpartum body can be saddled with aches and pains, but it cheered me up to see my pretty toenails. I also got a hair appointment one week before my due date, and it made me feel good to have a well-cut hair even if showers were a luxury after giving birth.”
Things to Do Before Baby Arrives—Create Memories
1. Write a Letter to Your Baby
Your child may appreciate reading a letter from you when she is older, which you wrote during your pregnancy. Write down all the thoughts and funny stories you have and tuck them into an envelop that she can open when she is about 10 years old. One mom shared that she dreamed of giving birth to a puppy, which her child thought it was hilarious!
2. Make a Pregnancy Flip Book
Take note of how your body has changed during pregnancy by printing photos taken of you by your family. When assembled in chronological order and stapled together, the flip book will create an illusion that your belly is growing magically. You can also use online photo books to make a keepsake for your baby.
Prepare for Life After Birth
1. Have a Car Seat Ready
A car seat is an essential baby gear, whether you are driving your own car or riding a taxi home. Most hospitals require that you install a car seat before letting the baby leave. Practice installing a car seat correctly before giving birth to become familiar with the process.
2. Learn About Baby Feeding
It is best to learn about feeding the baby even before she arrives. Read about breastfeeding to know more about the advantages of feeding your baby naturally. Although it is quite challenging, breastfeeding is best for babies. It will also be helpful to familiarize yourself about using a breast pump.
3. Prepare the Baby Sleep Area
Babies really do not need much gear, but it is essential to have a comfortable sleeping place, such as a crib or bassinet that is safe and warm. So before you think about getting him a bouncy swing set, make sure his sleep area is ready for the day he comes home.
Here is a video of a dad talking about things to do before baby arrives: