Prepare for Baby: What to DO Before B-day
One of the most infamous aspects of pregnancy is the famed “nesting instinct.” I always appreciated the comparison to birds and the obvious animalistic connection. (That’s sarcasm.) But my feelings about the name aside, I have to say there is a strange pull to prepare, that seems to accompany the last stage of pregnancy. It is possible that it even borders on the irrational side. My husband seems to feel a need to increase adult supervision (a well thought plan in all honesty), and to hide power tools, paint brushes, ladders, and anything he deems excessive. For some women it’s a compulsion to clean like they’re disinfecting a surgical room, and for others its nursery related. For some women its simply a long to do list that has no rhyme or reason to its contents. This instinct seems to give a surge in energy and a complete lapse in judgment about what we can do. So to help calm the crazy and put things in the proper perspective, here is what really needs to be done before baby comes.
The Official Honey Do List
- Set up the crib/bassinet
- Wash baby clothes – at least the ones you’re going to need in the first week. I recommend waiting on the other sizes and going mainly for newborn size. If you don’t know the sex of your baby (like we don’t) either wash both boy and girl clothes, or just the gender neutral ones. Keep tags on all new clothes (if possible) until after your baby is here.
- Stock your freezer and fridge – not just with groceries but meals! Don’t forget to stock pantry with easy to make boxed meals and breakfast cereals. Its all about simplifying!
- Create your birth plan and make several copies, but read and prepare for anything.
- Create your backup plans – these are the life plans surrounding the birth.
- Who will the kids/pets stay with?
- Who will take you to the hospital?
- If your spouse is working, what will you do?
- Arrange school pick ups and notifications.
- Who’s coming to help and when? How are they getting here?
- Organize the help – you’ll have lots of offers, so take them! Arrange for meals to be brought in, child care, and help with cleaning or daily life if needed.
- Research and take childbirth classes – usually 8 weeks in advance.
- Schedule a tour of the hospital and get acquainted with their policies and procedures to avoid surprises. This is also a great time to arrange admission and skip paperwork during contractions or your afterbirth exhaustion.
- Pack your hospital bag.
- Review labor stages and relief methods.
- Post phone numbers for doctor, hospital, and advice lines in a visible location, and program them into your phones.
- Practice for labor as best as you can.
- Research insurance policies and what you need to do to add the new baby.
- Create a list of names (sometimes the one you picked out just doesn’t fit, so have some backups).
- Put a few towels in your car in case your water breaks before you get to the hospital.
- Be familiar with where your hospital is, and possible alternate routes. Stay tuned to traffic and weather forecasts as you get closer to B-day to avoid timely detours or getting lost.
- Have your car seat ready to go; either installed or just accessible in a hurry.
If you get this all done and still have the itch to clean, rearrange, or refinish go for it. Just remember to take it easy and rest often. As a rule of thumb I always ask myself “is my husband going to flip if he finds out I’ve done this?” if the answer is YES, I try to restrain myself, because it usually means I shouldn’t be doing it while 9 + months pregnant. If you really want to do it anyways, at least give him the courtesy of alerting him before hand and inviting him to join you.