Heading Toward the Home Stretch: 12 Things to Do Before You Give Birth
Your to-do list is probably getting shorter as your due date approaches, but that doesn’t mean you can prop your (swollen) feet up and rest. Now is the time to get everything super organized so that you can focus all your energy on bonding with your little one once he or she arrives. Here are the top 12 things to do before baby arrives.
1. Purchase and Install Your Car Seat
Installing a car seat for the first time can test your patience and can take a while. You’ll want to read the instruction manual carefully to make sure you know what to do and what not to do. If you are unsure after installing, you can enlist a local certified car seat technician to inspect it to see if it’s installed correctly. Here’s a good site where you can search for inspection locations.
2. Take care of the “fix it” list in your home
Once your little one arrives, the last thing you’re going to have time for (or want to do) is to clean your house or fix something that’s broken. You’ll have enough to do once you get home, so crossing “home fix-it” projects off your list before baby is born will make the transition much easier.
3. Prepare for Breastfeeding
You can call your local La Leche League chapter. Fit Pregnancy published a great article, 20 Breastfeeding Benefits for Mom and Baby that’s a must read. Some breast pumps are covered under insurance, so check that out, too.
4. Decide and Prepare Where Your Baby Will Sleep
The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) has a lot to say about where baby will sleep. Be sure and assemble the crib, bassinet and gear well before baby arrives. Cribs can be tough to put together, so grab a friend or family and get it done well before your due date (you never know). Get the right batteries for the baby monitor and baby swing and keep extras in the refrigerator (they’ll keep longer when refrigerated). If you decorate the nursery and dress the crib, remember the AAP recommends “bare is best” … no blankets, toys, animals or anything BUT baby in the crib!
5. Wash All Baby Clothes and Baby Bedding
Buy some hypoallergenic, perfume-free detergent and go ahead and wash all those cute baby clothes, baby blankets, crib sheets and changing pad covers. You never want your baby to dress in something that has not been washed, especially if it’s made overseas (Liz and Roo baby bedding is all made in USA).
6. Select Your Birth Announcement and Get Them Addressed in Advance
This will save you a ton of time if you get this done now. If you shop locally, you can select the announcement that you will have printed once baby is born. More than likely, your local shop owner will let you take home envelopes to address and stamp pre-baby.
For online options, our favorite (for many reasons) is Minted, a marketplace where various independent artists contribute their designs. They will even address your envelopes for you, and their paper quality is fabulous. Plus, you can even custom design your announcement in conjunction with one of their designers.
Visit www.minted.com to see all of their announcements.
7. Schedule a Photographer
Most photographers recommend getting newborn photos taken in the first two weeks after giving birth, so you’ll want to go ahead and schedule this well in advance. Some hospitals now partner with companies like Baby Bella that send newborn photographers to your room while you’re there to take photos. Take advantage of this if your hospital offers it – you can’t beat the convenience.
8. Schedule a Hospital Tour & Pre-Register
Touring the hospital and seeing firsthand where you will be having your baby will definitely help calm any jitters you have about delivery. Also be sure to pre-register at the hospital, so that you’re not bogged down with filling out insurance and medical info when the big day comes.
9. Pack Your Hospital Bag
Check out our post here about all the essentials for your bag.
10. Choose a Pediatrician
Ask your friends and family for their recommendations. You can make an appointment to visit the office and talk to the doctor in person to see if it’s a good fit. Make sure you begin this process early, because it can take a while if you find a lot of doctors are not accepting new patients.
11. Consider More Classes
In addition to the childbirth class you likely took, you may want to consider classes on baby care, breastfeeding and infant CPR. Many hospitals offer these. Your pediatrician can make recommendations.
12. Pamper Yourself (and your husband!)
At a time when you are likely feeling a bit (or a lot) uncomfortable, it’s important to do something for YOU. Get a pedicure, a haircut or a facial. Go to dinner or a movie with your husband, because all that will change the first six to eight weeks with baby! Spend time journaling your pregnancy experience. Write a letter to your baby with all your hopes and dreams for him or her. One day (a long time down the road), you can give that letter to your child to celebrate a milestone birthday, like sweet 16.
Liz and Roo
Don’t forget nursery design! We’ve assumed that’s already crossed off your list, but if not, we are here to help. You can find Liz and Roo baby bedding in more than 125 stores around the US and 25 in Canada, or if there’s no store near you, we are happy to help. Plus, you can shop online at www.lizandroo.com for the convenience and timely delivery (in stock items ship in 24 to 48 hours).
Our goal is to provide our customers with quality, sewn by hand and made in the USA baby bedding that is modern and on trend. You’ll love decorating your nursery with our baby girl crib bedding, boy crib bedding or gender-neutral baby bedding options.
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