Last week I confessed all the things I wish I had done before my baby arrived, and it got me thinking. It would be so helpful for other soon to be moms to have one list with everything you need to do before your baby comes. The Ultimate Pregnancy To-Do List!
So after hours of research, typing, and ten cups of coffee later, this is what I’ve come up with.
I hope you find it helpful and, if you do, be sure to share it with other moms too!
The Ultimate Pregnancy To-Do List
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Confirm Your Pregnancy With Your Doctor
Home pregnancy tests can give false positives and negatives. If you get a positive result on a home pregnancy test the next step is to schedule an appointment with your doctor they will confirm if you are pregnant with a urine test.
Make A Prenatal Appointment
If your Doctors confirms that you are pregnant they will schedule you for your next prenatal appointment. Prenatal care is very important to ensure you and your baby are safe and healthy through your pregnancy.
Take Prenatal Vitamins
Pregnancy takes a lot out of you. If you haven’t been taken them already, start taking prenatal vitamins fill in for any nutrients you aren’t getting enough of with your food alone. These were my favorite.
Investigate Health Insurance
The cost of all these doctor visit can add up quick. Check with your insurance company to see what they cover.
Make A Baby Budget
Now that you know what your insurance covers and what you’re responsible for, you might want to consider making a baby budget. Right down your income, all of your expenses, and see what you can afford to spend on your baby.
If you realize your budget is tight you can start finding ways to save money now, instead of finding out later.
Plan Your Pregnancy Announcement
Once you tell your husband you’re pregnant talk with him and agree on when and how you will announce your pregnancy to others.
Are you going to get your friends and family together to celebrate the big news now, or do you want to wait until you are further along?
Either way, communicate with you partner and make sure you’re both on the same page.
Start A Baby File
Your doctor will most likely provide you with educational pamphlets, appointment reminder cards, etc. Life can get hectic, stay organized by starting a baby file.
Then when baby comes and you’re sleep deprived and can’t remember a thing you will already have a spot to store all your baby’s information.
Download A Baby App
I just loved checking my baby tracker app every week to see where my baby was at with growth and development.
I found it really helped me be able to bond with my baby knowing more about her.
Invest In Some Maternity Clothes
Pregnancy can get uncomfortable in many ways. You will want a wide selection of maternity clothes. They aren’t worn very long so you can get them second hand from friends, family or even thrift stores, for cheap.
Your body is working hard and you do deserve something pretty, so don’t feel bad splurging on yourself with some new clothes too.
Get A Good Pregnancy Pillow
Again, pregnancy can get uncomfortable. Once your belly starts to get big you can support it with regular pillows, but they just do not give the same support that a good pregnancy pillow does. I absolutely couldn’t have lived without mine.
Plan A Gender Reveal
Do you and your husband want to know the gender of your baby or do you want it to be a surprise? It’s definitely something to talk about.
Gender reveal parties can be a fun way to celebrate your baby and let friends and family know what you’re having!
Choose Babies Name
So many decision to make when you find out you’re pregnant. One of the biggest being what will you name you’re little bundle of joy.
There are many websites with name inspiration, and also books if you like that better.
Make A Baby Registry
If someone is throwing you a baby shower you will definitely want to put together a baby registry so your guest will know what to get you for a gift.
Dont rule out a baby registry though even if you aren’t having a shower. They are still a great way to have an organized list of what you would like to get for baby and some, like the amazon baby registry, offer discounts on your registry items.
Take Maternity Photos
You can never have enough photos of that beautiful pregnant belly.
Even if a professional photographer isn’t in the budget you can still put on a pretty dress and have a a friend or family member take somebody nice pictures you will cherish forever.
Acquire All Necessary Baby Products
Unless you have the most generous family and friends in the world, you are sure to have at least a few things you’ll need for baby that you didn’t get at your baby shower.
This post has a full list of everything you’ll need for baby, if you want to double check you aren’t forgetting anything
Invest In Nursing Equipment
If you are planing to nurse your baby you will want to make sure you are prepared. Below is a list of everything I found helpful to have while nursing my baby.
See If Insurance Covers A Breast Pump
Did you know most insurance plans cover a free breast pump? Call your insurance company to find out what they offer.
Having a baby is expensive! Save money whenever you can.
When your little one arrives everyone you know is going to want to know.
Gather all the addresses of people you’d like to send birth announcements to. Address and stamp those envelopes now or you’ll never get to it when baby comes.
There were a few little things I wanted to do in Alexa’s nursery, like make a painting to go above her crib, but I never did it.
When baby comes you will be busy with baby so finish everything now.
Wash And Put Away Baby Clothes
This was a fun one for me. I loved taking care of all of the new cute clothes my little girl was soon going to wear. I recommend using dreft to wash them.
Decide Where Baby Will Sleep
Will baby sleep in their crib in the nursery, in a bassinet next to you, or will you bed share?
I swore my baby would sleep in her bassinet on her back for the first six month, as recommended, and then in her room in her crib.
That was until I had been awake for over 24 hours in the hospital at 3 in the morning and every time I put Alexa down she woke up. I gave up and she slept in the hospital bed with me.
It’s nice to have a plan, but remember babies have their own plans too.
Decide How You Will Document Babies Growth
Don’t be the one saying oh I wish I had gotten that picture or that picture. Time goes by fast, your baby is only a baby for a minute.
It’s a good idea to look up some baby photography on Pinterest to get some inspiration for some shots. Or if you’d like something a little simpler these are great for documenting the first year.
Start Filling Out The Baby Book
I’ve heard a lot of other parents tell me how they started the baby book and never finished it. There are a few pages, like about mommy and daddy, you can fill out now to get a head start.
We kept ours on the coffee table after Alexa arrived so it was right there when she’d do something new.
Set Up Baby Changing Stations
You likely have a changing pad with diapers and wipes near by in the nursery, but it can be very helpful to have at least one more place, like on another floor, where you’re all set up to change baby.
Prep Older Siblings
An addition to the family can be hard for soon to be big brothers or sister to adjust too.
Ease the transition by getting them excited for their new role. Let them know you need their help and how good of a big brother or sister they’ll be.
READ MORE: How To Prepare Siblings For A New Baby
Do not skip this step! Especially if you aren’t familiar with the hospital.
Preregister With Hospital
You can do this when you take your hospital tour. Trust me, you do not want to be filling out paperwork when you are in labor or after you have your baby.
Pick A Pediatrician
Your baby will need to visit their pediatrician soon after birth so it’s smart to pick one now.
Asking friends and family who they recommend is a good place to start.
Deep Clean Your Car
You won’t have time or energy to do this again for a while.
Deep Clean Your Home
Am I sounding like a broken record? No time, no energy. Plus you don’t want to bring baby home to a mess.
Get Your Teeth Cleaned
Don’t forget to take care of yourself mama. A dentist visit while pregnant is a must. Pregnancy hormones can cause very sensitive gums, and you’re at a higher risk for cavities when pregnant.
Attend Classes At Your Hospital
Hospital classes have a lot of great info to offer if you are looking to be more prepared for childbirth or baby care and breastfeeding.
Check Your Jewelry
Weight gain and swelling are normal in pregnancy so don’t forget to take off your rings before they get too tight.
Make A Birth Plan
Do you want a natural birth or epidural? Who’s aloud in the room? Who’s cutting the umbilical cord?
Typing out your birth plan can be very helpful, but at the very least think about the answers to these questions before you go into labor.
Plan For Maternity Leave
Are you staying home with baby or going back to work? How long of a maternity leave can you afford? Does your work offer paid leave?
They are all really important questions you should be thinking about. Your body is going to need time to heal postpartum and you will want time to bond with you baby. I recommend you take at least six weeks off.
For many couples, like us, that isn’t financially possible. I only took three weeks off, and even though I was a nanny and was able to take my baby to work with me, it was still really hard.
Looking back I knew there were ways we could have saved some money so I could have stayed home longer. Cut back where ever ever you can. Even if you can save enough to take off a few more days, I promise you it’ll be worth it.
For instance, I made a lot of purchases on baby products and other household items we needed while I was pregnant. I could have used Ebates to get cash back on all of those items. If I had done that, and saved that money, I bet I could have bought us a few extra days at home.
Decide On Childcare
Some daycares have waiting list so it would be a good idea to start looking now.
Take Belly Photos
Believe it or not that belly will be gone soon and you will regret not having photos to remember it…or at the very least your kiddo will want to see them when they’re older.
Stock Pile Essentials
It’s nice to get out of the house with baby in the beginning for a walk and to get some fresh air, but not for running errands.
Stock up your fridge and pantry with food, and stock up on toilet paper, laundry detergent, shampoo, etc. Eliminating any reason to have to go to the store will eliminate stress.
Purchase Some Disposable Dish-ware
This is one thing I should have done before my baby arrived, but didn’t, and I regretted it.
You’re going to be too tired to do dishes those first few weeks. Get some paper plates and plastic silverware now, and you can thank me later.
Discuss Your Feelings On Visitors
Everyone and their mother is going to want to come over and see your baby! Are you okay with that?
If you are that’s fine, but if you aren’t it’s time to speak up now. Send out a polite mass text, email, or even a Facebook post defining your feelings on visitors.
Discuss Parenting Styles
Avoid conflict with your spouse when baby comes by going over your parenting views now. It’s a lot easier to work out your problems now than it will be while baby is screaming.
Some topics you might want to go over…
Will you give baby a pacifier?
Is it okay to give baby a bottle or are you exclusively breastfeeding?
Will you be sleep training?
Are you both comfortable with the cry it out method?
Purchase Postpartum Care Items
Here are a few items you might want…
Witch Hazel Pads
For more information see The Not So Pretty Postpartum Care List
Make Freezer Meals
You will thank yourself when all you have to do is grab something from the freezer and through it in the oven. Quick, easy, minimal cleanup!
Schedule Newborn Photos
A lot of good photographer book months in advance. If you’d like to get newborn photos taken start looking for a photographer now.
Pack Hospital Bags
Pack a bag for mommy, daddy, and baby a few weeks before your due date and leave them by the door. If you’d like to bring something, but you use it daily, like a phone charger, leave a list of last-minute items taped to the top of the bags.
Finalize Plans For Children/Pet Care
If you have children already or pets, someone is going to have to watch them while you’re in the hospital.
Has your first child had their first sleepover yet? If they haven’t yet it might be a good idea to do a few trial runs before you go into labor.
Install Car Seat
Some people recommend waiting until about a month before you’re due to install the car seat. This is because they are supposed to be replaced after an accident.
Car seats are expensive, and even though it isn’t likely you’ll get in and accident, it’s still possible. It doesn’t happen often but I have heard of some families installing the car seat months before baby comes and having to replace it before baby even got a chance to use it.
Water Proof Your Bed
There’s a chance your water might break in the middle of the night. Then you rush off to the hospital while it soaks into, and ruins your bed.
Avoid coming home to that mess by getting a waterproof mattress pad.
Make Nurse Thank You Bags
Those nurses are your best friends throughout your hospital stay. They work hard and would definitely appreciate a little goodie bag with some gum, hand lotion, chapstick, candy, etc.
Buy Some “in-between” Clothes
Don’t expect to jump right back into your pre-pregnancy clothes as soon as you get home. It takes time for your body to return back to normal.
The amount of time it takes is different for everyone. Stay comfortable with some transition clothes.
Date Your Husband
If this is your first baby, these are some of the last days it will ever be just the two of you.
Those first few months with baby can be trying on any couple. Spend some quality time together and get your relationship in a really good place before baby comes.
Do Some Self Care
Get your hair cut, paint your nails, go for a walk all by yourself. Do whatever it is that you love and makes you happy now!
Becoming a mother is, in my opinion, the most amazing beautiful thing that will ever happen to you. With that in mind, for the next 18 years or so you will have very little alone time.
Enjoy it while you still can.
Go On A Babymoon
Traveling with a baby can be difficult, not impossible, but difficult. If you can afford it, take one last trip before baby comes. Even if it’s just a few towns away to visit that new restaurant that just opened up.
Start A Mom Blog
This is the one thing I regret not doing the most.
If you are looking for a way to stay home to raise your kids, but you still need to make an income, Blogging is the way to go.
I’m well on my way to making a full-time income blogging after just three months. It kills me to think how far I would be if I had started this blog when I was pregnant and had all of the time in the world (compared to now, with a toddler who never sleeps)
If you have ever even thought of starting a mom blog, stop thinking, do it, and don’t give up! It takes hard work, dedication, and most of all TIME to make money blogging.
I’ve written a post to help you get started here.
Well there you have it ladies, the ultimate pregnancy to-do list! Did I leave anything out? What are you doing before your baby comes? Let me know in the comments below! Also, if you like what you’ve read please show some love and share this with your friends.