While I know that nothing can prepare me for what’s coming in seven (or less!) weeks, I’m trying to get all of my ducks in a row to prepare things ahead of time before we have this baby. Obviously I have a Google Doc (ok fine, two) because I’m insane. I wanted to share what’s on it, so I pulled this list directly from it.
Anything with an asterisk is already complete. Go me!
*Finish the nursery. We are actually shooting it today so it’s pretty much done. The only thing left to do is to organize the closet and dresser. I just bought drawer dividers and tiny pink hangers on Amazon, so will finish that up as soon as they arrive.
Pack hospital bag. I’m doing a full post about what’s going in my hospital bag next week, but I’ve been slowly filling it up with things we’ll need at the hospital. I’ve asked dozens of friends for their recs, and am building mine based on what they’ve said. It’s full of the obvious things like socks and underwear, but also some items to make my labor a little more pleasant, like a diffuser with essential oils, and my favorite pillow from home.
Finish hypnobirthing course. Anel and I have been loving our virtual hypnobirthing classes. I’ve mentioned them before, but we’re taking a class called Blissborn with a hypnotherapist that I’ve been working with for years on my insomnia issues. She has truly changed my life over the years, and with this iteration of work, has finally created a space for us where we’re not terrified of labor anymore. We’ll see how it actually goes in the moment, but going through this process with Anel has been wonderful so far.
Install car seat. My grandparents bought us a car seat as a baby gift so we’ll be installing it as soon as it arrives next week. We ended up going with the Uppa Baby MESA because it clicks into our stroller easily. I’ll review everything on our registry soon… Man I have a lot of posts to write!
Make padsicles. This might be TMI for some of you, but many of my friends have suggested making “padiscles” out of maxi pads smothered in coconut oil, aloe vera, and witch hazel. Pop them in the freezer and use them post-labor to soothe… down there.
Stock up on frozen foods. My mom will be arriving a few days after I give birth, but we want to be prepared with lots of frozen food that we can pull out and heat up in a moment’s notice. I’m planning to make a bunch of sauces that I can put over pasta, brown rice, or veggies, and we’ll probably buy some Amy’s frozen meals too.
Create blog posts… for the first month after the baby arrives. I have a few amazing friends who are writing guests posts for me (covering topics like how to pack for summer travel, great healthy recipes, and postpartum tips), and I’m trying to prep a few posts myself. If you have anything you’d like to see, definitely let me know!
*Sign up for a parenting class. Anel and I are excited to start a series of classes with The Parent Collective, a local course for first time parents that is judgement free. It consists for four weekend classes covering labor and delivery, breast feeding, newborn care, and The whole thing seems awesome, but will report back after we complete it.
Book a newborn photography session. This one seems a little frivolous, but I know those newborn days are going to fly by in a blur and I want to capture them before I forget everything.
*A plan for the dog. When I go into labor, we want to make sure that Boots has a safe place to stay. We’ve asked two friends to be on stand by so that we can call them to take him for the two nights that I spend in the hospital (or five if I end up needing a C-section for any reason). We’re lucky to have doggy-loving friends who have volunteered for this!
Update health insurance. Because Anel and I both work for ourselves, we have to pay for insurance out of pocket. It’s a seriously steep bill every month, and it’s about to get a lot worse! I need to call Anthem in the next few weeks to add the baby to our plan. Fingers crossed that it doesn’t add too much to our monthly payment.
List of chores. I talked about this briefly before, but my mom, Anel and I put together a list of everything that needs to be done around the house on a daily and weekly basis and created yet another Google doc with roles and responsibilities. The idea is that my main focus is the baby while they handle tasks like laundry and washing dishes. We’ll see how it goes but at least we’re trying to be prepared!
*Pick a pediatrician. I interviewed a local pediatrician and fell in love with her. She’s been in the business for 20 years and is flexible on timing for vaccines and even believes in the melding of Eastern and Western medicine (her sister is an acupuncturist), plus she’s known to be one of the best around. We have her locked in, and I feel so safe knowing that our baby girl will be in good hands.
Practice self care. Ugh, bloggers and their “self care” am I right? But in all seriousness, this is an important time for me to feel calm and healthy so I’m doing a few things to ensure that I stay that way. I’m getting acupuncture from Sarah every two weeks. She helps with my nausea and anxiety.
I’m also getting a prenatal massage once a month. I’d love to get them weekly but they’re not cheap! I always feel so much better when they’re done. In between them, I love getting $12 10-minute massages from my nail salon. They feel amazing and I indulge in them while my manicures dry. At home, I’m making sure to stretch and do yoga daily. In order to save for the massages and acupuncture, I’ve started doing free online classes as opposed to going in person. They’re great and I can do them in my living room!
Lastly, I found a chiropractor after throwing out my back a few weeks ago. It turns out, my insurance covers chiropractic visits and they help a lot with my back and hip pain. I’ve been trying to go weekly since I started and it’s made a big difference.
Am I missing anything? Let me know!
Padsicles are truly a lifesaver. I would also pick up Belly Bandit underwear and some new leggings to wear when you’re home.
Never a better time to splurge on some Outdoor Voices!
So many people keep telling me about this Belly Bandit. I guess it’s time to just do it 🙂
I don’t know what a padsicle is but I was an OB nurse for many years and we used witch hazel pads with a baby diaper filled with ice. I’m sure the concept is the same. Our Mommas lived on those pads until discharge.
looking forward to reading your hospital bag post as I am just starting to think about mine! The nurse who taught our child birthing class recommended bringing (dark) towels from home since the hospital ones are tiny!
Oh that’s a great idea!
I had made a similar to do list in my planner, but after reading your list I added some reminders to my phone. Thank you for all your updates. It’s been cool to see you progress as I prepare for baby too.
Make Life Beautiful Blog
Oh good! Glad I could help 🙂 Congrats on your baby too!!
What online yoga classes are you doing? Do you mind sharing a link?
I literally go to Youtube and search “third trimester prenatal yoga” and try whatever pops up. Yogaglo also has some great options. It’s $18/month but much cheaper than in-person classes!
There is no benefit to delaying vaccines or going with an alternative schedule.
I just had a baby in December so have a few ideas to share! I packed two hospital bags – one bigger one of things I would need for the birth and hospital stay and one of things for going home. I had a scheduled c-section so was there for several days and found it helpful to keep organized. No need to bring in Mom or baby’s going home outfit and have that stuff cluttering up the room when you won’t need it for a while. Snacks, shower toiletries, camisole style nightgown (I was in a hospital gown most of the time but I found it sooo nice around day 3 to have a shower with my own shampoo and put on a nice nightgown), big waterbottle, a little cosmetic bag to have on the tray next to my bed where I kept a chapstick, hair ties, my glasses, phone. Those items were always getting lost and having them within reach was helpful, especially since you can’t move around much.
Another thing I did that was helpful was to stock up on some postpartum items to have ready to go at home. It was awesome for peace of mind. I ordered them all on Amazon so could return if I didn’t end up needing them. Nursing was tough for us, and having some of these products on hand made things just a little easier during those first few days when running out to Target or waiting for a Prime delivery seems impossible. Sorry for the TMI, but Always overnight maxi pads, Lanisoh disposable breast pads for leakage, gel breast pads for soothing, Earth Mama nipple cream, Colace or milk of magnesia for constipation, surgical binder if you have a c-section. There are also a whole bunch of things to stock up on if you have a vaginal delivery to help speed healing, but that didn’t apply here.
For food/freezer, make things you can eat one handed. Honestly, sauces for pasta or other things with a knife and fork are going to be tough to eat in those very early days when you are having to nurse the baby almost 24/7. Things I found helpful were stocking up on one handed protein-rich things to grab or have someone bring me as a snack – fruit, baby carrots, nuts, drinkable yogurt, string cheese, peanut butter, turkey sausage, mini quiches, google a recipe for energy bites/lactation cookies.
Good luck! You got this!
I love the idea of two bags to avoid clutter, genius! Literally copying and pasting this into a word doc to add things to my hospital bag list. Thank you so much!!
I copy-and-pasted your list into my baby spreadsheet, too! I’m due in September and will take all the advice I can get 🙂
Alyssa | Feathers and Stripes
Having a pediatrician you love and trust is so great. And parenting class? Even better. Find your tribe. If they don’t feel right, keep looking. I was so nervous when I went to my moms’ group for the first time, because I didn’t know the mom who invited me very well. But after we started talking and I listened to what they were saying, it was like angels singing; these were my people. It’s so helpful to talk to people who “get it.”
Don’t be afraid to say yes! I have a hard time accepting help from friends, or saying yes. When we had our baby and friends offered to grocery shop for us or bring us lunch/dinner, it was a HUGE help! You are so sleep deprived those first few weeks you forget to eat and take care of yourself. I loved having visitors! The babies sleep the majority of the day as newborns, and having my girl friends over was a nice break! So excited for you, wishing you an easy & healthy labor!
I love that advice, thank you. People are already asking how they can help and I feel so awkward because I don’t know what to say!
Pack a big flowy dress to wear home. The last thing you will want to do is put pants on. I also got a great tip to bring a kimono style onesie to bring our daughter home in because it is intimidating to put one over the baby’s head when you are leaving. When my friend told me this, I thought she was crazy, and I packed this super cute outfit, but threw in one of the Giggle basics kimono onesies. Sure enough, we were super freaked out trying to put the cute outfit on, and just ended up putting on the kimono onesie.
Definitely stock up on protein bars or snacks you can grab in the middle of the night when baby wakes you up for feedings. You get so hungry and it is nice to have something healthy and nutritious on hand. I wouldn’t worry too much about the hospital bag, because you can always have your hubby run out and grab stuff for you if you need or forget something, that’s what I did 🙂 I agree with the other person on the foods you can eat one handed – you will learn the art of eating one handed (not to mention doing multiple other things one handed), those first few months. I did not use padsicles, but they had pre-made ice packs in the hospital I used those first few days, which did wonders, and they let me take some home. There is also a numbing spray called Dermaplast which they gave me in the hospital which was a lifesaver. The hospital food is bad so make sure to pack some snacks. If you plan to breastfeed, definitely get some kind of nipple ointment. It is painful that first week but then gets much better. I had the lanolin kind, but also got an organic coconut oil one which worked really well. Even though you may not feel like socializing, definitely allow people to come visit those first few weeks, and always have them bring food. There is nothing better than having someone bring you dinner those first couple of weeks! Finally, the Pediatrician is so important. Don’t be afraid to switch if you end up not clicking with the one you have. We ended up doing that and I was so glad we did. They are such a big part of that first year and it is so important to have a good relationship.
I’m currently in my third trimester and love reading all of your tips! Silly question, how big are the maxis you need for the padsicles? I have thin ones but seems like post delivery you need the bulky ones. Also, any recs for disposable underwear post delivery?
I’m currently in my third trimester and love reading all of your tips! Silly question…how big are the maxis you need for the padsicles? I have thin ones but seems like post delivery you need the bulky ones. Also, any recs for disposable underwear post delivery?
Congrats mama! Not silly at all… Go for as BIG as you can. Basically the overnight ones that look like diapers 🙂
For undies I just ordered Fruit of the Loom packs from Amazon. No need to look cute haha!
Haha thank you! I’ll be sure to stock up!