I wish I knew all the things I know now before I had my first baby. Needless to say, I knew nothing! No kidding, I didn’t even know how to change a diaper and I am not even joking with this one. My husband changed all of my daughter’s diapers in the first 3 days after she was born. I know, I’m a lucky lady! ♥ ♥ ♥
I did read a ton and inform myself really well before the birth, but there are things that I wish I knew or I wish I had realized before I gave birth to my first baby. One of the big ones is “You will never have as much time as you do while you are pregnant with your first”.
You might be working or going to school and a million other things. Then you will probably say you don’t have time for anything. Believe me, after you’ll have a baby, you will have even Less time to do anything 😀
With this in mind and with my second baby now only 2 months away, I planned and put together this huge list for myself. The list includes things that I know for a fact I won’t have the time or be in the mood or have the energy to do after my second baby arrives. They are also things that I would love to know they got done and “it was about time” things.
1.Get a day for yourself
No matter if you already have kids or not, you need to do this one because of pregnancy and because of mom issues haha!
Ask your husband or your mom or anyone you trust to babysit for a day and go all out: get a massage, have lunch, get a manicure and pedicure, sit and drink coffee while reading a favorite book. If it was me, I would be doing this ALONE! Because God knows, after having babies, you won’t really get much alone time. Heck, I’m still struggling to teach my daughter to let me go to the bathroom and pee by myself #mom life haha.
2.Pack your hospital bag
There are a billion articles on Pinterest that give great examples for what to put in your hospital bag. With my first baby, I just merged all of them and made one big list.
3 Deep clean the house
This should probably not even be on the list because the nesting syndrome will make sure you do your deep cleaning. But just in case it doesn’t, it’s nice to have a nice, fresh and clean house right before you arrive with the baby home. Plus, God knows you won’t be doing much cleaning afterward. Get a full guide list for when the nesting energy kicks in. Click Here to sign up and get it!
4.Wash and organize the baby clothes
I’m not sure if you noticed, but a lot of the baby clothes you find in stores actually have “Hash before use” written on them. That’s mostly because factories are not the cleanest places ever and also most clothes have been dyed with chemicals.
5.Make a 1-month meal plan or put together a couple freezer meals
I am not the biggest fan of freezer meals, so making meal plans was way better and more useful. But if you like the freezer idea, then stocking up on some meals is a great idea to give you more time when the baby comes home.
6.Take some extra naps
This might help you charge your batteries before you deliver.
7.Have a few good couple date nights with your hubby
Let’s not make it sound like having a baby is the end of your dating life, but you will have less time and less energy and until things fall back into place, you probably won’t have that many date night after the baby.
8.Clean your car
This is a project that takes time and patience. Consider doing a deep cleaning of your car and sanitize everything around. Let having the baby be the excuse you needed to give your car a good clean!
9. Install the car seat and get it checked by a pro
Most fire stations will check your car seat for free if you ask them.
10.Put together a birth plan
This is a major one for me because I wanted a natural birth and I needed to make sure all the medical staff knew that before I went into labor. But truthfully, there are so many details that you won’t have the time, energy or mind to explain to your doctor/midwife nurse while you are in labor. Check if your hospital has their own birth plan that you can fill up or make your own!
11. Arrange someone to take care of your kids while you’re in labor
The last thing you need to worry about while dealing with labor is that your other kids are not safe, Make sure you have a person to care for them and even a plan B person, in case something happens. There is even special NGO programs that offer childcare for women in labor-ask your clinic.
12. Declutter your house
As with any beginning, you want to start fresh. Plus, another person in the house means more space needed. Take the chance to give or throw away anything you no longer need.
13.Pack a diaper bag
Packing a separate bag for baby will make things a lot easier. This way you won’t have to spend time browsing through your clothes to find baby’s diapers or wipes
14.Clean your fridge
It will be good to know what you have and don’t have in the house before you go into labor. You will probably want to make some freezer meals or buy extra groceries to have for when you come back from the hospital.
15. Stock up on baby wipes and diapers
This is kind of a no-brainer, but do your research on brands, cloth/disposable and decide what’s best for you.Also, don’t buy a million size 1 diapers because sometimes babies are born bigger than expected and they outgrow them really fast.
16. Do your research about natural alternatives for baby products
There are harsh and dangerous chemicals in almost all baby products on the market. However, they are starting to come up with a bunch of natural alternatives that will keep baby safe. My advice: Read the “baby product”label before buying
17.Prepare nursery or baby’s sleeping area
Decide if you want to co-sleep or not and get everything ready for the baby’s arrival. Remember not to leave everything for the last week before your due date because babies sometimes come sooner than expected. Plus, you will be very very pregnant at that point and you should probably focus on resting and relaxing your body.
18. Get you postpartum supplies gathered up
Pads, Epsom salt, breast pads, nipple lanolin cream, lactation cookies, Mother’s milk tea, comfy clothes, Advil, belly wrap are just a couple things that made my postpartum life easier. Put together a kit for yourself and be ready so your healing process can go smoother.
19. Make sure you have a good pediatrician
Think about what kind of pediatrician you want for your baby and ask around for recommendations or opinions.
20. Go to birthing and breastfeeding classes
Especially if you are having your first baby, knowledge is power! Learn and read about everything that can happen trough labor and delivery so you are prepared and nobody can blindside you by telling you things you’ve never heard about
21.Take a hospital tour
This can help if you are a little nervous about having a hospital birth. I wanted a home birth, but that wasn’t possible so seeing the labor and delivery section of the hospital helped calm down my anxieties
22.Make space on your camera’s memory card
Maybe nobody will have time to take pictures during your labor but after you have your baby, there will be a lot of photos! It’s just a small detail that is useful to do
23. Get a hair trim
Who doesn’t love the feeling you get after trimming your hair? Do this as part of your own mini ritual to prepare for labor and baby
24.Make a labor playlist
If music relaxes you, select and build a playlist that you can upload on your phone. You might not use it, but if you do feel the need to listen to relaxing music, it will be there waiting for you! I listened to hypnobirthing music throughout my labor
25. Do your research about Hypnobirthing if you’re planning a natural birth
This is an amazing thing that I found just 2-3 weeks before I had my baby. I bought the book and it helped me like nothing else did! I finished it in 2 days and all my fear, anxiety and worries about birth were GONE. You need to read it! You can find it on Amazon and it even comes with a CD
26.Check if your insurance covers a breast pump
Even if you are planning to breastfeed, sometimes things don’t turn out exactly the way you want them to. You might need a pump to boost your milk supply or if you don’t want to breastfeed in public.
27. Do a test drive to go to the hospital
Check how long it will take you to get to the hospital with and without traffic. I’m guessing you don’t want to have your baby in the car, so knowing when to leave home is key.
28.Ask for help
There is no better time to ask for help than right now! If you have family or friends that are not trolls :)) you will only get good vibes and positive feedback. Make them tackle some of your projects, help you with cleaning or postpartum, with cooking or laundry.
29.Buy a baby book and start writing details down
You want to hear it or not, you will forget a lot of the details as time flies by. That is even more likely to happen if you have more than one baby. Really, who remembers the exact number of teeth that came out on I don’t know what date? That’s what baby books are for. Check this one out from
30. Clean your carpets
I no longer have a home with carpet, but if I did, this would be on the top of my list. If you don’t want to spend too much money and hire a company, you can always rent a carpet machine and do it yourself.
31. Make mini gift bags for the nurses, midwives or doula
This might be a silly idea for some of you, but I will make sure to at least bake some sugar cookies for those amazing ladies that will help me trough labor. With my fist baby, I had a volunteer doula and she was so amazing and helpful! I still feel guilty looking back and knowing I didn’t have anything prepared for her, as a sign of gratitude. This won’t happen to me this time around!
32. Hire or find a volunteer doula
Many expecting moms don’t know what a doula is, how they are statistically known to reduce C-section rates, how they know amazing relaxation and massage techniques and how they can be your best ally during labor! Read more about doulas here
33. Make/buy lactation cookies
I didn’t do this the first time around but I’m putting everything in the game this time to make breastfeeding successful
34.Get a baby folder
You will receive a gazillion info and papers while at the hospital and the first couple of weeks after. Keep it tidy and easy to find by making a baby folder where you can store all of these.
35.Think of newborn ideas/look for photographer
If your budget allows you, then go for the photographer. Make sure he/she is a pro because certain poses can hurt your baby really bad if you are not knowledgeable enough. That also stands if you are planning to take pictures yourself.
36. Buy nursing bras/tanks
This is not a must, but will for sure make your life soo much easier!
37.Get some snacks ready for the hospital
Hospital food is not the best and you might not even want to eat actual food during labor. I put together a bag of my favorite snacks and fruits and had it handy for when we had to go to the hospital.Also, include some of your husband’s favorite snacks-don’t forget him :D.
Did I miss anything? What other important to do’s do you have on your list with your baby?
P.S: Don’t forget to get your Deep Cleaning Guide for the Nesting Mamma!