Congratulations on your new addition!! Being pregnant can be VERY stressful at times. Especially if you wait to long to get things taken care of. Some women don´t even realize they are behind until they´re trying to pack their hospital bag and can´t bend over far enough to reach the bottom drawer. I have always been such a planner; that is just my personality and with the planning comes my handy notebook, but I have GOBS of friends and people telling me that they are so overwhelmed with being pregnant in general, and they aren´t sure where to start when it comes to preparing for their baby. The lists I make for my life save me from going completely crazy, so hopefully this can ease some of your stresses as well!
- Contact your HR department if you work to discuss Family Medical Leave, time off, and see what all you need to complete ahead of time so there´s nothing to be stressed about once your baby has arrived.
- Contact your insurance. Let them know you are pregnant, discuss coverage/deductible, and ask about freebies. Some insurance providers provide girdles, support bands, prenatal vitamin coverage, and even breast pumps.
- Arrange for Dog Sitter/Baby Sitter. If you have pets or other babies, make sure you plan out who will be responsible for their care while you are in the hospital.
- Discuss, Discuss, Discuss. Have plenty of discussions with your hubby about the upcoming baby, the experience as a whole, organizing finances while you´re on maternity leave, etc. If you are at a loss for what to discuss next, check out these.
- Prep the new items. After your baby shower you will have so many great things that need to be cleaned, put away, maybe labeled depending on how you plan to organize. Don´t wait until the baby is here because this will not be on your list of desires once you’re home.
- PACK for your hospital stay. Your hospital bag should be packed WEEKS in advance. There of course are exceptions to certain items, but the bulk of the hospital bag should be prepared well in advance. If you are struggling to find what to bring, or you know you over packed, check out this list and hopefully it´ll help solve your dilemma.
- PACK FOR THE OTHERS. By others I mean your hubby (if he´s anything like Mat, you´re better off doing it for him :)) If you have other kiddos or animals like I mentioned earlier, it´s a great idea to start preparing their bag as well.
- Find props. Props could be anything from a letter board to pose in the hospital, going home outfits, matching family outfits, etc. Basically anything you are going to want to use or document while in the hospital/1st week home.
- Hospital Tour- Hospitals are overwhelming when YOU are the patient, plain and simple. Tour the hospital and attempt to ease some of the anxiety you may be experiencing about the upcoming labor. This is a great opportunity to familiarize yourself and ask questions.. (write the questions down BEFORE going to the hospital so you don´t forget them–> pregnancy brain is REAL).
- Design your Nursery. Do your research with this one. Often you can find the same items you love in the store for a major price cut online. Amazon is my go-to for deals, but if you are on a very limited budget, there are TONS of hacks you can use to turn everyday household items into nursery decor.
- Register- If you are lost on what you need to register for, check out my list here. I chose to register on Amazon because they have a discount program for all the items you register for and may not get, they discount diapers, they have discounted services for products you subscribe to, and you can qualify for their ¨mom bag¨ as I call it and get some freebies just by registering for items listed in different categories. PLUS they have suggestions and a checklist for you to go off of to avoid forgetting essential things.
- Find a Photographer. Research photographers in your area, compare pricing, make sure that photographer example work matches the style you are looking for, and book. With my first baby, I used a different photographer for maternity photos than I did for Knox´s newborn shots because the style of photographers varies-do your research. You´re not going to want to be farting around with this after you deliver a whole human. Find them early!
- Visit a chiropractor. Your body is under SO MUCH CHANGE. The chiropractor can help with pains you didn´t even realize were possible to have. Many chiropractic offices offer prenatal massages, and I highly suggest looking in to these! GAME CHANGER!
- TREAT Yo´ SELF- Not that this is a NECESSITY.. but if this is your first baby, just know that finding time to treat yourself after baby does become a challenge at times.. So go get those every two week mani/pedi´s, SPLURGE- eat the cake.. or have a cheat day once a week (your baby will love this day),
There ya have it ladies!! Depending on your lifestyle, you may need to add some to your list or take some away, but the goal is to give you a really good foundation to get started with. Keep in mind that even the best planners get caught off guard.. sometimes you´re planning on your baby arriving in November, but they make a surprise entrance in October.. It never hurts to be prepared well ahead of time rather than scrambling when you´re in no condition to bend and move and race around searching for things..
Congrats on your sweet baby love!!