I really try not to procrastinate, but sometimes life just gets very full, and you have to … well, prioritize. That’s a better way of putting it, right?
Historically, I’ve never delivered earlier than a day or two before my due date, but not all pregnancies are created equal. And I knew I was going to have to step it up if I’m going to be ready before this baby decides to come out.
So, I may not have the baby’s clothes for her first year all neatly organized by months in the closet, but I think I have the most essential things covered. If you are expecting, here are 8 things that you should have done before that eventful trip to Labor and Delivery.
1. Get a Car Seat
Unless you’re having a home birth, make sure you have a car seat and know how to install and use it. I don’t think hospitals will let you leave unless you have one. By the way, in case you didn’t know, car seats have an expiration date. So if you are having baby #2 or #3 or if you are getting a used car seat, check the date.
2. Set Up the Crib
The baby’s room doesn’t have to look like it came out of the pages of a pottery barn catalog. All you really need is a place for baby to sleep in: a crib, bassinet, or playpen.
3. Get Diapers
Have some diapers on hand, but don’t stock up too much on the smallest size. Some babies outgrow the newborn size very quickly. And if you’re cute bundle is prone to diaper blow-outs, better go a size up.
4. Arrange Childcare
If you have other children, make sure to arrange for someone to watch them while you’re at the hospital. Your next door neighbor may not be ready for an unexpected knock on their door at 3 am because your water broke.
5. Wash Clothes
You don’t have to have complete matching outfits washed, ironed, and hung. Some newborn onesies, sleepers, and burp clothes will do. Having them washed and ready means one less chore for you to do after you get home from the hospital … because you will not be thinking about chores for a while.
6. Camera Ready
Maybe it’s time to listen to that “storage is full” message on your phone, and clear some space to document a very important event. Bring your charger or extra batteries. You will not want to forget these moments.
7. Pack Your Bags
Unless you’re at some luxury hospital, all you’re getting from them are ugly hospital gowns and mesh underwear. Include in your packing list a towel, some toiletries, and stretchy clothes for going home (sorry … you probably can’t fit into those pre-pregnancy jeans yet). Also, don’t forget to pack a going-home outfit for your baby.
8. Paperwork Ready
You would probably rather not spend all afternoon navigating through the automated phone menu of your insurance company. But it’s even worse if you have to do this in your hospital room after giving birth. Get all the insurance details for yourself and the baby squared away beforehand. Bringing the necessary paperwork and phone numbers with you to the hospital can save you some headaches.
If you go into labor earlier than expected, you may not want to be scrambling to get things done in between painful contractions, so don’t procrastinate too long. 🙂
What other essential things should expectant moms do before the baby’s arrival?
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