This checklist of things to do before baby arrives will give you THE things a nurse thinks you need to do before hospital, delivery & the baby comes.
My hospital checklist might be different from other people’s because I am also thinking on the hospital end.
Organization and pregnancy are kind of my “things” 🙂
If you’d like a little ear candy, I actually talk all about this in Episode 5: Preparing for Baby on my Podcast: Pregnancy & Parenting Untangled. I have one of my good friends on and we talk about all the best in baby prep — you can listen right here:
To do List Before Baby Arrives Checklist
Things to do well ahead of baby Delivery
1. Call Your Insurance or your HR well before delivery
You’ll want to know your co-pay, because as annoying as it is to fill out paperwork as your cervix is dilating, it’s even more painful to hear your copayment is 1,000 bucks when you thought it was free.
BTW, when it doubt — call directly to your insurance, they will for sure have the most up-to-date info. 🙂
2. Pre-register at the hospital before baby arrives
Although the law states that we can’t badger you about payment info while you’re in the heat of labor. That doesn’t mean we can’t bother your husband, and I’m talking for payment. This isn’t free folks — and pre-registering takes a least SOME of that headache away. I recommend it.
3. Do your disability paperwork to prepare for your baby
It’s a doozy. At least it was in California. Worth it though. I do love staying home with my little dears. You don’t want to do it after, if you can help it!
Usually (depending on your state) you can’t finish it ENTIRELY until the baby is out. But, do as much as you can NOW! 🙂
Pro Tip: In the MIDDLE of all these things — make sure you’re still doing your kick counts!!! **
Things to do Before Baby Arrives
4. Take a prenatal class before having a baby
If you find yourself anxious just thinking about the hospital or the delivery — taking the right prenatal class can help ease all of those fears.
There are a lot of great options out there, but I really recommend this online childbirth class.
This is perfect for you if:
- You don’t have enough time to fit in a traditional class
- You’re worried about any aspect of the delivery, from pain, episiotomies to IV’s — this course covers it all
- You’re worried your anxiety is going to make your birth less special
If you’re ready to REALLY get prepared — this one’s your best pick. Code PC10 will get you 10% off the course!
You don’t have to take my word for it — check out all the awesome reviews.
When you should take a prenatal class?
The short answer — around 20-25 weeks, for the long answer — I have a whole post on when to take a prenatal or breastfeeding class. I also review some of the best online birthing classes and breastfeeding classes.
5. Pack your bag before baby arrives
See this post (and podcast) on what to put in your hospital bag. It lays it all out black and white. Exactly what I’ve seen delivering mammas want at the hospital.
Or, just tell me where to send it — and I’ll send my packing list straight to your inbox:
In case you’re in desperate need of the big 3:
I think this toiletry bag is a great way to keep everything organized when you’re shifting rooms.
6. Have a date night before baby
Sure, you feel as ugly as you’ve felt since Jr high but this is a good time to bond with your spouse. If you think you look ugly now, imagine how great will be when you haven’t slept for weeks and your nipples are cracked!
But, I digress. Have a date night. Have several. Remember, a happy marriage is a happy family. If you’re not married, think about when you’ll tie the knot. Dream.
My friend Camille did her prenatal class as a date night. Not as good as a yummy dinner, but effective. 🙂
7. Write about your baby before they come
Write about your hopes and dreams as a mom. Sure, they’ll be mushy and gooey, and a lot of those dreams may be stomped on like crystal at a Jewish wedding, but you’ll want to remember those times when you thought motherhood would be magical.
Motherhood truly is magical. You just have to search for it and treasure each bit of the magic. Just like pregnancy. I think this Kate Spade journal just screams to have awesome pregnancy dreams written in it! This Belly Book looks SO fun — honestly, these are the times you’ll want to remember. Check them out! Don’t forget to get a baby’s 1st year book too!
8. Consider a birth plan before going to the hospital for baby
Now, I’m not a huge fan of large, explicit birth plans. BUT, I think considering what you’d prefer in labor can be pretty smart! You can even find out what labor nurse thinks of birthing plans.
I have a whole post about creating a birth plans and how they can affect delivery outcomes. You can also get my birth plan worksheet right here:
Things to do before going to the hospital for delivery
9. Drink water before going to the hospital
Drink water like you are watering your lawn in the heat of summer. Unless you’re having a c-section I REALLY want my patients well hydrated before they come in.
I don’t care if you pee six times, but if your veins are tiny and sad we may not be friends for long. Labor nurses are good IV starters, but you need to do your part by gulpin’ down the fluids (water is best, and we don’t want to smell alcohol on your breath…;)
If water isn’t your favorite, try an infusion water bottle to keep it naturally tasty. 🙂
Plus, water can keep you from having false labor — so it’s a huge benefit to YOU too!
10. Eat before going to the hospital
I have heard some doctors say NOT to eat before you get an induction. I’m not sure what their concern is, as most doctors will tell you to EAT beforehand. We don’t feed you. Inductions are long, and you will want to eat in advance.
Note: Planned C-section patients are not to eat a certain period before the surgery, ask your MD.
BONUS BABY CHECKLIST:
11. Get your baby & postpartum supplies before baby is born
There are a few things you’ll want on hand for AFTER the baby.
I have created a postpartum kit JUST for new moms with Dollar Maxi Pad Club!
It comes with lots of the things you’ll need. But, be sure to have these things on hand:
- Pads (I recommend starting with these, and progressing to these)
- Many ladies love these undies!
- Wipes/spray bottle (although I recommend this instead of wipes — read more about it and find a Tushy Coupon here)
- Bum Spray (it will make more sense after the baby, but SO many moms swear by this one)
You can read all about in my post on postpartum supplies, or grab the list right here:
12. Shopping Date before baby arrives!
There’s plenty to buy for the little one, but CERTAINLY not what the baby stores would make you think. I have my very own post about the actual necessities to having a baby. After that, I’d splurge on a few things you think will be extra nice like the Owlet Baby Monitor.
Don’t forget to register so your friends and family don’t end up getting you something you don’t want (or 12 of them):
But, in case your time is limited, my 3 favorite “needs” for a new baby is this, this and this. — the last one is a total need, they won’t let you out of the hospital without it! Of course, don’t miss this post with a few of my favorite wants.
You can also shop from your couch at a low-low cost on my freebies for new moms post.
AND Don’t forget to use Ebates (now it’s Rakuten) to save EVEN MORE on your online shopping!
What you don’t need to do before baby:
** You’ll notice I didn’t say “primp” — unless you haven’t showered in days we’ve seen it all and most times we don’t care (I have a post on shaving during pregnancy) Sure, a quick shower is probably thoughtful for everyone, but I want you to be comfortable. As long as you feel good about how you look, I’m fine with it too. 🙂
I know a lot of ladies wonder if they need to shave before delivery… << I answer it all in that post!
Originally done in March 2014, this post has been updated.