As I head towards my third trimester, I have started to prepare our home for our next baby while I still have some energy. One of the best ways for me to get these nesting tasks accomplished is by making a to-do list.
Preparing for your baby’s arrival doesn’t have to be stressful or daunting! Having a list of things to do before baby arrives can help you make a plan of action and get things done in a reasonable amount of time.
So in this article, I’m sharing with you all the things to do before your baby arrives. These tasks are all things that are great to do in the third trimester to ensure this next chapter in your life transitions smoothly.
Let’s get started!
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Things To Do Before Baby Arrives: For Your Home
1. Ensure You Have a Waterproof Mattress Pad
As you get closer to your due date, you’ll want to ensure you have a waterproof mattress pad on your bed. A waterproof mattress pad is beneficial to have not only in case your water breaks while you’re in bed. It’s useful for many other scenarios!
There were numerous times in the first months of breastfeeding that I’d wake up in a leaky puddle. The waterproof mattress pad saved our mattress from breast milk leaks.
Plus, if your baby is on your bed and spits up or has a leaky diaper, nothing will soak down to your mattress.
2. Clean the Carpets
If you can’t remember the last time you’ve had the carpets in your home cleaned, whether professionally or DIY, it’s time to get that done!
After you bring your baby home, you’ll want to start doing tummy time with them periodically. While you can certainly put a blanket or activity gym down for them to lay on, it’s only a matter of time before they start crawling all over the place!
Also, it’s just easier to get the carpets cleaned before your baby is born rather than deciding you want it done after you bring them home.
Before your baby is born, it’s likely you won’t have as many things lying around, and you won’t have to worry about nap times getting interrupted.
Part of nesting that many moms experience is wanting to get the house as clean as can be before the due date. Part of that cleaning can mean decluttering!
Decluttering your home helps it look and feel cleaner. Fewer things in your home equal fewer things to clean or pick up, which is perfect when you have a new baby to care for.
As I prepare for our second baby, I have been in a big decluttering mood. I’ve found it easiest to start and finish one room at a time. I typically begin in the closet and then make my way through the rest of the room.
When decluttering, remember that if you haven’t touched the item in the last 6+ months, it’s probably safe to get rid of!
4. Do Some Deep Cleaning
As I mentioned above, getting cleaning tasks done before your baby arrives is much easier than after. If there are some big cleaning projects you’ve wanted to finish, now is the time!
If you need help figuring out where to start deep cleaning, check out this daily, weekly, monthly, and yearly cleaning schedule. You can pick and choose which tasks are most important to you, or you can recruit some help and check off each item.
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5. Get a Head Start on Baby Proofing
If this is your first baby, there are certainly some babyproofing tasks that can wait a couple of months. Things like installing outlet protectors or baby gates can wait until your child is at least two months old!
But some babyproofing tasks never hurt to get done before the baby arrives. For example, securing furniture to the walls is a more significant task that will give you much-needed peace of mind down the road.
If you’re a first-time parent who needs help figuring out where to start babyproofing, check out this article.
6. Catch up on Laundry
Catching up on laundry is another beneficial thing to do before your baby arrives. Once your baby is home, you’ll have a surprising amount of added laundry to do!
Taking time in the week or two before your due date to wash all your laundry will prevent you from getting those dreaded laundry mountains.
7. Schedule General Maintenance
Another thing to do before your baby arrives is schedule general maintenance for things in your home and car. For example, you’ll want to schedule your car’s oil change and tire rotation before your due date.
Also, you’ll want to schedule tune-ups for your HVAC systems. Like getting the carpets cleaned, it’s easier to make these appointments before you have a sleeping baby to take into consideration.
Things To Do Before Baby Arrives: For Yourself
8. Take Time to Rest
While there are quite a few things to do before your baby arrives, you’ll also want to prioritize your rest. You never want to be so busy that you exhaust yourself!
When I say take time to rest, that doesn’t necessarily mean sleep. Naps can be great, but if you feel relaxed after doing a hobby that you love, that also counts! Any way you can get some relaxation will be beneficial.
9. Make a Postpartum Care Basket
A postpartum care basket is one thing you won’t regret having ready for when you come home. You don’t want to go home to find that you ran out of an essential personal care item!
When making a postpartum care basket, you’ll gather all the supplies you’ll need after labor. For example, maxi pads, Tucks pads, and a peri bottle are very common items to add to your postpartum care basket.
But if you need help deciding what else to include in your care basket, check out this article! There, you’ll find everything you need after labor and delivery, whether you’re having a natural birth or a C-section.
10. Invest in Breastfeeding Shirts
If you plan on breastfeeding, invest in some nice breastfeeding shirts while you’re still pregnant. When you start your breastfeeding wardrobe while pregnant, you’ll already have appropriate choices to wear when you come home.
The benefit of having breastfeeding shirts is that you won’t have to pull your whole shirt up to feed your baby. Shirts like these ones have flaps that you can move aside, so your body is still mostly covered during a feeding.
11. Learn How to Use Your Breast Pump
Another thing to do if you plan on breastfeeding is to learn how to use your breast pump. Understanding how to use your breast pump before your baby is born will give you much more preparation for actually using it when the time comes.
I made the huge mistake of waiting to even look at my breast pump until a couple of weeks before I was due back to work after my first baby.
I remember feeling overwhelmed getting everything washed and ready and then looking up videos of how to use the pump. Don’t be like I was!
A few weeks before your due date, take your pump out, wash all the parts, so they are ready to use, and educate yourself on how it works. You won’t regret it!
12. Get a Haircut
Getting a haircut is one of those self-care things that can get pushed to the back burner after having a baby. Scheduling a haircut about a month before your due date is a great way to pamper yourself. But you’ll have it out of the way for at least the first few months after your baby is born!
One thing to remember when getting a pre-baby haircut is not to do anything drastic. What I mean by that is don’t go and chop your hair super short if you’ve never done that before!
Some moms-to-be think getting a short hairstyle will be easier to maintain when having a new baby at home. But, if short hair is not something you’re used to, it can be a hard adjustment.
13. Have a Date Night
Prioritizing time with your partner before your baby is born can be vital for your relationship. After having your baby, you’ll both be tired, and getting out of the house with a newborn is harder.
When it comes to having a date night, it doesn’t have to be anything extravagant or expensive. You could go out to dinner or a movie or spend time together doing something simple that you both enjoy.
14. Make Some Space on Your Phone
There’s no doubt you’ll be snapping so many pictures of your little one once they are born. Running out of storage space on your phone would be terrible while you’re still in the hospital!
Sometime in the last month of your pregnancy, transfer your current photos off your phone and onto your computer to free up more space. Also, remind your partner to do the same!
Things To Do Before Baby Arrives: For Your Baby
15. Wash All Clothes and Soft Items
Once you’ve had your baby shower and finished buying the last items on your baby registry (check out these money-saving tips for baby clothes!), wash all the soft baby things so they are ready to use when you need them.
First, you know that you’ll want to wash all of the baby’s clothes. But there are some more items that you might need to remember. Items like burp cloths, bibs, blankets, towels, and washcloths are things you’ll need to wash before first use.
When washing these items, make sure you use a gentle laundry soap for your baby’s sensitive skin. In the past, I’ve used Dreft, and I didn’t mind it!
But I started using All Free and Clear for half the price, and I like it much more. Not only is it cheaper and suitable for sensitive skin, but it gets stains out much better than Dreft.
16. Pick a Pediatrician
Choosing a pediatrician is one of the things to do before your baby arrives that you want to consider. When you choose your pediatrician before your labor and delivery, there’s a likely chance that they will be the doctor to help your baby in the delivery room once they are born.
Picking a pediatrician is a task you can do anytime in your second or third trimester. And, if you have no idea where to start looking for a pediatrician, check out this post! There, you’ll find how to find the best doctor for your baby, plus interview questions to ask them!
17. Look Into Newborn Photographers
At our hospital, there is a newborn photographer that will come and take a picture of each newborn. As I was nearing my due date with my first baby, I couldn’t decide if I was okay with just one professional picture or if I wanted to book someone to do a whole newborn photoshoot.
In the end, we chose to hire a photographer to do a newborn photoshoot, and I’m so glad we did. A whole photoshoot ensured we had plenty of adorable photos to choose from.
The great thing about photographers is that you can typically find one that you like in the price range you need! So if you choose to have a newborn photographer, don’t be afraid to shop around until you find the right fit.
For more tips about newborn photoshoots, check out this article!
18. Install the Car Seat
Once you have your baby, you can only leave the hospital with a properly installed car seat. That’s why installing the car seat is one of the more essential things to do before your baby arrives!
If installing the car seat is daunting to you, or you need help figuring out how to do it, there are likely some local resources you can use.
For example, our local fire station has trained techs that will install your car seat for you and ensure that it’s as safe as can be. Also, if you have a local AAA insurance office, they often have trained car seat installers who can help you set it up.
19. Set Up and Organize the Nursery
Another thing you can do after your baby shower and once you’ve bought what you need off your baby registry is set up your nursery room. Putting together and organizing your nursery is exciting because it means you are so close to your due date!
When setting up your nursery room, you’ll want to start by assembling the nursery furniture, like the crib and dresser. Then, you can begin hanging decor on the walls, filling the dresser with clothes and newborn essentials, and doing any last-minute decorating and touchup.
20. Prepare the Baby Gear
In the last few weeks before your due date, you and your partner will want to put together any baby gear you’ll be using. Don’t wait until you are both exhausted after your baby is born!
Some common baby gear items you’ll want to prepare beforehand are a bassinet, Pack N’ Play, and a bouncy chair. Of course, these items are in addition to the crib, dresser, and changing table (if you choose to have one).
Things To Do Before Baby Arrives: For Your Family
21. Make Freezer Meals
One of the things to do before baby arrives that I regret not doing with my first child is making freezer meals! Preparing some meals ahead of time to stash in the freezer is a huge time-saver, especially when you’re exhausted and recovering.
One of the best tips I’ve picked up when it comes to making freezer meals is to double a recipe that you’re already making.
For instance, if you or your partner is making a batch of lasagna in your last month of pregnancy, double it, and assemble one in a foil baking dish like this one for the freezer.
Then, after your baby is born and you’re home, you can pop that lasagna in the oven, and dinner will be ready shortly!
Another great thing about freezer meals is that almost any meal can be made for the freezer. If there is a recipe you love, and you’re unsure how to make it a freezer meal, Google it, and I’m sure you’ll find answers!
22. Stock Up on Non-Baby Essentials
You know you need to stock up on all the baby essentials like diapers and wipes, but you don’t want to forget the non-baby essentials, too!
Stocking up on items like soaps, shampoo, cleaners, paper products, and pantry staples will allow you some breathing room once you return home from the hospital. You won’t get home to realize you ran out of toilet paper or toothpaste.
The non-baby items that you’ll want to stock up on are the things you use frequently and run the risk of running out. To make it super simple, check out this article for a complete list of things to stock up on before your due date!
23. Find Ways to Save Money
With a baby comes expense after expense. Whether it’s the cost of buying everything your baby will need or your labor, delivery, and hospital stay, finding a way to save money before your baby is born is crucial!
The great thing about saving money is that all the little wins add up. If you can start by swapping out for cheaper items at the grocery store, you’ll be amazed by how much you can cut off your total!
Another great way I save money is by using Ibotta. Ibotta offers cash back for items at many different stores and online!
24. Pay Bills a Week Before the Due Date
Paying bills is one of the things you’ll want to do close to your due date. There will be so much going on as your due date approaches; paying bills will be the last thing on your mind!
Take a look at the bills you usually pay and when you pay them. Then, see which bills you might want to pay early to prevent yourself from forgetting about them if you go into labor.
25. Prepare Gifts for Older Children
If this isn’t your first child, getting some gifts for your older child ‘from the baby’ can be a great way to help your older child feel included. Getting a sibling is a huge change for children, too, so finding a way to make them feel good is essential.
When picking out gifts ‘from the baby,’ know that you don’t have to get too elaborate or expensive. A small toy your child will enjoy, an activity book, and even their favorite treat are enough to make them feel like they haven’t been forgotten.
26. Do Special Activities With Older Children
In the last weeks of your pregnancy, take time to do special things with your older children. Soon, they will have a little less one-on-one time with you, so your efforts before your due date will make for some special memories.
Again, these activities don’t have to include anything extensive! You don’t have to go to a theme park or something similar to make great memories with your kids.
Choosing activities your child loves will be beneficial, whether it’s simply reading books together or even playing a made-up game. As long as your child has your full attention, they will be thrilled!
Things To Do Before Baby Arrives: For Your Labor
27. Pack Your Hospital Bag
About four weeks before your due date, you’ll want to pack hospital bags for you, your partner, and your new baby. You’ll want these bags packed and ready ahead of time in case you have to go to the hospital early.
When I packed our hospital bags during my first pregnancy, I had everything that we didn’t use every day packed in the bags.
Then, for the items we did use every day, I made a list of what those items were and set it on top of the hospital bags. Having the list ensured I remembered everything when packing those last-minute items.
Check out this article for a complete list of what to pack in your hospital bags. This hospital bag checklist is a no-fluff, minimalist guide that will help prevent you from overpacking!
28. Attend Birthing and Breastfeeding Classes
Attending birthing and breastfeeding classes is highly beneficial if this is your first baby! With many class choices, like in-person or online, there should be an option that works for you and your schedule!
A great place to look for breastfeeding and birthing classes is at the hospital where you will have your baby. Often, classes at the hospital will be free, and they are usually taught by a nurse who can answer all of your questions.
29. Tour the Hospital
Speaking of your local hospital, make sure to take a tour of the hospital where you’ll give birth. Typically, you can call and set up an appointment with a nurse to walk you through the birth center.
Taking a tour of the hospital provides you with time to check out where you’ll be giving birth. And, you’ll also have the opportunity to ask any questions about what to expect. You can find out what options they have for pain management, the rules about eating during labor, and what it will be like at the hospital when you go into labor.
30. Take a Test Drive to the Hospital
If the hospital where you’ll be giving birth is separate from your regular OB/GYNs office, you’ll want to take a test drive there. Knowing how long it takes to drive to the hospital is essential before you go into labor!
Plus, when you test drive to the hospital, you can plan a route that is easy for you to take with less traffic.
31. Make a Birth Plan
Making a birth plan is another thing you’ll want to do in the last month of your pregnancy. A birth plan is how you would like your labor to go as long as everything goes according to plan. Just remember to be adaptable if something you wish for can’t happen.
If you don’t want to write a birth plan, that’s fine! Make sure you and your partner talk through the options you have for labor and newborn care, so you are both on the same page.
32. Preregister With the Hospital
While you certainly don’t have to preregister at the hospital before your labor and delivery, getting it done ahead of time is beneficial.
When you preregister at the hospital, you’ll fill out all required paperwork ahead of time. You can expect to provide your insurance, employment information, and photo ID.
Then, once you’ve completed filling out all required documents during the preregistration, you won’t have to do it later when the big day comes.
33. Call Your Insurance
As you prepare for your labor and delivery, it’s a good idea to call your insurance to get an idea of what’s covered. You can ask them what your deductible is and if they know what you can expect to pay once your hospital stay is over.
34. Write Plans for Who Will Be Watching Older Kids/Pets
If you have older kids or pets, you’ll need to make arrangements for help while you and your partner are in the hospital.
Also, having at least two people lined up to help you out is a good idea. Unless you have a scheduled C-section, you won’t know when you’ll go into labor. So, you won’t want to risk the one person you counted on being unavailable!
35. Prep for Maternity Leave
If you’re returning to work after your baby is born, you’ll want to ensure you have everything in line for your maternity leave.
While you’re still working, you’ll want to reach out to your HR department and find out what you need to do to approve your maternity leave.
36. Discuss Visitors After Labor
Last on this list of things to do before your baby arrives is deciding if you want visitors. As your due date approaches, you’ll want to determine if you wish to have visitors after your baby is born.
Many parents these days choose to have no visitors for at least two weeks after birth, but it’s ultimately up to how you feel most comfortable.
Another great thing to consider is setting some ground rules for visiting your newborn. These visitor rules will help you and your guests have a relaxed, stress-free visit.
There you have it; the best things to do before your baby arrives! I hope this checklist has given you insight into what needs to happen before your due date, making this last stretch of pregnancy less stressful!
Before you go, check out these related articles:
- How To Get Things Done With a Baby At Home
- The Best Gifts for Labor and Delivery Nurses
- What To Do If Your Baby Hates the Swaddle
- Everything You’ll Need In Your Diaper Caddy
- How To Write the Best Baby Shower Thank You Notes
What are some of your favorite things to do before your baby arrives? I would love to know in the comments below!