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You are here: Home - Pregnancy - Labor & Childbirth

Last Minute To-Do List Before Baby Arrives

by Katlyn Joy | August 29, 2013 8:25 AM
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It doesn't matter whether it's your first baby or your fifth, time has a way of slipping past you in the final trimester. It doesn't help that you probably have a case of pregnancy brain fog as well. Hormones, fatigue and an ever-growing list of things needing done can overwhelm you.

1. Get the car ready and the route to the hospital mapped. Have the car gassed up at all times in your final weeks. Know the best and quickest route to the hospital plus a back up route just in case of traffic, closures or accidents. Have a blanket in the car and maybe some towels, in case your water breaks.

2. Have the cars seat installed and checked out to make sure it's done correctly. You can usually have this done at the hospital or at a fire station. Don't wait until the last minute or you may get caught unawares.

3. Get the baby furniture together. Put the crib, bassinet or co-sleeper where you'll have it set up when baby comes home. This will help you get used to the placement and also discover any problems with the arrangement.

4. Wash up baby's clothes and have them put away. You do not want to be doing laundry after baby comes home. If you are unsure if it's a girl or boy and don't want to keep the wrong gender-specific outfits, then just wash up the neutral clothing and save the rest with the tags. If someone offers to help with anything, this is a job to assign a dutiful relative or friend once baby is born.

5. Cook up some extra servings of meals to freeze. Also, gather some take out menus from area restaurants. This is another chore to pass out if anyone asks how they can help. A night or two of dinners can be a big help.

6. Have the labor bag ready to go at the door, and the hospital bag ready as well. Some things you'll need in the labor suite but other things can wait until baby has arrived. Keep the bags separate and make sure your partner knows which is which.

7. Purchase your baby announcements and have them stamped and addressed. That way all you need to do is fill them out in the hospital and hand them off to be mailed. Or go the email route and choose e-announcements and have everyone's email address gathered already.

8. Have home set for delivery. Do you have a pet sitter lined up? Is Grandma coming to stay with older sibs? Do you plants need care or do you have timers that need set? Write up any necessary instructions for whomever will be taking care of things while you're away at the hospital.

9. Confirm with your doctor or midwife the final instructions. When are you to call? Which entrance do you use? Are you pre-registered? When should you head to the hospital, specifically?

10. Practice your labor exercises. Are you doing Lamaze or Bradley? Go over your childbirth class notes to brush up on what to expect and what to do. Practice your relaxation skills and deep breathing or meditation.

11. Keep a phone charger on hand because you don't want to have the phone die and not know anyone's numbers when you are heading to the hospital. We have become technologically dependent and one result is we can get caught helpless when left without its assistance.

12. Get the camera, video camera, memory books and such items ready to go. You'll only get one chance for these memories to be captured forever so don't blow this one or you'll be angry at yourself for years. Don't forget to snap up the hospital bracelets, the baby's name tag from the little bed, and the calendar page for the day from the room.

13. Stack up some blank thank you notes and write them as you receive gifts or gifts of time. It's so much easier to do as you go rather than letting them stack up when you'll have little energy for much.

14. Relax! You'll be just fine and any day you'll finally meet the littlest love of your life.


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