Here you are, 34 weeks pregnant. You’ve chosen a pediatrician, assembled the crib and taken childbirth classes. Great job, mom! You can probably see (and feel!) the finish line. With shower gifts stacked in the nursery, is it finally time to stop checking items off the “to-do” list and relax while you await your little bundle? Well, not quite.
Although it can be hard to rally in these final weeks, it’s worth it. The time you spend organizing and preparing now will make your first days at home with baby so much easier. If the “nesting” instinct has set in, giving you a boost of energy and some motivation, great! If not, grab a decaf, get a pedicure and get to work with these tips:.
Set everything up as if your baby is here: Unwrap, plug-in, launder, sanitize, and put things where you’ll use them so that when you walk in with baby everything will be at your fingertips.
Make sure your camera/phone is handy and working properly: you never know when those precious firsts and milestones are going to happen, before, during, and after your baby’s birth. Apps make it super easy to record and save these pictures without having to print or write in a baby book. We love Tinybeans – it’s a private social network that allows you to record special moments by snapping a photo and then safely sharing them with selected friends and family. You can also record and track your baby’s milestones and ‘firsts’.
Prepare everything in the kitchen: Sanitize bottles, breast pump and binkies. In general, it’s a good idea to keep your fridge stocked with the basics so you won’t find yourself coming home from the hospital to an empty fridge. Consider freezing small portion meals to grab and heat rather than planning on cooking in the first week home.
Get baby’s toiletries together and the bathroom set up with baby’s towels, washcloths and body wash. Think about where you’ll give baby her first baths. If it’s not the bathroom, have your caddy of supplies handy where you’ll need them.
Have your car seat professionally installed or give it a shot yourself and have a professional check it. Stock a back-up diaper bag to keep in your car with the basics just in case. Nothing fancy: a change of clothes, diapers and wipes in a Ziploc will do in an “emergency.”
Plan to change your outgoing voicemail message upon your return from the hospital to answer the questions everyone will be calling to ask, then let calls go to voicemail whenever you are busy.
Now your prep is complete! Enjoy your last alone time before your baby arrives!