17 Easily Forgettable Things Moms Should Do Before She Gives Birth

While nine months may sound like an eternity until a mother can meet her precious bundle of joy, Mother Nature also knows what she’s doing! There is a lot to do when it comes to preparing for a baby. Just look at any of the sample baby registries online and a mother will realize how overwhelming it can be, and how much stuff a tiny little baby will really use.

Though the first few months can seem to drag on (especially before she's able to tell people about the pregnancy), some women find that the last few months can fly by. We, women, may start making baby registries and to do lists early on, but for many of us, pregnancy can be a mad rush to the end to ensure everything is ready.

Even those who think they’ve been on the ball may be missing a few key tasks for the last few months, such as lining up post-natal appointments or looking into Mom & Me classes. Having these items completed will make life innumerably easier once the baby arrives and throws her well-planned world into chaos.

So for those Type A mamas, and for those rushing to finish everything alike, take a read below on the things to do before baby arrives that will help prepare you for this new life to come.

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17 Sign Up For A Prenatal Class

A prenatal class is often a must-do for most new moms. In it, an experienced teacher will go through various topics such as the stages of labor, delivery options, what to expect after delivery, breastfeeding, and a multitude of others. It’s a great crash course in all things labor and baby and helps prepare us for what we’re about to go through.

When: Early 3rd trimester

One of the best benefits though is that you get to be around other pregnant mamas just like you. It also gives you a great sense of what’s to come, in terms of how immersed you’ll be in this new world. If hearing all the specifics and nitty gritty about labor and breastfeeding makes you giggle or cringe, you may be surprised at how that becomes your new normal in just a few months’ time. This is a great first step to ensure you’re ready for all these things that will start to dominate your life.

16 Finish Buying The Remaining Items On The Baby Registry

You’ve taken time to meticulously build a list of everything you think you’ll need when the baby comes. Chances are, not every item was purchased for you during your shower, meaning there are likely gaps in what you’ll need. At a certain point, it will be up to you to complete the last few purchases so you feel prepared for the baby.

When: Mid to late 3rd trimester

The important thing here is to not wait until the last minute. Not only will you need to account for shipping time, there’s also washing, folding & putting away all clothing, plus putting together and installing all the equipment. Also, waiting until the last minute may mean the baby will come before you get the chance to place the order. No one wants to be worrying about Allan Keys and screwdrivers when you’ve already bought the baby home. And, even if you’re confident the baby won’t make his grand debut until it’s time, doing it early can ensure you don’t have to navigate a big belly while setting things up.

15 Grab A Screwdriver And Put The Crib Together

There are only a few vital things a baby can’t get by without in the first few days home, yet a safe and secure crib is one of those things. Ensuring the crib arrives several weeks in advance, with enough time to properly install it, is vital.

When: 2nd trimester

Spend time picking out just the right one, the style that will work in your nursery, find out which crib converts to a full-sized bed, and read all the safety reviews. But, at a certain point (the earlier the better), it’s time to pull the trigger and make the purchase. A quick tip on putting it together? You can start assembling pieces in a larger room, such as the living room, but when it comes time to connect them all, transfer everything to the nursery. Some cribs don’t actually fit through doorways once installed – a lesson we learned the hard way.

14 Adding The Finishing Touches To The Nursery

Now that the crib is in place, it’s time for all the other pieces you’ll need to have ready. For some families, the nursery is minimal or shares its space with a spare bedroom. In those cases, you may be pretty much set, save for a few decorations.

When: 3rd trimester

For others, having a nursery ready may mean purchasing everything baby could possibly need, including a dresser, bookshelf, changing table, and rocker. If that’s the case, prepare early, and lean on others for support in setting everything up. While many pregnant mamas are very able to do physical work late in pregnancy, there are likely to be a few tasks that are safer to get support on, such as lifting furniture. Again, the sooner you’re able to get these pieces in place, the more relaxed you’ll feel at the end.

13 Nest, Nest, Nest!

Nesting, the urge to get your house in order prior to baby’s arrival, is not just casual impulse. Many women feel a strong pull, near the end of pregnancy, to have the entire house cleaned, prepped, and organized. This can result in everything from clutter clearing, to complete room designs, to washing walls and ceilings. Even if you’re not the organizational type, there’s a good bet you’ll feel some urge to get things organized prior to baby’s arrival. It’s just one more way that Mother Nature prepares us for what’s to come.

When: All 9 months

As you’re running around with a to-do list longer than your arm, understand that this urge is completely normal and that it’s okay to indulge it. Just try to not let it get out of hand. Think about things that you can control, such as decluttering your closet, and not things outside of your scope, such as say, decluttering your husband’s closet.

12 Wash And Rewash The Baby's Clothes

As part of nesting, you’ll want to include preparing all of the baby’s clothing as well. Ensuring each piece of newborn clothing goes through a thorough washing and drying will make them ready for their sensitive newborn skin. Store bought clothing can be exposed to all sorts of chemicals throughout their production and shipping process. Used clothing, or hand-me-downs, on the other hand, come with their own reasons for thorough washing.

When: 3rd trimester

This is an easy task to do in the last few weeks, but there’s no harm in doing it earlier if you’d like to have the To Do List tackled. Plus, seeing those adorable little onesies and socks the side of your palm is sure to induce a great rush of cuteness.

11 Sterilize Bottles

Every item that will come in contact with the baby’s feeding process will need a thorough sterilization prior to being used. This includes all parts of the bottle (regardless of if it will directly touch your baby’s mouth or not), pumps, soothers, and the like. When you add these up, it can become a staggering amount of equipment, especially given how many pieces are included in each of these items nowadays. Some bottles alone come with up to eight pieces. There are several methods of sterilizing, from microwave bags to specialized kits, to a good old-fashioned pot and boiling water.

When: 3rd trimester

Research what’s best for you with the equipment you plan to use, and ensure you follow the instructions to a T. This includes the proper sterilization time, storage, and usage guidelines to ensure you’re limiting any potential risks for the sensitive newborn.

10 Adding An Unnamed Baby To The Daycare Wait Time

The baby’s not even here, do I really need to worry about childcare yet? Short answer – yes. Getting quality, reliable childcare can prove to be extremely challenging. We were on the city-run daycare wait list three weeks after our child’s birth and were told that the average wait times were between 1-3 years. The chances of a perfect spot opening up at the exact same time you’d like to go back to work can be very slim.

When: As soon as you find out you’re pregnant

That’s why it’s important to research child care options while you’re still pregnant. See which ones are ranked highest, which lists you can get on even before you have a birth certificate, and complete the applications for the ones you can only submit after your little bundle has arrived. Sure, it’s possible to find a nanny or in-home daycare closer to your return-to-work date, but why not have all your options available to you by planning in advance?

9 Picture Perfect: Scheduling A Maternity Photo Shoot

While not for everyone, a maternity photo shoot can be a great memento to capture this special period of time. Do you always feel you're most beautiful during pregnancy? No. But there are some beautiful elements to it, the greatest of which is working to grow this beautiful life. It truly is an incredible feat, and even if you feel less than your best now, there’s a strong chance you’ll look back and miss this stage of life.

When: Late 2nd trimester

The best time for a maternity shoot is usually late 2nd trimester, or early 3rd trimester when you’re still comfortable, and yes, radiant. Look up a few photographers who specialize in this type of photography, and research their portfolios. Do they have the potential to make you feel like the beautiful spirit you currently are? There may be a part of you that doesn’t want to capture this period of time, but there’s a strong chance, at some point down the road, you’ll look back and miss this magical pregnancy period. Yes, even with the swollen ankles.

8 Connecting With Other Moms-To-Be

Whether it’s through prenatal classes, knowing friends who are also expecting or simply through connecting in online messaging boards, getting to know others who are going through the same things you are can provide a great sense of camaraderie. You can’t necessarily talk to your coworkers about your sore back, swollen ankles or the adorable baby shoes you just saw online (not to mention the more embarrassing pregnancy symptoms). But other moms-to-be just get it.

When: 2nd & 3rd trimester

Finding your mama crew now also has the added benefit of people you can lean on when baby has arrived. You’re certain to have questions about sleeping, eating and health matters over the first few months, and knowing others who are going through the same thing as you are can be an incredible comfort. Trust me, the tips and suggestions will be welcomed when you’re awake at 4 am!

7 Find Local Mom & Me Classes

For the exact same reason as above, finding classes that you can attend after the baby comes is just as important as connecting with moms-to-be. Knowing moms in your neighborhood, with kids the same age, will provide you benefits for years to come. In the short term, they can provide recommendations for various activities, classes and events to take advantage of on maternity leave. In the long term, they’re people you can meet up with at toddler classes, and run into on weekend activities. Those activities can be way more fun when there are adult friends there, and your kids will have the chance to play together and entertain themselves.

When: 3rd trimester

That said, it’s by no means easy to get out the door in the first few months of parenthood. So taking the time to do a quick search of some potential classes and knowing the time and location, will help increase the chances that you’ll be able to attend some of them when baby arrives.

6 Installing The Car Seat Before The Baby Arrives

Sounds easy, right? Not so fast. Car seats come with extensive manuals, and it’s important to read it thoroughly to ensure it’s properly installed. Many of the latest versions have multiple ways of installing them, and understanding each of them is important. Even if you plan to use the base in your car, for example, you may choose to use it without a base when traveling.

When: 2nd trimester

In turn, a high number of people don’t install car seats optimally. Luckily, many local firehouses offer free car seat checks. If you’re able, getting in to ensure you’ve done it properly can ensure baby is fully protected in the event of an accident. Ensuring everything is installed super snugly is an extra, but vital step in ensuring the safety of your precious bundle. Going the extra mile in this situation is extremely important.

5 Have A Career Plan In Place For Your Return

I know, with everything else happening in life right now, your career may not be your number one priority. And that’s okay. But remember that even if it’s not the top priority, it still is a priority and one you worked hard to get to. Prepare now for two things: number one, ensuring there’s a great coverage plan in place while you’re gone, and number two, ensuring there’s a great return to work plan in place. Even if you’re unsure if you want to return, remember that you have no idea what this maternity leave is actually going to be like. Leaving that door open is a strong play.

When: 2nd trimester

While there are laws in place to protect women’s careers when they’re off, there are several loopholes that can come into play when companies go through reorganizations or downsizing. So read up, understand the rules, and have strong communication with your boss around your intentions and potential upon return.

4 Have Post-Natal Appointments Lined Up

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Yes, this is a piece you can technically do after the baby is born. However, the months leading up to birth are all about preparing for the upcoming months, and this is one piece you can tackle now to take off your plate then. Consider it a gift to your future self.

When: 3rd trimester

Talk with your doctor, and understand the various post-natal appointments that will be needed for both you and baby. Research specialists like pediatricians, naturopaths, and therapists and get some tentative appointments on the books. Appointments are usually okay to be canceled if you’re feeling well, but having a proactive plan in place can help you be the best mom you can be. Considering rates of post-natal depression, some women even include a post-natal counselor appointment as part of their recovery plan in the event they’re unable to recognize symptoms themselves. Think through your ideal recovery plan for both you and baby, then get those appointments on the books.

3 Research And Prepare Your Birth Plan

When: 3rd trimester

People have mixed feelings about birth plans, and whether they’ll be considered too pushy with one or not. My advice is to prepare something in advance, at least to ensure you’ve thought through everything, then you can consider whether you use it when the time comes. Think through your ideal and backup preferences for things like medication, tools used, immediate post-birth scenarios, as well as lighter things such as music and lighting.

When: 3rd trimester

This is not an easy process to go through, mama, so anything you can to do increases your potential comfort is worth it. At the least, ensure you’ve shared your wishes with your birthing partner, so they can be your advocate when you’re busy focusing on other things (like clenching your teeth and breathing through the pain).

2 Pack Your Hospital Bag And Leave It In The Car

Newborn outfit? Check. Change of clothes for you? Check. But what about a blanket for dad to stay in the room? What about multiple outfits if you end up staying longer than anticipated? What about nursing tools you’re planning to use, like feeding pillow, soother, or other accessories?

When: 3rd trimester

It’s easy to remember the basics but forget about the smaller things that you know you’ll need at home, but didn’t consider bringing to the hospital. We ended up being admitted for five days and were left without some essentials like conditioner, soother and multiple changes of clothes. Think through worst case scenarios when you’re packing. You may decide it’s not worth it and to forgo packing certain items, but at least it ensures you have thought through the possibility.

1 Put Those Feet Up And Relax While You Can

Last but not least – relax mama. This may be your last chance to do so for a long, long time. Lean back, record your favorite TV shows and enjoy this little bubble of silence while it lasts. You’ve done some hard work over the past nine months growing that little bambino inside of you, and the time to meet them is finally near.

When: Always, but especially at the end

While it can be hard to chill with the uncomfortableness of late pregnancy, do what you can to give yourself some self-love right now, whatever that may mean for you. If you relax by cooking or baking, break out the spatula. If you wind down with a good book, pick up a pile from your local library and dive in. Whatever that may mean to you, now is the time to enjoy it. You deserve it!

References: babycenter.com, lifewithmylittles.comparents.com

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