For expectant mothers, especially those pregnant with their first child, there seems to be a never-ending list of things that they need to buy to get ready for baby. There are many things that moms begin buying when they first find out they’re expecting, from shopping for cute outfits to beginning to make larger purchases such as baby furniture.
While the number of new items pregnant women need to get to prepare for the baby can overwhelming, there are certain items that every new mom is going to want to have ready for when the baby first arrives.
The last five or so weeks of pregnancy is the perfect time for moms to make sure that they have everything they need for when an expectant mom first welcomes her new baby, especially since babies are unpredictable and they don’t always wait until 40 weeks to arrive!
Here’s a checklist of 25 things every expectant mom needs to buy in the last few weeks of pregnancy to make sure they’re properly ready for baby.
25 A Place To Sleep
You’re definitely going to want to have a place for baby to sleep when they come home from the hospital which is why it's important to have your crib ready to go when baby arrives.
Even if you’re co-sleeping or having your baby sleep in whatever room you’re in for most of the day, there will definitely be times when you’re going to want to put the baby down to sleep.
A crib is a big purchase you’re going to be making and probably not one you’re going to want to make with a baby in tow. Take the time during the last few weeks of your pregnancy to choose your crib and have it delivered and assembled before baby arrives so it’s one less thing you need to think about.
24 Going Home Outfit For Baby
Now is the perfect time to shop for that sweet going home outfit for your baby. Many parents who don’t know the gender of their baby will choose to buy a gender-neutral outfit, or perhaps choose one for a boy and one for a girl and return the one they don't need.
This is an outfit that you’ll remember as your child grows, and you may even want to hand it down to them as they get older and are expecting their first child. Some parents even shadowbox their baby's going home outfit as a nice keepsake.
The last trimester is the perfect time to shop for that perfect outfit to bring home baby in.
23 A New Camera (Or Updated Phone Storage)
Having a few weeks left before the baby arrives is the perfect time to ensure you have everything you need to capture every newborn moment.
If you like to use a traditional camera, make sure you have one that works and that will give you the best photos. Make sure batteries are charged and maybe purchase an extra battery and memory card to have on hand.
If you prefer to use your phone, make sure you have enough memory because you’re going to be taking pictures like you’ve never done before! No new mom wants to delete any pictures of their baby, so make sure you have enough memory on your phone to hold all your baby memories.
22 Belly Support Band
Belly support bands are useful for the duration of a pregnancy, especially when helping you get more wear out of your regular clothing. But they’re a must-have in the last few weeks of pregnancy.
Pregnancy hurts and can often put a lot of strain on a mom’s body. A belly support band not only lets you extend the life of your clothes, but it also provides much-needed support for a pregnant woman’s lower back.
These last few months of pregnancy can really put a lot of strain on a woman's body as the belly really begins to grow, and belly support bands can really be a lifesaver.
21 A Cleaning Service For The Home
The last thing any woman in her last trimester is going to want to do is to make sure the house is spotless, so saving up for a cleaning service will definitely be something you’re going to want to do.
Hiring a cleaning service for a few cleans before the baby comes and even after the baby arrives will take the pressure off everyone to try to keep on top of cleaning. Having a new baby in the home will keep you busy enough, the last thing you’re going to want to think about is cleaning bathrooms.
20 Ready Made Meals or a Meal Service
Like a cleaning service, having meals ready to go and in the freezer, or hiring a meal delivery service for those last few weeks before baby arrives will really make a difference.
Pregnancy is exhausting, but it's nothing compared to having a new baby in the house.
Having some ready-made meals in the freezer for when the baby comes home from the hospital will ensure you’re still eating enough even when you don’t have the energy to cook. Subscribing to a meal delivery service will ensure you always have fresh ingredients in the house to prepare meals without having to run to the grocery store.
19 Going Home Outfit For You
Most new moms worry about having the perfect going home outfit for baby, but what about you? Take those last few weeks before baby comes to pick out the perfect outfit to wear home from the hospital.
A nice pair of new, stretchable yoga pants or a pretty dress that will make you feel good about yourself can make a world of difference. Understand that your body will probably not ‘snap back’ immediately and you’ll probably still look at least 5 months pregnant when you leave the hospital, so have something to wear that is not only comfortable but that fits and makes you feel good.
18 Diaper Supplies
The last few weeks before you have your baby is the prime time to ensure you have all the essentials you need, including diaper supplies for your little one.
Whether you’re using disposable diapers, cloth diapers or a diaper service, you’re going to want to make sure you have everything you need before baby arrives, because once that little one is here you’re going to be going through a lot of diapers, you won’t want to have to be running to the store every few days.
17 Feeding Supplies
Feeding supplies are also something you’ll want to ensure you have prepared in the last trimester, especially since babies are unpredictable and can arrive at any time.
If you’re bottle feeding you’ll want to make sure you have bottles and a variety of tops in case the baby doesn’t take to one right away. Even if you’re breastfeeding you may want to pump so having bottles ready and sterilized is important.
Having a variety of bottles and tops is always a good idea.
16 A Suitable Car Seat
Car seats are important purchases and the last five or so weeks of pregnancy is a perfect time to pick out the perfect seat for your baby. There are so many websites that can help you with your research as well as local baby stores that can suggest the perfect car seat for you.
Perhaps you want a car seat/stroller combo, or you may want to purchase them separately. No matter what. you can’t leave the hospital without your baby in a car seat if you are driving home, so this is something that will need to come to the hospital with you.
15 Waterproof Mattress Pad
The one thing we all know is that babies are unpredictable and they come when they’re ready. The last trimester is the perfect time to invest in a waterproof mattress pad to protect your mattress in the event that your water breaks while you’re in bed.
A good waterproof mattress pad can mean the difference between a large load of laundry and an expensive shopping trip to replace your mattress.
Let’s face it, the last trimester is exhausting and women often spend more time napping, resting and sleeping than in other times of pregnancy, which also means there is a chance your water could break during that time.
14 Maxi Pads
One thing not everyone tells a new mom is that they’re going to bleed, a lot. And there will be blood and clots and more blood for days, and even weeks, after the baby arrives.
Make sure to add a variety of maxi pads to the shopping list in the last trimester so you’re fully prepared when baby arrives. The hospital will definitely have supplies there for you to use, and you should definitely bring home anything you can get your hands on (including that awesome mesh underwear) but you’re going to want your own supply when those run out.
Having a selection of different absorbencies, lengths, and brands at home will ensure you have what you need when you need it.
13 Breastpads and Comfortable Underwear
Whether you breastfeed or not, chances are you’re going to experience leakage from your postnatal chest. A good breastpad can make the difference between changing your shirt multiple times a day or simply your pads. You can buy disposable or reusable pads and even pads that go in the fridge so they provide comfort to swollen and sore chest.
Another thing new moms often forget about is underwear. When you’re buying you're going home from the hospital outfit, don’t forget to add in some comfortable, full coverage postpartum underwear. You’re going to want some undies that you won’t worry about staining, and if you end up having a c-section you’re going to want to ensure the waistband is high enough that it won’t bother your incision site.
12 Thank You Notes
Having a new baby means getting showered with gifts, which means you’re going to want to send out thank you notes to all those well-meaning friends, co-workers, and family members.
The last trimester is the perfect time to pick up a stack of thank you notes so when you do have a few quiet moments after the baby is born, you can grab a few and write them out. You may even want to take those last few weeks before baby comes to write a few notes out ahead of time to save yourself the task later.
11 Books, E-books, and Magazines
Having a new baby is amazing and awesome, but it can also be tedious and, if we're being honest, a bit boring during those long hours of feeding. You’re going to be spending a lot of time feeding your new bundle of joy in those first few weeks and months, and baby is going to spend a lot of time sleeping (fingers crossed).
Download a few e-books you’ve been dying to read and stock up on some magazines in that last trimester so you have something to read when you’re getting ready for baby and when you’re spending long days at home feeding.
10 Baby Book
As you’re preparing for the arrival of your new baby, don’t forget to pick up a baby book. Whether you choose to buy a physical book or subscribe to some form of digital memory book, having something to record your baby’s firsts are important. Not to mention it will become a keepsake you and your child can look back on over the years.
Baby books have changed a lot over the years and there is something for everyone. Whether you like something traditional or more modern, like a digital keepsake, the last trimester is a great time to pick out the perfect baby book and even get started filling it out.
9 Household Supplies
While many women can’t wait to get out and back to a regular schedule after baby, not everyone feels that way.
For those of you who want to enjoy those first few weeks of bliss cuddling with your newborn at home, the last thing you’re going to want to do is having to make a Target or Costco run because you ran out of toilet paper!
Make a checklist of things during the last trimester that you need around the house like toilet paper, dish soap and all those other household things you use on a daily basis and make sure you have a full supply. There’s nothing worse than having to make a run to the store to buy something you could have had stocked up if only you thought about it earlier.
8 Book a Baby Photographer
In those last few weeks leading up to having your baby, you may want to take the time to research local baby photographers and book a newborn session. Most new parents want to have keepsake photos of their newest addition, and you may be surprised at busy photographers who specialize in newborn photography are.
Talk to friends and family who have used photographers they love, and take that time in the last trimester to meet with photographers and find that one professional who you are going to want to entrust to take those first memorable pictures of your little and work out a schedule that works for both of you.
7 A Baby Carrier
The last few weeks before baby arrives is the perfect time to pick out a baby carrier or sling your newborn. Baby carriers are amazing because not only do they let you keep your newborn close to you but they allow you to be hands-free while you do it.
Carriers and slings are great because they’re transitional, meaning many can be used from the newborn stage up and can be used by mom, dad and anyone who wants to help out. They are also great because having the baby so close to mom can also help encourage milk production.
6 Nursing Equipment
Any breastfeeding mom will tell you that a good nursing bra is worth its weight in gold. Take those last few weeks before baby comes to do some shopping and stock up on a few good nursing bras. You’re going to want a couple too because you may have a lot of leaks happening in the beginning and you don’t want to be doing laundry constantly just so you have a clean bra to wear.
You’ll want to make sure you find the right bra for you that fits well, it made from a comfortable material and provides all the functionality you need.
5 Baby Bathtub
It’s somewhat surprising that newborns can get as messy as they despite the fact that they don’t really do anything. A baby bathtub is something you’ll want to make sure you have as soon as the baby arrives because you’ll be using it immediately.
Newborns often dribble milk that can get caught in lots of nooks and crannies and end up smelling, and of course, there’s always those diaper explosions happening.
While stocking up in the last few weeks before baby arrives don’t forget the bathtub.
While most new moms are hoping their child won’t need a pacifier, chances are they will be a lifesaver for you! For breastfed and bottle fed babies alike, pacifiers are something new moms can use to keep their baby happy between feedings.
Newborns like to suckle and The Mayo Clinic even suggests that pacifiers may help prevent Sudden Infant Death Syndrome.
Pick up a few different pacifiers before baby arrives so you can make sure they’re sterilized and ready to go for when baby arrives, and have some in your hospital bag, in the nursery and in handy places around the house.
3 Swaddling Blankets and Washcloths
While it’s definitely easy to get caught up in the excitement of having a new baby and wanting to buy ALL THE THINGS, there are a few things that you’re going to really need when baby first arrives.
Swaddling blankets and washcloths are two items that you’ll want to buy to get ready for baby, and have them washed and ready for when baby arrives. You will be going through both these items at an incredible rate thanks to how much new babies spit up and pee and poop.
A tip is to buy light colored washcloths to clean your baby’s face, and darker colored washcloths for diaper changes.
2 Transitional Clothes for Mom
In addition to a nice outfit for leaving the hospital, you’ll want to make sure you have some key pieces of clothing that you can wear once you have the baby. Start shopping for these outfits in your last trimester because you’ll be able to get weather appropriate items that will make you feel good.
There’s nothing worse than worrying about having to fit in to your pre-baby clothes, so if you have some nice pieces that can take you from post partum baby belly back to your pre baby clothes, it will make you feel so much better. Bonus points for items you can buy like dresses and skirts that can be worn during pregnancy as well.
1 Keepsake Blanket or Stuffie For Baby
Now is the perfect time to shop for a little special something for your baby that you want them to have as a keepsake. Whether it be a blanket, a special stuffed animal or even a piece of jewelry, you’ll want to have it for when your baby is born so they can bond with it right away.
If you have older children and are looking for something to give them ‘from the baby’ this is the perfect time to pick a little special something up as well so you can make sure it’s ready to be packed in your hospital bag.