Real Simple Mama

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What You REALLY Need To Do Before Baby Arrives

We have all seen the usual lists about “what to do before Baby arrives.” There’s the stock list of things like cleaning the house and assembling the crib; I’m sure you’ve read dozens of those on Pinterest if you’re expecting. And I made my own list after my first baby. But from a mom of two, let me give you the list of unique, obscure, overlooked and totally recommended things you should do!

baby list need to do

  • Cut your hair – postpartum hair loss is terrifying, but it will be easier if your hair is shorter. 
  • On that note, cut your nails short – as short and rounded as you can stand. You do not know guilt until you accidentally scratch your newborn baby. And plus you’ll kick yourself later if you don’t have cute nails for all those photos of you holding your newborn!
  • Cook like crazy and freeze the meals! We are talking high-protein, good quality food. Some ideas are pasta sauce, soups and stews. Label and date everything. You need to eat a lot of healthy food and won’t want to put Baby down for a second once he arrives. 
  • You can also freeze fruit for smoothies, or even make pre-measured smoothie bags that are ready to go. Pinterest is great inspiration for all this. 
  • Buy a crockpot. Trust me. You can even make freezer slow cooker meals – just dump them in and cook it!
  • Have all of your bills for the next month (or two) either scheduled online to auto pay, or have them ready to be mailed in stamped envelopes. Don’t miss a payment like we did. 
  • File paperwork – create an organized system for Baby’s medical files, product warranties, etc.  I have a filing cabinet for things like medical receipts and product manuals. 
  • Get a safe for important documents and also scan them so you have a copy on your computer. Birth certificate, social security card, etc.
  • Check with your hospital or birth center about what to pack in your bag versus what they’ll provide.
  • If there’s a chance you’ll deliver vaginally, prepare some postpartum healing pads at home like these. Relief is an understatement here – these are a blessing!
  • Talk with your HR to see what you need to do in order to add your baby to your insurance. You don’t want to miss this timeline! 
  • You also need to make sure you and the father have made arrangements for maternity/paternity leave. This will vary greatly from job to job, but being organized and communicating early are paramount.
  • Get life insurance if you have not already. Also consider having a living will, power of attorney, etc. Have conversations with the baby’s father about who will care for Baby in the event you both pass away. It’s a hard thing to imagine, but it’s better if this is discussed just in case. 
  • Take care of pets – grooming, vaccinations, get nails trimmed. We even buy extra food and litter so we don’t have to worry about running out for a while. And decide if they need to be cared for by someone while you’re at the hospital or birth center. Can those people get to your pets in case you have to leave in a hurry?
  • Buy extras of essentials like toilet paper, soap, etc. It seems like I’m preparing you for a second Great Depression, I know, but trust me on this. I kinda am.
  • Keep the car full of gas. Our rule was “at least half a tank.” Do you really want to be heading to the hospital to give birth, and have to stop at the gas station?
  • Print and email out emergency plans and contact info for house, pets, relatives. Have printouts in obvious places like on a table by the front door, and on your fridge. I’d also email it out to loved ones. List things like your doctor and hospital/midwife and birth center, emergency vet clinic and your vet’s name, and any info in regards to your house alarm or other items. 
  • Along with the previous tip, make sure that someone can get into your house if they need to: make extra house keys, etc.  
  • Contact insurance about getting a breast pump – do this before Baby arrives if possible.
  • Have the car seat installation checked out by a certified inspector, contact police station or fire department. I can’t emphasize this enough. It’s ideal if you can take the actual carseat class at a hospital, but if not please please please have someone officially inspect the install!

What other things would you add to the list?


  1. Perfect; I wish I had known about a few of these before baby #1!

    • The Mama

      May 11, 2016 at 9:08 pm

      No kidding! Same here! Guess that means I just need to have more kids 😉

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