Waiting for a baby is an exciting time. But it can also be daunting, especially for first time mums. You're entering new territory and the urge to nest and prepare everything for your impending arrival is only natural.
I'm currently pregnant with my second baby, so I'm reflecting a lot on what I did to prepare for my firstborn. Some things proved to be completely unnecessary for me, but everyone is different. With that in mind, here's my list of the most important things to do before you are due, in no particular order.
Book a first aid course
My husband and I did a first aid course and found it really beneficial, if only for peace of mind and to give us a bit more confidence in what to do in case of emergency.
Take a hospital tour
A tour of the hospital and birth suites is also really valuable when preparing for labour. Even if it just helps you figure out where to park, or gives your partner an idea of where to go if you arrive during the day or at night, it's time well spent.
Go to birth classes
Birth classes give lots of information on not just the birth of your baby, but also swaddling techniques and parenting tips for after your baby is born. Some people find them boring but it's a rite of passage for first time parents (and the real life birthing videos are hilarious).
Prepare your home
I say home instead of just the nursery because it's important to prep all areas of the house beyond just making the nursery ‘pretty’. This includes setting up the bassinet in your room, having sterilisation products ready to go in the kitchen and having some feeding stations ready to go in the living room areas.
Install the baby's car seat/capsule
Install the car seat or capsule in your car nice and early instead of leaving it until the last minute. Make sure it's installed correctly and safely.
Pack your hospital bag
Pack a hospital bag for yourself, baby and partner if they will be staying at the hospital too. You don't know how early you'll go into labour, so the sooner the better.
Write a birth plan
While births don’t commonly go according ‘to plan’, midwives and doctors still encourage having a birth plan so that your wishes are clear. You may not be able to express them properly when you are in labour and in pain.
Get your finances in order
Getting your budget and will in order saves you from having to do it after the baby comes, when you are sleep deprived and have no time to see a solicitor.
Buy nursing clothes
If you know you will be breastfeeding, have some nursing bras and clothes ready to go. Postpartum clothes shopping is incredibly stressful!
Cook freezer meals
Those first few weeks/months go by in a blur and having a stash of meals in the freezer for those times you just cant bear to cook (including snacks and smoothie bags) is one less thing to worry about.
Indulge in self care
Take some time to yourself as life is about to get busy. Get a massage, go to the movies, be alone and sleep!
Good luck on your impending arrival! You got this!