Lists. They make my world go round. I feel less overwhelmed by big events, like having a baby, or getting out of bed in the morning if I mentally prepare for all that needs to be done beforehand. With my first pregnancy I had a very thorough and lengthy list. I loved it. For someone like me- someone who has to attempt to control every aspect of life (this is not a quality I am proud of by the way. It does me no good,) lists help to bring organization to the chaos that is life. It served me well, so naturally upon finding out about pregnancy number two I immediately began to edit my original list.
It is almost baby time now around here and as I slowly, very slowly this time, check off my list I have realized this could be beneficial to someone other than myself. I added a lot of my list items from various articles I found on the subject so hopefully this contributes to all the other very helpful lists out there and prevents you from losing your mind before you even bring home that baby.
Some Helpful Suggestions
As early in your pregnancy as possible set a realistic timeline for your list. You could split these items into three sections to get done during each trimester. It makes the tasks more manageable and helps establish what needs to be a priority when. For example, naming your little human can be done at any time but packing your hospital bag doesn’t really need to be done until at least your third trimester.
Do not wait to start preparing for this little addition to your house because there is nothing little about the impact he or she will have on your home. Also because no third trimester mamma with one kid already has time to get all of these things done. Between keeping up with child number one and walking like there’s a stick up you know where, it just won’t get done.
Sit down with your spouse or significant other and delegate! It will help to make him feel more involved and a part of the experience. This is his baby too, so he should be happy to help pull some of the preparation weight.
General To Do’s
Name this Human
I think it is safe to say we have this one figured out but it took us quite a bit longer to settle on one we liked. It is no small thing to name a human!
Find a Pediatrician
This applies to us because we just moved and as of now do not have one. If you are not happy with your current pediatrician now is the time to find a new one. If you are perfectly satisfied with your pediatrician then check in and let them know about the little one joining your family.
Refresh All the Baby Knowledge and Re-read Favorite Baby Books
Re-read all the books and resources you found most useful with baby number one. For me, this includes Baby Wise (I swear by it), Hypno-birthing (because the breathing and meditation exercises calmed my nerves immensely before my first C-section) and the truck loads of nursing and newborn care resources I have stashed away from my birthing class. Also on my reading list is all the “How to Survive with Multiple Kids” articles I have saved on Pinterest.
Re-learn and Practice Hypno-Birthing Breathing Exercises
This is its own line item because it literally does take practice and consistency to be effective.
Alert Insurance and Plan for Costs
Check with your insurance to find out what the coverage is for having a baby so you can plan and begin saving for what your out of pocket costs will be. Also remember to let them know when you have the baby and get him or her added to your insurance plan.
Take Progress Pictures
It is safe to say I have done this less consistently than with baby one but something is better than nothing! I just keep telling myself that one day I don’t want to have the conversation of why I cared more about their older brother than them because there is no pictures to document my pregnancy.
Browse and Price Check Birth Announcements
I know I will not have the time or desire to do all the internet surfing for the cutest design and cheapest prices so if I have an idea beforehand I am less likely to procrastinate this.
Get Your Nesting On
I wish I could say the nesting instinct kicks in for me but it absolutely does not. However, it is important to bring a new baby into a clean home so make some time to enlist some helpful friends and family and have them help you do some deep cleaning. Do not feel bad about asking for help with this, people always want to help a pregnant woman. OR when someone asks you what you what they can gift you don’t hesitate to say a gift certificate for a one time cleaning service. Best gift ever!
Go Through Baby Inventory and Sanitize or Buy
This includes washing and sanitizing old binkies, bottles, swings, bassinets, strollers, car seats or buying new if need be. I also need to deep clean all the pieces and parts of my breast pump.
Throw a Freezer Meal Party
We will not be close to family and friends for this baby so I have no way of knowing how many meals we might have brought in, if any. So to prevent anyone having to cook for a few nights or spending money on take out, I plan to have at least a week’s worth of meals stashed in the freezer and fridge. This reminds me, don’t forget to go grocery shopping right before baby so you have essentials like eggs, milk, and chocolate chips…yes those are essentials in my house.
Check Baby Gear for Expiration/Recalls and Install the Car Seat
If you got a second hand car seat there is a chance it has expired and some hospitals won’t let you take your baby home in it. Also make sure you both learn how to install and adjust the car seat, because I failed to do this and was completely helpless without Trevor. Doing this early on gives you some time to price check if you have to purchase a new bassinet, play yard, stroller, or car seat.
Tour the Deliver/Maternity Ward of Hospital
Even if you plan to deliver at the same hospital, the refresher will help you know what to expect this time around. You will probably ask better questions this time as well. For example, “what do you provide for the infant already?” i.e. what are you going to give me so do I not have to pack it in my hospital bag. Also register yourself at the hospital if they require that.
Set Aside Money or Set Up Baby’s Mutual Fund
Trevor and I have set up one mutual fund that will be for all of our kids. At a certain point in their life we will gift each child a set amount to help with college, missions, weddings, or other expensive life events. If you plan to have some type of savings for your children’s future expenses, start early and choose something that will accumulate growth.
Decorate the Nursery
Channel your inner interior design skills… just Pinterest it. If you plan to have your kiddos share a room, make space for baby. If you are like us and your toddler is the world’s lightest sleeper so the baby has to have its own room for a while, congratulations you get to set up an entirely new nursery. If this thought excites you, call me. I need help.
Find a Photographer and Schedule Maternity and Newborn Photo Shoots
Again, a really wise request when someone asks what they can get you and baby. Just having friends or family pitch in for the cost makes a huge difference. This may or may not be a necessity to you, but for me I LOVE looking back at these photos. They captured some of my favorite seasons of my entire life.
Assign a Hospital Photographer
Some of my favorite photos are the ones taken right after Bennett’s birth. I had a wonderful friend who offered to be the fly on the wall for the day and capture every moment. I highly suggest this being someone other than your spouse or significant other. These once in a lifetime moments are for both of you to remember. This person should be soaking it all in with you and not watching from behind a phone or camera screen. At the very least, give your phone to one of the nurses in the room and ask nicely. Be sure to explain how your camera works and what types of shots you want so your expectations aren’t ruined and you get the photos you want.
Set Up a Diaper Changing and Nursing Basket
Newborns go through a crap load (pun intended) of diapers. I had a basket with a changing pad, diapers, wipes, and hand sanitizer next to our couch so I did not have to get up and walk into the baby’s room every time he needed to be changed. For my nursing basket I have the same idea except that one will have tissues, lanolin cream, breast pads, a burp cloth, my water bottle, some snacks and maybe a book and some special toys that older brother gets to play with while baby eats. This way he will be less likely to burn the house down while I am stuck to the baby.
Buy New Things
This list is not huge for me this time around. I begin buying diapers as soon as I find out that I am pregnant so I can keep costs down after baby comes. I tape the receipts to the boxes so I can go back to the store and return them or switch out sizes if I need to. We are having the same gender as our first so the only items I plan to buy this time around are a sit and stand double stroller, milestone blanket, some new bottles, and a sturdier diaper bag. With the occasional adorable have to have outfit of course…
Wash Linens and Itty Bitty Clothes
I just need to find all the boxes I stored them in…
Fill Prescriptions Beforehand
My husband’s genius cousin gave me this tip. She is having her doctor give her all her prescriptions for the hospital beforehand so she can take them in with her instead of having to pay extra for the nurses to give her the exact same medications. She also told me about something called Newman’s Nipple Cream. Apparently it is better than any lanolin cream you can buy at the store. And I used boat loads of that stuff…
Put Together a Thank You for Your Nurses
They bring you food when you ask for it, when you push a button they come, they stay awake all night so you can sleep, and they take care of your perfect new baby when you need a nap. The least I can do is bring them a baggie of homemade cookies.
Pack the Hospital Bag
- Baby mittens
- Burp cloths
- Nurse’s thank you treats
- Big brother present for Bennett
- Snacks and food for Trevor
- Phone charger
- Nursing bra
- Nursing cover
- Post baby underwear
- PJ bottoms and Sleeping shirts
- Breast pads
- Lanolin cream
- Nipple shields just in case
- Notepad for Trevor to journal
- Prenatal vitamin
- Nursing pillow
- 2 sleeper outfits
- stool softeners and prescriptions
- Blanket baby and swaddler
- Going home outfit-hat, socks
Preparing the First Born
Transition to Toddler Bed
We need the crib and I do not want to attempt this transition after the baby comes. No need to add more big adjustments to his life than necessary.
Buy or Rent Big Brother Books
Bennett loves books and seems to remember them word for word. For us this method is much more effective for getting him to understand what is going to happen than if I were just to tell him about it.
Buy a Practice Baby
“Don’t touch his eyes, hold him with both hands. No Bennett we don’t throw babies off the couch!”
Teach Him to Get His Own Clothes
The more self-reliant I can help him be before baby, the easier the transition. I have put all his clothes in drawers that he can reach and we are practicing remembering where certain articles of clothing are kept so he can retrieve pajamas or socks himself if my hands are tied.
Teach “Hands On the Car”
When I get him out of the car, we are practicing the understanding of staying right where I put him. I say, “Hands on,” and he touches the car until I tell him we can go. Currently this resembles him touching the car for two seconds before attempting to make his own way across the parking lot. We have work to do.
Big Brother Present from Little Brother
My friend just did this when she had her second baby and it was a hit. When big brother comes to meet baby, the baby has an awesome gift to give him. I mean, I would be more willing to accept a person if they gave me a present right off the bat…
Routine and Notes for Sitters
My parents will be coming right before I am scheduled for my C-section. They have been on a church mission for the past year so they will not be familiar with Bennett’s schedule or his specific quirks and habits. It is important to me that life stays as consistent as possible so he does not become overwhelmed or anxious with all the changes. I plan to type up his daily routine, our behavior management methods, foods he will actually eat, and any other helpful tips that only his parents would know. For example, he is much more compliant while brushing teeth if we say, “first teeth, than books.” Thankfully they come a few days before so B can get used to them being around as well.