There are many things to do and buy but you’re a first-time mom and have no clue where or how to start preparing for her arrival. You look online and find tons of videos and lists. There is so much information online but you still don’t know what things you really need to do before baby is born.
This is a major life event and having a baby can be shocking to some because of all the added responsibilities and duties. There will be different things to do to care for your baby and they vary throughout the first year of their life. Once they’re here, a parent will be able to gauge what these things are and can gradually do them over time. But, in reality, newborns don’t need much. And the most important thing they do need and you need is very simple: their mom. So, don’t stress. You’ve obviously got that cover.
But, there are a few things to help you better prepare for their arrival and have a positive experience when caring for your newborn. And this list has you covered. If you do anything, do these five things you really need to do before baby is born.
1. Things to Really Do Before Baby is Born: Prepare the Nursery or Sleeping Space
As a new human being will be joining the family and coming to the house, even though they will be tiny, they will occupy space. Preparing the home depends on the type of house you have and how much space it’s available. You can have a nursery, a room designated for the baby only where he’ll sleep and keep most of his things.
You can indulge and decorate with a theme or be minimalistic and have only the essential items for the care of your baby.
During the first months of your baby, however, a whole room is not necessary. In fact, many parents decide to cosleep (that means they sleep in the bed with you) or share a room. If that’s you, a bassinet placed close to your bed would be all you need. The Next 2 Me is very practical as it’s adjacent to the bed, helping you to stay in bed during night feedings.
Talk to your pediatrician to see the pros and cons of cosleeping or having a separate nursery for the baby so that you make an informed decision.
2. Things You Really Need to Do Before Baby: Baby Proof Dangerous Areas
Most first-time parents do not have a home set up for a baby to roam around and be safe. This is one of the most important things for parents to do. And, although a baby won’t start crawling until the later months of his life, it’s important to babyproof any areas before their arrival so that it’s done and ready and it’s something less that parents have to think about later.
This doesn’t mean that all areas need to be completely conditioned for them. After all, you don’t want it to not feel like home anymore.
In the beginning, a few key things to check for, and adjust accordingly can be sufficient:
- The crib is at a safe level, free from stuffed animals and other objects.
- Install outlet covers.
- Keep window blades cords out of reach (or better, install cordless blades).
- Use gates for stairs.
- Keep detergent and cleaning products out of reach.
- Use corner protections for any sharp corners on furniture.
- Keep windows locked.
These are just a few tips from a fellow mom that have worked for me. Make sure to read other resources, like this article from Parents.com, about how you can make your home a safe place for your baby.
3. Things You Really Need to Do Before Baby: Clean as Much as You Can
A new baby changes everything and the time you had before will be cut significantly, especially at the beginning when a baby is still completely dependent on her parents. So, another way to “nest” the home is by doing a deep cleaning of the whole house before the baby arrives.
This list can help you get ideas on how to clean your house before the baby comes:
Nothing will give you more satisfaction than getting rid of the stuff that you no longer need. This will give your house a deep cleanse. It will also help you make space for all the new things you have received or will get for your baby.
You can declutter drawers, closets, and even the basement or garage. You can donate all the things you no longer use or want or maybe make a garage sale and get some very often needed extra cash.
Deep Clean the Kitchen
You can start with the stove and removing all the burnt grease from the oven. Since you’re pregnant, try to avoid toxic cleaning products and used natural based. You can make some yourself, Good House Keeping has a great post about DIY cleaning products you can use. But, as a heads up, vinegar, baking soda, combined with dishwasher soap, work wonders!
Get rid of all the food you won’t be eating and it’s been sitting in your refrigerator for months. Clean up and make sure you leave space for all the baby-related food items that will need refrigeration.
Tackle the miscellaneous closets like your linen, towels, and bed covers closets. Wash all blankets and bed clothing so they’re ready to use when you need them. Make sure the baby has a designated space to keep her things. These things can be blankets, burp cloths, and bulk diapers and wipes you might get when you go shopping.
Deep Clean Carpets & Sweep & Mop Floors
If your house has carpets, make sure you have someone come in and give them a deep cleanse. Or you can do it yourself by renting a carpet washing machine. All floor areas should be well swept and mopped, preferably with an antibacterial product. A few days before you’re due, vacuum all carpet.
There might be times when placing your baby on the floor will be safest while you get something done. Knowing the carpets are squeaky clean will give you peace of mind. A few days before you’re due, vacuum all carpet.
Deep Clean the Bathroom
Use an antibacterial product to clean your toilets, sink, and showers, and make sure you hit all corners. Wash bath curtains or get new ones if the ones you have seem overly used.
Make sure toxic products are out of a baby’s reach.
A few days before you’re due, dust all furniture, including in the nursery. You can also use a furniture dust protector to help prevent dust build-up for longer periods of time.
This cleaning guide from Natural Earthy Mama is very detailed and can give you more ideas. Deep cleaning can the parents feel good about bringing a brand new human to a clean environment. It will also keep the house clean for some weeks, which will be something less to think about.
4. Things You Really Need to Do Before Baby: Freeze Meals & Stock Up the Pantry
Things You Really Need to Do Before Baby: Freeze Meals
One of the best things to do to prepare for the arrival of a new baby is to prepare and freeze meals in advance.
Prepare as many meals that can fit in your freezer, so that they are ready to put in the oven, slow cooker, or instant pot. They will be ready to eat. This will give you time to care for your new baby or tend to yourself, like taking a shower or a nap while you get the chance, instead of worrying about preparing a meal.
It will also give you peace of mind that you are eating a homemade meal and be kind to your wallet. Really, I cannot stress the importance of this simple step that will make all the difference.
Things You Really Need to Do Before Baby: Stack Up the Pantry
Make sure to stack up on groceries, including fruits and veggies. Put them in ziplock plastic bags so they last longer in the refrigerator. Fill your pantry with canned beans, vegetables, soups, healthy cereals, and snacks. These will be great for the other meals of the day and snacking throughout the day.
This step may not seem very important, it might not be something one thinks about when preparing for a new baby. I wish someone had told me to do this but no one did.
When I had my first baby, my mom was there for the first two weeks after he was born. But when she left, I really struggled with preparing meals and cooking. My baby wanted to be held all the time (and then I learned most babies do during their first weeks of life), and the moments when he was napping during the day, I just wanted to rest myself or take a shower. But I had to worry about what I was going to eat and my body was craving homemade, nutritious meals, not take out. So, do yourself a favor and don’t skip this important step!
5. Things You Really Need to Do Before Baby: Prepare Your Postpartum Support System
Friends & Family
I was lucky to have my mom come stay with us the first two weeks after my baby was born. She was there to help me wrap my belly, help with the baby and make meals. But when she left, not only did I stay craving for more help, it felt incredibly lonely. As weird as it may sound, having a baby can be a lonely experience if you don’t have a support system. I didn’t since we lived abroad at the time and had no family or friends nearby.
If you do have family and friends around you, take advantage of that. The people that care and love you will do things that will be helpful to you, especially in times of need. If anyone around you comments or gives you ques or directly offers help when the baby arrives, take it. Make sure to let them know that you will take up on their offer when the time comes. Have a list of these friends and family members that are willing to help out ready and handy. Here are some simple things they can do that will make such a huge difference in your postpartum experience:
- Bring a homemade meal. (Or a bought healthy alternative).
- Come and help take care of the baby for a couple of hours while you rest and take a nap.
- Come and give your house a tidy-up or organize anything you might need.
- Do the groceries for you.
- Come and watch the baby if you need to go run an important errand, go take a walk by yourself or take a shower.
If you are like me and live far from anyone that could be a support system, you still have options. There are people that can be hired to help out mothers new and not. A nurse or nanny that can come for a couple of hours to help care for the baby can really make a difference. There are nanny’s and nursers that can even be hired to be on-call, whenever they’re needed. You can use this time to do whatever you need to do to recharge, like taking a shower or a nap.
You can also hire a mother’s helper, which is someone whose job is to make the job of a mom much easier, whatever they may need. This is a wonderful tool I didn’t know about that I would have definitely used.
To wrap it up…
Well, there you have it. I am confident to say that these things you really need to do before a baby is the ultimate list of things that will make your experience after having your baby much easier. I hope this gives you peace of mind in knowing that you can now focus on doing the things you really need to do before a baby is born and not waste precious time on things that won’t truly serve you. Let me know your thoughts in the comments below and if you will be doing anything from the list for your baby’s arrival.