Still working on figuring our how to prepare for birth and a newborn? Here is the fourth and final week of the 28 Day New Baby Checklist. Take a deep breath and know that you’re almost done and you are very well prepared to both give birth and welcome a new little baby into this world! Just 8 more things to do (because I am giving you a bonus one this week, but it’s good. I promise.)
Stock up on family essentials
This may take a little bit of extra effort budgeting, but having at least a small stock pile of dry goods, toiletries, and more if you don’t already can be invaluable. Whether you are a first time parent or veteran, the transition is going to take several weeks, so going to the store may not be at the top of your priority list and it may not be something you want on your agenda at all. Things to consider getting:
- toilet paper
- dry goods like rice, pasta, cereal, protein bars, nuts, etc..
- pet food
- Canned soups and meals
- Frozen foods like fruit for smoothies
Arrange for someone to help you clean the house
If you are like me, then a messy house is extremely deflating. I remember feeling so crazy in the first week of my daughter being born because the house was chaos and it made me feel the way it looked. My husband, mother in law, and mom knew it bugged me so they had me take a nap and they got the house picked up. Instant mood lifter. I know that many think the list of “What a family really needs” is a bit over the top and excessive, but I love it! Ask boldly because it’s one of the only times in your life that you need that much help and people might actually be willing to help.
Arrange entertainment for your recovery
This means you can create an awesome Netflix streaming list, queue up some Amazon Prime, catch up on the reading you thought you would do years ago, and just sit back and relax. You are are going to b in recovery mode, breastfeeding mode, and adaptation mode. Cut yourself some slack and prepare some unwind-time and materials.
Plan your birth environment
Write out encouragement cards, verses, positive thoughts for birth, scripture, lyrics, and more. In fact, invite others that you love to do the same. Make bunting out of it or find some way to display it. We even made birth affirmation shirts to wear! Especially if you are going to give birth at home, this can be a special way to prepare. But regardless of where and how you give birth, this will help you focus on the positive and really calm yourself before birth.
You may also want to plan out a music playlist, figure out how you want the lighting, if you want candles, and any number of ambiance types of desires. Just plan it, but know it may change!
Emotionally prepare yourself
This can be part of planning your environment, but is obviously more over-arching. There are so many emotions that come with pregnancy and childbirth. Sit down to pray and/or meditate about what’s to come and the positive thoughts you have about giving birth and the child you will get to hold in your arms.
Plan your after-birth support team
This kind of goes along with the cleaning the house one, but in general, you will need some support. Even if it’s a meal train or someone willing to pick up groceries from you ordering them online. Set reasonable expectations for yourself and then write out the places where you know you’ll be lacking. Then you can start asking people to fill those spots.
Clean out car, Put gas in the car, have speed dial set, etc.
We treat a half tank in our car empty after 36 weeks pregnant and the car seat is installed. Even if you are planning a home birth, have a back up plan to be able to use the car in case something goes wrong with you and/or baby. If you are due in the winter, make sure you have some sand and salt in the back as well as extra blankets.
In general, make sure that everything is in order in case of an emergency.
Finally, just relax.
I know it’s hard and maybe you have insomnia… but focus on the positive and know you have prepared the best you can!
For more pregnancy info and posts from this series:
Kara is an author and advocate for positive, grace-filled parenting. She is homeschooler to her 4 children living in Boston, MA and believes in creative educational approaches to help kids dive deeper into a rich learning experience. She has her degree in Secondary Education & Adolescent Childhood Development and is passionate about connecting with and helping other parents on their journey to raise awesome kids!