The new baby checklist is in full swing now! We are on week two of our four week and 28 day journey to prepare for a new baby. Once all four weeks are complete I will compile an easy download and post it on the main page to help you organize and prep for the big days ahead of you! In the meantime, follow along as I make sure that I too am ready for a new baby from the tiny details like washing clothes to more important things like empowering my husband in his role as my birth coach.
Make a binder and checklist for dads
Just as I discussed in week one that it’s imperative to make yourself a birth binder, it’s also a great idea to have something compiled for the father and/or your birth coach regardless of who it is. This is going to help them feel enabled and empowered that they have the information they need. Things to consider including in a dad’s binder:
- A copy of your Birth Plan
- A list of names and phone numbers of people to call/text when in labor and/or when baby is born
- Information on recognizing the stages of labor
- Extra pieces of paper for him to jot down notes such as times and contraction lengths
- A pencil pouch with a stop watch, some pens/pencils, and some granola bars
- A copy of a birth position guide
- A Copy of Bradley B.E.S.T.
- List of relaxation techniques you enjoy
- List of pictures you want
- Anything else you may feel is helpful!
Buy and install a car seat and read up on safety standards
Try to get the car seat out of the box at least two weeks prior to expected delivery. This is going to help off-gas the chemicals that make that “new smell”. You will also want to read the manual from cover to cover. It’s not extreme, it’s your baby’s life! Then, work on installing the car seat. If you have any questions or concerns about the seat’s installation, please ask the wonderful technicians at Car Seats for the Littles. I have linked to their contact form and at the bottom you will also find a button to join the facebook group. This will help you find someone in your area who is a certified technician. While it is often said to go to your local fire station, they have typically only taken one class and are not as knowledgeable as a certified tech.
Please make sure you know the details before putting your child in it! It’s not a convenience matter, it truly is your child’s life you are protecting. So also read up on rear-facing, keeping the chest clip armpit to armpit, understanding the pinch test, understanding why aftermarket products are unsafe, and understanding why you cannot place a child with a coat on in their car seat.
Buy new baby essentials
Whether you are a minimalist or have to have all of the best gadgets, get it all prepared, off-gassed, and set up! We personally are more of a minimal family and even did the $1,000 baby budget challenge for our daughter’s first year of life.
Make sure that you know what is ok to buy used and what is not. For instance, you should know the ENTIRE life of a crib or car seat if you get it used and it should be from someone you know and trust. This is because of safety concerns and standards. So buying a car seat from someone on craigslist is absolutely not recommended because it could look fine, but it could have been in an accident.
Buy your diapers, set up a changing station, prep where baby will sleep, wash blankets, and just start nesting with all the cute things your baby will soon be using… and imagine them using those things too!
Wash clothes and prep diapers
Babies have really sensitive skin; therefore, making sure that their clothes, blankets, hats, etc. are pre-washed is important! You don’t want to introduce them to harsh chemicals or dyes from clothing or whatever else could be on it from hanging or sitting in a store.
If you are choosing to cloth diaper, start prepping diapers. Since many have to be washed 6-8 times to be prepped if you bought new, then you can do this throughout the week.
Make an older sibling basket/Prepare activities and checklist for older kids or relatives that will be in town
I guess this is another binder you can make. 😉 I know that especially in the first two weeks after giving birth that my daughter will need entertainment that doesn’t involve me. This means compiling a list of places to go with her dad, a friend, or a relative. It also means having some learning games prepped and activities put together with instructions so that she can stay engaged and it not be a worry of my own.
If you are a first time mom, obviously that’s not as much of a worry. BUT, you might have relatives staying with you or nearby and it’s great to give them a list of things you might need and things to do when you need some alone time. I remember very vividly with my first that my husband, mother-in-law, and mom cleaned up the living room while I slept and that was SO refreshing to wake up to.
Maybe pre-make a week’s shopping list including things like toilet paper, groceries, etc. so that if they ask what you need, they can help where it’s most needed.
Make plans for pets and childcare (introduce smells, etc too)
If you have kids, then arranging childcare DURING birth might be something you need to look into. Just make sure that your wishes are completely known and understood. For instance, when do you want your child to come visit? Do you want them to be there during the birth, not at all, right after the birth, or none of the above?
If you have pets, finding someone to care for them whether having a baby at home or in the hospital is something you should consider. It’s the last thing on your mind and not something your husband is going to deal with (most likely), so consider it as part of your plans.
And finally, if you have pets, include it in your coach’s binder or in notes for the person taking care of them that you would like to introduce the baby’s new smell to the pets before the baby. When my daughter was born, we sent my parents back to the house with a blanket, some clothes, and even a dirty diaper (wrapped up) for our dogs to smell. That way when she got home they were not all up in her business and it was a smoother transition.
Make freezer meals
Personally, I love making slow cooker to freezer meals because they’re so easy. You will thank yourself that you have them on hand even if you are blessed with lots of meals from friends. There is always that point even now that I am thankful to have something so easy to just heat up on the hard days.
Consider doing a freezer meal swap with friends. They don’t even have to be pregnant, they just have to eat! 😉 Each of you can make the same meal x the number of people participating so that everyone has a variety.
Find more resources and the rest of the 28 day new baby checklist by clicking the image below.
Kara is an author, wife, and mother of 3 children living in Boston, MA. She has her degree in Secondary Education & Adolescent Childhood Development and is passionate about connecting with and even helping other parents on their journey to raise awesome kids!