I shared a little bit yesterday on my post about how unprepared I have been feeling concerning baby M’s arrival. With us moving two weeks ago I have been focusing on the house and not on baby related things.
I have a baby 411 book I read a few pages of every night, a few blogs I read, and friends I annoy all day with texts, but other than that I haven’t really done anything to get ready. The nursery is a mess, the HOUSE is a mess (still unpacking!) but the days keep ticking by and yall, time isn’t going to slow down as I get closer, so I need to get my rear in gear!
So, my question for your mamas or anyone who may know….what are the ESSENTIAL things I need to be doing to prepare, in what order should I do them in, and what do I REALLY need in my hospital bag? I don’t want to bring a 50 pound suitcase to the hospital, yall.
I know I need to….
-install car seat
-pack hospital bag
-put together crib
-learn how to use breast pump
-make a birth plan? (haha, I have none).
-Call a pediatrician
-make freezer meals
-figure out what to do with the dogs when I go into labor
-wash bedding and clothes (I have done a lot of this, just a few more things to wash).
WHAT AM I MISSING? WHAT DO I DO FIRST! HELP ME!
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First of all, take a deep breath! You can do this!
1. Carseat…they aren’t terribly hard to install. If it’s stressing you out to make an appointment, have Bobby give it a go. If you feel it’s tight enough and the little ball is in the middle showing equal balance, you are okay.
2. Suggestion on washing: don’t wash everything until you know what your baby is going to like. For example, I washed all the swaddles I got,but Abbie never used them, and obviously I couldn’t return them. Wash 1-2 as a start to test things out, then you can wash others later once she’s home and just stick them in with her clothes.
3. Are you doing a birth class? If so, it will probably cover the hospital tour. Honestly, you don’t really NEED a tour. When the time comes, you’re not going to care! They will bring you to your L and D room and post-natal room, and wheel you to the OR if you happen to need a c/s. Just a thought for something to avoid if it’s stressing you out figuring out how to fit it in.
5. Hospital Bag: light weight pjs for you for after birth, toiletries, pillow, camera/phone/computer and chargers, hard candies for labor if your mouth gets dry, a comfortable going home outfit (probably a maternity dress), Boppy or other breastfeeding pillow. For baby: going home outfit, lightweight blanket.
Really, that’s sort of it for the real necessities. The hospital will provide you with everything else including “after birth products” (ahem…), diapers, wipes, and various other things. More advice: take EVERYTHING the hospital provides in the bathroom and baby bassinette thing. Trust me on this one!
6. What else to do: make sure you have whatever baby gear you’re planning to use put together: swing, bouncy seat, pack and play, bassinette, etc. That’s not something you’re going to want to be fooling around with when a newborn is in the house.
7. Freezer meals are a lifesaver. I would keep them on your to do list.
8. Finding a pediatrician should probably be at the top of the list. You might want to check out a couple. I’d do that sooner rather than later. Plus he/she might be on call at the hospital to examine the baby when she’s born.
9. As for a birth plan…you can or not. It was more important for me to get stuff written down for AFTER birth and how I wanted to deal with visitors, feeding, etc. Just jot some stuff down some evening when you’re watching tv.
I think I covered everything! Good luck!! You got this!
Peggi Konvicka says
Hi there. Try not to stress, I know it’s easy to do at this point.
Hospital bag – bring the essentials. I brought a two piece set of Jammie’s that buttoned up on the top and were nice and roomy and stretchy in the bottoms. This is essential and worked in my case because I had a c section. Rip don’t forget your toothbrush, toothpaste and brush…..I forgot my brush lol. Maybe bring slippers, don’t forget hair ties since your hair is long. I believe they have soap and shampoo but you know how those can be, maybe bring little containers of your own just in case. Bring M’s coming home outfit, but actually bring 2-3 as you don’t know what size she will be. My son was tiny and the newborn outfit I brought was way too big but I had a backup preemie outfit I had. Don’t forget the camera!
As far as baby CPR, I never took a class like that, and all was ok but I had been CPR certified for years anyway. Book that hospital tour girl…..it is sorta fun 🙂 definitely get that car seat installed and your hospital bag packed, at least with the items you can pack early. Definitely arrange for dog care…..that is an easy couple things to get off your list with not a whole lot of work. As far as the nursery, I’m not sure your plan with where the baby will sleep, but remember baby m doesn’t care what it looks like right away anyway 🙂 as long as you have the crib and the basic stuff set you are good.
You are going to do great. Take it all in as it will be here before you know it and then you will be like me and you wonder where have almost 9 years gone and is my baby really starting 3rd grade on Monday.
I think you have it all! It’s kind of hard to figure out how to use the pump before actually using it – so maybe just put it together?
Also, did you get an ergo? Maybe play around with that and the fit and place a stuffed animal into it? It was tricky for me to figure out w/Wyatt the first time I used it and I was home alone.
Oh and wash and sterilize (boil for 10min) pump parts, bottles, and pacis (if you want to use them).
Hospital bag: brush, deodorant, toothbrush + toothpaste, soap, couple changes of clothes, and a going home outfit for her. I brought sooooo much stuff both times and never used it!
You’ll be fine! I wasn’t prepared at all eother!
Relax! Nobody is ever really ready for a baby. As for the hospital bag, make sure you take your own feminine products. The ones that the hospital provides are awful. Also, the blankets and onsies that the hospital used on my second son irritated his skin. The nurse said this is not uncommon. I would pack my own just in case.
Lindsay @ The Lean Green Bean says
definitely get the pediatrician figured out. i have all those other things on my list too…but remember baby probably won’t sleep in a crib right away. car seat is important and a baby class might help with the birth plan/hospital tour etc.
Meredith N. says
Go ahead and make a birth plan, but don’t plan on it being followed. Things happen and if your like me, the birth plan will go out the window within the first few hours!
The hospital will provide you with cheap, mesh panties after birth – use them and even ask for some to take home with you!
As for once the baby comes, swaddle blankets! They make velcro ones, they are a LIFESAVER. My son won’t stay asleep long unless he’s swaddled.
Tiff @ Love, Sweat, & Beers says
Car seat, birth class/hospital tour, baby’s bed, and hospital bag, in that order IMO. We didn’t need to call a pediatrician beforehand; I just needed to pick one. I selected one that a friend recommended and that regularly visited the hospital. Birth plans are just plans, and I hear they usually go out the window anyway. I delivered E a month early with an emergency C-section, so nothing went as planned. I also didn’t use a darn thing in my hospital bag, which my mom had to swing by my house to get for me. If you’re a little behind on things, it’s no big deal. You never know how it’s going to go, and women have been having babies long before birth plans/hospital bags/perfect nurseries were cool. You’re going to do great, so try and relax a bit while you can. 🙂
Elisabeth Luther says
I went into labor at 35 weeks. We didn’t have the crib yet, I hadn’t completely packed a hospital bag, and the car seat wasn’t installed. The only thing I had going for me was that I had completed birthing class and had toured the hospital. My son ended up being in the NICU for 10 days. The first thing I had to do was call our insurance to add our son to the policy. You may want to call your insurance company or do some research to see if that is something you need to notify them of. Not to get too TMI but make sure you purchase night time sanitary pads and cheap cotton grannie panties for after you get home. I would also pack a small notebook to keep track of what your told for a birthing story timeline. It’s also nice to keep track of nurses/doctors names if you like to send thank you notes/donuts & coffee to those who helped you out.
If you’re doing stuff around the house I’d say start with packing the hospital bag and then maybe putting the crib together. Schedule a couple days to do the stuff you can do now and cross things off that list. Crossing things off your list will feel really good.
Becky @ Connect The Dots Ginger says
I wrote a ton of posts on pre-pregnancy planning stuff including mommy’s hospital bag, daddy’s hospital bag and siblings, including our fur babies! Here is a direct link to all the pregnancy posts! http://connectthedotsginger.blogspot.com/p/pregnancy_1.html
Hope it helps!
As far as the nursery, the baby sleeps in my room in the pack-n-play bassinet for the first 6 months then I move him to his nursery, so if you haven’t finished the nursery when she arrives then you still have time to work on it and collect more things for it. The biggest thing is the paint, getting that painted before which I think you already have done so you are good there. Right now our nursery is the “holding/storage room” for everything. It is organized but I will have to do some cleaning and putting other items away before we can use it!
Def. have your bassinet and baby area set up in your room where she will sleep when you first get home. Having that ready to go and not worry about when you get home is a huge lifesaver!
My husband installed our car seat at 5am after my water broke that morning… So while it is a good idea to prepare, you can also make it last minute and be okay. A tip to remember, you’ll be in the hospital at least 1 night, so he can get stuff set up while you’re there. We had the crib ready, but didn’t put the bassinet up until she was coming home. (And she slept next to us in the bassinete for the first 6 weeks until she was sleeping in longer (4 hour) stretches, so we could have waited on crib setup as well)
A few tips: your birth plan should be pretty basic. Don’t go over the top with stuff like “I want the lights out, lavendar candles, and Miriah Carey music” all written out in a report to give the nurses. If you want specifics like that just do them. At least at my hospital, they were pretty open to all kinds of stuff like that. I didn’t have a written plan, but I made sure the nurses knew I didn’t want pain meds.
What to bring: comfy clothes that are easy on the stomach and allow easy boob access to feed Baby M. Clothes for baby girl to come home in in a few sizes. (We had a premier, newborn, and 0-3 size). And a camera. The rest of the stuff you should get there: pads, diapers, toiletries. And you’ll likely be too tired and excited to do much other than cuddle with baby girl.
Nicole Glass says
I don’t have a birth plan, but let’s face it- for me, nothing has gone as “planned” for this pregnancy, so why try now?
My goals are car seat and hospital bag, but my biggest concern is what to do with my Parker (my dog) when I go into labor. Our daycare will take him, but they are closed the week I’m due…so that’s interesting and we don’t have friends or family where we live. I honestly will wing everything else, but Parker is my priority!
I made 9 freezer meals a couple weeks ago and it wasn’t bad. I did it over two weekends and it took about 3 hours each day (2 days).
Are your appointments at the hospital or somewhere close by? Maybe you could schedule a tour right after your next appointment. While it’s not necessary, we got really great information during the tour so I’m glad we went. Who knew that our hospital doesn’t keep formula on the premises? News to me!
I’d say to try not to stress about this stuff, but I’m a planner and I’m sure you are too so having things on your list will drive you nuts.
You’re making lists, so you are already doing great! There are a ton of great suggestions and I would add to get the baby monitor set up and tested, buy some huge granny panties, look into a belly wrap (I loved mine!) and check out Pinterest for some great DIY postpartum comfort pad ideas. I would also recommend adding baby hats and at least 3 baby outfits for baby to your hospital bag, just in case ;). And make sure to stock up on easy, healthy snacks. Yogurt, granola bars, fruit and whatever else you like to munch on.
I have some friends that also arranged to have a another friend come by to help them with tiny bit of makeup and hair styling to take some nice photos in the hospital.
Almost everything else can wait until after you come home :).
I love you but I am no help with this post. I will be there for text venting if needed. End scene. 😉
Honestly everyone has a different opinion on everything baby related. Everything seems so confusing until you are holding your new little bundle of joy in your arms and your mama instinct will kick in and be your best guide. Newborns really don’t need much at all — I found I didn’t use half the stuff I had.
Good luck you will do great!!
Ps. I’m originally from the Jackson/Brandon area so it’s fun reading a blog from my hometown. We are living in seattle now.
Catherine @ foodiecology says
I so need to read through all these comments when I have more time. Like you I feel slightly unprepared (but I’m not unpacking from a recent move, so I have no excuse), but so far, I’m much calmer than I imagined I’d be at this point.
My biggest fear is our waiting so long (at my doc’s recommendation, go figure) for our childbirth class; it begins Sep 18 and ends Oct 2…a week before my due date!!! At least the doc told me she’d call our coordinator to try to get me in an earlier class that’s full.
I love, love, love the little Saints outfit & socks. My hubs and I were in Target recently and somehow manage to resist buying a Drew Brees onesie/jersey (our Baby M would wear it for like a month probably and we already have some cotton Saints onesies a friend gave us, so I think we’re ok!).
I had to resist the jersey, too!
Biggies for the hospital bag: snacks for you and sweetie. Your own pillows (yeah, for reals). Comfy pants for afterwards. Shower stuff that makes you feel special, if you have a scent or brand you like but don’t normally use, buy it for this. You’ll want it.
Birth plan: I haven’t had a major one for either of my girls. I just kind of went in super flexible. I knew I wanted to have an epidural and avoid a c-section and that was it. I think have a super detailed birth plan just sets you up for disappointment and frustration if it doesn’t happen. The important thing is what happens at the end- that you’re healthy and you have a baby in your arms.
Best of luck! It’s the most amazing, scariest, exciting, overwhelming thing you’ll ever do. It’s totally worth it though.
thanks for the tips!
Oh, and I totally moved across the country (TN to NM) at 33 weeks. I got to do most of the packing by myself since my husband moved two weeks earlier for his new job. I feel the moving pain! Nesting will be super awesome though.
Nesting has been good but also VERY overwhelming b/c there is just so much to do so I end up getting upset about things not being in order!
The number 1 thing I was thankful to have brought was a robe!! I was at the hospital for 5 days unexpectedly and I lived in that robe. Also maternity yoga pants were really awesome to wear with the robe.
5 days?! I didn’t realize! It has been noted to bring my robe!
Congratulations your getting so close. My recommendation is know as much about breast-feeding as possible if thats what you are choosing to do. My son is 6 weeks old and we are really struggling. I pump and he gets most of my milk from the bottle. Also i was told i needed to supplement with formula while at the hospital, I didn’t realize I could have said no and cup or syringe feed him. I think this has played a part in our nursing issues. Find a good lactation consultant early on, or look for one now, they can be very helpful.
Also if you haven’t already look into local moms groups, they provide great support and are a good way to get out of the house early on!