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Baby Arrival Checklist

Hey everyone!

I wanted to create a basic baby arrival checklist for those of us who are expecting and clueless. I did not anticipate how much planning and prep went into a baby's arrival. A nice checklist like this below would have saved me from making a few mistakes.

  • Find a good doctor. Don't skimp here, you'll be dealing with this person for almost an entire year and you want to make sure they meet all your needs so you feel comfortable during your pregnancy. Are they urgent enough for you? What about thorough? I like having a doctor I feel like I can talk to instead of one who makes me feel silly for asking (what they probably consider) dumb questions. You also may want a midwife instead because they have a different set of skills. Some hospitals can't promise what doctor will deliver you (unless you're high risk) but they can make sure the midwife you've seen the entire pregnancy, will deliver you.
  • Start thinking about saving money and time off of work. The US is actually super behind the times and a lot of places offer little to no maternity leave if you're a working lady. This means you'll want to start saving ASAP. You'll want to make a budget and figure out how long you are going to be away from work so you know what you need to keep yourself covered. Even if you don't work, you'll still want to save for things like hospital bills, unexpected baby expenses, items you may still need, etc. You don't want to wipe out your savings during this time because you didn't create a "baby savings". If you do get maternity leave, I would still save!
  • Do you want to breastfeed, bottle feed, will you pump, etc. How will you feed this tiny human? You may not even figure this out fully until the baby is here but if you are dead set on breastfeeding then you'll want to add breastfeeding items to your registry. If you want to use formula then you may want to research some formulas, etc. I just think it's good to have an idea here so you can again try to plan ahead for it. You may want to take a breastfeeding class beforehand so you know what to expect. Also, a lot of insurances will cover the cost of your pump which you can get towards the end of your pregnancy.
  • Create your registry (or registries) and research baby products. This took me some time because holy crap, for such a tiny human you need a lot of stuff. Luckily, Mario, my mom, and girlfriends who have kids were able to help me figure out what we need, or don't need to waste our money on. I still did some research on different items to try to best anticipate what I won't be able to live without. That extra money you saved is for what you don't know you need yet.
  • Schedule your maternity photos. If this is something you want to do then make sure to schedule them early! I believe a lot of photographers like to shoot the maternity photos around 30-32 weeks and a lot of professional photographers book up quickly. This was important to us so I wanted to make sure not to miss out!

  • Get your nursery ready! This is the fun part! Also, still time consuming. This was important to me but  may not be your priority. A lot of times babies sleep in bassinets in mom and dads room for awhile so this can be done at a later date. I didn't want to wait because I want to make sure I don't have much else to deal with besides the baby.
  • Buy a body pillow!! I skimped here and I'm regretting this now. I really need some belly and leg support. Luckily, I have a basset hound which is the next best option for a leg rest :)
  • Organize your baby clothes by size. If you get baby clothes ahead of time then you'll want them organized before hand (nesting problems). You may want to keep tags on in case you return some items or you may want to have everything washed and ready for the baby.
  • Have a game plan for your baby's insurance. Typically, you only have 30 days post baby to figure this out and there's probably going to be a lot going on in those 30 days. Be prepared so you know what insurance to get him or her on and you can do it right away. Babies have hospital bills too.
  • Take a birth class or educate yourself on birth so you're at least semi prepared. You can also tour the hospital if you'd like so you know where to go, where you'll be staying, etc.
  • Know your birth preferences like who will be in the room, will dad cut the umbilical cord, do you want pain relief, do you want a home birth, etc. Some people type out birth plans and some of us just want to decide before hand if we want an epidural or not. Either way, I would think about this before, not when you're headed to the hospital and have to stress over it. Also, everyone reminds me that labor won't go how I plan so I'm making my own birth preferences but keeping in mind that they may go flying out the window.
  • Have a game plan for how you're getting to the hospital, who you're calling, and what you're doing with siblings and/or pets.
  • Pre-register at the hospital. I'm not sure if all hospitals do this but I wanted to make sure to pre-register at mine so they can expect my arrival.
  • Pack your hospital bag. Just in case things happen fast, I want to be very prepared! I'll post what's in my bag next week :)
  • Put your last few items together like the bassinet, car seat, stroller, etc. Some items can be put together at a later date, like a high chair, but it's nice to have everything else set up so you don't have to deal with it when you get home.
  • It also doesn't hurt to start thinking about what you will do if you have to go back to work. Is daycare an option or will family members watch the baby? I'm sure the three months I'm off will fly by so I need to be prepared for that as well.

I'm sure I've left a few items off because baby brain is real these days, but at least this can get you started. Hopefully, you enjoy making lists and planning as much as I do!

katie lynn

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