Preparing for Baby Checklist: To Do List to Prepare for Baby
Third Trimester (Last Minute) Things to Do to Prepare for Baby
Working on your preparing for baby checklist, Mama?
Finishing this to do list of things to do before baby arrives checklist will seriously make your life with a newborn SO much easier!
If you feel like you’ve already done all the things to do to prepare for Baby, you could be missing something…There’s some last minute baby prep you may not realize needs doing.
But trust me, you’ll be suuuper glad once it’s done.
To Do List to Prepare for Baby
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Things to do Before Having a Baby (what to do before baby arrives)
In my final weeks of figuring out how to prepare for baby #2, I am remembering some things that I did or WISH I had done last go-round.
There’s the initial freak out of,
“Oh my gosh, I only have 3 weeks left, I’ve got to get stuff done!”
You frantically finish the nursery and clean the bathrooms. Then suddenly comes,
“Oook, he was due 3 days ago…I’m ready…what do I do now?”
Know the feeling???
Well, whatever stage you are in your preparing for baby checklist, I’ve got some tips for you.
This is a very detailed baby preparations checklist…
So if you’re wondering what to do while waiting for baby, this third trimester checklist should cover all your bases.
Checking these tasks off of your to do list before baby comes will pay off, Mama. Thank yourself later.
Getting organized now will make settling into your life with a newborn much less stressful.
If you’re looking specifically for last minute baby ITEMS to buy before birth, be sure to check out my other post when you’re done with this one: Practical Baby Items to Buy Before Birth
Now, let’s get to the last minute baby prep!
Before you do anything else (if you haven’t already,)
Start your an Amazon Baby Registry.
Do this even if you register elsewhere, because:
- You can take your time registering & change your mind easily
- You’ll read product reviews from REAL mamas
- Your friends & fam probably already shop there anyway
- 2-day shipping is helpful for friends who procrastinate
- Loved ones who don’t live nearby can ship a gift to you
- YOU GET FREE STUFF
With Amazon, you get a FREE Welcome Box full of little goodies for Baby and the parents-to-be.
You’ll get 10% off whatever’s left on your registry after your baby showers (make it 15% if you’re a Prime member!)
Sooo, why wouldn’t you do this?
You can sign up for your Amazon Baby Registry here.
Ok, now on to the list!
Preparing for Baby Checklist: Last Minute to do List Before Baby Arrives
1. Prepare a Postpartum Care Kit
Don’t just prepare for baby, prepare for MAMA!
Everyone researches what baby things to buy, but stocking up on postpartum essentials is JUST as important to your new mom survival kit.
One of the most crucial things on your preparing for baby checklist should be to make sure YOU will be taken care of too.
This is a must-do, girl.
Get a little basket and put it next to the toilet. Fill it with all the things you’ll need for your postpartum care.
You don’t want to have to waddle over to the cabinet and fumble with opening pads or toilet paper when you’re recovering from childbirth.
Creating a postpartum care kit is one of the TOP things to do before baby arrives.
Here are some tips on what to include:
This kind is perfect.
Yes, they’re huge, but trust me, you want huge.
And compared to what they give you at these hospital these will feel great.
You may want to stock up on a lighter kind as well, to use when things lighten up.
I like to use this thinner kind for the later weeks of postpartum recovery.
These are incredibly helpful for postpartum care and healing.
My nurse recommended them and I was SO thankful. There’s a lot going on down there.
You’ll be glad to have this on hand to relieve some serious discomfort.
I like to make a row of 3 overlapping wipes and “tuck” them from front to back.
It really makes a difference. I think every mama I know uses these awesome things.
I read this tip before my first baby.
Any extra relief you can get down there is a must!This will help.
And it’s made with natural ingredients so you don’t have to worry too much about what you’re spraying down there…
Aka: Peri Bottle.This is essential to rinse and care for your postpartum recovery needs, especially if you experience tearing during childbirth (which can be common.)
Keep it in the bathroom and refill it with warm water.
It will speed up the healing process, keep things clean, and the warmth is sweet relief after every not-so-sweet visit to the toilet.
Another tip for extra relief down there after having a baby is taking postpartum sitz baths.
This is a simple and really gentle way to manage pain and speed recovery. This post by Carly at Mommy On Purpose has great tips on exactly how to do a sitz bath (and why you should.)
This stuff comes highly recommended from mamas because it works really well, smells amazing, and a little goes a long way.
But you can also simply use Epsom salt and lavender essential oil.
You’ll most likely use this at the hospital and they’ll recommend you continue. I recommend that too.
You want to stay as regular as possible…TRUST me.
That first visit to the bathroom after I got home from the hospital was *almost* worse than giving birth.
This can help a lot.
I know it’s not the most glamorous item on your baby preparations checklist, but you won’t regret having it.
GOOD toilet paper
You want a good quality, thick ply variety for patting. If ever you deserve the good stuff, it’s now. Keep an extra roll in your postpartum care kit, just in case it runs out.
You never know when things may suddenly get heavier or when a surprise could get messy.
Keep a change of panties in your basket, so you can freshen up with plenty of privacy.
Buy a pack or two of too-large granny panties for postpartum recovery.
Once you graduate out of the hospital net undies, you’ll be glad to have something loose and comfortable that you can just throw away if they get ruined during the joyful postpartum aftermath.
A LOT of new mamas swear by using a postpartum girdle (like this one) after having a baby.
This can be especially helpful if you have a c-section.
Postpartum girdles give extra support that you’ll want in your belly after Baby.
They can even help prevent the dreaded “mommy pooch” to reshape your waist and fit back into your jeans sooner.Perineal Cold Pack – These perineal cold packs are LEGIT. Many new moms swear by them. The nurses gave me some to use after birth, but once I got home, I needed more. These are awesome.
Try sprinkling a bit of water on the pack before shaking it to keep it suuuper cold.
Additional Postpartum Tips:
For more on great info on making a postpartum care plan, check out my post exclusively about Postpartum Care Kit Essentials & Tips.
Trust me, preparing this kit is definitely one of the most important things to do before baby comes.
2. Prepare a Breastfeeding Station (Or Pumping Station)
Breastfeeding is awesome.
But it can take a little time to adjust to, especially with your first.
Setting up a little station next to each of your nursing areas will take some of the stress out of things.
I recommend having a little breastfeeding basket or tray set up next to anywhere you plan to breastfeed regularly, especially at night.
For me, this was my bedside and next to the chair in the nursery.
Include some practical items and some comforts.
Don’t skip this!
This is probably one of the best things to do before Baby arrives. Checklists just make things easier, so here are some ideas to get you going:
You will not BELIEVE how much water you need to drink while breastfeeding.
I highly recommend getting a great quality water bottle that will work well for your new mom needs.
This is one of the most forgotten (but super important) things to buy when preparing for a baby.
I love this one.
It keeps water cold, isn’t made of plastic, and has a large handle perfect for grabbing it with one finger while juggling Baby and five other things.
Keep water with you everywhere, Mama.
You’ve gotta put in even more than you’re putting out.
I also have a great post on the best water bottles for pregnancy and breastfeeding.
Keeping your water bottle refilled is a perfect “Daddy job” for new fathers who want to help ease the stresses of breastfeeding, but don’t know exactly how.
Make sure your breastfeeding basket has a little something for pain relief.
Breastfeeding is amazing…but it can hurt when you are getting started.
Don’t let that stop you!Talking with a lactation specialist can really help solve any problems causing extra pain, but when breasts are adjusting to being sucked on every two hours, you might just need something to soothe until your body gets used to the new normal.
This mama butter is great natural option that is safe for Baby and very helpful.
Keep your nursing pillow near your Breastfeeding Station. It will be nice for it to have a home, not just land in random places.
It’s even better than a Boppy and can be used in pregnancy and for Baby’s tummy time pillow too!
I am SO bummed that this awesome pillow is no longer available. BUT the good news is that THIS pregnancy and breastfeeding pillow is another fantastic option with stellar reviews.
Get it now for extra comfort in your final weeks of pregnancy or add it to your baby registry.
I always like to keep my hands extra clean when handling breastmilk.
Look for a great alcohol and dye-free option, like this kind.
Keep in mind, the first thing your hands will touch after washing is usually Baby.
If it’s the middle of the night and baby needs a little extra comfort after feeding to get back to sleep, you won’t want to have to dig for the paci!
Keep one on hand! We like these adorable paci’s.
Breastpump and Accessories
High Protein Snacks
In case you haven’t heard…breastfeeding makes you ravenous!
Especially at first. Have some food ready to refuel when you need a pick-me-up.
Wipes and Burp Cloths
For dribbles and messes.
Breastmilk can take some time to settle in.
For a while it seems like you just don’t have enough, then all the sudden it’s like an overfilled fountain.
Using disposable breastpads will save you from feeling like a gross leaky mess.
This is the kind I always use.
They’re great and never fail me, but if you prefer, these washable breastpads are also very popular.
Hey, want some REALLY Good Pre-Breastfeeding advice?
You can (and should) prepare yourself for breastfeeding really easily with The Ultimate Breastfeeding Class by Milkology. I HIGHLY recommend it for moms-to-be.It’s totally online and a very inexpensive way to feel super confident as you go into this new, challenging adventure.
Stacey teaches you everything you need to know about breastfeeding and it’s pretty dang cool.
(She even has a Back to Work Pumping Class perfect for working mamas AND a new Ultimate Exclusive Pumping Class.)
This is really an essential resource.
If it’s not already on your preparing for baby checklist, add it now.
3. Prepare for Baby Feedings
Prepare for baby bottle feedings!
This is one of my favorite last minute things to do before Baby.
If you plan on pumping at all, I recommend going ahead and setting up a system for freezing your breastmilk.
Plan ahead. You want this to be a seamless process.
I like using these breastmilk storage bags because they have a great shape for storing and organizing.
The better your freezer is organized, the more milk you can store…the more milk you store, the more times Daddy can do the night feeding and Mama can SLEEP!
Trust me, there will be no higher priority after a few days of mommy sleep-deprivation.
Here are some awesome ways you can store breastmilk:
This is a great idea by Jamie at MySweetNest.
This is another popular way to store milk. Thanks, Val at Lovely Lucky Life, for the tip!
I also recommend having your bottles, nipples, breastpump accessories, etc. all open and sanitized.
Set up a little storage system for this too.
Make room in a cabinet or have a station on the counter.
We usually use our drying rack and a little basket under the cabinet with the bibs and other feeding supplies.
This is one of those often-forgotten things to do to prepare for Baby.
But that stuff isn’t going to do you any good still packaged in the gift bag from your baby shower.
When the time comes to use them, you’ll love that it’s all ready to go.
If you have spare time now, check it off your list and reap the benefits in a couple weeks.
4. Prep Freezer Meals
You definitely won’t regret this one.
It’s one of my favorite preparing for baby checklist to-do’s because it’s SO helpful to new moms.
When your hubby goes back to work and the Meal Train subsides, you’ll be sooo thankful that you prepped some easy meals.
This is perfect for evenings when you’re too exhausted to cook or there’s an unexpected trip to the pediatrician.
It can also help ease back into cooking while you conquer the learning curve of making dinner with a newborn in tow.
About 3-4 weeks before baby arrives, we start doubling 1 or 2 of our meals each week.
I love using zipper bags and freezing the meals flat, so we can store a ton and then just thaw and dump in a pot. It’s fully cooked and ready to go.
We just write the name of the meal and the date in permanent marker and stick it in the freezer.
Simple enough and sooo worth the little bit of extra effort.
This is a great way to start preparing for baby in the last stretch.
I’d stash as much as you have room for, but we are aiming for at least 1 week’s worth of meals this time. More if we can.
A little tip:
Don’t start making these meals too early when preparing for baby. Many of meals are only good to freeze for a month or two.
If you want to be reallllly prepared, you could even make a little menu for yourself.
Include the name of the frozen dish then write in any sides you’d like to go with it.
That way, after Baby arrives, you can easily know what to order from the grocery store (but seriously…do THIS) and your meals won’t accidentally consist of taco meat, but no toppings or tortillas.
Can you tell I’m speaking from experience?
Freezer meal prepping is a pro-mom favorite of all the things to do before the baby comes.
Also, get some paper plates!
Trust me, you are not going to be feeling dish duty even if you happen to find the time after baby comes.
We used paper plates for the first week with our first.
This time, I bought the big boy package. We’ll use them until we feel somewhat human again, however long that takes. No shame.
How to make freezer meals easier:
This handy little ebook is FANTASTIC for pregnant mamas and new moms who want to prep healthy freezer meals the easiest way possible.
- Easy Recipes (w/ over 2 weeks worth of meals)
- Healthy ingredients needed for a new mom’s health
- Info on which foods are best for your postpartum healing & breastmilk supply
- Simple grocery lists for each recipe
- Tips and bonuses
AND it’s seriously super inexpensive.
If you want to make new mom life easier by preparing freezer meals, this book is a must-have!
Check it out here:
Healing Freezer Meals for Postpartum and Breastfeeding
5. Catch up on Laundry
This is one of the best things to do the week before baby arrives if you’re out of items on your “things to do before baby arrives checklist.”
Throw some clothes in the washer, go take a nap, then put them in the dryer.
Fold them while you binge watch Netflix because I KNOW you’re not feeling like doing a whole lot else this close to your due date.
Even if you’re just tackling that pile of dirty blankets that has been sitting by the washer for 3 months, it’ll be nice to knock it out.
The less clutter you have after once Baby comes, the better.
It might not directly count as baby preparations, but it’s definitely worth doing. Think of it as part of your “preparing house for baby checklist.”
Plan for season changes!
This is one of the most clever things to do before Baby comes.
I’m due right around the shift from Fall to Winter. I didn’t want to be stuck either freezing or trying to dig out our coats while breastfeeding and chasing a toddler.
Go ahead and wash all of the clothes you expect to need over the next month or two.
Have them ready to go and put away anything you won’t need (remember, clutter is an enemy when you’re in the newborn fog.)
6. Prepare for Baby with Genius Mom-Tools
Remember how I said this “things to do before baby arrives checklist” would make your life with a newborn way easier???
THIS tip is a straight life-saver…
Prepare your PHONE for Baby.
These apps will be sooo helpful in your first few weeks as a new mom.
Get them now and get familiar. You’ll be so glad you did!
Baby Feeding Tracker App:
This is one of the really genius things to do before baby arrives.
You’ll probably be told by Baby’s pediatrician to log all of his or her feedings for the first month or so.
You also need to track diapers and other details. When you’re sleep deprived, these things get hazy real quick.
Download a Sound Machine App:
Not for baby…for YOU.
I don’t see this on every preparing for baby checklist, but this is a SMART way to prep.
Mama, if there’s any way you can squeeze in extra sleep during the day, you’ll want to do it.
Some background noise will drown out the noisy neighbors, cars going by, or your toddler in the next room with Grandma.
7. Prepare for LABOR
This should be part of EVERY mom-to-be’s baby preparations…
Learn HOW to give birth (and a bunch of other labor tips.)
I wish I had just taken this online pre-labor course instead of the ALL-DAY-LONG course that the hospital had (it was so boring.)
But this Prenatal Course is wonderful and can be done completely at your own pace.
Hilary is a real-life Labor and Delivery Nurse who walks you through what to expect during labor, delivery, and the basics of newborn care.
She answers a lot of questions, like:
“Um…what if I POOP while pushing?!”
And it’s a couples class, so your man will be prepared for the big day too (super important!)
Read more details on the class in my full review here.
Put this class on your “before having a baby checklist.”
Learn more about this Labor Class here.
Another important way to prepare for labor:
Make sure you haven’t left anything out of your labor bag.
Save my popular, in-depth post:
EVERYTHING you’ll need to pack in your hospital bag.
This will be extremely helpful in figuring out if you’ve really covered ALL your labor, delivery, and recovery needs when packing your hospital bag.
Make sure you start packing for mom, dad, and baby’s hospital bag checklist by around 35 weeks pregnant!.
8. Prepare Your BUDGET before baby arrives
Ready for the last tip on your preparing for baby checklist?
(I know, I know…I’m cheating by adding an extra tip, but this is too important and brilliant not to share, so I figured you wouldn’t mind.)
Preparing your budget is a crucial part of the baby preparations!
Guess how much it costs to raise a baby through their first birthday?
Up to $12,000.
If you’re AT ALL worried about the many, many expenses of pregnancy, birth, and raising a baby you’ve GOT to do this course:
This is an amazing guide FULL of hacks on saving thousands of dollars during pregnancy and Baby’s first year. And, Erin, the adorable mama who created it, is a straight genius.
She will teach you:
- What costs to expect & how to build a realistic budget
- How to find cheap and FREE pregnancy & baby essentials
- Tips for saving thousands on hospital fees, baby wellness visits, medical bills, insurance, and more
- Strategies to reduce spending on diapers, clothing, childcare & unexpected expenses
- Tips on building SAVINGS for your family’s future
- Her secret to finding hidden income (even as a Stay at Home Mom)
As a mom-to-be, the unknown expenses ahead can be so scary!
Don’t freak out!
I highly recommend taking this course as one of the top things to do before the baby comes.
It’s sooo helpful and the info pays for itself almost as soon as you read it.
Seriously, even just ONE of the tricks taught in this course would save you enough money to cover several months worth of diapers.
Trust me, I have bought a lotttt of diapers.
Baby on a Budget is actionable and super easy to complete online before Baby arrives. Think of it like continuing education for becoming a parent.
Preparing your budget is seriously one of the BEST ways you can be getting ready for baby. Don’t wait on this.
Read my detailed review of the course here.
More Smart Things Do Do Before Baby Arrives
Now you can fully prepare for baby with this “things to do before baby arrives checklist.”
Now go get to prepping!
Lotttts and lots of pre-baby napping.
Stock up on ALL of the last minute baby items:
What You Probably Won’t Get At Your Baby Shower
Also make sure you’ve completed everything on my:
Pregnancy To Do List: A Pregnancy Checklist by Trimester
And if you’re preparing for Baby Number 2, read:
What NOT to Reuse for Your Second Baby
Follow me on Pinterest for more tips on pregnancy and life as a mom with babies and toddlers!
Let’s recap, shall we?
Last Minute Things to Do to Prepare for Baby Checklist:
Prepare a Postpartum Care Kit
Prepare a Breastfeeding & Pumping Station
Prepare for Baby Feedings
Prep Freezer Meals
Catch Up on Laundry
Get These New Mom Apps
Prepare for Labor
Prepare Your Budget
These are essentials for your “things to do before baby is born checklist.”
You’ll be so glad you checked them off, Mama!
Preparing for Baby: Things to do to Before Baby Arrives Checklist
Pin this Third Trimester Checklist for your Last Minute Baby Prep!
Preparing for Baby Checklist: Things to do Before Baby Arrives Checklist
I use that app too! I like that multiple people can use your account, so Tyler and my parents can have it and log the information when they are watching baby. Although I wish it were free!
Yes! That’s a really smart way to use it. I hadn’t thought about Grandparents using it too. And it comes in handy with next babies too! It’s one of the only apps I’ve ever paid for, haha.
What APP is it?
Thanks for reading my post on ways to prepare for baby! At the end of the post I reference an awesome app that’s super helpful for new moms to use when breastfeeding their newborn babies. It helps you track diaper changes and feedings, even which side you last nursed on. It’s called MammaBaby. I love it!
I also reference a sound machine app that is awesome for when new moms are trying to get some sleep. It’s been great for surviving new mom sleep deprivation. I’m still using it! It’s called Relax Melodies.
I’m not sure which app you were wondering about, but I hope that helps! Best of luck to you with your little one! I hope you continue following Oh Yellow for tips during pregnancy and life as a new mom!
I’m pregnant with my 3rd (but the first 2 are twins) but this will be the first time we bring a new baby into the mix. I know how hard having 2 at once can be, yet hadn’t really even thought about all of the little things that can make newborn life much easier.-yikes! The twins are going to 8, & this one was a surprise…so now that thw shock is begining to leave, this blog is going to be my new best friend for the next few weeks. Thank you for the GREAT advice & helpful links.
Surprised mama of #3
Kirstin, I’m so glad you found this post helpful! After having twins, I bet you’re a pro. And you’ll have 2 awesome helpers this time! You got this, Mama!
This post was so so so informative and helpful. Thank you for sharing your wisdom, I’ll get on this list doing a little at a time.
RaSheeda, I’m so glad you enjoyed these tips! I hope you find everything you need. Congrats on your little one!
Thanks so much…I’m a 1st time mommy but I’m due in Dec so I got plenty of time to get prepared. I so appreciate the “real” info. There’s a lot of fluff out there but when you bring that baby home….its game time. The ideas for the post partum basket are amazing…never thought of how I’ll be feeling. ☺
Felicia, I’m so glad you found this helpful! I agree that we mamas need tips on the REAL needs. I’ve got some other posts with more practical suggestions too. I hope you keep reading! Congratulations and best of luck to you and your little one!
This list is so comprehensive! Also-that breastfeeding storage hack is gold. Love it!
Thanks, Tarnna! I love that hack so much too!
We definitely got some of these items late with our first one lol. Love this, real good advice❤️❤️
Thanks! Glad you found this helpful!
Great tips, thank you for sharing!
Wow great post and very thorogh! I’ve thought about a lot of these, but it was nice seeing everything listed out and a few extras I did not think about like the mommy recovery station and pumping station! Thanks for sharing these tips!
Tisha, thanks so much! These tips have really been such life savers when preparing for Baby!
Exactly what I needed to prepare for my first. Linked to a couple of the other articles you recommended, too, and feel like I have some new tools. Thanks so much!
Alexis, so glad you liked the list! This stuff has helped me so much too!
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Forget new panties. Buy a pack of Depends — yes, disposable underwear for old people. No concerns about leaking or staining your good undies. One pack is enough for your after-delivery days, and you’ll just throw them away. You can get them at Walmart.
Resa, great tip! I have friends that prefer to do this as well! I like the comfort of panties more and it helps me transition once things “lighten up,” but I can totally see the advantage of using Depends in those first really heavy days. Thanks for sharing!
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