So I'm about 35 weeks and some-odd days along and I'm getting antsy. Aside from nesting, I am really just wanting to make sure that I am totally prepared for whatever this kid can throw at me. I'm a list-maker, and the making of lists is in full-force, my friends. I decided to blog it all in a few different parts so my fellow pregos and pregos-to-be might benefit from my obsessive-compulsiveness.
This is Part 3 - Before Baby To-Do List
[See Part 1 - Visiting the Hospital or Birthing Center]
[See Part 2 - Creating a Birth Plan]
I was just talking to the hubs and he asked me how many weeks until our due date. I was prepared to give a programmed response because when you're this far along, you've got it down to the hours. And then I thought about the actual date. It's the 13th. Oh-em-gee. Our due date is September 13th. ONE MONTH, you guys! Yeesh! It got me thinking about my to-do list, so I figured I'd make it part of the Getting Ready For Baby series. My list is as follows:
- Give the house a good deep clean. This one is super important. Once baby arrives, you are going to be busy. And tired. And you should be resting! The last thing you're going to want to do is clean. That's not true--you're going to want to clean, but that's not exactly at the top of your list when you've got a baby to feed and diapers to change and sleep to catch up on. Trust me on this one--do the deep cleaning before little one comes. (If you need some help to get you started - or even to keep you on track - check out FlyLady. I would suggest doing a "Daily Digest" for emails...)
- Clean out the fridge and freezer. This might sound like it should be a part of your deep clean, but I mean it in a different way. If you have friends and family or coworkers or you go to church, you are most likely to have people bringing food over. You'll want to have room in the fridge/freezer.
- Two words: Freezer Meals. I know what you're thinking--"But...you just said...." I know. I just said you should clean out your freezer to make room for food other people might bring. Not everyone is lucky enough to be near family or to have super awesome meal-making friends, coworkers, or religious cohorts. In that case, I suggest making freezer meals! Pinterest is REPLETE with links to freezer meal recipes and how-tos. I'm sure google wouldn't mind helping you find some great sites. How nice to be able to throw some already-prepped food into the slow cooker and let it simmer away all day, ready to be eaten when dinner time comes?! Yes, please!
- Stock up on hand soap. Everyone wants to hold the baby. Get yourself some soap! You'll be going through a LOT of it. You'll also want plenty on hand to wash up before and after diaper changes. Some people go the hand sanitizer route, and that's fine, but it can be a bit drying. I took advantage of Bath And Body Works' semi-annual sale earlier this summer and stocked up on a bunch of yummy-smelling hand soap...*sigh of relief*
- Load up on super maxi pads. You're going to need them. Your hospital or birthing center may send you home with some (or several), but you are going to need more. Get the super huge over night feel like you're wearing a diaper ones. I'm sure I could send McKay out to buy some for me--and I know he'd totally do it--but there's a good chance he won't get just what I need...bless his heart. So I'm stocking up.
- Get your crap together. I mean it! Navigating insurance and all of the other technicalities (getting baby put ON the insurance, arranging for maternity pay if you are working, etc.) can be stressful. Best to get everything together before-hand. Make calls. Print up paperwork (or ask to have it sent). Ask all of the "What do we do next?" questions and make a simple list. You'll be glad you did. Put it all in one spot. Mine is going in my "Baby Time Binder".
- Make a "who to call” list. I always forget
- Pre-Register at the hospital. A lot of people don't know you can do this. (I'm sure there are hospitals out there who will prove me wrong) Talk to your hospital or birthing center to see if/when they'll let you get pre-registered. My hospital allows pre-registration any time after 36 weeks. Pre-registering gets more paperwork out of the way so you're not bothered with it when you're in labor. Put any pre-registration papers that you'll need in your BTB.
- Create a birth plan. I already talked about the importance of creating a birth plan in Part Two of this series - no matter what your birth philosophy is. Print up several copies so that all staff members on all shifts have access to it. You don't want people pushing their opinions and agenda on you because the "didn't see" or "weren't aware of" your birth plan. Put your several copies in your BTB.
- Get some comfy granny panties. Yep. I said it. Full cut, super comfy, no-need-to-be-cute granny panties. You're going to need something that can support your giant maxi pads. I would suggest getting them in dark colors. Or black. And there's no need to get expensive ones because you're probably going to be throwing these away after all is said and done.
- Pack your hospital bag. I like to have mine packed and in the car between 35-37 weeks. Just in case. You never know where you'll be or when you'll go into labor. I like to be prepared. If I have the chance to make a list *cough cough*part four*cough* and get things packed ahead of time - I'll do it. If only for the sake of having everything I know I will want. I don't like the idea of depending on someone else to grab the right thing...especially if I could have done it myself. I'm picky...
- For those who have other children: it's time for a one-on-one with your other kiddos. This may not be necessary for everyone, but I'm definitely doing this with Gabe. I've been suuuuper tired lately and Gabe hasn't exactly been getting the best mommying from me. I'll be taking him out for some special one-on-one time. I also plan on pulling out some old baby pictures of him and talking about how things were when HE was the new baby and how fun it will be for him to be a big brother. Speaking of which....
- Big Brother/Little Sister gifts. We are getting Gabe a gift "from Eva" that will be given to him when he comes to the hospital after she's born. We're hoping this will get him started knowing that Eva isn't here to steal all his thunder - she loves him, even though she's going to be taking some of the attention now. We are also going to take him to the store to pick out a present from him to his new sister. (I actually plan on taking him to build-a-bear so he can MAKE her gift)
- Install your car seat and get it checked! Did you know that over 80% of all car seats in the U.S. are NOT INSTALLED PROPERLY?? Yeah. Boooo! Fortunately, I had the opportunity to do an internship with our county health department a few years ago when I was pregnant with Gabriel. One of the departments I worked with was the environmental health and safety department, so I learned a LOT about car seat safety and installation. Please, please, PLEASE take the time to get your car seat installation checked - your baby's safety is worth it. Call your health department to see if they do car seat checks. Call the hospital to see if they offer this service. I know that Babies R Us does car seat checks from time to time - and it's all FREE! Just do it. Please?
Anyway - that's my list! What would you add to it?