Pregnancy checklist: a complete list of all those last-minute things to have ready in the final week preparing for baby to arrive!
I’m a checklist girl. You’d better believe the project manager nature and nesting instinct of pregnancy prep combined leave me making pregnancy checklists to make sure everything is ready in crazy ways! I like to give myself time to focus on healing and bonding with baby, and the more I can tackle prior to baby, the better!
We did a lot of things wrong and learned from our mistakes with our first baby, but we also did a lot of things right! I remember specifically telling Jacob we have to remember we did this if we’re ever lucky enough to have a baby again! Infertility makes you wonder sometimes.
Good news, we’re on the home stretch with our second little miracle baby. We’re also pulling out all the pregnancy checklist items to make sure we have everything covered for baby and for our household. I wanted to share our pregnancy checklist and what we’re doing the final week preparing for baby.
- Gather everything I’ll need for my own postpartum recovery.
This is a post in itself, and it’s one I wrote right after I had my first child! Here’s that list in case you need it: first weeks after baby essentials checklist. I felt like there were so many baby registry checklist posts out there, but not many on what you’ll need to recover and have a newborn in those first weeks of life.
I shared all the practical details of keeping a baby alive with the newborn essentials and what mom needs for postpartum recovery in this post.
If you prep one thing, I’d make sure it’s the items on this list so you can both survive and thrive in those few weeks after you welcome baby!
- Have some postpartum clothing ready for yourself.
I was given the advice that you’ll just wear maternity clothes for the first few months anyway. While I wasn’t jumping into my pre-baby jeans for a while, I wasn’t wearing maternity clothes either. Not to mention they weren’t nursing friendly and I had no clue that was a thing!
I had two robes, and I wore them a lot that first week. While I was a mess recovering, I had to try to buy a nursing bra and some clothes while I was in a chaotic state of healing postpartum. I wish I’d just had a couple items I knew I could nurse in, heal in, sleep in, and lounge in ready to go.
This time around I have a delivery robe all ready. I have a housedress ordered and coming any day. I also love these knit tops that are button-down shirts I can pair with maternity leggings. I’m feeling way better about actually being able to get dressed comfortably this time around.
Last Minute To-Do Items Before Baby Arrives
- Make sure your birth plan is in order. Print it. Have it in your hospital bag.
Sometimes labor makes talking hard. Sometimes pain makes you want to change your plans. It’s a good idea to write down exactly what you wish and print a few copies.
Add items like what medications are okay, who can be in the room with you, what procedures you’re okay with. We had details like I wanted a really a light epidural, and my hospital was prepped with that. We wanted to wait a few minutes to cut the cord, and they knew that with the birth plan. I’ll spare you the rest of our birth plan, everyone is unique and how you choose to give birth is all yours. But have the plan prepped, typed, and on hand for the big day.
Baby Preparation Checklist
- Make sure you’re pre-registered at the hospital or birthing center.
Have your insurance card already processed, paperwork in order, and make the day you go into labor a lot easier and smoother. If your water breaks and you’re off to the hospital, you’ll be glad to have one less thing to worry about! Also, check out this did my water break quiz so you know if it’s really time to go!
- Keep your hospital bag packed.
Once again, there’s a billion posts and billion opinions on what you need. I’ll likely write my own post on this because I sometimes can’t believe how much some people recommend you bring that you probably won’t need. But whatever you decide, have it packed and ready. If you have last minute items like makeup or snacks to add, keep a little post-it note of those items to grab last minute.
- Have a bag packed for your significant other.
There’s a good chance they will spend a night at the hospital or birthing center with you. Make sure they are packed and ready to go with their needs plus an extra jacket and snacks to take care of themselves while they care for you.
- If you’re planning on placenta encapsulation, prepare everything you’ll need.
I did placenta encapsulation with my first, I will do it again with my second! I have someone come to pick it up from the hospital. Last time I forgot the disposable cooler. This time I’ll make sure it’s next to the hospital bag!
The Final Week Preparing for Baby
- Double check arrangements for your other children and pets.
If you have a toddler like we do, you know that a plan of where they will stay for a night or two is really important. I’d even say have a backup plan just in case. The week or two before you’re due, I’d double check to make sure arrangements are still in place. The same goes for pets!
- Pack a bag for your children.
Make sure their clothes and other needs are prepped to be met while you are away.
- Wash, install, and check the car seat.
If you’re using one from the last baby, deep clean it. No matter what stage of car seat you’re using, make sure it’s installed and installed correctly at least a week or two in advance.
- Have a meal plan in order for the first month after baby.
This looks different for everyone. We like to do homemade freezer meals, which I spend the last month or two before baby prepping. But don’t fret if you’re right up to the end. Grab a friend and have them help you double up a few of your favorites so you can have freezer meals on hand.
You can also plan takeout options, meal delivery services, or ask friends and family to bring in meals. There’s no shame in asking for help and outsourcing! But whatever you do, add meal planning to your pregnancy checklist.
The Final Week of Pregnancy Checklist
- Make sure your laundry is caught up.
I literally went the longest I have ever gone without doing laundry for my toddler this week. I told my husband I can’t do this anymore, if I had the baby we’d be in trouble! I’m now trying to do more half loads of laundry and making sure I’m set with my own clothing, and my toddler is too.
- Have baby’s clothes cleaned, folded, and put away.
You will be in shock how quickly they go through swaddles, burp cloths, and outfit changes. Have all the new clothes and reused clothes cleaned and prepped so you don’t have to stress any laundry outside of what will come from the newborn.
- Deep clean your house. Or better yet, hire it out.
The absolute best thing we did was hire a cleaner to come when I went into labor. It was someone we’ve used and known and trust. Jacob called her while we left for the hospital, and I came home to a spotless house. When my mom asked if she could come help clean I had a solid two weeks of letting her know things looked great!
I know it won’t be that long with a toddler, but I’m still so excited to have a gift certificate my husband gave me ready to go when I go in labor. Coming home to a deeply cleaned home is the best thing we did!
End of Pregnancy Checklist
- Buy hand soap.
I gift my favorite hand soap to every new mom. It’s just so practical that it belongs on every baby preparation checklist. You’ll want everyone to wash their hands. You’ll wash more than you ever knew before! Have a few extras on hand so you can keep germs at bay.
- Make sure your car is full of gas.
You don’t want to have to worry about this on your way to the hospital or even the first week.
- Know your pediatrician and have their number in your phone.
You’ll need to make an appointment for a checkup a few days after you leave the hospital. It’s one of those first things you do as a new parent. Have the number on hand and be ready for this.
- Schedule a photographer.
Are you doing a birth photographer? Double check they are set. Are you doing newborn pictures? Make sure you’re still set for a rough time and make the deposit. I can’t recommend newborn pictures professionally done enough!
- Outfits and props for photos.
I was so glad I’d bought a pretty robe and a swaddle and hat for baby to get pictures taken in the hospital. Also, I asked my husband to bring a nice shirt too. I failed to plan for in-home newborn pictures. We made it work, but I wish I’d had planned a postpartum dress for me to wear and feel good about in. If you want anything specific for pictures, order it, make it, and just have it on hand so you get what you’re hoping for.
- Make a list of people who offered to help.
I hate to ask, but this time around I’m going to. My family always offers and I decline. But I’m changing my ways. I’ll need someone to take my toddler to preschool for a bit. I will likely need someone to get the takeout. My husband travels for work sometimes, and our first baby was born with daddy gone a week later for a few days. I’m ready to call for help this time, and having a list of who offered will help me feel more comfortable!
- Pack insurance cards. Have yours ready, and be ready to call and add the baby to your insurance plan too.
- Take one last picture of the bump
Seriously, get it out there in all its glory. You’ll marvel at this picture someday! It can be at home or at the hospital, but don’t forget this one!
Have anything else you think belongs on the last week before baby preparation pregnancy checklist? Make sure to leave it in the comments for others to find too!
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