Disclosure: I received product and compensation from Mead Johnson Nutrition and Playtex Baby to create this post written by me. All experiences and opinions expressed in this post are my own and not those of Mead Johnson Nutrition nor Playtex Baby. For questions about Enfamil NeuroPro, you can contact Mead Johnson Nutrition at 1-800-BABY-123 (1-800-222-9123). For questions about Nurser bottles with Drop-Ins liners, you can contact Playtex Baby at 1-888-310-4290.
Whether you are new or experienced Mom, getting ready to welcome a new baby can be overwhelming. To help guide you through the process, I’m sharing my tips and suggestions for 15 Things to Do Before Baby Arrives!
Check out my 15 Things to Do Before Baby Arrives Checklist below!
It’s hard to believe I’ve been a new Mom for a few months now! It seems like a lifetime ago that I was pregnant and we were frantically trying to get everything done to get ready to go to the hospital and bring home a tiny little baby. While I read lots of articles and lists and asked all the experienced mothers in my life for tips and suggestions on how to get ready, you really don’t know everything that needs to be done until you start to do it and you get close to “D” day!
While everyone’s needs and wishes of things to do before baby arrives are slightly different, below are the things that I did or wished I did to help us get ready to bring home a baby. Everything from having maternity photos taken, to stocking my freezer with meals, to having a baby shower to stock up on baby essentials like Enfamil NeuroPro™ formula and Playtex Baby™ Nurser Bottles with Drop-Ins® Liners (both available at Walmart). While this list is pretty general and goes over the basics; these are things that helped and that I hope you find helpful.
15 Things To Do Before Baby Arrives Checklist:
1.Set up nursery – Many people want their new baby to sleep in a bassinet in their room for the first few months, but it is a good idea to go ahead and get the nursery all set up several weeks before your little one arrives. Not only does this give you a place to put all the baby things, it ensures the nursery is ready when your little is ready to make the transition into their own room.
In addition to building the crib and putting on the crib sheets, you’ll want to sort and put away all the baby clothes; anchor the furniture to the walls, hang any pictures, etc.
2. Take classes – There are a lot of classes you can take to get ready for baby, whether you are new or seasoned parents. Some popular classes to take before the baby arrives include:
Touring the hospital
Newborn classes for siblings
Infant/child CPR and first aid training
Check with your hospital, local community center or doctor’s office to see when and what classes are offered and plan to take the classes towards the middle of the second or beginning of the third trimester.
3. Preregister with hospital – Most hospitals require you to preregister with your insurance and personal information several weeks before your due date. This is to save time for when you arrive to deliver your baby, as you will most likely be distracted and will want to be taken back as soon as possible. 😊
4. Prewash baby clothes – Whether you were generously gifted new clothes or hand me downs, you will want to prewash ALL (new and used) clothes before baby arrives. In addition to prewashing the baby clothes, burp cloths, blankets, towels, etc. you will want to sort them by size and put them away accordingly. Personally, we bought a large dresser for our daughter and assigned each drawer a clothing size (or range of sizes) to hold all the clothes we have so far up to one year.
How to wash baby clothes – Use a fragrance free, dye free detergent. Snap or zip all buttons and zippers. Turn clothes with ribbons, bows, appliques, etc. inside out. Pretreat clothes with fragrance free, dye free stain remover, if needed. Wash in cold water on the presoak cycle. Dry clothes in the dryer (without fabric softener).
5. Install car seat – We did this a couple weeks before “D” day to ensure we were ready to go just in case our baby came early. Before installing the car seats, we cleaned and vacuumed out our cars and washed them. Also, we practiced latching the car seat in the car and adjusting all the straps in the car seat so that we knew how to make sure we used it properly.
6. Sterilize baby bottles and buy formula – While many new Moms have high expectations to nurse their new baby, for many reasons this is not possible. Many women can’t breast feed or have medical conditions or other circumstances (like adopting or using a surrogate) that cause them not to be able to nurse at all. And those Moms that are able to nurse, may not be able to for an extended period of time because of having to go back to work or the baby struggling for whatever reason with nursing.
While breastfeeding newborns is highly recommended, I wanted to keep an open mind about this and be prepared in case this wasn’t an option. So, I did my research (I feel like I’ve done more research getting ready for baby than when I was in college getting ready to submit my mid-term paper!!) and chose to go ahead and purchase some formula and bottles to have on hand. After all my research, I decided to go with Enfamil NeuroPro™ because of all the nutrients this formula provides. And for bottles, I chose Playtex Baby™ Nurser Bottles with Drop-Ins® Liners since they are closer to natural breastfeeding than other bottle systems.
In fact, the Enfamil NeuroPro™ is the first formula that has an MFGM and DHA blend for brain-building benefits similar to those of breast milk*. DHA is a fatty acid shown to foster learning ability through the preschool years and MFGM has been clinically shown to help close the cognitive development gap between formula-fed and breastfed infants**.
And I like the Nurser Bottles with Drop-Ins® Liners because, while the nipples and rings have to be sterilized before the first-time use, the pre-sterilized liners just drop in for a guaranteed clean bottle every time. Also, the unique liners provide for air-free feeding (reducing colic, gas & fussiness) like breastfeeding.
To sterilize the Nurser Bottles with Drop-Ins® Liners nipples and rings, prewash all parts of the bottle and boil the nipples and rings in water for 5 minutes. DO NOT wash or boil the disposable liners.
7. Choose a pediatrician – Ask friends, neighbors, co-workers and even your OBGYN for pediatrician recommendations. A few things to consider are a practice that sees patients “after hours” (like on the weekends) for minor emergencies, have separate sick and well waiting rooms, has a nurse line for questions and accepts your insurance. Also, many pediatricians let you schedule a time to meet with them before you deliver so you can get to know them.
8. Make a birth plan – This was one of the things on this list we chose not to do. Or should I say my plan was simply to show up to the hospital and deliver my sweet bundle of joy as quickly as possible. LOL! But I know many women that have specific wants for the delivery day (especially if they are going to a birth center or having a home birth) and want these written down to share with their doctor, midwife, spouse and family.
9. Pack hospital bag for Mom and baby – A few weeks before your due date, get a hospital bag for you and your baby ready. While the hospital will provide some necessities for both Mom and baby, there are a number of things you’ll want to bring. For Mom a few suggestions include toiletries, flip flops to wear in the shower and when walking around the hospital, loose pajamas, a comfy/loose outfit to wear home, extra pillows, cell phone and charger, a camera, etc.
For baby, pack their diaper bag with a special outfit to go home in, some onesies or pajamas to wear in the hospital and the Enfamil® NeuroPro™ and Nurser with Drop-Ins® Liners to have in case you want or need to start using them immediately.
10. Set up a baby registry – Around the start of your second trimester you’ll want to start a baby registry. Look online and ask other Moms for suggestions on things to get. Plan to register with a couple of different stores, as the items they offer may vary and you want to give friends and family a few options of where to shop.
11. Have a baby shower – Hopefully a co-worker, friend or family member will offer to host a baby shower for you. Even though your baby shower host should do most of the work, you will need to put together a list of guest names and address, pick a date that is convenient and get your baby registry set up at least 6 weeks before the shower to send out the invitations.
12. Make freezer meals – I had wanted to stock our freezer with some necessities – dinners, frozen breakfast burritos or waffles and cookie dough – before the baby came but didn’t get to it. I thought that with various family members coming to visit and help out and my husband being able to cook, we would be good on meals. However, most nights none of us want (or have the energy) to cook and by the time we get done with our love bug’s 5:30 feeding and cook dinner, we aren’t eating until almost 8. So, I really wished I had made a few things, like casseroles, chili and slow cooker freezer meals to get us through the exhausting first couple of months.
13. Schedule maternity and newborn photos – All my friends and family that I spoke to while I was pregnant and getting ready for baby recommended getting maternity and newborn pictures. Yes, they are expensive, so you’ll want to do some research to find a photographer in your budget, but everyone I spoke with loved having these priceless keepsakes and those that didn’t get them done, regret it.
14. Set up maternity leave – While the law requires employers to allow time off for both Moms and Dads for the birth of a child, not every company offers paid maternity leave. You will want to confirm your job’s policy and figure out exactly how much time you want to take off and if you will need to use sick time or vacation hours to cover your maternity leave.
And if you do contract work or own your own business, you will want to figure out how much time you want to take off, contact clients and let them know your plans, arrange for help with your business (if needed) while you are off and save up money to pay yourself while on maternity leave.
15. Choose a childcare provider – Again, ask your friends, family and neighbors for recommendations. A few things to consider are ratings of the facility, whether you want a regular day care or an in-home provider, the location, the cost, what days (if any) they will be closed, their sick/extended leave policy, what ages they care for, etc.
Even if you are a stay at home or work at home Mom, you may still want to research drop in day cares or babysitters/nannies in your area for days when you have errands, appointments, meetings, date night, etc. where you may want or need childcare.
5 Other Things to Do Before Baby Arrives:
Below are a few more tasks that are nice to do before baby arrives.
- Have a date night with your spouse.
- Send thank you notes for baby shower gifts.
- Make arrangements for pets and/or other children to be cared for while you are in the hospital.
- Clean your house.
- Stock up on necessities like toiletries, cleaning products, pantry staples, etc.
What things did you do to get ready to welcome home a new baby? While supplies last, moms can purchase Enfamil® NeuroPro and Nurser with Drop-Ins® Liners at Walmart and save up to $6.50 with Ibotta. To redeem the offer, download the Ibotta app, scan your receipt with both items, and save!
For more information, visit enfamil.com or call 1-800-BABY-123 (1-800-222-9123). You can also join Enfamil Family Beginnings(R) for up to $400 in gifts* and a chance to win a $25,000 Scholarship for your baby!
Visit enfamil.com/enrollment to join and request a free sample.
*benefits may vary
* In amounts supported by clinical research. As measured by Bayley cognitive scores.
** As measured by Bayley-III cognitive score at 12 months in a different formula with MFGM added as an ingredient.
Disclosure: This is sponsored by Enfamil® Neuro Pro™ and Playtex Baby™ Nurser with Drop-Ins® Liners