When you’re in the home stretch of your pregnancy, it may feel like you’re just passing the time until the baby finally comes. Although you’re probably tired and the pregnancy symptoms have taken their toll on your energy levels, use the last of your precious time wisely by following these nine tips for preparing for baby.
- Practice driving to the hospital
Hopefully, you won’t be driving yourself to the hospital, so get your partner or someone else on board to figure out the best route for different times (avoiding rush hour, etc.) so that if your labour comes quickly, you’ll know exactly which route to take. Along these lines, make sure to pre-register so that the hospital will expect you when it’s go-time.
- Pre-arrange a babysitter for your other children (and pets) if necessary
If you don’t have family nearby and you go into labour in the middle of the night, what will you do with your other children? Figure this out ahead of time by securing a trusted neighbour or friend that is willing to be on-call should you find yourself in labour at 3am. Similarly, make sure that you have someone who is willing to care of your pets, as it could be days before you or your partner make it home to feed them or let them out, and you don’t want to have to scramble in the hospital to make sure they’re taken care of.
- Stock your kitchen
There’s nothing worse than coming home after a trip to an empty fridge and cupboards. Except coming home from the hospital after having a baby to an empty fridge and cupboards. Make sure that you keep your kitchen stocked with your favourite snacks and beverages in addition to any freezer or make-ahead meals you have planned. Also, it’s a good idea to stock up on disposable dishes, cups, etc. as well so nobody has to worry about dishes.
- Prepare your postnatal wardrobe
Although many women prefer to wear maternity clothes for a while after birth while their uterus continues to contract and go down and their body adapts to its non-pregnant state, you will still need some postnatal pieces to make this period of time go by smoother. These include nursing bras, underwear you don’t care to throw away and comfy lounge clothes. You probably won’t have a chance to go clothes shopping for a while after the baby is born and don’t want to wait for shipping, so make sure to do this ahead of time.
- Decide where your baby will sleep when first coming home
You’ve likely been in your nesting phase for a while and set up your baby’s nursery, but babies don’t usually even sleep in their nursery until six months of age. Think about the most convenient place for the baby to sleep in your room during those first few months. Get a bassinet or other safe sleeping spot for your baby set up ahead of time so that when they come home they already have a safe, comfortable place to rest close to mama.
- Make sure the car seat is installed properly
Last but certainly not least is to not only install the car seat but to have it checked that it’s installed properly. This is something many people forget or neglect to do, but a properly installed car seat can be the difference between life and death. The Child Restraint Evaluation Program’s Child Car Seats initiative can provide you with advice on selecting and installing your car seat, as well point you in the direction of authorised fitting stations.