Not only is it exciting to count down to the birth of your new baby, it can also be comforting. Planning a little each month to welcome your baby home keeps you organized and eases your mind. Follow our month-by-month guide and you’ll be more than ready when your bundle of joy arrives.
Find a prenatal health care provider by asking for referrals from friends or your general practitioner.
Schedule your first prenatal appointment.
Take prenatal vitamins or supplements, if recommended by your provider.
Become familiar with your (or your partner’s) insurance policy so you know what’s covered.
Make an appointment with the dentist, as gum disease can increase your risk of premature birth.
Make a plan for how you’ll share your big news with family and friends; if you work, you’ll also need to prepare to tell your boss.
Shop for some new clothes. Your pants will be hard to zip up soon, and you may want to look for a few starter items to tide you over until you’re bigger.
Make a budget and start saving for gear for your new baby.
Start to think about day care. Will it be full time, in-home, or might you decide to hire a nanny? Weigh the pros and cons of each.
Start planning your maternity leave from work.
Think about ordering baby furniture. It can take many weeks or even a few months for certain items to arrive.
Treat yourself to a prenatal massage! You deserve the rest and relaxation.
Decide (roughly) when your last day of work will be and what kind of coverage you’ll need when you’re gone.
Consider whether you’ll need a breast pump and then ask around for recommendations.
Pre-register at the hospital where you’re planning to give birth to your new baby.
Make a delivery plan and decide who you want in the room with you (and who can wait outside).
Sign up for childbirth, infant care, and breastfeeding classes
If you have someone who wants to throw you a baby shower or other new baby celebration, pick a date and share names and addresses with her.
Update your 401K plan and your will.
Schedule a tour of the hospital or birth center.
Write up a birth plan and buy birth announcements (or design your announcements online).
Pack your hospital bag and have it ready to go by the front door.
Install your new baby’s car seat.
Pick up a few newborn diapers (but not too many -- new babies grow quickly!) and any layette or baby care items you're missing.
Figure out how you’ll get to the hospital. Will your partner drive you or will you take a cab?
Get a pedicure or do something else to help you relax during the last weeks!
Checked everything off? Then congratulations! Now you can rest easy knowing that you did everything you could to prepare for your new baby.