When to Make Preparations for Baby’s Arrival

There are a lot of things you will need to do before your baby arrives. Being well prepared is important so you have everything covered. I’ve provided this guide on the best time to make certain preparations for baby’s arrival so you don’t have to stress at the last minute.

woman planning

Very few first time parents go into their pregnancy expecting to have an early baby, but prematurity is more common than you might think. Preparing for the unexpected will help make things much easier if your baby does come before their expected due date.

Create a Savings Planpregnant woman piggy bank
Babies are expensive, that’s no doubt. But those future costs that you may not think about initially are even more expensive. You can help give your child a bright future with an education by creating a savings plan before they’re born. This can be done at any time, but an ideal time to start is in the first trimester within the first 8 weeks. Create a budget plan to put aside money for the things you’ll need sooner and figure what you can put aside for your baby’s future.

Planning Maternity Leave
Many women choose to wait until they reach week 12 before informing their boss of their pregnancy. If you haven’t done so yet, this is a good time to announce the news as well as make plans for your maternity leave if you plan on returning to work after having your baby.

Finding Child Care
If you will be returning to work or know there will be times you’ll need a reliable baby sitter, start early. By your second trimester, you should be looking around. Do some searching around first to find someone you know you can trust. Family and friends are great resources, but check them out for yourself. Between weeks 16-20 look around and check out your options. Ask important questions and concerns, what their policies are, etc.

Picking a Pediatricianpediatrician
This will need to be done before you have your baby so they can see them once they’re born. Do some research of the doctors in your area and plan to schedule interviews by weeks 20-24 to meet them.

Planning Your Baby Shower
If you know you will be having a baby shower, you should start thinking of the things you know you will need. Start making the plans such as guests, hosts, location, date, etc by your 24th week. You can create your registry at this time and add items you may think of later. Many places offer a checklist to help you create your registry. An ideal time many women usually plan to have their baby shower is between 28-32 weeks. Start sending out your shower invites 4 weeks prior to the date.

Preparing the Nursery
This is nearly every new mom’s favorite part of having a baby. For some the nesting instinct kicks in sooner, while others may not experience it until closer to due date if at all. Between 32-36 weeks you should buy any baby items you may still need (i.e. diapers, bottles, breast pump, etc.) If painting the baby’s room, finish painting by week 32. Once the paint is dry you can start preparing the nursery and having the baby furniture/gear set up. You should also have your car seat inspected and installed by 36 weeks.

packing hospital bagWhen to Pack Hospital Bag
Naturally, you won’t be packing your toiletries ahead of time, but you should have some basic essentials packed between 32-34 weeks. Pack some comfy clothes you’ll wear postpartum. Keep in mind you will not be your pre-pregnancy size right away so you may want to pack a couple pairs of maternity pants. Other things you’ll want that you can pack ahead of time are:

  • Socks/slippers
  • Rubber bands/head bands to tie hair back
  • Nursing bras/tops
  • Camera
  • Homecoming outfit for baby

There are even companies like Labor Kit that prepare hospital bags with everything you need including things you may not have thought of. Making preparations for baby’s arrival ahead of time will help you breathe easily (so to speak) and worry less about all those details. Rest assured that your baby will be welcome when then they make their debut.

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