The list of things to do before baby arrives should feel shorter in those final weeks, but sometimes it can be hard to figure out what must be done and what can wait. As you're creeping closer to your due date, and finally holding your little one in your arms, you might want to check these things off of your list.
Don't worry, baby is coming either way, and once you're in the post-birth bliss you won't even think about the one or two things you missed.
Pre-Baby To-Do Tasks We Personally Recommend
Moms who've been there and done that often have a wealth of helpful advice. I asked our LoveToKnow staff member moms what they wish they'd done before having their babies and this is what they said.
Prepare Some Meals In Advance
Writer Heidi suggests prepping a few meals for your postpartum days ahead. Freezer meals are perfect for those busy days with the baby and anyone in your family can preheat the oven and toss in a dish for everyone to enjoy.
Be sure to prepare some meals that are nourishing for your postpartum body and comforting to your soul as you're settling into a new normal.
Heidi also suggests squeezing in a few final date nights with your partner. Soak up those precious final days of pre-parenthood with some serious quality time.
Accept All the Help
You might get a ton of offers for help while you're still waiting for your baby to arrive. LoveToKnow Editorial Director, Carrie, points out how tempting it is to refuse help because we moms think we can handle everything. Postpartum healing and caring for a baby is a tough job. Accept all the help, Mama. You'll be glad you did.
A Mani-Pedi Will Make You Happy
We love self-care for moms! LoveToKnow General Manager, Amy, recommends sneaking in one final manicure and pedicure before your due date arrives. Even after your baby arrives, it still may be a few weeks before you can reach your toes. So, treat yourself to mani-pedi for all the hard work you've put into growing that sweet babe.
Sleep as Much as Possible
Many moms will tell you that sleep is something they took for granted before having children. LoveToKnow Deputy Editor, Karen, says "I wish I'd slept more." Seriously Mama, sleep in and take naps as often as you can before your baby starts to make their way into the world. You deserve the rest!
We are giving you permission to nap as much as you want. Schedule some time devoted to sleep in these tiring last weeks and enjoy every second of those mid-day snoozes.
Make Your Own Meal Train
When my daughter was born, our friend circle was small and I hadn't really designated anyone for setting up a meal train for us. It's one of my biggest first-time mom regrets since I had an unexpected c-section and wasn't able to jump back into cooking as quickly as I'd hoped.
There's nothing wrong with creating a meal train spreadsheet or using a free website like MealTrain.com that allows your friends and family to sign up to provide meals once your baby arrives.
Most of the people in your circle will want to help you. Setting up your own meal train helps them know exactly what you want help with and how to provide it for you.
Relaxing Things for Mom to Do Before Her Due Date
Mama, you've been making an actual human in your body for the past nine months. You deserve some rest, relaxation, and pampering before your baby arrives. Here are a few things you can do to practice some pre-birth self-care and make the most of these final days of pregnancy.
Get Pampered at the Salon
A day at the salon can make you feel beautiful from your head to your toes, literally. Don't stop at that mani-pedi: book a blowout, facial, or other service to help you feel relaxed and to help you see how gorgeous you are. The second-trimester glow may be gone, but you're still a lovely thing to behold as you carry your baby in these tough final days.
Spend Some Time Alone
Here's the truth, Mama: those first few weeks of motherhood leave very little room for alone time. When you're on 24-hour baby watch, you'll long for the days when you could just be alone for a few minutes. Relish that now and enjoy all your quiet solitary moments.
All the things you sacrifice in the early motherhood days do come back eventually and you'll never think for one second that your baby isn't worth it.
Devote Time to Your Favorite Hobbies
Reading, working out, and remodeling your home probably won't top your list of priorities in those first weeks of motherhood. So, spend some time while you're pregnant enjoying your hobbies. Don't worry, you'll pick them back up once you settle into a routine with your baby.
Take Everything Showers
An everything shower is what some of us call the showers that involve literally everything. Shampooing, conditioning, exfoliating, shaving, you name it. When you're in the trenches of new motherhood, you won't have as many everything showers as you're used to enjoying.
So, take all of them now. Even if you can't quite reach the bottom of your legs for shaving these days, you'll be glad you spent some extra time taking care of yourself before the baby comes along.
Postpartum Prep to Finish Before Baby Arrives
You've decorated the nursery, had your baby shower, and washed all of those sweet little newborn clothes. Now that you're closing in on your due date, do a few things for yourself as you plan for the fourth trimester.
Order Comfortable Postpartum Clothes
The dream is to have your favorite pre-pregnancy jeans zipped before you leave the hospital. The reality is that you're still healing and your uterus has only just begun to shrink by the time you're discharged. Go ahead and order some comfortable (and cute) clothes to help you feel relaxed and beautiful during postpartum.
Make Your Postpartum Basket
You probably have tons of diapers and more onesies than you can count. But what about the items you will need after the baby is born? Now is the time to make your postpartum basket — a basket or bin full of everything you will need or want in the days following birth. Here are a few things you may want to include:
- Shelf-stable snacks
- Bottled water
- Phone charger
- Nipple cream or lanolin
- Nursing pads
- Handheld fan
- Extra blanket
Make Your Home Cozy
Whether your baby is born in the heat of the summer or on a snowy day, you'll want to come home to the coziest version of your house possible. This will be a time of rest, settling in, and sharing sweet moments with your new family member.
So, take some time now to make your home feel as cozy as possible. Add accent lighting, blankets, pillows, and comforting scents so your first day home from the hospital is relaxing and comforting.
Set Boundaries With Family & Friends
Ah, boundaries. They're so beneficial but can be so tough to set. Don't add to your post-birth responsibilities by waiting to set boundaries with family and friends. Take the time now to communicate your preferences on visits, check-ins, and holding the baby.
Setting a boundary with family and friends who are excited to meet the baby can produce a less-than-wonderful reaction. Remember, you aren't responsible for those reactions.
Order Any Remaining Registry Items
If there's anything left on your registries after the baby showers, now is the time to order those items. When you desperately need a safe spot to set your baby down or a set of baby nail clippers, even next-day delivery can feel like a lifetime.
You're Going to Be a Great Mom
Whether you squeeze in all the quality time and self-care you want or your baby comes before the due date and throws off your plans, you're going to have everything you need to be a great mom. Your baby will want you more than anything — and that's your superpower.