Your due date is drawing closer and although you may feel as if you have to scramble to get all the pieces in place for your newborn, take a deep breath and realize that there’s still time. Consider this your ultimate guide to prepping for your new baby in the weeks before your delivery date.
- Feel it out: By now, your unborn child is active and you’re likely showing off his or her high energy to friends and family. Though your child’s movements may occur at inopportune times, you should familiarize yourself with his or her schedule. If you sense that the movements have decreased, contact to your caregiver immediately.
- Attend appointments: As you know by now, doctor’s visits are essential in monitoring your baby’s progress. You’ll probably be seeing your caregiver every two weeks, so jot down any questions you may have in between sessions and ask them during your next visit. Never hesitate to reach out for help or further information.
- Talk to your baby: At this point, your baby can hear your voice, so set aside some time every day to tell him or her stories or sing songs. Familiarizing your child with your voice will help you create an instant connection the second your baby hears your voice outside of the belly.
- Dial it down: If you’ve kept a relatively high-energy routine, whether it’s exercising or commuting to work, decrease your activity level as the due date draws nearer. Save your strength and energy for the big day.
- Take more classes: You may already be taking birthing classes, but consider other courses that will help you care for your baby. There’s an endless array of such sessions, from safe bathing to CPR and breastfeeding. If you’re planning on breastfeeding, these classes will be incredibly helpful. You never know if your baby is going to be a difficult eater, so preparing ahead of time and knowing all the best practices will ensure that you’re ready to breastfeed.
- Finish up the nursery: By now, you should have most of the nursery room ready for the baby. The walls should have been painted, and the crib and rocking chair should be assembled. Have a loved one come over and check all the furniture and equipment for safety. Afterward, you can rest easy knowing that everything in the baby’s room is all set.
- Wrap things up at work: All the maternity paperwork should be read over carefully and filled out at this point. If not, use this time to do so. Additionally, you should finish up any big projects or delegate the tasks to others.
- Have the bags ready: As the days to the due date count down, you could go into labor at almost any point. Have the hospital bags ready to go and plan your transportation. If a loved one is taking you, consider having him or her stay over until you’re in labor. Alternatively, you can always phone emergency services if it’s sudden and you have no method of transportation.
- Do some laundry: All those baby clothes and bedding that you’ve been waiting to use should now be put in the wash in preparation for your baby’s arrival. Look for baby-friendly detergents that will be gentle on your newborn’s skin.
- Familiarize with the birth center: Though you’ll likely take a tour of the facility, it never hurts to further acquaint yourself with the space. Childbirth is a big event that may be daunting, but being familiar with the area will help ease your worries. While you’re there, see if there are any forms you can fill out ahead of time so you won’t have to worry about them later on.
- Plan the exit: Leaving the hospital is another big process that you should prepare for. Whoever is picking you and your baby up should have a car seat installed. Hospital staff members may escort you to the vehicle and check to make sure the car seat is there and that your infant is belted in before allowing you to depart.
- Finalize the name list: Chances are, you’ll have made a firm decision on whether or not your baby’s sex will be a surprise. Either way, narrow down the names to two or three options. The easiest method would be to choose a single name, but if you can’t decide and want to wait until the baby is born, having fewer choices will help.
- Speak to other mothers: If you haven’t already joined a birthing group or sought out friends who are or have recently been pregnant, the third trimester is a key time to do so. You may be growing nervous with the due date drawing nearer every day. Share your feelings with other women who are going through or have experienced these same emotions. You’re never alone!
- Go with light entertainment: As much as you love intense documentaries and serious novels, you’re dealing with enough. Find some lighthearted entertainment such as comedies to keep yourself occupied. After all, once your baby is born, you won’t have time to read in-depth novels or watch long movies.
- Don’t panic: If you still haven’t had the baby and it’s past your due date, don’t freak out. Due dates are an estimate, and there are plenty of women who had their babies late. If you’re still concerned, speak to your caregiver or other moms who have delivered past their due dates.
- Get ready for post-pregnancy: After nine months of pregnancy, your body may seem foreign after you give birth. Chances are, you want to return to your old body as soon as possible, but speak to other mothers about the process. It’ll take time, but recognizing this and learning from others’ experiences will help you prepare for the work and adjust your expectations.
- Clean the house: You never know when your baby may arrive, so call in some help and have the house cleaned thoroughly! When you return home, the rooms will be clutter-free, ensuring that you can care for yourself and your baby to the best of your ability.
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