10 Things All Moms Need to Do Before Baby Arrives

I’m almost full term (37.5 weeks!) and it’s checklist time. I have this uncontrollable urge to renovate, clean, organize, and nest, despite everyone telling me to lie down and stop moving so much! But, like I said, it’s uncontrollable.

I realized that although there are some basic things we know we have to get done before baby arrives — like installing car seats, or finishing the nursery — there are tons of small details we totally overlook, especially as we reach the final stretch. Here are 10 things you should definitely do before your new, little bundle of joy makes his/her appearance:

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Especially if you have other kids at home, it’s so easy to forget to take care of yourself. Make sure you take the time, during these final weeks, to get pampered. This could be as simple as a pedicure or a facial, or maybe even a quick blow out at your favorite salon. Take care of yourself before the next couple of months… they’ll involve way too many pairs of sweatpants and dry shampoo bottles!

Screen Shot 2018-01-17 at 11.38.01 AMOr a few, if you have some time. In our case, it’s very difficult to get date night scheduled because unfortunately we can only depend on my husband’s family (mine is out of the country.) Make sure you spend some alone time with your significant other before your lives drastically change with the arrival of baby.

Screen Shot 2018-01-17 at 11.38.05 AMWe didn’t do this with Liam and regretted it! Even if it’s just three or four meals, it’s better than nothing! What we’ve been doing this time around is freezing our leftovers in glass tupperware so we have some “last resort” options on days when we really don’t have the time (or energy) to cook anything.

Screen Shot 2018-01-17 at 11.38.10 AMBefore baby gets here, put together a very simple weekly/monthly meal plan so that you don’t have to overthink any of your meals on the spot. You’ll have much more important things to do in the next few weeks! Think easy and minimal ingredients, if possible.

Screen Shot 2018-01-17 at 11.38.15 AMThis has been my motto in the past few weeks! I’ve been tackling cabinets, closets, drawers… anything that seems overstuffed or cluttered. Remember that with a baby comes a whole lot of mess, so just get a head start and organize what you can.

Screen Shot 2018-01-17 at 11.38.19 AMThis one is big, too: use your time wisely and clean one room or cabinet at a time. I know that I’m in a much better headspace when my home is clean, so this is a priority. I want to be able to focus on baby, without worrying about dust or grime!

Screen Shot 2018-01-17 at 11.38.24 AMWe signed up for Amazon Fresh as soon as they started out, and I love ordering our groceries that way! Amazon has the absolute best customer service and I love knowing that if something isn’t to my liking I can call and they will refund me, no questions asked. Having your groceries come to you will save you so much energy and time, too. Who needs toddler/baby tantrums at Trader Joe’s when they don’t have to?

Screen Shot 2018-01-17 at 11.38.29 AMWe have some Amazon subscriptions in place for everything we order in bulk: diapers, wipes, paper towels, toilet paper, as well as some other big ones like toddler snacks and dog food. It’s so much easier to set up subscriptions than to constantly forget to reorder the “must-haves” in your home.

Screen Shot 2018-01-17 at 11.38.34 AMAfter giving birth to Liam, I constantly told my husband I was bummed we didn’t take enough photos of my bump. This time around, I try to take as many photos as I can! These will be so much fun to look at later on, and our kiddos love to look through them, too!

Screen Shot 2018-01-17 at 11.38.38 AMOnce again, when we’re so focused on our little one, it’s so easy to forget that we need clothes to! Run to Target and get yourself some nursing bras, nursing tank tops, cozy pajamas, fuzzy socks, anything that you would like to live in for the next few months! I also recommend ordering some freezer pads, reusable nursing covers, and breastmilk collection shields! All must-haves during the first few weeks… You’re welcome!

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Johanna Riehm teaches in the department of Communication and Media at Manhattanville College and in the department of English at Mercy College. She teaches courses in the history of communication, public speaking, and social media, as well as creative and technical writing workshops. Johanna’s work has been featured in Graffiti Literary Magazine, The Write Place at the Write Time, The Bangalore Review, Cactus Heart Press, and the LaMothe Review. She is working on her first longer work, a creative nonfiction novel called We Carved Our Names in Tamarind Trees.

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