You’ve been waiting almost nine months, and now the day is almost here. Chances are, you’ve already celebrated with a baby shower or sprinkle and have most of the necessities on hand, but there’s still a lot of things to do before baby comes. And guess what? These last few weeks may be the most important thus far. With a little bit of foresight and preparation, everything from heading to the hospital to welcoming baby home can be easier than you imagined. We’ve rounded up the top things you should do before your little one arrives. Read through, make a checklist, and take a deep breath. You can do this.
>1. Wash clothes and blankets. It’s not totally necessary, but you don’t want your tiny one’s sensitive skin breaking out in a rash, and this should help prevent that.
>2. Write baby a pre-birth letter. (Or even send it to his/her first email account.)
>3. Choose a pediatrician. Ask around to see who is recommended in your area, and notify the office of your due date.
>4. Install a car seat. How else will you get your bundle of joy home?
>5. Get the crib ready. You won’t want to be doing this post–hospital stay.
>6. Get a nursing bra. No, this is not fun, but you will need it.
>7. Call your insurance about breast-pump coverage. See what your plan will cover before you invest in a high-end model.
>8. Treat yourself to a gel manicure. You’ll be holding your little one in all the hospital photos, and you won’t want chipped nails.
>9. Take a nap. Chances are you won’t be getting one for a while, so savor the rest while you can.
>10. Pack your hospital bag. Make sure it’s all ready to go (include some comfy pj’s—trust us, you’ll be wanting them).
>11. Buy milk freezer bags. You’ll need them if you have to pump on off-hours to keep a supply for baby ready.
>12. Have your carpets cleaned. Okay, so it’s not a requirement, but your little one will be crawling soon, and who knows what’s on them?
>13. Create a baby budget. Yes, having kids is expensive. Start to plan accordingly (and be honest about what you’ll spend).
>14. Prep the house for guests. You know your family and friends won’t be able to stay away. Have towels and toiletries ready (especially if your visitors are from out of town).
>15. Install smoke and carbon monoxide detectors. Make sure they are in baby’s room, too, and that all of the batteries are new.
>16. Invest in organic cleaning supplies. Safety is key. Pick up natural products for all your disinfecting needs.
>17. Pick out a birth announcement. Browse websites to see what you like in advance so you can have a template ready to go.
>18. Subscribe to an online baby journal. We like Tinybeans so your family and friends can get daily photo updates of your little one straight to their email each day.
>19. Choose a baby photographer. Scroll through Instagram to find your favorite photographer and see which poses you like best (props, too). Later, put your favorite print in a gorgeous frame.
Do you have any tips for things to do before baby comes? Up next: the chicest French baby names you’ll want to steal.