Congratulations on your incoming little koala! As you prepare to welcome your her into the world, you're likely feeling a mix of excitement and nerves. Getting organised and being prepared is all part of the process but it can also be overwhelming, especially if it's your first.
You'll no doubt be the receiver of unsolicited opinions, Instagram ads, algorithm targeted pregnancy and parenting articles, horror stories from friends (no, thank you) - basically, it's information overload!
We've trimmed the fat, so you can spend less time consumed by what's not important and more time being horizontal and growing that baby - because it's hard work enough.
Here is your 'Absolute must-do's - essentials only list' from parents who have both over-prepared (read: unnecessary flapping) and grossly underprepared. (read: 🤦♀️)
Your 7 absolute must-do's to get ready for baby
1. Make a list and check it twice
Start by making a list of everything you need to do before your due date. This can include things like setting up a space for baby to sleep, buying nappies, and packing your hospital bag. Having a clear list will help you stay focused and ensure that you don't forget anything important (like installing a car seat to take your new baby home in). Want to know what you DON'T need? Check this list.
2. Set up a financial plan
Taking time off work + baby gadgets can be expensive - it's a multi billion dollar industry after all, so it's important to set a budget and stick to it.
If you're the mama and decide to take parental leave, consider setting up voluntary superannuation payments to cover your period of leave. The vast majority of employers do not cover this in their parental leave packages (but check your EA), so it's important to ensure you're not financially disadvantaged in the long term.
Decide what you're willing to buy 'second hand' because places like Facebook Marketplace are a wonderland of almost new baby things, rejected by their tiny owners. And don't forget, the shops don't close just because your baby is earth side, so tick to buying essentials only until you know what your baby likes or organic needs emerge.
3. Declutter (trust me)
Before your baby arrives, take some time to declutter your home. Get rid of anything you no longer need or use by recycling, giving to charity or paying it forward via a community group. When baby arrives, you'll no doubt accumulate a lot of gear, so starting with a clear space will save you hassle in the long run. Check out Finding Organisation for great tips from our fave Professional Organiser. She also has a genius printable de-clutter checklist, to make getting started even easier.
4. Plan your postpartum
The pregnancy and postpartum periods are one of the most physically and emotionally demanding phases of a woman’s life.
It's best to plan your postpartum with your partner and/or a doula well in advance, so you can focus on recovering and bonding with your new baby. Who will cook? How will you meet your postpartum nutritional needs? How will you stay connected socially and make time for gentle movement? These are all conversations best had well in advance.
It's also a good idea to book in a post birth follow-up with your GP and Pelvic Physio to assist with your recovery.
Automate errands where possible by getting nappies delivered to your door on subscription, so you'll never run out mid-change. And consider doing the same where possible, for things like toilet paper and groceries.
Now is a good time to stock up on essentials for you, like postpartum pads (try the soothing padiscle! It's a lifesaver), breast pads (bamboo is ideal; breathable and absorbent), an insulated flip-lid drink bottle, and nutritious snacks you can eat with one hand.
You can also start cooking and freezing meals now, so you'll have something quick and easy to eat in those early weeks. A meal train is also the best invention ever. Why not get a friend to plan one for you?
Photo: Cocoon by Naomi
Doula's we've tried & love;
Cocoon by Naomi offers in-person and virtual postpartum planning sessions, online courses & support.
5. Ask for help
Don't be afraid to ask for help from family and friends, most people want to support you, but aren't sure how. Being specific about what you need and when, can be productive and beneficial to the relationship. If this makes you a little uncomfy, practice asking for help while you're pregnant.
6. Build your birthing knowledge
Birthing classes will prepare you for what to expect during delivery and in the weeks after your baby is born. It's hard to know how your birthing and parenting journey will unfold and the most important thing to remember is that knowledge and support is power. If you choose to breastfeed, lactation support is provided in most hospitals after your birth. Whilst breastfeeding classes are usually offered as part of prenatal care, it's most useful and practical to seek support from a midwife or lactation consultant if needed, once baby is earth side.
Photo: She Births
7. Keep important documents in one place
Make sure important documents like your pre-natal care book, baby's birth certificate, insurance information, and paediatrician or hospital contact information are all in one place. This will make it easier to find them when you need them.
Getting organised for your baby's arrival may seem daunting, especially with all of the fluff, gadgets and 'opinions' out there (no, the SNOO is not an 'essential item' but no judgement if you want one).
OK - 'lazy girl' is a drastic over statement but I hope we've saved you some time. Stay focused on what's important and always prioritise yourself through this journey. It's good practice for mum life.
We wish you an enjoyable last few months of pregnancy - take lots of belly pics, enjoy date nights and naps! Have naps.
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