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9 Things We Need to do Before the Baby Arrives

By Katie |

Last night I started having some really bizarre sharp pains in my abdomen and around the same time realized that my normal night owl baby was not moving. For an hour we tried walking, sitting, laying on either side, poking him, playing music, cold water and got nothing.

In case you wondered, it was completely and totally terrifying. So we went to the hospital.

The baby continued to be sluggish for the first hour we were there and being monitored, but towards the end of a 20 minute ultrasound that involved the OB repeatedly poking him with the wand to wake him up, he finally gave some good kicks and punches and they felt content that that, with his normal heart rate and lack of signs of distress, we could go home safely.

But before they let us go they also did a cervical check because I was having regular, not painless contractions and surprise, I’m 1 cm dilated and 30% effaced at 36 weeks. We agreed this would be no big deal if it weren’t for the contractions, but there was some concern that I was in early labor. They toyed with the idea of making me walk for 2 hours to see if the contractions intensified or if I progressed, but since we expressed that we didn’t really want to have the baby yet, they let us go home with instructions to come back if the contractions increased or my water broke (spoiler alert: they didn’t and it didn’t).

Besides providing several hours of terror, the experience also was a nice kick in the pants to remind of all the things we really need to do before this baby comes. Early dilation doesn’t necessarily mean early labor, but we’re getting ourselves in gear anyway. So these are the 9 things that we really need to do before this baby arrives. Here’s to hoping we have time!

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9 things we need to do or buy before going into labor

Install our carseat bases

This was actually on my to-do list for today, but I need a good carwash first, and after last night's very late night at the hospital, it's going to have to wait a day or two. We've never installed car seats before, so this should be an adventure. And we'll be taking it to our police station to have it checked to make sure its in right, because that's how much faith we have in our car seat installation abilities.

What baby preparations did you save until the last minute?

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About Katie



Katie is a former teacher, part-time PT, wife, and first-time mother to the baby with the best ears on the Internet. You can find more of her grammatically questionable writing at her blog, Overflowing Brain. Read bio and latest posts → Read Katie's latest posts →

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4 thoughts on “9 Things We Need to do Before the Baby Arrives

  1. elizabeth traub says:

    Last minute prep was actually have a “go-bag” ready. I know it sounds so unprepared, but I like to dress based on how I feel in the moment. I did not pick out the newborn outfits until the day I was running off to the hospital. And in some cases, had to tell my husband where to find those little clothes.

  2. Amanda says:

    I am 35 weeks pregnant, and it makes me feel soooo much better to see your list of things still to do. My list is exactly the same! Good luck to both of us!

  3. Christy says:

    Setting up the carseat is a must. All the others…meh. We were uber prepared when we brought our baby home, but soon realize that the baby had her own plans. Sleeping in her beautiful nursery? Not so much. She preferred the pack n play in our family room or her stroller. Wearing all her pretty and washed baby clothes? She wore a simple kimono shirt and swaddling blanket for the first few weeks. For diapers, we just used up the newborn ones from the hospital. As for the hospital bag…a change of clothes, a toothbrush, an outfit for the baby, and a bit of make-up was all I used, and I admit to being pretty high maintenance:) The breastfeeding class might be helpful, but I sometimes think people tend to overcomplicate things. Give it a go when your baby is born and if you have difficulty, then seek out one of the hospital’s lactation consultants. Good luck to you!!!!

  4. Alley says:

    Psst… don’t forget socks. Socks, a onesie, diapers, blankets, and since you’re going to use one, a pacifier. And yes, I agree with the carseat thing. Otherwise, the other stuff isn’t horribly important. I remember packing makeup too. But I definitely didn’t use it… lol… too busy hobbling around, trying to feel human again. Congrats on the impending baby arrival!

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