New Baby Preparation Time Line

Image Source: Thinkstock
Image Source: Thinkstock

I know — as soon as you get that positive test (especially if it’s your first baby), you want to do everything right now.  “OMG!!  We have to pick names, get the nursery furniture, decorate the nursery, buy and wash the clothes, pack my bags….  And what about saving for college?!”

Whoa, slow down.

Most of this does have to be done eventually (and lots more), but it does not need to be done before you’re even 6 weeks pregnant!  Don’t drive yourself (and your husband) crazy trying to do it all immediately.  Instead, keep reading to learn approximately when you should ideally do all of these baby preparation things… save your sanity and stay organized. 🙂

4 – 8 Weeks Pregnant

  • Confirm that you are, in fact, pregnant with a home test
  • Call a doctor or midwife and schedule your first prenatal visit (usually around 8 weeks)
  • Tell your family, if you’re ready

8 – 12 Weeks Pregnant

  • Attend your first prenatal check up
  • Start thinking about your diapering decision; cloth vs. disposable.  Once you decide, start stocking up now on your chosen system (so you don’t have an “all at once” expense later)
  • If you’ll be sending your baby to daycare, start looking into options in your area

12 – 16 Weeks Pregnant

  • Tell “the world” that you’re pregnant, including your boss if you work (before you’re obviously showing, ideally)
  • Have another prenatal visit

16 – 20 Weeks Pregnant

  • Have your next prenatal visit; schedule your 20-week “gender” ultrasound if you’re finding out!
  • Get your baby on a daycare waiting list, if you’ll be needing it (some centers really do have lists this long!)

20 – 24 Weeks Pregnant

  • Start buying 0 – 3 and 3 – 6 month baby clothes (but don’t wash yet)
  • Start talking about baby names
  • Select your nursery bedding and decor (if you’re going to)

24 – 28 Weeks Pregnant

  • Sign up for a childbirth education class, if you’ll be taking one (Bradley method classes start much earlier, around 12 weeks)
  • Continue buying baby clothes (don’t go overboard)
  • Plan your baby shower, or coordinate with whoever is throwing you one
  • Paint the nursery (better yet, have your husband or friends do it!)

28 – 32 Weeks Pregnant

  • Have your baby shower
  • Pack your hospital bag, including the baby’s “going home” items
  • Select the hospital where you will deliver, if you’re going and you have a choice
  • Decide what meals you’ll make and start filling your freezer, if you’re going to
  • Write your birth plan and go over it with your doctor
  • Start interviewing pediatricians

32 – 36 weeks pregnant

  • Take your birthing classes
  • Tour the hospital where you will deliver
  • Buy and install your baby’s car seat
  • Buy any major “baby needs” that you did not receive for your shower (stroller, clothes, diapers, etc.)
  • Set up the baby’s room
  • Set up the bassinet in your room, if your baby will sleep there for awhile
  • Wash all the baby clothes and put them away
  • Pre-register at the hospital where you will deliver

36 – 40 Weeks Pregnant

  • Decide on a final baby name, or at least a short list to take to the hospital with you
  • Have a last “date night” with your husband
  • If you have other children, finalize your plans on where they will go/who will watch them when you are in labor
  • Finish your freezer cooking
  • Try to keep up with laundry and dishes and etc. so that you don’t come home to a dirty house!

In Labor/Birth

  • Call the person who’s watching your other kids (if needed) and let them know it’s time
  • Call your doctor and let him know you’re coming in
  • Call your doula, if you have one and let her know
  • Head to the hospital (if you’re going) when your contractions are 3 – 5 min. apart and growing stronger
  • Bring copies of your birth plan and hand them out
  • Name your baby when s/he arrives, if you haven’t yet!

New Baby (First 4 Weeks)

  • File your baby’s birth work to get the birth certificate
  • File the paperwork to get your baby’s social security number
  • Take your baby to his first pediatrician appointment
  • Send out baby announcements, if you’re doing them
  • Get newborn pictures done, if you’re doing them (ideally within a week of birth)
  • Rest and bond with your baby!

Baby (Past 4 Weeks)

  • Start a college savings account with money your baby got at birth (you’ll need your baby’s social security number to do this)

There is a lot to do.  But if you do it a little bit at a time, it’s no big deal!

Article Posted 7 years Ago

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