Your due date is just days away, and it's hard to concentrate on anything other than the mystery of when your baby will arrive (and, if you're like me, how exhausted, uncomfortable, and just plain done with pregnancy you are). So how should you spend those last few days of your pregnancy? We have some tips that will make the countdown less stressful and make sure you're as prepared as possible for your family's new addition.
- Get in some quality time with loved ones. Spend as much time as you can with your husband, older kids, friends, and family. The weeks (and, honestly, months) after your newborn arrives tend to be a blur. They're all about feedings, diaper changes, and trying to sleep, and you'll remember that last girls' dinner, date night with your hubby, and time spent cuddling with your kiddos as precious.
- Get ready for the hospital. If you haven't already, it's definitely time to pack your hospital bag. While every mom will probably give you a different list of hospital essentials, we believe in keeping things simple with a couple of comfy pajama sets, nursing bras and tanks, toiletries, flip flops for the shower, phones/iPads/computers and chargers, snacks, and coming home outfits for you and baby. Also, be sure to preregister at the hospital if they require it. Call or visit your hospital to double check.
- Pick up any last-minute baby necessities. You probably don't need everything on our list of 100 must-have baby items right away, but diapers, wipes, washed onesies and sleepers, blankets, a place for baby to sleep, and a car seat are essential. Make sure you have everything you need at home, and go ahead and install your car seat; then take a trip to your hospital or the local fire station, both of which are usually willing to double check you installed it properly. Call ahead to see if an appointment is required.
- Stock your freezer. If you don't live in an area where food delivery is abundant, stock up your freezer with prepared casseroles, soups and other easy-to-reheat meals. If you're not an avid chef, don't worry. Ask your family to contribute meals, or just ahead to Whole Foods and stock up!
- Call in the troops. If you have older kids and/or pets, make sure you have their care lined up for the time you're in the hospital (and be sure to keep your kids well informed of the plan!). Also consider lining up help from family, friends, or professionals for the few weeks after your baby arrives. A cleaning crew, night nurse, or daily babysitter for your older children might seem like a splurge, but you'll definitely appreciate it after your newborn arrives!
- Rest, rest, rest! For moms of toddlers and older kids, taking it easy before a new baby's arrival might seem like an impossibility, but don't feel guilty about asking for help from your spouse or extended family so that you can get some much-needed downtime. First-time moms also shouldn't feel bad about spending as much time napping and relaxing as possible. As any experienced mama will tell you, you might not have a full night's sleep for months after the baby arrives, so get it in now!