The Ultimate Before Baby Checklist



If it’s your first pregnancy or your fourth, this before baby checklist will make postpartum a relaxing time focused on baby!  When that third trimester nesting energy sets in, take the time to tackle this list.  Your future sleep deprived self will thank you!

During my six weeks maternity leave last spring, before jumping back into the classroom and administering the beloved STAAR test, I was truly relaxed and experienced baby bliss.  For me, maternity leave was smooth sailing and completing this list before my due date was a huge contributor!  Of course, the angel like baby in my arms helped too.

8 things to do BEFORE the baby comes!

1. Book a photographer – I took time to search for the perfect photographer for me.  BeforeBabyChecklist1My requirements were someone who was flexible and used a natural light look with an affordable price tag.  I was able to arrange a maternity shoot and make plans for an in home lifestyle shoot for shortly after baby’s arrival.  We chose Grapevine area photographer Leslie Eure.  Check out Dallas Moms Blog Guide to Family Photographers.

2. Clean house – I must confess, my nesting energy never really kicked in enough to deep clean my house!  I worked full time and was pretty exhausted the last 8 weeks of my pregnancy.  Thankfully, my mother is a saint and loves to clean, so our house was all set before baby arrived.  If you don’t have family nearby, hire a cleaning company!   It’ll feel so nice to come home from the hospital to a squeaky clean house.

3. Pack your hospital bag – This is an obvious item on the checklist, but if you’re a first time mom you may not know where to start.  Here’s a post on diaper bag essentials for baby.   For yourself, you’ll want a few different clothing options since it’s hard to predict exactly what you’ll be comfortable in, travel size toiletries, and a comfortable robe.  Experienced moms:  what are your must haves for the hospital bag?

4. Stock up – It was really nice to have my husband close by during the first couple weeks after bringing home baby.  I rarely had to send him out on the hunt for items, because we had stocked up before baby arrived.  We had plenty of paper goods and nonperishables set to go,  including diapers and (just in case) formula.  This combined with the next item made life simple!

BabyReadyChecklist5. Meal calendar – Allow someone in your life to set up a meal calendar for your family.  Even drop a hint to a close friend if you need to – this is so WORTH IT.  There are a few websites that make this super easy, we used TakeThemAMeal, you can specify days/times and food preferences.  Since it’s set up via email, you can include work friends, church groups, the neighborhood gang, and family members all in one meal calendar!

6. Choose a birth announcement – There are several online and local shops that offer birth announcements.  Shutterfly, Tiny Prints, Minted and Paper Source – just to name a few popular spots.  This may seem like something to do after you receive the baby’s newborn photos, but it can be overwhelming to choose from literally hundreds of different announcements.  It was helpful to have already chosen the company and exact announcement we wanted.  All that was left was to insert the newborn shot, order and send.

7. Insurance – Oh what fun!  I am a planner and really appreciated having a few insurance items checked off my pre-baby to do list.  Each hospital and insurance is different, but check into these essentials:  order a free breast pump (I used a site called yummy mummy), call the hospital to prepay or get quotes, register online for the hospital to save time when checking in, and sign up for any hospital classes offered before your due date.

8. Install the car seat & have it checked – We figured this would be BabyReadyChecklistpretty simple, but we were
surprised to hear at a childbirth class that many parents install infant car seats incorrectly.  Call your delivering hospital to find out if and when they offer car seat inspections.  We delivered at Baylor Frisco and they offered a car seat safety class and an inspection.  We learned a lot from those car seat savvy nurses!

What important pre-baby to do’s am I forgetting?   What preparation made your transition into motherhood easier? 


  1. Great list Lis!
    For the hospital bag- I loved having my “granny panties” that were bigger than my normal undies. So comfortable and non-constricting for certain postpartum challenges.


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