Life is never the same after that positive pregnancy test. The excitement is out of this world, however, reality does set in. Suddenly, you're in over your head about how to prepare. What do you need? When do you need it? Will you be ready in time?
These questions are normal! Every new parent wonders if they're taking the right steps to prepare. Luckily, your enthusiasm shows that you're already well on your way to parenthood. In this guide, we'll share how to prepare for a new baby with a simple monthly checklist.
The first month is often the most nervewracking. If this is your first baby, you're just getting used to pregnancy. You might be wondering about morning sickness and whether your pregnancy symptoms will come and go. Don't worry, you'll get the hang of it. Here are our suggestions for the first month:
- Find the right prenatal vitamins
- Choose your healthcare provider (an ob-gyn or midwife)
- Schedule your first appointment at the doctor
Months 2 - 3
For the second and third months, things are finally setting in. You're more used to pregnancy, and you've started to figure out what to expect.
- Complete your first checkup (typically done around week 10 and then every 4 weeks)
- Take any genetic or health screenings your doctor recommends
- Use morning sickness remedies to ease any nausea during this trimester
Months 4 - 5
You're coming on on the halfway point in your pregnancy! Luckily, after the first trimester, many of the more annoying symptoms are likely to ease up. However, you'll start to notice a real difference in your body at this point.
- Have your second-trimester screening (weeks 15 - 20)
- Research childbirth-education class
- Schedule your ultrasound (around week 20)
- Talk to your employer about maternity leave
- Consider your birth plan preferences
- Begin preparing your nursery
Months 6 - 7
You're nearing the final stretch! Things are getting serious now. Take this time to enjoy pregnancy and really focus on catching up on rest while you can.
- Tour the hospital and delivery rooms
- Plan for your baby shower
- Create a baby registry to share with friends and family
- Give thought to your support team once the baby is born
- Search for a pediatrician for your baby
- Buy a car seat
- Purchase post-partum essentials (like Shower Yoga body scrub for those aches and pains)
Months 8 - 9
It's the final countdown! Make your final arrangements and wait for the baby to arrive. This is an exciting time so try to make the most of it.
- Enjoy your baby shower
- Finish the nursery
- Get screened for Group B strep at your doctor's office
- Pack your hospital bag
- Learn about sleep exhaustion after baby and prepare your night routine
- Sit back and enjoy the calm before the storm!
Are You Ready for Baby?
Preparing for baby doesn't have to be stressful. As long as you start early, you have plenty of time to make sure you're ready for parenthood. There's no such thing as being too prepared, so don't be afraid to give this checklist your all.
How ready are you for baby? Keep this checklist handy every step of the way. Check out our post-partum favorites to make life a little easier once the baby is born.