Feeling under prepared for your baby’s arrival? Here is a last-minute checklist for new parents (with free printable) to consider before bringing baby home from the hospital.
Taking care of a newborn baby requires a lot of effort and coordination by both parents. You think you know what you’re getting into by reading parenting books but in reality, the transition from no baby to new parents is a pretty jolting experience. Everything you’re doing is an adjustment and you have zero prior experience to rely upon which requires you to learn things as they come.
This post is all about a last-minute checklist for new parents to consider before they bring baby home from the hospital. It may contain affiliate links, which means I’ll receive a commission if you purchase through my link, at no extra cost to you. Please read full disclosure for more details.
I remember when my wife and I brought our baby home. We thought we were prepared by purchasing everything off well documented baby registry lists. However, what most people tend to forget is that you need to prepare for yourself too. Call it words of advice or a last-minute checklist, these are the top items that most new parents regret not having done before bringing their newborn baby from the hospital.
Related: What to Expect In the Delivery Room
Hire a Pet Sitter
You probably can’t wait to watch how your beloved pet reacts to the new baby. Although this experience is quite cute and heartwarming, managing a pet and taking care of a newborn can get quite dicey during the first few days back home.
Hire a pet sitter or enlist help from family members who can temporarily watch over your beloved pet for at least the first two weeks. This is when you will be getting the least sleep and the last thing you want to do is take your dog for a walk when you’re ‘dog-tired’ yourself.
Finish Your Laundry
All those wet or poopy diapers can pile up pretty quickly when you’re figuring out how to put a diaper on a squirmy newborn. You will be doing laundry quite a few times during the first month. It doesn’t help if you’re starting with a huge pile of your own laundry to begin with.
It also helps if you have a dedicated laundry hamper for your baby’s clothes to keep the poopy onesies from mixing with your cherished hoodie or work clothes.
Keep Extra Onesies
Stock up on generic multipack onesies, wash them before using and keep them ready near the baby’s crib. The last thing you want to do is fiddle with those pesky pricing tags or run upstairs for a spare onesie every time your little one pees through her outfit. Newborn poopy stains very easily -so, save your baby’s custom onesie just for photo ops.
Declutter Your Bedside Table
Declutter your bedside table because you’re going to need that space for baby related stuff like their bottles, baby monitor or perhaps as a formula station. Unless you want your stuff to fall and wake up baby? Don’t say I didn’t warn you.
Multiple Diaper Changing Stations
This really applies for those who have the nursery room on a different floor than your bedroom. Keep a secondary changing station like a portable pack-and-play in the room you anticipate spending the most time in. It could be the living room, your bedroom or even the kitchen. Just a minor thing that can save you from running up and down the stairs every time baby needs a diaper change.
Sign Up for Loyalty Rewards
Sign up for loyalty rewards programs on baby diapers, formula and other products about a month before the baby arrives to unlock additional discounts and coupons on their products. The product vendors usually mail samples a few weeks after signing up for their rewards program.
Clear Your Schedule
Try to not plan any major house remodeling plans during your paternity/maternity leave break. Filling up your spare time with home projects will burn you out and may lead to accidents. Instead, try to finish up any household projects before the baby arrives. Otherwise put it on the backburner for couple of months after the baby is born.
Keep a Chore Chart
Keep a chore chart so that you can divide the chores amongst both parents or anyone else supporting you. This is a great way for chores to get done without getting in each other’s way. As you may have realized, the lack of sleep often leads to petty squabbles just because both parents are irritable.
Pack Hospital Bag
OMG! If you haven’t done so, pack your hospital bag and keep it ready in your car. Once your wife goes into labor you will barely have time to pee. I highly recommend packing a bag at least a month before the baby’s due date.
Prep for Postpartum Needs
After pushing out a baby, your wife is going to be in some significant pain every time she uses the bathroom. Keep a little postpartum station ready in the bathroom so that she can store her postpartum supplies. Things like squirt bottles, pads, perineal spray, etc. can be placed on a small stool or rolling cart so that they’re easily accessible when the time comes.
Stock Up The Freezer
Last but not least, stock up your freezer with meals that you can pop in the microwave and warm up in a few minutes. Ideally, try to pack meals that are nutritious and promote a well-balanced diet. However, I totally understand if all you want is an endless meal train of pot pies.
Watch a Movie
Take advantage of the last remaining impromptu movie nights by watching a movie at the theater. It’s going to be a few years until you can step into a movie theater because loud sounds and babies do not go well together.
Last Minute Checklist For New Parents
Now that you’ve got a good list of things to complete, make sure you read up on some Tips for the Delivery Room too! Oh, and also don’t forget to click on the image to get your free pdf printable checklist