This article is from the General Pregnancy FAQ, by swnymph@FensEnde.com (Sabrina Cuddy) with numerous contributions by others.
I think these things are very personal and depend a lot on your
personal situation, but...
>- move furniture to create a nursery
I'd say as soon as is comfortable. The larger you get, the harder it
is to move things around (even the lightweight things-- you just get
tired of carrying them from room to room). Now, at 6 1/2 months
pregnant I'm really not in the mood to move the bookcases that need
>- buy major baby items (crib, carseat, stroller, etc.)
Carseat you need as soon as baby's born, so as soon as is comfortable
is probably ok there. Crib you don't need right away, so conceivably
you could wait until after birth (we are since we have a family cradle
to use the first few months). Stroller depends on your alternatives
and how much you think you'll stroll the baby early. If you think
you'll be carrier types (carry baby in arms or front carrier or
whatever), you might want to wait to buy a stroller until you think you
need it. Others like having a plush stroller that reclines so that
they can haul a tiny baby around in it and always have a comfy place
for baby to nap.
>- buy baby clothes and minor items
I'd lay in a basic supply of newborn clothes (like onesies and sleepers
and such) of the no-frills variety. That way, you'll be covered if no
one gets you anything. Then, after showers and such, you can buy
whatever else you need. AGain, I don't think it matters so much *when*
you buy them, as long as it's before the baby arrives (and before any
major pre-baby deadline crunches you might find yourself in).
>- take birthing class
Schedule that ASAP. Lots of them book early, and since they run
several weeks usually, their time slot doesn't always correspond with
your ideal time to take them. For instance, our baby's due in February
and the class we're taking is 6-7 weeks long. There's no class over
the holidays (which wouldn't have been convenient for us anyway), and
most likely the class after the holidays is starting too late for
comfort in our case. So, our class starts tomorrow and we booked it a
few months ago (when it was already close to booked full).
>- select a hospital
I'd do this ASAP, just in case you run into trouble finding a hospital
that meets your needs.
>- read up on baby care
Start now--when the time comes, there'll be no time ;-) I like Penelope
Leach's books, myself.
>- select pediatrician
I'd start chatting with friends to get recommendations now, and start
interviewing as it becomes convenient. Part of it depends on how picky
you are. With the homebirth, it's hard for us to find supportive
pediatricians, so we started early. Lots of people I know didn't start
until the last month or two of their pregnancy.