This article is from the General Pregnancy FAQ, by swnymph@FensEnde.com (Sabrina Cuddy) with numerous contributions by others.
I can suggest a few things, but I'm not a parent yet :) so these are just
my suggestions. Congratulations on your future arrival!
>I figured out that the next things I need to do are:
>- buy maternity clothes
My sister did this as needed (ie when she started gaining weight she
went out and bought a few things. When her uterus expanded by leaps
and bounds when she was 16 weeks along, she had some clothes to wear
while picking out season- ally appropriate clothes for the size she
>After that, WHEN (or at least in what order) do I do the following:
>- move furniture to create a nursery
Everyone has a different opinion here :) :) JJ set up the "nursery"
(read a portacrib in a large closet that had a window and put a table
top changing table on to the dresser in the living room) about two
weeks before her due date. A couple of friends varied between setting
things up two to three months before, and leaving it for their
significant others to do while they were still in the hospital with the
>- buy major baby items (crib, carseat, stroller, etc.)
Car seat is definately needed before you come home from the hospital, I
know some people drove around with them in the car for a few weeks
(with a stuffed animal strapped in) before the baby was due to get used
to putting someone/thingin to the seat each time they got in and
getting the item/baby out each time they got out. Everyone I know
highly recommends umbrella strollers, but I haven't seen anyone using
them before the baby is about 3 or 4 months old. Before that they seem
to prefer carrying the baby to putting him/her in a stroller. Cribs
are variable, some misc.kidders feel a mattress on the floor is ok,
othersprefer a crib.
>- rewrite will and designate guardian
This is, I can't emphasize it enough, very important! You should, from
my point of view, do this before the birth. I had a friend in
elementary school whose parents were killed in an auto accident when
she was three weeks old. No relatives were found, and there was no one
designated as a gaurdian if something happened to Laura. The result was
she became a ward of the state and was then put up for adoption. There
are probably relatives out there, the county or the State of California
just couldn't find them to tell them. Additionally, my grandparents
both died before my mother was 12. No one was designated as a
gaurdian, and she was placed in a foster home for 5 years. One year
(age 12-13) was spent being shuttled between various half-brothers and
sisters who were either unable to care for her at the time or didn't
wish to because she was from their father's second marriage.
>- read up on baby care
An anecdote to give you an idea of what some new parents are like :)
Bootsie and Mark come from fairly large families (7 kids, 4 kids
respectively) and did not help out with younger brothers or sisters due
to age or disinterest. When they were expecting Daniel, they wouldn't
listen to anyone's suggestions, they both said "We come from big
families, we know all about babies". Soooo, their parents and friends
just stepped back and kept their suggestions to themselves. Daniel
arrived, and three days later they took him home from the hospital.
After about 5 hours, Mark called his mom in desperation - Daniel
wouldn't stop crying, would she come over and see if she could help.
Betty arrived, and found one very, very upset baby. He'd been in the
same diaper for 6 hours and had been nursing almost non-stop. She
showed them how to change a diaper and suggested at least one diaper
check per hour :)
JJ was worse :) She wouldn't let anyone hold the baby for weeks
because she was sure no one else in the world knew how to hold one (Uh,
JJ, you're supposed to support Robby's head, his neck isn't strong
enough to :) ...
>- pack hospital bag
JJ did this a month before her due date, as did Bootsie. The bag was
packed and in the car, so all they had to do was hop in and go!
>- ANYTHING ELSE YOU CAN ADD THAT I LEFT OUT
I'd suggest you prepare meals that can be taken out the freezer and thrown
in the microwave or oven so that you don't need to cook for the first few
days/weeks, depending on freezer size. Stock up on a variety of foods you
like so you can limit the grocery store panic runs :)
Check in to getting someone (friend, relative, whatever) to help with
doing laundry/dusting/tidying up so you can rest/nap/enjoy your new
baby or to give you just some general relief and adult company during
the first few weeks.
Depending upon whether you've chosen cloth or disposable diapers, get more
than you think the baby will need. The estimate I heard was that newborns
go through 24 diapers per day for the first 8 weeks. Do not, repeat, do not
follow my airhead sister JJ's example and think you can economize by using
extra absorbent diapers and leave them for 3 hours. It just don't work, and
baby gets wet and upset. You don't need to spend money on wipes, either. I
know several families who have a large pile/basket of washcloths that are
dipped in warm water, wrung out, and used to clean up the baby. The cloths
are then thrown in the laundry after a rinse.