Sep 30, 2011

"Preparing for baby" checklist

I have heard of these list that are more or less to-do list for expecting mothers to stay on top of preparing for baby.  I have found a few of them and realized I know NOTHING about preparing for baby.  I am a first-timer dancing with deers in the headlights on this one.  Just in case you are out dancing it the streets of dumbness with me here are some links and a few of my favorites.   Over the course of the next 20 weeks I will go through this list with you, or at least let you know how well I succeed at following them.  I am hopeful that I will do well, but since I am 20 weeks behind on a 40 week list this could be interesting.

I’m only listing a few weeks of each so you can get an idea of the differences and find the one you like the best.

1.Baby Zone- this one is kind of interactive.  There is a link to each point to another place in the site for more information. It is very intuitive and thourough if that is what you want and need

Month 5
  • Find out what to expect during weeks 17 through 20 of pregnancy. 
·      Time to tell your employer and update yourself on your company's maternity leave policy. 
·      Figure out how much childcare you'll need, and start researching your options.
·      Decide whether you want to find out your baby's gender now or let it be a surprise. 
·      If you haven't had one lately, schedule a regular dental checkup. 
·      Your libido may be back in full force. Get comfortable with sex during pregnancy. 
·      Treat pregnancy heartburn whenever it flares up. 
·      Is baby moving? Know what to expect from baby's first kicks! 
·      Try prenatal yoga for a mind-body workout..
·      Have a heart-to-heart about pregnancy and parenthood with your partner. 
·      Prepare for your group B strep test. 
·      Tired of nosy questions from strangers and friends? Master the art of the clever comeback! 
·      Take steps to minimize pregnancy brain. 
·      Have a shower coming up? Register for Baby! 

2. The Bump-short sweet to the point!

  ] Take pregnancy test
[  ] Tell your partner the good news
[  ] Find an OB/GYN
[  ] Schedule prenatal checkup
[  ] Research insurance -- how does it deal with pregnancy and children?
[  ] Make sure partner has short and long term disability
[  ] Figure out how pregnancy, baby and maternity leave will affect finances
[  ] Create a savings plan for your child's future expenses
[  ] Make a budget to start saving now
[  ] First prenatal checkup (week 4-8)
Weeks 8-12
[  ] Start buying maternity clothes
[  ] Chorionic villus sampling
[  ] Nuchal translucency screening (week 10-12)
[  ] Chromosomal disorder screening (week 10-14)
[  ] Doctor visit
Weeks 12-16
[  ] Start planning maternity leave and postpartum work schedule
[  ] Tell boss about pregnancy
[  ] Doctor visit
[  ] Milestone: Tell friends and family? 
Weeks 16-20
[  ] Start planning nursery
[  ] Look into childcare options
[  ] Doctor visit
[  ] Standard mid-pregnancy ultrasound
[  ] Amniocentesis and triple screen (week 15-18)
[  ] Milestone: Find out baby's gender?
[  ] Milestone: Hear baby's heartbeat with stethoscope?
[  ] Milestone: First baby kick?
[  ] Milestone: Belly starting to show?
Weeks 20-24
[  ] Start pediatrician interviews
[  ] Research and sign up for childbirth classes
[  ] Figure out baby shower logistics (date, host, location, guests, etc.)
[  ] If banking cord blood, figure out where and order kit
[  ] Doctor visit

3.My Practicle Baby Guide

Weeks 5-8
Start doing Kegel exercises to strengthen pelvic muscles.
Start eating a healthy and nutritious prenatal diet.
Find out which prenatal tests you may need.
Chart your weight gain throughout pregnancy.
Find out how to help relieve morning sickness.
Have a first prenatal checkup
Learn about the early screening tests.

Weeks 9-13
Shop for maternity clothes and learn about pregnancy body changes.
Start a safe prenatal exercise routine.
Consult with your doctor about getting the flu shot.
Have an early screening tests.
Share the good news with your family and friends!
Have a medical checkup.

4.What to Expect when You’re Expecting

This link will give you links to more indepth information on major steps needed to be completed before baby- including top questions for your Doula.  This is a very comprehensive help guide, exactly what one would expect from this book.

5.The Cradle-  I like this one, it’s broken down into different areas-

Checklist: Second Trimester (Weeks 14-26)

  • Continue seeing your OB/practitioner.
  • Pre-register at the hospital (if they’ll let you).
  • Decide if you’re going to bank your baby’s cord blood.
  • If so, order the kit from your desired provider.
  • Continue your healthy eating and exercise habits.
  • Start doing your Kegel exercises.
  • Enjoy a pregnancy massage (or two… or three… or…).
  • Give in to those nesting instincts: Finish old projects,organize photo albums, clean out closets.
  • Invest in a body pillow if you are having trouble sleeping.
  • Register for childbirth education classes (if you areplanning on taking one).
  • It may seem depressing, but you need to be practical –
  • If you don’t already have these items, look into life and
disability insurance, as well as creating a will.
  • If you are going to paint the nursery, consider zero
or low V.O.C. options. Otherwise paint the room as
early as possible and air out the room to dissipate
any odors or fumes.
On The Job
  • If you’re working and no one has yet noticed your expanding waistline, tell your employer and co-workers about your pregnancy.
  • Begin looking into childcare if you are planning
on working after the baby is born.
  • Look into the Family and Medical Leave Act.
Fun Stuff!
  • Buy or borrow maternity clothes.
  • Start shopping for nursery furniture and decor.
  • Start creating your gift registry (or registries!)
if you are planning on going this route.

  • Go on a vacation or a "babymoon." (Talk to your
practitioner about their recommended travel
guidelines. Some suggest not traveling too far
after your second trimester; others extend their
"travel deadline" to 32 weeks.)

  • Buy a baby name book and start thinking of
your little one's name! Our favorite books?
The Baby Name Bible and Beyond Ava & Aiden.

There really are lots of lists out there, thank God!  My first time seeing them I felt overwhelmed.  Now, I feel like if I do just one thing on the list, it will be one more thing than I knew to do.  I have also bookmarked most of them so I can just pick my favorite "to-do" each week. I hope this helps you as much as it is going to help me... and my clueless husband.

Two confused parents=One amused baby Hopelessly we are trying raise a baby who is clearly smarter than both of us. April is an award-winning writer and blogger. Her work has been published in over ten countries and four languages. From books to newspapers, to print/online magazines and everything in between, you can find her work. For more on April, Visit


  1. As a former and somewhat current childcare provider, I think finding the right childcare for your baby/little one is so important and can be daunting. I recommend finding one close to work instead of home, although both would be preferable. Feeling comfortable with the environment and policies of the childcare center is also important...childcare has one of the largest turn-over rates of any industry, find out how long the staff has worked there and if they seem content in their job. Don't be afraid to spend money, decent childcare for your infant will cost around $200/week. If you can't afford that consider staying home. The price lowers as your child gets older. Room ratios are very important. I primarily was an infant room supervisor and more than 4 at a time is really pushing it. It is also nice to work with someone but more than 8 in a room is too many. Creeper/Crawler rooms in a childcare are important, it is a separate room for older babies who can crawl but not toddle. The crawling babies terrorize the immobile, and the Toddlers terrorize the crawling. Finally, I have never found this, but a childcare center that moves children to the next level based on physical and mental development vs. age. I've known babies who weren't walking at 1 and still had to move on to the Toddler room. I've also known babies who walked really early at 7 months and had to stay in the infant room, so to keep the other babies safe these super babies were kept in swings and exersaucers most of the time. It will never be the same as the care you would offer your child, but there are good centers out there if you are willing to do the research and spend the money.

    One final word, children pass infection. If you bring your sick child to the childcare center you are not only spreading it to other children, but to the workers who will then have to come to work sick (as is often the case) or call in. Please have a support team of your family, friends, babysitters who can take over at a moments notice so no one has to miss work. There are lots of agencies out there for temporary childcare who screen their staff so you aren't flying blind if you need a babysitter.

  2. Thank you so much clearly inspired! I like your blog too. ;)