Things you'll want to get done before you go into labour
Labour nearly here? Try and get these things done before the big day
Are you really ready for the birth? Tick off our checklist of 14 essential last-minute preparations. And relax.
1. Get the car seat out of its box
Practise getting it in and out of the car while you still have a brain (kind of) and the headspace to think.
Freeze some meals. You’re not exactly hunkering down for a nuclear winter, but if you can do a bit of batch cooking for the freezer to make things easier in the first few weeks then you’ll feel smug if nothing else. If you don’t get round to that, at least stock your cupboards with quick-to-make essentials and easy-to-grab snacks.
2. Have a me day
Grab your best lounging gear, some popcorn, boot up the Netflix and pull the curtains firmly closed. Or get some friends round for a pedicure session. You might even be able to see your toes soon.
You may have packed the scented candle but have you remembered the more unglamorous but practical items? Dark-coloured nightie (to, erm, hide any stains), warm socks for the hard hospital floors, dressing down for pacing up and down in, lip balm, wash bag, carby food if it’s a long haul, hairbands for when your hair gets annoying, flannel for fevered brow, Tens machine, music, loose clothes to go home in, clothes for your baby, nappies, and some proper 'maternity' (not 'sanitary') towels….
4. Write a letter to your baby
Tell them about your pregnancy, your shortlist of names, your thoughts, fears and funny moments – and, of course, your nickname for the bump. Write the date you want the letter opened – maybe 16 or 18 years from your due date so they can have a good laugh (or at least their girlfriend/boyfriend can).
5. Download some audio books
There’ll be some long nights ahead, and you sure won’t want to fill the time reading War and Peace. Whether it’s crime thrillers or romance you love, choose a couple of audio books now to keep you company during 4am feeding.
6. Don’t stress if the nursery isn’t perfect
All you really need is a Moses' basket or cot, some bedding, nappies, wipes and babygros. It can all be prettied up later.
7. Sort out birth announcements
If you’re going all old school with gilt-edged cards, design them in advance so you’re ready to add the picture and details, then you can hit the order key when you get home from hospital.
8. Read up about breastfeeding
For something so natural, breastfeeding can be tricky to get the hang of, especially if your baby doesn’t seem that interested at first. Get an idea of the basics while everything’s calm(ish).
9. A last gig/pub trip/girls’ night out
Whatever you love doing, try to fit in one last go before the birth, as it will be a while before you surface. Perhaps give the abseiling/rollerblading a miss for now, though.
10. Go over the birth plan
Check you’re still happy with it. It’s best to be pretty flexible about what you want so you don’t feel disappointed if the birth doesn’t go exactly to plan.
11. Grab a last night away with your partner
OK, so there’s a limit to how romantic this is going to be with a ginormous bump, but savour that couple time.
12. Make a will
It may sound alarming when talking about bringing a new life into the world, but two thirds of UK adults don't have a will, but it’s vital when you have a baby. You’ll need to state who you want to look after your child if the unthinkable happens.
13. Stock up on the essentials
Do a big online shop for all those boring household things, or head out to the supermarket while you can still do it alone. Trust us, soon it'll feel like a treat to wander those aisles without a little one in tow!
14. Practise the hospital route
You won’t want to be fiddling around with Google maps when the contractions are every five minutes. And make sure the car has a full tank, too.