The days and weeks leading up to the birth of your child can feel quite frantic, to say the very least. The sheer number of decisions you’ll need to make and the priorities you’ll have to juggle can often leave you with just enough time to breathe, especially for those who are welcoming a second or even third addition to their family.
With all the consulting of to-do lists and the copious hours of nesting that you and your wider household will be partaking in, however, it’s actually quite common for some surprisingly important tasks to slip right through the cracks. To make sure that you don’t make the same mistakes that we did, we’ll be outlining 7 common things that all expectant parents may simply forget to do in the lead-up to their due date.
1. Update your insurance policies
A new baby naturally means hundreds if not thousands of dollars worth of new baby gear. For some families, welcoming in a new addition may even mean moving into a larger home! In any case, chances are high that you’ll need to amend your home and contents insurance policy, just to make sure that you’re adequately covered for the new furniture and other assets that will be added to your household.
Families will also want to amend their health insurance policies and any other family plans, just to ensure that their new little member is being accounted for. Even if you cannot take action on these amendments until days or weeks after your baby is born, it’s still a good idea to at least list out all accounts that will need to be revisited and all policies that will need to be updated well ahead of time.
2. Organise storage for baby supplies
Speaking of all the extra supplies that are likely to be cluttering up your home in the lead-up to your due date, it’s common for expectant parents to forget that their baby essentials don’t just have to be stored neatly. They also have to be stored in methods that actually allow smooth and fuss-free functionality.
For example, having a stocked nappy caddy is infinitely more helpful for a tired, sleep-deprived parent than having some unopened bags or boxes of nappies stacked in the far corner of your nursery. Trust us when we say that you’ll be doing yourself a world of favours by intuitively organising all your baby essentials and designing your nursery for functionality as well as form while you still have the energy and mental capacity to think strategically!
3. Pay your rent and bills ahead of time or have direct debit set up
Much like preparing to go on holiday, welcoming in a newborn will see you leaving the ‘real world’ behind for a good chunk of time. Except you know, instead of swimming pools and palm trees, you instead get nappies and pacifiers. With all the immediate chores that come with these first few weeks of new parenthood, it’s easy for life maintenance items to be pushed to the wayside. But whilst chores like the laundry and scrubbing the shower can always be picked up at a later date, you do not want to risk accruing late fees on outstanding payments or even having to receive rent arrears correspondence or other sternly worded letters or emails.
If you receive any bills in the lead-up to your due date, then pay them then and there rather than leaving them to be paid until after your baby comes. Setting up direct debit payments can also be a godsend here.
4. Take photos of your baby bump
Although it may not feel like it, the window during which you can organise a maternity photo shoot is actually pretty small. For those who are looking to capture their baby bump at its fullest, you should ideally be scheduling your maternity photoshoot to fall between 26 to 34 weeks into your pregnancy, with around 30-32 weeks being considered the ‘sweet spot’, where your belly is likely to be near its fullest, but not so large that you may be too uncomfortable to enjoy your photoshoot.
If you’re booking a professional maternity and newborn photographer, then you should also be sure to book well in advance to secure the service and finalise your photography shoot to fall within the ideal window of time during your pregnancy. Be sure to also bring along a dedicated DSLR or point-and-shoot camera on family outings during this window of time to snap some candid photos as well! Your kids will no doubt appreciate this when they’re older and you’re all poring over the family photo albums together.
5. Pack your hospital bag
Although your hospital go bag may be one task that you won’t be likely to forget to complete, there is a fair amount that you’ll need to take with you and as a result, it’s highly likely that you could’ve forgotten to pack one or two crucial items. To reduce the likelihood of this occurring, it’s good to make a list of all the things that you should be packing in your hospital bag, both for yourself as well as for the baby.
Be sure to pack all your toiletries and grooming essentials, plenty of snacks and drinks, maternity underwear, comfortable clothing, laundry bags for dirty clothes, and any tools, devices, or even activities that you’d like to use during labour or even to pass the time. On top of this, emergency and personal safety items like cash and spare change, a contacts list, medical records, inhalers, and electrolyte drinks are also a must.
6. Meal prep for the weeks to come
Any who’ve already been around the block when it comes to having a baby already know first-hand how impossible it can be to make time for little things like cooking or cleaning. Because of this, your household will feel inclined to eat takeout every night for weeks on end, which trust me, will hurt both your health and your wallet, even if it does limit the likelihood of your sink filling up with pots and pans.
Although family and friends may drop off some food here and there, one of the best things that you can do for yourself in the lead-up to welcoming a new baby, is to just stock your freezer up with freezer-friendly meals that can simply be heated up and enjoyed right in their own containers. Dishes like soups, curries, casseroles, bakes, and even pies can be frozen and reheated easily. Stir fries can also be reheated in a pinch, although it’s best to invest in a rice cooker to prepare some fresh rice or even just stock up on microwaveable rice cups to pair with curries and stir-fries.
If you’re expecting your parents, inlaws, and other loved ones to drop off some food for you and your family after welcoming your newborn, then why not keep an extra freezer in your garage to ensure that you have a healthy store of frozen foods on hand for the weeks to come?
7. Enjoy the last few days before your family expands
Finally, as welcoming a new addition to your household can feel incredibly exciting and overwhelming simultaneously, it can be all too easy to get swept up in the abundance of preparation that you’ll have to contend with. But the days leading up to your due date should really be savoured, especially for those who are awaiting the arrival of their first or second child.
It’s important to make time over these next few weeks to just enjoy one another’s company. Go out for some nice dinners or enjoy some other romantic date night ideas with your partner. Take your older kids out for some recreational activities, like a day out at local theme parks or arcades, just to reward them in advance for being respectful and attentive older siblings.
Due dates always have a knack of coming by faster than expected. Even so, it’s important to keep in mind that we all have 38-40 weeks on average to prepare for the arrival of a new baby. Taking your maternity leave to sort out your to-do lists and see to all the often-forgotten items that we’ve outlined here, can help you feel nothing but ready when that long-awaited calendar square finally arrives. And once that day comes, all you’ll have left to do is greet your new bundle and look forward to all that’s yet to come.