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Checklist: Things to do Before Your Baby Arrives

Based on content from JOHNSON'S® Baby Care Basics: Practical Tips for Parents-to-Be.

As you get ready for your baby's arrival, you may feel that you need to know everything there is to know about parenting. Try not to overload yourself with too much information. Before your baby is born, learn what to expect during your baby's first three months. Visit your local library or bookstore and explore this site for more information. Also, you can register at baby.com to receive advice and information specific to your baby's stage of development, as well as coupons and special offers from Johnson & Johnson brands.

The following checklist will help you be better prepared for your baby's arrival:

  • Look into parenting classes - they can be very helpful for first-time parents. Find out about these classes from the hospital where you plan to have your baby, your OB/GYN, friends and family.
  • Learn about labor and delivery options such as Lamaze and Bradley.
  • Choose a pediatrician. About 3 months before you're due, start compiling a list of candidates. Ask for names of pediatricians from friends, relatives, neighbors, and coworkers with kids, and even your obstetrician, midwife, or insurance company. If possible, schedule a prenatal consultation about two months before your due date.
  • Prepare a telephone or email list to keep friends and family informed.
  • Pack your suitcase for the hospital. Remember to take along:
    • Nightgown and slippers.
    • Toiletries, including toothbrush and hairbrush. Don't forget supplies for dad (perhaps even a change of clothes!).
    • Clothes for your return home: choose comfortable clothes you wore mid-pregnancy or later.
    • Clothes for your baby to wear when coming home: undershirt or one-piece suit, and an outfit with snap closures.
    • Receiving blanket (your local weather will determine if additional blankets are needed).
    • Baby wipes.
    • Camera / video camera.
    • Nursing bra and nursing pads for breastfeeding moms.
  • Make sure your baby's car seat has been installed properly before you go to the hospital. Some hospitals will not allow you to take your baby home without a car seat. Many police precincts will be happy to inspect your seat to ensure that it has been installed properly, or you can visit www.seatcheck.org to find a certified child passenger safety seat inspection location near you.