Before Your Baby Arrives
You and your partner are about to become parents — what a special time in your life! It’s normal to be nervous, but there are easy steps you can take to help prepare you to welcome home your little one.
Parenting classes 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, midwife, friends and family.
There are different ways to give birth, like Lamaze and Bradley. Do some research and talk to your OB/GYN or midwife to decide which option is best for you and your baby.
Start looking for a pediatrician about 3 months before you’re due. Compile a list of candidates — ask for recommendations from friends, relatives, neighbors, coworkers with kids, your obstetrician, midwife or insurance company. If possible, schedule a prenatal consultation about 2 months before your due date.
Create a contact list (email, phone, or text) to keep family and friends informed.
Pack your overnight bag 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)
- Maternity pads
- Camera/video camera or the charger for your smartphone
- Nursing bra and nursing pads
- JOHNSON’S® baby HEAD-TO-TOE® wash, with its NO MORE TEARS® formula, is safe, gentle and proven mild for newborns. Ask your hospital what they will use for your baby’s first bath…or bring some with you if allowed
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 seatcheck.org to find a certified child passenger safety seat inspection location near you.