Are you expecting a little bundle of joy soon? Well first off, congrats! It is a true blessing, and I couldn’t be happier for you. My husband and I welcomed our beautiful baby girl to the world on January 27th of this year. So excited to officially introduce you, and the blog to Audrey Eden Gutierrez!
Audrey just turned six months, and I’ve been meaning to compile this list below for you because I know how stressful and busy life can be before baby comes (unfortunately it’s even busier after 😉 Audrey is our second child, first daughter, so I definitely have some tips and advice for getting prepared to welcome your baby to the world. I’ve also included my list of “must have” items you’ll need for your baby, and other “nice” items you may want for your baby too.
1. Make sure your nursery space is good to go.
This takes several months of planning and executing. Your life will be so much easier if your nursery space is organized and ready to go. Besides having a practical space for baby and their things, it’s also a fun special experience to create a beautiful space for your baby, memories, photos etc. Start with the gut of it. Paint the room, add a nice rug. Then start ordering the big items (crib, changing table, dresser, rocker/glider). After you move the big items in, then you can start the first wave of the decorating extras, for example, stools, end tables, book shelves, storage bins, sheets. After you have those accent pieces, you can finish up with the final touches (wall décor, stuffed animals, picture frames, wall art, trinkets etc.) For me, this is how I have always done it. I like to have some kind of order to the process, otherwise I might buy too much, or buy mismatching items. I’ll be filming a nursery tour on my YouTube channel soon for me more inspo so stay tuned for that. Also, don’t forget to snap a before/after pic for fun too! Here’s a sneak peak of Audrey’s nursery!
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2. Make sure you have all your insurance/hospital paperwork completed in advance.
This is not the most fun task I’ll admit, but a true necessity. I like to know exactly how much everything will cost for the pregnancy ahead of time so I’m not caught off guard. It’s funny, because the first time we were pregnant, I truly had no idea how much it was to have a baby. So, I called and asked all those questions. I called my insurance for clarification. I pre-registered at the hospital and asked more questions. Don’t be afraid to inquire. You’ll feel better knowing you are prepared financially and paperwork wise. Also, depending on your insurance, don’t be too surprised if you receive a few bills weeks, or even months after your delivery. One more big tip, it doesn’t hurt to follow up after the fact with your insurance or doctors just to make sure you didn’t overpay on anything. You’d be surprised. I didn’t find out until four years later during my second pregnancy that I apparently had overpaid my doctor somehow resulting in a pretty big credit on their end to me. I shared this tip with a friend of mine who’s sister had just had a baby. Her sister then called around to her doctors/insurance only to find out that a claim she had been told she was responsible for somehow fell through or was incorrect, and she received a reimbursement too! So, doesn’t hurt to check 😉
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3. Research a newborn photographer before your delivery.
Baby photoshoots can be pretty expensive in general, but if there was one shoot to splurge on, it’s the newborn shoot (this is the scrunchy shoot as I call it). This photoshoot is best done when your baby is 14 days or less. So, because this shoot is very early on, I recommend doing your research and picking your photographer ahead of time. By doing so, it’ll be one less thing to have to worry about in those busy sleepless days following the birth. By the way, talk to the photographer before you purchase any newborn photo props. Most of the time they have everything already, and they know best what will work on camera or not. Also, if you are reading this and you are past the 14 day mark, all hope is not lost. This is the just the best way to do it. Technically, you can still do a newborn shoot even several months after the birth, but you may not get the results you are looking for just depending on how good your baby does at the shoot. Here’s a few photos from both John and Audrey’s newborn photoshoots. Do they look alike ? 🙂
4. Get your hospital bag ready to go!
This is probably one of the most common tips or advice you will read about, and it is important. I’ll tell you with my first pregnancy, I kind of procrastinated, I only had about half my bag packed, then my son came a five days early, and there we were throwing stuff in last minute. The second time, we were very prepared and had our bag ready extra early! Some basic things to have in your bag for you would be insurance cards, hospital gown, slippers, makeup bag, change of clean clothes for leaving the hospital, morning essentials (face wash, brush toothbrush, deodorant, tooth paste etc). For baby don’t forget a cute coming home outfit, blanket, hat, camera. You’ll want to make sure your car seat is already installed as well.
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5. Deep clean your house.
You’ll want to deep clean for several reasons. The most obvious reason is that you’ll be bringing a newborn in to the house, so you’ll want to make sure to do a thorough cleaning to disinfect. Don’t forget to dust everything. You also won’t have a whole lot of time to deep clean once the baby comes, and more than likely you’ll have visitors stop by to visit your new bundle of joy, so trust me a good deep clean before will help you out.
6. Exterminate your house.
This may be something you have done on a regular basis anyway, but just as a reminder it would be wise to get this done before the baby comes. It will put your mind at ease with a newborn in the house. Plus, you won’t want to have to deal with the chemicals if you forget and wait until baby comes.
7. Make sure you have your work obligations taking care of.
I know, not the most fun thing to think about, but it’s important. So get ahead at work, delegate some tasks, if you work in management make sure your staff is good to go without you for a bit. If someone is covering your tasks while you are on maternity leave then make sure you have all materials ready for them etc.
8. Do a 3D/4D ultrasound.
Technically, I know this is not something you “have” to do to prepare for a baby, but it’s just such a sweet memory & experience that I definitely recommend it. Throughout your pregnancy, you will do several medical ultrasounds, and depending on your doctor and/or luck those days you may get some good keepsake photos. However, we opted to not take that chance and booked a 4D ultrasound. Depending on the boutique you choose, they will offer different packages that vary in the amount of time you have, the number of photos, video etc. The best time to go is between 28 and 32 weeks. Tip: Ask about recording the heartbeat for a little stuffed animal keepsake. Such a sweet gift idea for yourself or someone else.
9. Do a maternity photoshoot.
Again, like the previous recommendation, I know this is not something that “has” to be done to prepare for your baby either, but just think how amazing it will be to show your kids these beautiful photos of you while you were pregnant with them. That’s why I also wanted to mention this point. I was so busy this last pregnancy with work that I almost didn’t even get around to doing ours with Audrey, and I just don’t want that to happen to you. So, find a photographer, pick a location & wardrobe, and capture this special time in your life.
10. Get some sleep!!
Omg this one is important. Unfortunately, you’ll never sleep the same again once baby comes, so just get the extra sleep in while you still can.
I truly hope you found these recommendations helpful. I often get asked by friends/family what they should really add to their registry. The funny thing is, to me there are “must have” items as well as “nice to have items,” So just to help you out, I’ve also compiled this list below with some links to baby items I actually own. I’m sure there’s a lot more that could be added, but I tried to really narrow It down. I’m guilty of buying so much more than needed, but to be honest a lot of stuff out there is just extra fluff. If you have any questions and/or more suggestions to add to this list just leave a comment below. For daily content do follow me on Instagram.
Must get items:
Diaper rash cream
Baby medicine (Nose Frida)
Plenty of basic onesies
NB gloves (so they don’t scratch themselves the first few weeks)
Sleeper sets (zip ups are easier than button ups)
Bassinet and/or crib
Cloth Diapers (I use these in place of burp clothes)
Thick blankets (at least two)
Towels (prefer the hooded ones)
Tub with sling
Baby first aid kit
Baby grooming kit
Baby shampoo/body wash
Baby laundry detergent
Items that are helpful to have.
Car seat mirror
Bumbo floor seat
Mobile for crib
Car seat carrier cover
Thanks for reading along. I’ll see you back next week with a new post! Stay safe 🙂