Skip to Content

Do You Love a To-Do List? We Do. The Expecting Parents Checklist.

Having a baby is exciting and wonderful. Let’s not let worry get in the way of marveling at baby kicks and, ahem, decorating! We’ve enlisted an expert to help our readers get ready for baby one step at a time to help minimize stress. Our friend, baby planner Julie McCaffrey of BabyNav Baby Planners, knows her stuff. She offers personalized consultations for new and expecting parents as well as classes and has a wealth of information on her website. When we asked her to let us know her top steps for preparing for baby, she did us one better—she created a checklist! We’ll let Julie take it from here!

Being pregnant is a very exciting time in your life, but let’s be honest—it can get a little overwhelming at times. In the months ahead, you may start to feel like there a lot of decisions to make and things to do. This expecting parents checklist can work as a guide for things to do as you navigate through your pregnancy journey. By using this consolidated list, it will allow you to plan, prepare and take some of the stress out of one of the most awesome times in your life!

Sleeping Baby

First Trimester (1 – 12 weeks)

Choose a doctor and schedule your first prenatal visit around 7 weeks

Choose a place to give birth (hospital, birthing center, home?)

Start budgeting for baby—it all adds up very quickly and can be overwhelming if you’re not prepared

Consider starting a pregnancy journal, and start taking weekly or monthly pictures of your growing belly

Second Trimester (13 – 26 weeks)

Research and register for classes, such as childbirth education, infant care, infant CPR or breastfeeding—these fill up quickly so make sure you register in advance

Begin looking into life insurance and creating a will (this isn’t the most fun topic, but it is necessary!)

Begin looking into childcare (nanny or daycare?); the best daycare centers have long waitlists, so start now

Begin planning the nursery and decide on nursery furniture—order it as soon as possible (some orders can take up to 12 weeks to receive), and of course, pin lots of nursery design ideas from Project Nursery

Create your baby registry—ensure this is complete before your shower invites go out

Paint the nursery—consider a zero VOC paint or hire someone to paint the room and air it out to get rid of any fumes

Go on a “Babymoon”—this is a perfect time for a relaxing getaway before you’re too far along to travel

Third Trimester (27 – 40 weeks)

Interview pediatricians, and choose the one you are most comfortable with

Create your birth plan (and don’t forget your at-home plan so you and your partner are on the same page when it comes to chores and visitors when you return home with baby)

Tour the hospital or birthing center

Finalize childcare if you’re returning to work after your maternity leave is completed

Complete the purchases from your baby registry so you have everything on hand once baby comes home

Stock, organize and baby proof your nursery and anywhere else in the house that your baby will be spending time (your bedroom, family room, bathroom, etc.)

Get your car seat properly installed—hospitals won’t let you leave with baby unless you have a properly installed infant car seat

Arrange for care for older children or pets for the time you’re in the hospital

If you plan to, hire a baby/night nurse or postpartum doula if it’s within your budget (try to do this at least 8 weeks in advance)

Pack your bag for the hospital by 37 weeks

Stock the house with anything you may need once baby arrives (the last thing you need to worry about when you come home with your new baby is running out of toilet paper or bread)

Give in to your nesting instincts—this is the perfect time to clean, organize and stock your freezer with meals before your focus becomes all about your new baby

Stay tuned because Julie will be sharing more expertise with us soon. In the meantime, please check out her website for more information, including class offerings and her blog.

A Home Checklist For The Expectant Parent ⋆ Horseshoes & Hand Grenades

Friday 18th of September 2020

[…] of all, you need to make sure that you are doing everything to make the home as safe as possible before your baby’s arrival, which means going around and […]


Thursday 28th of January 2016

Julie, This list is spot on. I am personally excited to see you contributing here! xo, M