It’s totally normal to feel overwhelmed with all the things you have to do to prepare for baby. From decorating the nursery to packing your hospital bag to finding a pediatrician, there’s a lot to cover. And with all those pregnancy hormones coursing through your body it's especially easy to freak out. But before you do, know this—there’s only a small group of things that absolutely must be done before baby arrives. Those are the bare necessities: buying the essential gear like a car seat and crib (or bassinet); stocking up on newborn must-haves like clothes, bedding and diapers; getting any feeding gear you'll need; and doing some light babyproofing. Focus on those first. Once you have that stuff done, you totally shouldn’t stress. Take a deep breath and use these tips to tackle the rest of your to-dos:
Make a list
It’s key to have a to-do checklist so you stay organized. You can break it down by category—what you want to get done around the house, what you need to buy, financial matters, etc.—and list them in order of importance. That way, if the things at the very bottom of each section of the list aren’t done by the time baby arrives, you’ll be more relaxed knowing the big stuff is out of the way. If you haven't done it yet, consider using our very helpful, interactive pregnancy checklist.
Save research time by asking friends and family members for recommendations and referrals for things like finding a good pediatrician. Your OB might even have some good baby doctors in mind so you can easily and quickly check that task off your list and be done.
No, you don’t have to do it all—and that's totally okay! Instead, ask for help. Your partner can put together the crib without you and your mom can whip up a few meals you can freeze to have on hand to eat during the newborn period. You’ll only make yourself crazy if you try to handle everything solo, and we can bet your loved ones will be more than happy to help.