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24 Aug

The final checklist: preparing for the baby!

I can’t even believe I just typed the words “the final checklist.” It really seems like yesterday that I was patiently awaiting a baby bump. I remember being 9 weeks so vividly, thinking, “I just want a cute little bump!”

and now, fully bump-ed out, I’m saying, “there’s only 4 weeks left!!” I’m officially 36 weeks pregnant (as of yesterday) and starting the final preparations for the baby’s arrival. starting around this time, anything can really happen (well, anything can happen at any point) and I want to be totally prepared.

this is actually not very like me. I’m the girl who packs the morning of her flight and is 15 minutes late EVERYWHERE. maybe nesting truly is a real thing! I don’t know what it is, but all I can think about is getting READY.

I love lists and so I’ve kept one for baby preparations and I figured I’d share it with all of you fellow expectant mamas! I started the list about 2 weeks ago, so 6 weeks out:

the final baby preparations check list

Pack the hospital bag

The hospital bag just needs some scratch mitts for the baby, and our birth plan (see below) and it’ll be 100% packed. I’m doing a post on this next week, so stay tuned! basically, at 36 weeks, the bag is packed!

Take prenatal courses

My last prenatal course was yesterday and it was a breastfeeding class. I have to say, all of these classes have been so, so helpful – helpful from an informational/educational perspective and helpful to calm Lu and I down, because now, we know more what to expect. if people discourage you from taking classes, let me tell you this: don’t listen to them, listen to me! haha, but seriously, these classes have been invaluable. even if I don’t use any of the information I learned (which I highly doubt will happen), at the very least, it has brought me piece of mind. except for the breastfeeding class, I did all of these with Lu! here are the classes we’ve taken:

  • basic prenatal class (3 hours) – this taught us exactly what to expect from the moment your labor starts until the first few days with the baby. it also explained what will happen if you don’t naturally go into labor. it talks about pain management options (medicated and unmedicated) and was a great way to meet other parents and hear their questions and learn from them.
  • yoga for birth class (3 hours) – this class was more about pain management, breathing techniques, and ways you and your partner can manage the pain and the process without medication. I learned that Lu can actually do a LOT to help mitigate the pain, including certain massages and pressure points he can push on. it was in Jersey City and fun to meet local parents-to-be.
  • baby CPR class (1.5 hours) – Lu actually requested we take this class. we hired a guy (if you live in the NY metro area, I can’t recommend him enough – Jason Mundy of @nymetrocpr) to come over and teach us a CPR class for infants & toddlers. another couple joined us and we learned how to intervene and give a baby and toddler CPR properly.

Find a pediatrician

There were really only two pediatricians we were considering, and one of them holds Open Houses once a month, so we decided to go to that open house (last Saturday) and check the office/doctor out. It was great, it was a room of about 20-25 people who asked the doctor questions about her philosophies/practices with child-rearing. we LOVED her and decided we didn’t even need to schedule a visit with the other pediatrician, especially because this one is a 5-7 minute walk away from our apartment.

Clean all the baby clothes, blankets, swaddles, etc

We had been doing this as we received everything, but there was still a little pile that had built up. We are using Babyganics detergent right now and love it – we’ll see how it affects the little one’s skin once he arrives! After we clean everything, we put it where it belongs!

Tour the hospital

Booking tours at a NYC hospital needs to be done MONTHS in advance, it’s crazy. we looked too late and everything was booked up until October, but LUCKILY our amazing doctor took us on a private tour, which was much better anyway – we got to ask her as many questions as we wanted to!

Stock the house with all our toiletries, cleaning supplies, etc

I don’t want to go to finally take a shower and be out of shampoo! SO, I placed a massive order and stocked up on doubles of everything: toilet paper, paper towels, body wash, loofahs, etc. I even made sure my makeup (even though I doubt I’ll be putting much of that on in the beginning) is stocked.

There are also some things that previous mamas have recommended stocking the house with, such as feminine cold-packs. It’s scary to think I’ll need those, but I have them!

Start eating more dates!

I eat a date a day, just because I love dates so much – I usually have one with my raw nut mix that I have everyday. but studies have shown that apparently eating 4-6 dates a day can help ease ands peed up labor? who the heck knows, but anything that tastes delicious and may help labor, I’m going to give a try!

Install the car seat

We’re planning on doing this in 2 weeks (right around 37/38 weeks!) and we’re planning on bringing the car to the local hospital to make sure it’s installed properly. we have an Uppababy stroller and got the matching Mesa car seat.

Prep the freezer

I am going to hopefully have the time to do a full post on this also, but in about 2 weeks, I’m going to start stocking the freezer with some of our favorite meals so Lu can help reheat those dishes for dinner. luckily, my mother is going to be staying with us for the first couple of weeks and she’s an amazing, healthy cook, so I won’t have to do too much (and she’ll stock our freezer hopefully before she leaves, haha!), but there are definitely a few essentials I want to have in there, like my favorite chili, my turkey meat sauce, and a bunch of roasted veggies.

Print out a birth plan

I don’t have a full-fledged birth plan or anything, but there are certain things I want the nurses to know the moment I arrive. for instance, I want them to delay clipping the umbilical cord, I want to immediately have skin time with the baby, I don’t want them to clean the baby off right away, etc etc. I’m going into this experience totally open-minded and just dedicated to coming home with a healthy baby, so whatever that takes, I’m open to it, but I think it’s good to have what you’d IDEALLY like to happen written out, so that if you are out of it or are just too tired to communicate, at least there’s a sheet that has that information on it.

Take a maternity photoshoot with Lu

We’re planning on having that done either this weekend or next! just a quick photoshoot to have some photos of Lu and I with the baby while he’s still in my belly.

Make a delivery room playlist

Lu’s on this! Well, I’m going to micro-manage it, but he’s on it. I want relaxing, calm music of course. I’ll share the playlist from Spotify once it’s made!

Schedule out the blog and tie up loose ends with Inspiralized

This is what I’m currently working on for Inspiralized. I’m in the midst of my third cookbook, so I still have LOTS of editing and work to do, but I’m slowly getting it done and pacing myself to be done with everything 1.5 weeks before my due date. I want to just CHILL for that last week or two. my mom is going to be in town and I can’t wait to just spend time with her, get mani-pedis, and hang out.

Take care of myself

As I just mentioned in the point above, at one point, I just want to CHILL out. I don’t want to be waking up at 6:30am to workout everyday and then having a full 10 hour workday every single day leading up to this little one’s arrival. I want to be REFRESHED AF by the time the baby gets here, so I’ll have some gas in my tank. that’s why I’m hoping to be done with work 1.5 to ideally 2 weeks ahead of time and then I’ll kind of sign off work-wise and just do things that relax me – exercise, cook, spend time with my mom, nap (gosh, I haven’t napped in months!), get massages and manis and pedis, read, and just relax.

Am I missing anything? what are you doing to prepare for the baby?

  • Millie Lampa

    These are all super helpful. Unfortunately I was hospitalized last week at 30 weeks and most likely will be here until our baby comes, shooting for 34 weeks at this point which would be mid September, we could be having our babies around the same time! So all the planning and getting to prep went out the window which can be super stressful as a first time mom! Now I’m making all the phone calls and what not from the hospital bed and relying on others to stock my fridge and freezer 😉 Can’t wait to see that little inspiaralized baby!!!

    Thu August 24 at 3:06 pm Reply
    • Ali Maffucci

      I’m sorry to hear you were hospitalized early, but wish you and your baby a safe and healthy recovery!

      Thu August 24 at 5:06 pm Reply
  • Nicki

    Be prepared for an early arrival! I had planned to have 1.5 weeks of "relaxation" before my due date, but baby came 9 days early! I ate lots of dates during pregnancy and did Body Pump classes until 36 weeks, so I’m not sure if being so active contributed to a quick, early arrival or what. I wish I would have been more ready at 36 weeks, and that’s what I’ll do for sure my next pregnancy. Remember that you can never be 100% ready! There will always be something more you could do, so be OK with letting it go and enjoying your last few moments with Lu and your mother before your son’s arrival.

    Thu August 24 at 4:39 pm Reply
    • Ali Maffucci

      I love this advice, thank you so much for sharing!

      Thu August 24 at 5:05 pm Reply
  • Steph

    You don’t need underwear in your hospital bag…trust me! You want to use the kind provided by the hospital so you don’t ruin your own and take home as many pairs as possible. Before you leave the hospital take everything they have provided you with as they have to throw it out – pads, diapers, wipes, wash bowl, ice packs, the works.

    Someone told me this before I went and I was like ummm sure…but I did it and it was the best idea ever!!

    Thu August 24 at 5:13 pm Reply
    • Ali Maffucci

      What great advice! I was stressing about ruining my underwear, haha! Thank you!

      Thu August 24 at 5:16 pm Reply
  • Brooke


    I just started reading your blog and love your outlook on life, health, and fitness! I am also loving following your pregnancy journey. I just went through this period as well – I had my baby boy, George, in April! My greatest advice I can give you is to remain calm and to allow things to happen as they happen! I had an outlook very similar to yours, I took the classes for the information and if I used the information great, if not well at least I was prepared. I had a birth plan as well, but it wasn’t something that I would get upset about it if it didn’t go exactly as stated — which let me tell you it probably wont 🙂 I ended up getting inducted at 41 weeks — little man liked his current living quarters too much! It is such an unbelievably overwhelming and wonderful experience! I wish you the best and cant wait to hear all about it!

    Thu August 24 at 5:14 pm Reply
  • Frances

    Has Lu thought about cutting the cord? My husband did that with our babies and was glad that he did.

    Thu August 24 at 5:19 pm Reply
  • Tracy

    I think we’re all just as happy as you are for the impending birth.

    Thu August 24 at 5:35 pm Reply
    • Ali Maffucci

      Aw, thank you for such a kind note!

      Thu August 24 at 9:32 pm Reply
  • Kim Peterson

    Get massages and pedicures!!!! They will never feel so amazing!

    Thu August 24 at 5:56 pm Reply
    • Ali Maffucci

      Yes, I will!

      Thu August 24 at 9:33 pm Reply
  • Nicole

    Make sure Lu packs snacks! You never know how long you’ll be laboring or what time of day or night and you don’t want him running out because he’s starving and then it’s go time for you! Also flip flops for the shower and a cozy robe. And I agree with another comment about taking everything with you. I had a baby in February and took it all lol. Good luck and hope you get your down time 🙂

    Thu August 24 at 6:07 pm Reply
    • Ali Maffucci

      Yes, he still needs to pack his bag!

      Thu August 24 at 9:33 pm Reply
  • Diane

    Sleep ????!!!

    Thu August 24 at 7:36 pm Reply
  • Lauren

    The mesh hospital underwear worked well with the pads, but I also had Depends at home, which was easier sometimes when I didn’t feel like trying to position the pads just right.

    Thu August 24 at 10:45 pm Reply
  • Marianna Bolanos

    Hi Ali!
    Even though I’m nowhere near having children anytime soon, your blog post was amazing! I’ll be sharing it with moms to be 🙂 I cannot wait to see the little inspiralized baby. Hope you have a great delivery ❤️

    Thu August 24 at 10:49 pm Reply
  • Hannah

    Yes eat your dates!! They worked really well!! I was putting like 6 a day in my smoothies and Labor went extremely well!!

    Thu August 24 at 11:28 pm Reply
  • Summer

    I’m due on Sunday (!) and am just trying to enjoy these last days with my partner, eat good food, and go on long walks. Btw, I also missed a hospital tour at (NY Presbyterian) because I naively thought 9 weeks in advance was early enough; nice of your doctor to give you a private tour!

    The last thing I bought for my hospital bag was a Bluetooth speaker–several people recommended taking one.

    Hope you enjoy these last few weeks!

    Fri August 25 at 1:42 pm Reply
  • Phoebe

    I always imagined that I would be late with my first but I ended up going into labor a week early (on my first day of maternity leave) so didn’t quite finish up some of the last things on my list (cleaning, getting my nails done, time to just relax and rest)! So I like your idea of having everything done a little extra early. You never know!

    Fri August 25 at 6:18 pm Reply
  • Lindsay

    What a fun and exciting time this is! My biggest piece of advice when it comes to labor and delivery is go into it with an open mind and know what’s important to you both but don’t have a detailed birth plan. Labor can go many different ways (good and bad) and the only thing you know for sure is you’ll have a sweet baby boy in your hands at the end! I became a mom 4 months ago and it is truly the best thing ever!

    Fri August 25 at 7:27 pm Reply
  • Kim Leister
    Mon September 4 at 3:50 am Reply
  • Stella @ Stellicious Life

    I LOVE reading these posts of yours! I’m not expecting but it’s so good to see what is happening and all the preparations that go on behind the scenes before the arrival of a baby! Your advice and tips always made great service to me in the past, so I’m bookmarking your pregnancy posts as well for when I’ll be needing them. In that view I would love to see your birth plan to see what usually goes there and just like you I love reading birth stories, so I’m looking forward to reading yours 🙂

    Thu September 7 at 11:57 am Reply

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