Getting Ready for a New Baby Checklist


  • Plan care for “the big kids”

    • Arrange for a friend or relative to come to your house
    • Or, the kids may go somewhere for a “special” overnight
    • Let your childcare provider or your child’s teacher know if a new person may appear to pick up your child
  • Talk to your child about your plans.

    • Tell a story: “One day, Melody was at school. And who came to meet her at the van? It was Aunt Laura! Not Mom! Mommy went to the hospital so our new baby could come out.”
    • Play “What If” (good for 4-5 years and up): “What if you woke up one morning and Aunt Laura was there?” “What if mommy made funny noises like this – Waaa-oooo!”
  • Get the kid stuff packed – including a “lovey,” special toy, pillow, clothes, pj’s.

    • Many children love to help with packing – and it’s a great opportunity to make some decisions and have some time together. To them it feels like let’s pretend!
  • If the caregiver is coming to your house you can:

    • Make a box with favorite foods – whether it’s Kraft Mac & Cheese or a new jar of organic peanut butter, don’t leave this important detail to chance. Put a couple of frozen juices in the back of the freezer. Put $10 emergency money in an envelope in the box – did anyone ever go into labor with plenty of bread and milk at home??
    • Make a list with important info (“Joey needs his blanket for his nap”), phone numbers, where the breaker box is, who your pediatrician is.
  • Discuss your plans about visits to the hospital.

    • Some children come while mom is in labor – some never visit at all. They are welcome 24 hours a day – but think about what will be best for your older child. An active boy may want to spend a lot of time looking at toilet plumbing. Is that the best use of everybody’s energy?
  • Pack your bag for the hospital.

    • Consider including a new toy or book for the older child – or a gift they can have when you leave the house.
  • Plan how YOU will get to the hospital.

  • Pat yourself on the back for a job well done!

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