The Ultimate Pregnancy To-do List + FREE Printable!
Finding our that you are pregnant can be an exciting and overwhelming time! All of a sudden there is a whole new wave of responsibility taking over. You are growing another tiny human in your body and while all that happens you have a short 9 months to prepare to be a parent. It can be hard to know where to even begin!
Now that I am pregnant for the second time I realize that it is a lot less overwhelming than the first time around. At least this time I know what to expect and what really needs to be done before the baby is here…and what can wait. I made this post and checklist so that I could help other pregnant mamas out there feel a little less overwhelmed and more in control during pregnancy!
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Week 5-6: Learn what foods & medicine to avoid
I have never thought more about what goes into my body than when I am pregnant. The responsibility of growing another tiny human is a big one! It can make you think twice about everything you eat and drink. Now most people know about the most common things to avoid like alcohol, lots of caffeine, and raw foods like sushi but I didn’t know the full list of things to avoid until I was pregnant for the first time. Foods like deli meat, certain cheeses, certain fish and more should also be avoided. See the link below for a complete list from the American Pregnancy Association.
As for medications, you should always check with your doctor and be cautious, even with over the counter medicine. You should start taking a prenatal vitamin with folic acid if your aren’t already but anything else you should have cleared with your doctor.
These are the prenatal vitamins that I have taken through the majority of both of my pregnancies. I am not a huge fan of many supplements but I know that taking a prenatal has lots of scientific research to back it up. The Nature Made brand is big and well known so I find that to be more trustworthy than a brand I have never heard of. I chose the prenatal with added DHA (an omega-3 fatty acid) because these also have good research to back up the benefits for both your and baby’s heart and brain.
Most doctors will also give you a list of safe medications that can help you deal with some common discomforts during pregnancy such as heartburn, constipation, or pain. The American Pregnancy Association has a more complete statement regarding medications during pregnancy to keep you informed as well.
Week 6: Download a pregnancy app to keep you informed
Having a pregnancy app on your phone is so fun and informative! I always love getting the updates each week telling me what size my baby is and what is developing. They also give helpful hints on how you may feel and ways to stay comfortable or prepare for baby.
I have used two different apps, one with each pregnancy. For my first I used the BabyCenter App and for the second I am using the Ovia app. I really like both of them and they both come highly rated by other users as well so take a look and see what you think!
Week 8-10: First OB-GYN appointment and ultrasound
This is typically when you will have your first OB-GYN ultrasound appointment. This is such an exciting time since you actually get to see your baby and hear baby’s heartbeat for the first time! Those pictures that you get will be treasured forever so it’s great to have a nice frame for them.
Also we used our baby’s ultrasound photo to announce our pregnancy to our parents with this frame, “Only the best parents get promoted to grandparents”. The absolutely loved it!
Week 10: Begin thinking about names and nursery ideas
So now that you have had some time to let things sink in you can start to think about plans for the baby. Important things like what the baby’s name will be can be a very hard decision, or you may have something picked out already.
We took family names into account (for middle names mostly) and we also used the social security list of names to see what is currently popular. We wanted our child to have a name that was a little unique so not in the top 10 or 20.
It’s also a good time to think about what you may want the baby’s room to look like. Another thing to think of is if you want to find out the baby’s gender. This will probably impact your nursery ideas too! Want to set up the perfect nursery? Check out my Complete Baby Nursery Guide to make sure you don’t miss anything!
Week 10-13: Survive morning sickness
Everyone has a different experience with “morning sickness” or really more like “anytime sickness” while they are pregnant. Thankfully I never had any really bad symptoms but during both of my pregnancies this 10-13 week time frame was always the worst. I mostly felt extremely tired and a bit nauseous most of the day but a little worse in the mornings. I never had much of an appetite during this time. Some of my typically favorite foods were complete turn offs, like milk, dairy, any vegetables, grilled chicken. So I found comfort in ginger ale, water, and peanut butter and jelly mostly.
Week 13: Make pregnancy public (if you want)
Many people wait until they are in the second trimester to publicly announce their pregnancy (make it Facebook official). This is because there is a higher risk of miscarriage in the first trimester and it can be hard to share a pregnancy and then a miscarriage with everyone. This is completely up to you and what you feel comfortable with. For us, we announced to our immediate family quickly and then waited until about 12-13 weeks to post the news to Facebook for the rest of our friends and family.
Week 14: Start shopping for maternity clothes
Everyone may need maternity clothes at a different stage in their pregnancy but this is when I started to feel like regular pants were a bit too tight for comfort. I started by using the bellyband which is amazing! This allows to you still wear your regular pants for a while but holds them up without the button and zipper. It’s a great transition from regular clothes to maternity since you may not fill up maternity pants enough right away either.
I was lucky enough to have a friend donate a lot of her maternity clothes to me. This was a lifesaver since they can be pretty pricey and they only get worn for a few months really. I hated to think about buying a bunch of clothes that I would only wear for a short time frame like that.
While shopping I also tried to buy regular clothes that would also fit my pregnant belly. It was a great time for tunic style shirts to become popular! There were lots of long shirts in the store that would stretch over my belly and I would still be able to wear again too! I was my biggest in spring and early summer so I wore a lot of regular maxi dresses and maxi skirts that stretch well. I was able to wear these before, during, and after pregnancy.
I have found that Target has a lot of good maternity clothes at decent prices so be sure to check them out! They even have a lot of comfortable regular clothes that work well through most of pregnancy too.
Week 18-20: Anatomy ultrasound…girl or boy?
Are you going to find out if you are having a girl or boy? Are you going to leave it a surprise? We found out with both of our pregnancies and I am happy we did! I also know a lot of people who left it a surprise and loved it. Either way you get to see your beautiful baby on ultrasound again and there is a lot more detail this time! They will check all the baby’s anatomy from their head to their toes and every bit of it is exciting!
Week 22: Make your baby registry
Now that you know if you are having a boy or girl, or keeping it a surprise, it is a great time to make your baby registry. This can be very fun and a bit overwhelming at the same time, but mostly fun! You can make most registries online but I highly recommend doing at least one in the store itself. I just thought it was so fun to go around the baby section scanning all the items you want! It is also nice to be able to see things in person.
Another thing to keep in mind is the benefits you have for just making a registry at a store. Target has a great welcome package for moms building their registry and also give you a 15% discount on anything not purchased that you buy. Amazon Baby Registry also has a welcome package and 20% completion discount on items that are left for you to buy. Check out my post about all the money saving benefits of the most popular registries here so you don’t miss out!
I also made a Babylist registry since it lets you add anything from anywhere on the internet. This was nice because I could add cute unique finds from Etsy and other places online and also link to Amazon and Target too so everything was in one place.
Week 25: Treat yourself to a massage and pedicure
By this time you may be starting to feel a bit uncomfortable at times. Baby is getting bigger and pressing on all sorts of things that can cause aches and pains. It is also getting a little bit harder to bend all the way over to reach your toes for long periods of time.
This means it’s a great time to treat yourself to a pedicure and/or a massage! Both can be a fantastic way to get some me time and make you feel so much better. Just make sure that you go someplace that works with pregnant women to make sure they have pregnancy safe options!
Week 27: Complete any renovations and order nursery furniture
OK, so now you are getting close to the third trimester and closer to that due date! Now would be the time to make sure you are finished with any major renovations that you were planning. I don’t know about you but I had a major nesting problem for our first baby! I had all our bedrooms re-carpeted and 4 rooms and a hallway in our house painted! All I kept thinking was “if it doesn’t happen now it never will”. I was on a mission to get as much done as possible!
Of course when you have to hire people to do work it never happens when it is supposed to. The painters had to come back and fix our plantation shutters after they were done and then the carpet turned into a much longer process than promised! And of course all this had to happen before we could put any furniture in the nursery. This meant everything was delayed!
On that note, make sure that you know what furniture you are getting for the baby at this point too. Many places may not have exactly what you want in stock and if you have to order it will typically take 6-8 weeks for delivery! My nursery guide has some great recommendations on nursery furniture.
Week 27-28: Great time for a babymoon getaway
This is a great time to have a babymoon scheduled! For those of you that don’t know a babymoon is a “final getaway” for just you and your partner before the baby arrives so you can rest and relax. It is so nice to be able to get out of the house where you are so busy preparing everything and just chill and reconnect with you partner for a little bit. Even if it is just for a day or two it is totally worth it! Eat some great food, get a massage/pedicure, chill by a pool (which is great to help ease aches and pains too!) and just get some much needed rest.
Week 30: Perfect time for a baby shower
This is a great time to have a baby shower if plans allow for it. Your registry should have been completed in enough time for people to be able to order from it and it still leaves plenty of time afterwards for you to pick up what you didn’t get. You will have a lot of new things to organize and wash and arrange from the shower so having it early enough for you to still enjoy this part is important too!
Week 31: Discuss birth plan and visiting preferences
So it’s important to have discussed some details about what will happen during your delivery even if you don’t have a specific detailed birth plan. For example, I did not even know what cord blood banking was until I started getting emails about it from my baby app! My husband and I literally just started the conversation about this the night before my water broke at 36.5 weeks! So needless to say we were not prepared to make any decision.
You also want to make sure that you discuss with your partner and family who YOU want in the room with you at delivery time. I feel that this truly is YOUR time to decide what would help you the best. Our family lives pretty far away so this was not really an issue for us but if it came down to it I absolutely would have put my foot down and said husband ONLY!
Talking about family, you will also want to plan when to have visitors after baby is born. We did not get as lucky with this one. Since our families are both from out of town they would need to come and stay for a while to visit. My “wishful thinking” plan was to space it out and have my parents first and then my in-laws. Well, my in-laws insisted that they were going to be there as soon as they could no matter what. So that means that my parents would be staying at our house and they would be staying in a nearby hotel for a while and we would be hosting 4 people from the second we got home from the hospital.
So after this experience I have been talking to my husband more about our post baby plan for baby 2 (coming in May 2018). The biggest thing I do NOT want to do is have any big family meals at our house. My mom is extremely helpful but even so it is hard to not feel that you have to contribute and help clean and help plan or at least direct people. I was hurting, A LOT, at this point just days after baby was born and had obviously not had much sleep so this was not at all enjoyable for me. This time I will be prepared to let everyone know what I would prefer.
So whatever your plan is just make sure everyone knows it, not that you will get exactly what you want, but you can at least try!
Week 34: Begin storing away freezer meals
Having frozen meals to quickly throw in the oven are such a lifesaver during the first month or so! Since our baby was early I had not actually prepared anything yet! Thankfully during the week my mom was in town she made and froze a bunch of meals for us that lasted us through most of the first month.
Now with #2 on the way I am trying to prepare ahead of time, but I also now have a toddler so having a full day to just make and freeze meals won’t realistically happen. I have seen a number of tips I plan on using to stock my freezer well.
One plan is making double batches of meals and just freeze half each time so you build up a stash without a lot of extra work. I also saw someone post in a local moms Facebook group I am in about local healthy food stores that have great bulk frozen meal options that I had no idea about! I totally plan on buying some of these locally to easily stock up on some yummy meals.
This is also good to know I could just send hubby out as needed to pick up a few more if we need to in those hard early months. I don’t have a large extra freezer so we are limited to our regular fridge/freezer.
Week 35: Better to avoid long distance travel and install car seat
This is generally around the time that you want to start thinking about staying close to home, just in case. You probably want to avoid flying anywhere or any long car rides. Some doctors recommendations may vary for this and it could also be different based on your situation as well. So be sure to check with you doctor if you have any late pregnancy travel plans.
Since you won’t be taking anymore long trips its also a great time to get your car seat installed. I would recommend following the instructions and installing it yourself so you know how. After it is in you can go to a local fire department and have them check your installation and make any changes needed. Our local fire department was so nice and helpful to work with and really made me feel safe about our car seat!
Week 36: Have nursery/bassinet set up and pack hospital bag
I plan to have everything ready to go by week 36 for this baby since my first came at 36.5 weeks and I was nowhere near prepared! I had no hospital bag packed, but thankfully we had just set up the pack ‘n play next to our bed a few days before baby came. Now most babies don’t come this early but I would rather be prepared than scrambling like I was last time. I’m sure the more prepared I am the longer I will be waiting uncomfortably for baby 2 to arrive!
Week 37: Wash baby clothes and organize until baby arrives
Now you can finish up washing all the baby clothes and doing some small organization things while you wait for baby to come. But seriously everything else should be done by now! At 37 weeks you are considered full term so baby could come at any time! Try to get some last minute rest and relaxation before baby comes. Life is about to become wonderfully crazy!
I hope this list has been helpful and can help you feel more prepared along your pregnancy journey! Let me know if there is anything you would add to the list and don’t forget to get your copy of the Ultimate Pregnancy Checklist printable by using the link below!