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Ages & Stages

Last Minute Activities Before Delivery

As your baby's due date gets closer, consider making a checklist of tasks to take care of before delivery.

This way, you'll have less to worry about once your baby is ready to arrive and more time to focus on welcoming them to the world. Some suggestions:

  • Make a list of people to receive birth announcements. If you’re ordering print announcements, select the style and address the envelopes. Like-wise, gather email addresses or phone numbers.

  • Cook a number of meals and freeze them.

  • Look for child care and/or housekeeping help if you can afford it, and in-terview candidates. You can also take advantage of friends and family members who are available. Even if you don’t think you’ll need extra help, you should have a list of names to call in case the situation changes.

Before your ninth month, make last-minute preparations for delivery. Your checklist should include the following:

  • Name, address, and phone number of the hospital.

  • Name, address, and phone number of the doctor or American Midwifery Certification Board–certified nurse midwife who will deliver your baby, and of the person who covers the practice when your doctor is not available.

  • The quickest and easiest route to the hospital or birthing center.

  • The location of the hospital entrance you should use when labor begins.

  • The phone number of an ambulance service, in case of an emergency.

  • The phone number of the person who will take you to the hospital (if that individual does not live with you).

  • A bag packed with essentials for labor and for the rest of your hospital stay, including toiletries, clothing, addresses and phone numbers of friends and relatives, reading material, and a receiving blanket and clothes for the baby to wear home.

  • A car safety seat for the vehicle so you can take your baby home safely. Make sure the seat is approved for use by a baby at typical newborn weights, or for babies less than 5 pounds if you are having multiples or anticipate an early birth. The lower and upper weight limits can be found on the label and in the manual. Read and follow the manufacturer's instructions carefully. Install it in the backseat, facing the rear, and ideally in the middle of the backseat. (Never place a rear-facing car safety seat in front of an air bag.) All infants and toddlers should ride in a rear- facing car safety seat as long as possible, or until they reach the highest weight or height allowed by their car safety seat’s manufacturer.

  • Don’t forget to have your car safety seat checked by a trained professional. Proper use and installation is key to protecting your little one during a crash. Also, remember that the car seat must be installed properly for every use.

  • If you plan to breastfeed, find out if you can order an electric breast pump in advance. Some insurance companies will allow this, and the Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) supplemental nutrition program will usually supply a pump after your baby is born.

  • If you have other children, arrange for their care during the time you will be at the hospital.

More information

Last Updated
Adapted from Caring for Your Baby and Young Child: Birth to Age 5 7th Edition (Copyright © 2019 American Academy of Pediatrics)
The information contained on this Web site should not be used as a substitute for the medical care and advice of your pediatrician. There may be variations in treatment that your pediatrician may recommend based on individual facts and circumstances.
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