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The Ultimate Checklist for First-Time Moms: Preparing for Your Newborn's Arrival

The Ultimate Checklist for First-Time Moms: Preparing for Your Newborn's Arrival

Preparing for the arrival of a newborn can be an exciting yet overwhelming experience for first-time moms. As you embark on this beautiful journey, it's essential to plan and organize to ensure a smooth transition for both you and your baby. 

The first time I prepared for a newborn, I was pregnant with my first son, Artie. To be honest, I didn’t plan ahead of time. I did a lot of last-minute shopping a month before my delivery date, and I honestly didn’t know what to do or expect. I was all over the place with my checklist. But now as I’m preparing for my second baby, I’ve decided to start preparing a few months earlier. 

Although I’m barely two months in preparing for my newborn, I wanted to come up with a guide for other moms like me because there’s a lot to do before the delivery date. My guide for preparing for newborns for first-time moms includes things I did before, and things I learned from online research and the people around me. 

Now, let’s get into the guide!

When to prepare for a newborn

The ideal time to start preparing for your newborn is during the second trimester third trimesters of your pregnancy, or 4-6 months before your delivery date. In the second trimester, you’re more likely to feel better from having less symptoms of your early pregnancy (e.g. morning sickness). But in the third trimester, moms experience nesting, which urges them to stay home more to get the house ready for their little one.

I decided I wanted to prepare for my newborn around 6 months before my delivery date because I wanted everything ready by then. By having a longer period to prepare, I can relax more and do more informed research on the things I needed to do or get ready for my baby. Plus, I can figure out what I needed to buy for my baby. 


How to prepare for a newborn

1. Create a birth plan

One of the most important parts of preparing for a newborn is creating a detailed birthing plan. It’s a document that highlights your preferences for labor and delivery, like the location (the hospital or a birthing centre), delivery options (natural or C-section), delivery room preferences, a backup plan if the unexpected happens, pain management, and more. 

While creating a birth plan, discuss your preferences with a healthcare provider. Usually, the hospital will try to follow it as best as they can, so it’s important to keep your plan simple and easy to read. Secondly, include important information like your name, medical history, and your delivery date. Don’t come up with a birthing plan that’s too long and complicated to read, especially if they’re on a time crunch. 


@celestedrummond Icon birth planner, I found this super simple and easy to make this is a great option for expecting mums 🙌🏼 - free to create and download 🩷🩷 #birthplanner #birthplan #mybirthplan #pregnancyjourney #expectingmum #mumsoftiktokaustralia #pregnant ♬ Dream Away - Ramol


2. Set up the baby registry

Besides a birth plan, the baby registry is another huge part of preparing for your newborn. The baby registry is basically a wishlist of all the baby essentials you’d love to receive as a gift from family and friends during your baby shower (more on this later). 

When do I create a baby registry?

You create your baby registry between 12-20 weeks. This gives you enough time to research, plan, and choose which baby items you want for your baby shower. However, I recommend creating a baby registry earlier to give your baby shower guests more time to go shopping to pick the perfect gift for you. 

Where do I create a baby registry?

There are a few sites to craft your perfect baby wishlist, but I created my baby registry on Amazon because it was easier for me to edit and share with my baby shower guests. Other popular baby registry sites include Babylist, Target, and MyRegistry

What do I add to my baby registry? 

There are many things you can add to your baby registry list. Here are some of the things I received when I had my baby shower:

  • Baby sleeping bags
  • Baby booties
  • Baby diapers
  • Crib bedding 
  • A nursery sound machine
  • Baby bottles
  • Diaper bag organizers
  • Baby car seat
  • Baby bibs 
  • Baby toys

Download a comprehensive baby registry checklist on our community here!

How do I create a baby registry?

Before creating your baby registry list, there are a few things you need to consider: The size of your home, and figuring out what you need instead of what you want. 

  • The size of your home: Is your home too big or too small for certain baby items?
  • Lifestyle: Where do you live? How do you want to raise your baby?
  • Your needs vs wants: The items do you really want vs the items you need. 

Although creating a baby registry may sound like a daunting task to approach, what I did was categorize the items I needed. For example, nursing essentials, baby clothes, baby gear, and more. After that, I added 2-3 staples per category and worked my way up from there. 

On that note… 

While it may sound tempting to add more items, don’t add too many items to your baby registry. It can be overwhelming for your registry viewers. Focus on the items you’ll need once your baby arrives, and if you still have items you want, just save them under a private wishlist for later. 



@anastasiia.ji Fan is my favorite😄 #babyregistry #babyregistrymusthaves #momtok #firsttimemom #ftm #stayathomemom #momlife #newmom #momtok ♬ Love You So - The King Khan & BBQ Show

3. Go shopping for your essentials

Can I buy the items on my baby registry on my own? To be honest, I’ve seen a few blogs talk about this. For me, I think it’s totally okay to buy the necessities for your newborn. In a way, I treat my baby registry as a mini shopping list, and if I got some of the items before my baby shower, I removed them from my wishlist or marked them as “purchased”. 

Some of the newborn essentials that I bought for my baby include:

  • Quintessential baby gear: Baby stroller, baby bouncer, and the baby car seat
  • A good diaper backpack
  • Bottle sterilizer
  • Nursing essentials: Breast pumps, nursing bras, nipple pads, and more 
  • A few sets of bibs and clothes for my baby (I received a few more sets at my baby shower!)
  • Baby bedding sets
  • More household essentials: Tissues and toilet paper, medication, cleaning supplies, and food ingredients that were running low



@positravelty Final prep before baby arrives! #asmrsounds #organizewithme #babyitems #momtobe ♬ original sound - Kelly & Kody


When I was coming up with my newborn essentials list for the first time, I wanted Artie to have the best. During my shopping, I was pretty particular about the baby gear and nursing essentials that I wanted to buy. I didn’t want my registry gifters to spend a lot of money for my baby shower, so I let them buy me the bedding sets and baby clothes. 

One of the baby essentials I wanted the most was a diaper backpack. I was the type of person who liked stuffing her bag with a lot of things before going out, and I thought a lot of traditional diaper bags didn’t have enough storage space. On the other hand, I loved diaper backpacks because they were convenient, versatile, and so spacious. 

If you’re looking for a diaper backpack or are interested in getting one, read on to find out how to choose one and where to get them yourself!

How to choose a diaper backpack

I wanted a high-quality diaper backpack that both my husband and I could use, so we did some research. Here were some of the factors we took into consideration:

  • Storage: How big is the diaper backpack, and how much it can store? How many compartments or pockets are there?
  • Comfort: Does the diaper backpack have padded straps for ease of carrying? Is it comfortable to carry on your shoulders for long periods?
  • Durability: Is the diaper backpack made with high-quality materials and features? How long it can it last?
  • Style: Does it suit my personal taste and lifestyle?
  • Reviews: What do other parents think about the backpacks from a certain brand?
  • Price: While we did consider budget, me and my husband decided didn’t mind investing in an pricier diaper backpack as long as the quality matched the price. 

These were the things I took note of when I went shopping for a diaper backpack. I was serious about choosing the right one, so I went to a couple of baby stores to check out the options. If I saw one or two bags I liked, I took pictures of the bags and researched them online. 

After a lot of research, we decided on BabbleRoo’s Diaper Backpacks. We love how stylish and convenient their bags are, and when mine arrived, I thought I made the right choice. I still use my BabbleRoo bag for almost every occasion, like work, errands, traveling, and even grocery shopping. It’s literally one of the brands I always never fail to recommend to parents like me!

Where to buy a diaper backpack

You can get a diaper backpack from baby stores, department stores, or online retailers. I got my BabbleRoo bag from Amazon. 


@mackenzie.tipton Thank you @babblerooofficial for this awesome diaper bag! 🤩 #baby #babytok #babylove #babygirl #momma #momtok #sahm #sahmsoftiktok #9monthsold #9months #sahmlife #love #babyoutfit #babyoutfits #ootd #babyootd #babyhaul #diaperbag #babbleroo #babbleroodiaperbag ♬ original sound - Mackenzie Tipton


4. Set up the nursery

This is probably my favorite part of preparing for a newborn. When I was pregnant with Artie, planning the nursery wasn’t too difficult for me, because I knew how I wanted it to look like. You can go on Pinterest and find nursery ideas like I did, and once that was done, I went shopping for for the nursery items:

  • The baby crib
  • Crib bedding
  • Crib mattress
  • Nursery wallpaper
  • Changing table
  • Storage baskets
  • Nursery rocking chair 
  • Nursery dresser
  • Nursery decor

Shopping aside, there are some things to do to set up a safe and calming nursery. Here are some of my tips for first-time moms:

  1. Keep the nursery layout simple: Stick to lighter colors and shades that promote a more serene environment and don’t add too many decorations.
  2. Secure the furniture in place: Make sure the crib, cabinet or wardrobe, and changing table are secured in place. 
  3. Take out unnecessary items in the crib: Don’t add toys to the crib or install any hanging mobiles above the crib. These will overstimulate your baby when they need to sleep. 
  4. Stick to fitted crib sheets: Loose bedsheets can post a suffocation and SIDS risk to infants. Stick to fitted crib sheets that fit your baby’s crib. 
  5. Get blackout curtains for the nursery: Blackout curtains ensure that there’s no light entering the nursery while your baby sleeps or naps.  


5. Get your home ready for your baby

Before your newborn arrives, it’s important to prepare your home for your baby. Let me break it down into two parts: baby-proofing and stocking up on essentials. 

How do I baby-proof my home?

Infant safety is important and your home must be baby-proofed beforehand. Here are some baby safety tips for your newborn:

  1. Cover electrical outlets
  2. Add padding to sharp or rounded corners 
  3. Secure furniture to the walls and floors
  4. Store sharp objects, tools, medication, and batteries away
  5. Remove small and loose objects from every room
  6. Install baby safety gates and locks 
  7. Install smoke detectors
  8. Unplug appliances and stash the cords
  9. Keep firematches out of sight
  10. Prepare a family first aid kit

6. Attend parenting classes

Before your newborn arrives, attend parenting classes. These classes can provide a lot of valuable information on childbirth, breastfeeding and newborn. While there are physical classes you can attend for a more hands-on experience, some moms may prefer attending online classes

I attended physical parenting classes because I liked interacting with other parents and talking to the instructor personally. On the other hand, my best friend Emma took an online parenting class because she was primarily working from home when she was pregnant with her twins. She preferred online parenting classes because of the convenience at learning at her own pace. She also said that the courses were just as accessible and interactive. 

Overall, I highly recommend parenting classes because it helped prepare me a little more and I was more sure of myself during my labor and while I took care of my newborn postpartum. 

7. Host a baby shower 

Now, this is where the fun begins! While you’re pregnant, you need to host a baby shower. The best time to do this is four to six weeks before your due date, but if you want, you can do it a little earlier. For my first baby shower, I hosted it six weeks before Artie’s due date and invited my closest friends and family to the party at my home. I followed a light blue theme because it was my favorite color, and we spent the whole day baking and decorating cupcakes together. 

Download our baby shower party checklist from our community here!

8. Take care of yourself

During my pregnancy, I made sure to take care of myself physically and mentally. I created a wellness routine where I stretched and did light pregnancy exercises every morning, and I made sure to take my prenatal vitamins everyday. While I did have the occasional cheat meal, I primarily did a lot of meal prep to make sure my food were nourishing me and my baby. I also did weekly self-care and dressed up once in a while because I wanted to look and feel good. 


@prenatalnutritionist Self-care = something that brings you joy ❤️ what do you choose?? #selfcaresunday #pregnancyjourney #healthypregnancy #pregnancyfoods #pregnancymeals #prenatalnutrition ♬ its called self care - LOLO🪩🫶🏼


9. Prepare your family for your newborn

Besides preparing your home, your body, and yourself, you also need to prepare your kids for the arrival of a newborn. 

How I prepared my son for their sibling

When I first told Artie that he was gonna have a sibling in my first week of pregnancy, he didn’t take it well. He was confused and upset and didn’t want to talk to me for a week. But eventually, when he first saw my bump, he was curious and wanted to know more about his little sibling. 

For the first-time moms out there, these were some of the things I did to prepare my first child for their sibling:

  1. Be patient: Artie had days where he was upset and moody. During those days, he was pretty vocal about how he didn’t want to be a big brother. Though his words hurt, I remained patient with him because I knew that it would change. Me and my husband took out pics of when Artie was a baby to show to our son, and we also watched movies, TV shows, and clips of siblings interacting with one another. 
  2. Spend more time with them: Throughout your pregnancy, spend more time with them. For example, read a book together each night before bed, or take them out on more mom-and-son dates. Putting the focus on them helps feed your child’s ego and make them feel less jealous of a future sibling taking up the attention. 
  3. Get them involved: Another way to prepare your child for their sibling is to get them involved. I took Artie out on errands when I was shopping for things for the baby and I let him check out the baby clothes aisle at Target. While I was setting up the nursery, I asked Artie’s help with the color schemes and let him paint the wall with his dad. 


@pedsdoctalk Preparing your older child for your growing family takes patience, practice, and the ability to manage expectations. After all, everyone has a right to their feelings, even toddlers. When we first told Ryaan about "baby" he was taking it okay, then one day my husband mentioned updating our family photo on a wall in his room and he lost it: "NO BABY! Only mommy, daddy, Ryaan!" That's when we knew we had to keep practicing. Role-playing with Ryaan, showing excitement about the baby, and a few other techniques that I share on my YouTube video. When it comes to role-playing, it's important to avoid pressuring your child and instead aim to make it fun and stop if it feels forced. Keep the prep natural to your daily routine. In my latest YouTube (PedsDocTalk TV) video, I go over prepping your toddler, including how to tell them and ways they can help you once the baby arrives. Check it out to hear all the tips and don't forget to subscribe to stay up to date! 💖 #expectingmom #expectingmoms #toddlers #newsiblingsoon #newsiblingtips #newsiblingregression #newsiblingsoon ♬ original sound - Dr. Mona



10. Pack your hospital bag

In your 36th and 37th week of pregnancy, it’s time to pack your hospital bag essentials. You must have your bag ready before your delivery date, just in case you go into labor earlier than expected, or if you need to head to the hospital ahead. When I had Artie, I packed most of my personal items into my diaper backpack which was a huge lifesaver. 

Your hospital bag should include essentials for you and your baby, like comfortable clothes, toiletries, baby gear, and important documents. 

I’ll share a brief list down below because I’ll cover this fully in the next blog (stay tuned!).  

For me:

  • 2-3 comfortable sets of clothes
  • Toiletries: Toothpaste, toothbrush, bathroom slippers
  • Bathrobe
  • Adult diapers
  • Charging cords 
  • Nipple cream
  • Comfortable pillows
  • A bottle of water

For my baby:

  • Car seat
  • Baby bottles 
  • Baby clothes and blankets



@glenxda What was something you took to the hospital that you were happy you did? I’d rather be prepared😅 #hospitalbag #hospitalbagessentials #baby #foryoupage #fyp #foryou #pregnant #thirdtrimester #pregnanttiktok #hospitalbagmusthaves #ftm ♬ Miss You - Oliver Tree & Robin Schulz


Download our hospital bag checklist from our community here!


Preparing for a newborn requires careful planning and organization. By following this guide and packing the essentials in your diaper bag, you'll be well-equipped to welcome your little one into the world with confidence and ease.

If you’re a mom looking to shop high-quality baby gear for her newborn, check out our collection at today. We want to prioritize your comfort and safety as you strategically prepare for your newborn’s arrival. 

For more helpful guides on  baby sleep and toddler nutrition, join our bustling community of parents today!