You’re pregnant? Congratulations! You probably already passed the whole joy-shock-tell-your-husband phase and are poking around online to figure out what you need for the next nine months. No need to Google like it’s your part-time job. I created a pregnancy to-do list for the first stage of #momlife with tips to make your tasks easier:
(NOTE: I’m not making any moola by sharing these with you. I just want you to know about cool stuff.)
#1: Get a Week-by-Week App
There’s so much to know during pregnancy – your body changes a lot! But you don’t need to crack open college-sized books to get all the deets. Just download the BabyCenter Pregnancy Tracker & Baby App and enter your due date. The smarty pants app provides weekly updates about your stage of pregnancy, including your baby’s development and any issues you need to watch out for.
You can also chat with other moms-to-be in the forums, keep track of your baby’s kicks (something your doctor will ask about in the second half of pregnancy) and time your contractions. Later, the app seamlessly transitions over to giving you parenting advice for your child’s first year. The free app is available for iOS and Android.
#2: Buy Maternity Clothes
Good news, bad news: You need an entirely new wardrobe. A set of essentials in stretchy black fabric is a good investment (think: tank, leggings, dress, skirt). Choose from a few different options with Seraphine bump kits (under $150 for four items) or check out the Motherhood Maternity starter pack ($50 for four items). You’ll also need a pair of pregnancy jeans and Gap Maternity has every kind of cut – you’re bound to find something you like.
Then, sign up to borrow clothes from a maternity subscription site. You pay a flat fee every month and get several pieces of clothing that you can use as long as you like, or send items back to get new ones whenever you want. At Le Tote, a stylist will even suggest clothes for you based on a style questionnaire – you can choose those items or pick others (from $89/month for five pieces of clothing).
NOTE: For your first pregnancy, you’ll probably only need starter items and jeans in the beginning. You’ll start to use more maternity clothes around your fifth month. And, you’ll still need maternity wear for a few months after delivery (because that bump doesn’t entirely go away after you give birth).
#3: Create a Baby Registry
Sure, you need baby gear like a crib, stroller and high chair, but you know what’s also nice? Being able to register for services like meal delivery, housecleaning and dog walking. The Babylist Baby Registry lets you add anything and everything onto one sharable list. Choose from big box stores – Amazon and Target – to indie shops and Etsy. The registry will automatically compare prices for items across various online stores so your friends and family can see where the best deal is.
Babylist also surveys parents to see what baby gear they liked best and creates product guides (many of which I wrote for them) to help you figure out what to add to your registry. You can create your registry online or use their free app for iOS and Android.
#4: Record Your Journey
Having a record of what pregnancy was like is not only fun to look back on, but also cool for your child to see when all grown up. Stash the Expecting You Journal in your purse and fill it out every time you’re in the OB waiting room.
Want something even easier? Check out Chatbooks app for iOS and Android. It connects with your phone’s camera and your social media accounts to create instant photo albums. You delete the photos you don’t like, decide whether you want captions (it can use whatever you said about the pic on social media) and choose an image for your cover. Use it to create a book that captures your growing bump, babymoon vacation, baby shower and your baby’s first few days. Prices start at $10 for a 30-page, 6×6-inch, soft-cover book.
#5: Choose Your Baby’s Name
Deciding what to name your baby is incredibly fun and difficult, especially when it’s hard for you and your partner to agree on what you like best. Enter: Babyname app. Instead of hashing out the pros and cons of names you love and he hates, just download this free app for iOS and Android. It lets you hook up your accounts and sift through the same names. Just like the dating app Tinder, you swipe right if you like the name and left if it’s a no-go. Each name shows its meaning and origin. And, when you both like a name, it’s saved to a shared list.
So listen, I don’t want to lie: You’re going to need a lot more info moving forward. These resources are fantastic and will help you check off a lot of big to-do items. But you’re also about to introduce a brand-new human being to the world (no pressure).
Learning how to parent and deal with those newborn days is huge. Read up on 9 Secrets to Make Life With a Newborn Easier – I promise, you won’t regret it! Also, it’s muy muy important that you have realistic expectations about new motherhood. Puh-leeze, for your own wellbeing, learn why You Won’t Feel Like a Mom Right Away (and 8 Other New-Parent Truths). Because the more you know, the more you can feel good about you and what you’re doing for your family (spoiler alert: it’s a lot).
P.S. Want to make life with a newborn easier? What about labor and delivery? Girl, I got your back! Grab my free (and printable) Due Date Checklist to find out what you need to do during the third trimester to be fully prepared.