Dad's To-Do List: Getting Ready for Baby

Your partner may be getting most of the attention right now, but when your new baby arrives, both of you will have your hands full. Use these lists to make sure you’re prepared.

Also, ask your doctor -- or your partner's doctor -- what else you can do to support a healthy pregnancy. For example, if you're a smoker, do everything in your power to quit. Chemicals in secondhand smoke can hurt your baby, before and after birth.

The Birth

Thinking about your baby's delivery can be a bit intimidating. But there's a lot you can do to help it go more smoothly.

  • Learn the basics at a childbirth class.
  • Talk to your partner about pain management during delivery.
  • Learn massage to help your partner through delivery.
  • Take a tour of the facility where birth is planned.
  • Map the best route to the facility.
  • Preprogram important numbers into your phone.
  • If you have other children, arrange for childcare during the birth.
  • Make a list of family and friends to notify when baby is born.

Home and Car

Your partner may be lower on energy these days. You can be a big help by getting the house and car ready for baby.

  • Set up the nursery.
  • Baby proof the house.
  • Cook some meals and stock up the freezer.
  • Install the car seat for baby.
  • Look into childcare or housekeeping help, if needed.

Work and Finances

You can set your mind at ease by putting your financial ducks in a row. It's ever too early to start planning for the future.

  • Look into paternity leave.
  • Line up family health insurance coverage.
  • Consider talking with a financial planner.
  • Start a college or special fund if you can.

Baby Care and Bonding

Your baby will be lucky to have the two of you. Now is a great time to learn what you can about this brave new world of parenting.

  • Attend parenting classes with your partner.
  • Learn how holding and feeding helps with bonding.
  • Learn to change diapers so your wife can rest.
  • Pick up your favorite childhood books to read to the baby.
  • Ask about well-baby visits.
  • Read up on child development for the years ahead.
WebMD Medical Reference Reviewed by Neha Pathak, MD on March 19, 2021
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