Preparing to add a human to your family is daunting. It’s scary, it’s unknown, it’s exciting. But becoming a parent is also beautifully life-changing. The Baby Bundle ($10) is here to save you some hours on the “this is hard!” front, and hopefully dampen some of the scary and daunting feelings. I've done this, and I'm sharing every ounce of research and preparation I did, which happens to be a lot.
Here is every resource I used during my pregnancy, postpartum, and early parenthood! (Note: every spreadsheet comes with my real-life examples, as well as a clean copy for you!)
Pregnancy Timeline / Checklist
I tried so hard to get pregnant that by the time I was, I didn’t really know what to do next. So I started researching all the things you need to do during pregnancy, and distilled down to this list. Over the course of my pregnancy, as I learned more firsthand, I added to the list. You can use what works for you, remove what doesn’t, and add your own tasks.
This spreadsheet also includes a tab that gives you an example of a high-level timeline for a non-complicated pregnancy, including doctor’s visits and a place to plan your parental leave, childcare, and family help dates.
Healthcare Provider Comparison
When I first got pregnant, I researched a great OB and went to see her. It seemed fine, maybe a bit clinical. But when I miscarried, I felt a lack of holistic support, and quite honestly, sympathy. When I got pregnant and saw her again, the same feeling crept in when I felt rushed out of my first appointment, and the experience left me wondering about other types of care for my pregnancy. I had heard of doulas and midwives but didn’t know the difference nor what role they played. Once I learned more, I was excited about the midwifery practice, and thought about adding the support of a doula, too. Having seen a naturopathic doctor for over a decade, this felt more aligned with what I wanted from my pregnancy care. Personally, I couldn’t have been happier with the team (ie the time I cried to one of my midwives for an hour, and she caringly helped me fight off a mid-pregnancy anxiety attack). Regardless of your care, make sure it’s a great fit for you! This spreadsheet will help you compare options.
I’ve included starter spreadsheets for comparing pregnancy healthcare providers, doulas, and pediatricians.
“Go Time” Checklist + Hospital Bag Pack List
There are so many hospital bag pack lists out there, and I tried to capture all the recommendations as well as my personal recommendations in this list. Separately, I created a checklist of all the things I needed to do when I went into labor - things like canceling weekly appointments, calling the midwives to let them know we’re coming, and getting our dog taken care of. I also put the address to the hospital, parking garage, and emergency room into this sheet so it could be the only thing we needed to look at when it was time. Together, these 2 resources create an aptly titled “Go Time!” duo.
Childcare is a beast these days. If you live in a major metropolitan area, you might need to get on a daycare waitlist right when you find out you’re pregnant. For us in Seattle, the wait was quoted at about 9 months most places, but we ended up getting spots in 3 daycares within 6-9 months of joining their lists, likely because families pulled their kids from schools during the pandemic. We were offered a spot into our 4th daycare when Owen was 12 months, which was 17 months after we joined the waitlist.
Nannies and nanny shares can be just as time consuming to find and coordinate. And when the time comes, finding a babysitter is another process. Regardless of where you get help caring for your child, this spreadsheet can help you document and compare your options.
For anyone experiencing preeclampsia, hypertension, or a need to monitor blood pressure for another reason, I made a simple spreadsheet that shows you your BP over time with a color scale from low to high. Note: my color scale is based on having high blood pressure while pregnant. If you are monitoring low blood pressure you’ll need to modify the formula.
Personal & emotional prep
Birth Preferences Workbook
I had a lot of anxiety about labor and delivery, and I think much of it stemmed from a lack of understanding. As I listened to birth stories (ie, the Birth Hour podcast) and read books (ie Expecting Better and The Doula’s Guide to Empowering Your Birth) I felt more confident. I had heard from others that having a birth plan was too rigid; it’ll never go as you intend. So I loved the suggestion of reframing the exercise as exploring your birth preferences. As I do, I made mine in a spreadsheet. I made a column for a bunch of possible outcomes, like early labor and emergency cesarean. Going through these scenarios helped me feel comfortable with the different possible outcomes.
In addition to birth preferences, I added a sheet just for fears and anxieties. For me, this was a place to write down any and every fear or anxiety I felt about labor and delivery. In a calm state, I then brainstormed a mitigation strategy for each one. These were things that my midwife or partner could do to help me, or mantras I could tell myself to work through it. As a special bonus to you, I added a column after my son was born to explain what happened in regard to each fear or anxiety I had. Spoiler: it was no where near what my anxious thoughts told me it’d be. How much impact this exercise had on my labor experience is not easy to measure, but it certainly gave me more confidence to work through the exercise while pregnant, which I would guess had positive impacts upon my labor experience.
Parenting Principles Workbook
Any way you approach it, having a baby puts new pressure on the relationship with your co-parent. For me, it was really important for my husband and I to anticipate the difficulties we'd face and start talking about how we'd make hard decisions or work through problems. As we learned more about becoming parents, my fear of our relationship taking a hit grew. I wanted to go in with clear eyes so we could reduce the impact as much as possible, and moreso, grow closer through the experience of becoming parents. In this doc I've listed out a handful of resources we used and conversations we had during pregnancy to do our best to prepare.
Simply, all my favorite pregnancy and parenting books (and notes on why), and space to add your own!
Shopping List & Clothing Brands
In this spreadsheet, you will find the entire shopping list of stuff we needed for our baby in the first few months, from bath time to first aid to feeding to play.
You’ll also find a couple tools for clothing shopping. Buying baby clothing in advance is surprisingly difficult for a handful of reasons. First, many boutique clothing brands sell their clothing in drops, meaning they have a big release that sells out, and the colors or sizes you need may be unavailable most of the year. I’ve found this to be especially true for sizes under 2T. Limited inventory makes creating a registry with your favorite clothing a futile effort: by the time your loved ones shop, the products may be gone.
Second, planning ahead for the proper season and size is nearly impossible. You never know how fast your baby will outgrow their clothing. Examples: most babies never even fit into the Newborn (NB) size, and our son outgrew his 12-18 month clothes right after he fit into them.
Third, getting advice on what clothing to buy up front is completely subjective. How many onesies do I need? How many layers should the baby wear to bed? These types of questions are dependent on your location, time of year, house temperature, desire to do laundry (can get by with less clothing if you wash daily), your tolerance for the baby being a bit messy (especially if they spit up as much as my son did), etc.
The clothing spreadsheets lay out the mix of what I bought before our son was born, and my favorite brands.
In this spreadsheet, I have added a car seat comparison and a stroller comparison, which are two of the bigger purchase decisions you need to make. I’ve added columns specific to those purchases that will help you make the decision, and you can add sheets for other products you’d like to compare.
Gift Tracker + Thank You Card and Birth Announcement List
This spreadsheet started as a baby shower gift tracker for sending Thank You cards, but I found that I also wanted to send Birth Announcements to the same people. Eventually, once the baby shower was a distant memory, this essentially turned into our family address book as I added more people to send the announcement to.
I must start by saying that I had a very mild postpartum recovery, both physically and emotionally. I was prepared for the worst because I have a history of anxiety, depression, and thyroid disease. I bought all the perineal healing products, too. I was largely spared, so my list may not be the most comprehensive, but given my experience as well as how others prepared me, I’ve compiled a workbook that includes a postpartum, prep checklist and shopping list, resources for coping and self care, a place to think about the types of roles people in your life can play during your recovery, and a place to list out your favorite meals ahead of time for loved ones to drop by.
Sleep, Feed & Pump Log
This is not a spreadsheet for everyone. There are apps to track breastfeeding, pumping, and bottle feeding, and there are apps and monitors and even bassinets that track baby’s sleep. If those work for you, use those. They’re simple to use. This… this is a data-lover’s tracker.
Before becoming a parent, I didn’t make the connection that sleep and food are directly tied in the early days. Babies mostly wake up to eat. So as we started teaching our son to sleep for longer stretches, he obviously went without his bottle for longer stretches. Tracking these together was important.
On the pumping front, I was super curious about my supply, so I tracked it. It was super helpful as my milk came in, and again when I weaned. Overall, it’s really impressive to see the data associated with what my body produced for my son.
Again, if you’re into data visualizations, this spreadsheet will be a blast for you. You’ll have full creative control over the data in a way you wouldn’t (as easily) by putting it into apps.
Child's Health History
Our current healthcare landscape doesn't make it super easy to keep track of medical history for yourself, let alone another human. I created this tracker as a way to centralize health history, height and weight progression, doctor's notes, emergency contact information, a link to our son's critical docs (social, birth certificate, insurance), and his immunization history.
As baby gets older
Solid Food Shopping List
When your baby is first exploring solids, it’s great to keep meals simple with individual foods like fruit, veggies, cheese, fish, and cheerios or puffs. This list will give you a bunch of shopping ideas for healthy basics that can be safely prepared for new eaters. Take advantage of the early, pre-toddler eating phase — your baby will have less opinions about food, and broad exposure will help them learn to love many flavors and textures as they get older! As with all content on this site, consult with your pediatrician to make safe and informed decisions about feeding your baby. We used the Solid Starts app to learn how to serve each type of food, and how to expose allergens.
Baby Proofing Checklist
This is simply an extensive list of things to consider when baby proofing, and a lightweight tracker to manage what you have done and still need to do.
We find it useful to leave a small note for our babysitters that includes things for them like WiFi and TV info, as well as tips and timing for caring for our dog and baby. Each time we have someone come over, we add any updates and either text them a link to the doc or print a copy for easy reference.
Family Friendly Restaurants & Breweries
Deciding where to eat is hard when you’re hungry. We’ve decided to keep a list of places we take our baby, so we’ll easily recall which are especially family friendly next time we’re deciding where to go!
Hopefully, with the help of these docs and spreadsheets, you can rest easy while prepping for your big day. To summarize, here's the full list of resources included in this $10 bundle:
- Pregnancy Timeline & Checklist
- 1st Trimester
- 2nd Trimester
- 3rd Trimester
- Baby Prep Class Schedule
- Pregnancy & Leave Calendar
- Healthcare Provider Comparison
- OBGYN/Midwife (primary care)
- "Go Time"
- "Go Time" Checklist
- Hospital Bag Pack List
- Childcare Comparison
- BP Log
- Birth Preferences Workbook
- Birth Preferences
- Fear/Anxiety Mitigation
- Parenting Principles Workbook
- Reading List
- Shopping List & Clothing Brands
- Full Shopping List (every product you need)
- Baby Clothing Brand List
- Gear Comparison
- Car Seat
- Gift & Thank You Tracker
- Postpartum Workbook
- Prep Checklist
- Shopping List
- Coping/Self Care
- Help crew
- Favorite Takeout List for Meal Train
- Sleep, Feed & Pump Log
- Pumping Log
- Feeding/Sleep Training Log
- Child Health History
- Solid Food Shopping List
- Baby Proofing Checklist
- Babysitter Notes
- Family Friendly Restaurants & Breweries Tracker
Becoming a parent has been the most fun, rewarding, and challenging experience of my life. My hope is that these resources, and my experiences, can create a shortcut for others. I love hearing others' experiences, too — feel free to reach out with any questions!