Ridiculous things you think you need to do before you have a baby

to-doWHEN I was pregnant for the first time I was obsessed with getting everything ‘ready for the baby’.

‘I will write a list.’ I declared a month before my daughter was due to arrive. ‘You can’t go wrong with a list.’

I recently found the list in question and discovered that pre-motherhood I was an idiot (and slightly obsessed with One Born Every Minute).

The list (in all its embarrassing glory):


1) Pack hospital bag with snacks, make up, music, books and laptop as I will probably be in labour for days (like on One Born Every Minute).

2) Try to empty my bowels twice a day so I don’t poo myself while in labour (like the cool woman on One Born Every Minute).

3) Get new bikini and make music play list to ensure beautiful relaxing water birth (like the glamorous  woman on One Born Every Minute).

4) Watch entire series of One Born Every Minute again.

5) Wash all brand new baby clothes in Fairy.

6) Wash all our own clothes in Fairy.


2. Empty bowels at least twice a day.

7) Wash all cot bedding in Fairy.

8) Call midwife and ask if I need to wash settee covers and muslins in Fairy.

9) Disinfect the entire house and everything in it with anti-bacterial wipes every day until baby is born.

10) Do pelvic floor exercises all day, every day to make up for not doing pelvic floor exercises for the past nine months.

11) Trim my massively overgrown bikini line so it doesn’t poke the baby in the eye on her way out (or at least break the back of it).

12) Buy books and DVDs to keep me occupied on maternity leave.

13) Make James [the husband] promise not to look at the ‘bottom end’ when I am giving birth.

14) Learn to bake a cake (or at least flapjacks).

15) Buy cake recipe book.

16) Buy cake tin.

17) Read What To Expect When You Are Expecting (again).

18) Try harder to get the hang of perineum massage (maybe find film on You Tube?).

19) Go out for a romantic meal as we may not be able to for six months once the baby is here.

20) CONGRATULATIONS, you have finished this list! Now sit back and relax for a few weeks until the baby arrives!

I never got to number 20. In fact, I never even got past number one.

‘First babies are always late,’ they told me. ‘You will probably give birth a good two weeks after your due date.’

They lied.

My daughter arrived TWO weeks before her due date.

2011-08-17 14.31.43

She owes me a month…

I was happily eating a Big Mac (our romantic meal) like a woman who had loads of time to stuff her face – when my waters BROKE. My husband and I swiftly shoved clothes and nappies into a carrier bag, drove to the hospital and no sooner had I got into the birthing pool than my daughter arrived (totally buggering up my unmassaged perineum).

There had been no time for snacks, magazines or ipod playlists. No chance for the amusing banter with midwives or hilarious arguments with my husband I had seen on One Born Every Minute.

And as I had been under the impression I had a good month left for all the cleaning, pelvic floor exercises, washing and cake baking, I was totally unprepared.

I had to take my precious newborn back to a house that had not yet been disinfected (and smelt of McDonalds), dress her in baby grows that had not been washed in Fairy and hope that having to fight her way out through my big lady bush hadn’t scarred her for life.


I didn’t write a to-do list when I was pregnant the second time around.

With one baby to take care of on the outside and another one kicking the crap out of me on the inside – I was too exhausted to do anything, let alone pelvic floor exercises.

I threw out all the books, didn’t bother with baking and I certainly did not watch One Born Every Minute.


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19 thoughts on “Ridiculous things you think you need to do before you have a baby

  1. I was in labor for about 2-3 days. I was convinced I was prepared because I got everything done and had everything planned out. I brought books to the hospital, plenty of snacks, and cute night gowns. I was going to have him sleep in his crib from day 1, breastfeed for a year, and be happy.

    My labor ended up being extremely rough. They had to use forceps to get the fat kid out which means very bad things for my lady area. He’s 3 months and I’m still not thinking about sex (not that I can anyways, my hubby is away for military stuff). I never ate those snacks, read those books, wore those night gowns, got my son to sleep in his crib, stopped breastfeeding at 2 weeks, and ended up with Post-Partum Depression. Everything ended up very different.

    • Oh god that sounds rough. I also ended up with Postnatal Depression and that was despite having a good labour. I think the whole baby thing was such a shock to my system when it didn’t go the way I had it all planned out the the letter!!

  2. Hahahaha Number 12! That wAs on my list…. And 18 month with not a sleep through the night yet I am far too tired to read or watch any movies. Naive!

  3. 🙂 I love a good list so obv have a things to do before baby list already. Are you suggesting my spreadsheet and gant chart to project manage this baby’s arrival is not realistic???

  4. So true, pretty much had the same list as you apart from instead of bake cakes, I wanted to batch cook fabulous home cooked meals (really I should if just started to collect takeaway menus, much more useful).

    Who the monkeys actually does perineal massage anyway? Tried it once, it hurts. Considered epidural instead.
    Let me know if your kids have emotionally suffered from seeing you untamed bush on exit.

    • I couldn’t even reach to massage down there by the time I was heavily pregnant. My midwife suggested I ask my husband to do it….err no.

      My kids are fine. Phew. It remains untamed to this day.

    • I know. I was a total idiot. My diary from back then had all these things I was going to do to be the perfect mother…I have so far done none of them.

  5. I too had a list and felt pretty sore about it all as I headed into hospital on day two of what was meant to be two weeks of pre baby leave. What made it worse were the comments from well meaning people about the state of the . No one offered to clean said item/zone mind you.

  6. Ugh. That’s hilarious and just not fair! Both of mine were a week late, but I was convinced they’d be early. I particularly like the innocence of number 2. 😉 The day I gave birth, it didn’t seem to matter that I’d gone poop at least 5 times already in the 12 hours leading to labour, somehow there was still more, when it came time to push.

  7. Quite literally the only things that should be on any pregnant woman’s to do list are “pack clothes for self and baby by 35 weeks” and “buy car seat and something for baby to sleep in (cardboard box with blankets perfectly acceptable)”. And yet I still frequently meet women who haven’t done either.

Feel free to leave a reply..misery loves company.

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