Partner’s Guide to Birth and Baby Prep

Last Updated: February 16, 2024
Liesel Teen, RN-BSN

By Liesel Teen

BSN, RN, Practicing Labor and Delivery Nurse

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Preparing for baby’s arrival is an exciting and busy time. Your body has an intrinsic need to get everything ready. It might even feel neurotic at times. Like when you start color-coding and rolling the onesies as you place them into the nursery dresser.

One of the joys of pregnancy, and one that can be harnessed to your advantage, you’re nesting!

But don’t think that the nesting bug is for you alone. Many partners actually report the urge to nest too. Maybe it’s your buzzing energy rubbing off on them. Maybe it’s their own way of dealing with the anxieties associated with birth and a newborn.

In this article, I decided to ask some of the best partners I know in my life to get their opinion on how partners can help prep! 

In other words, what’s most essential in the mind of the non-birthing parent when it comes to baby prep? Hint: it’s not the color-coordinated nursery.

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10 ways to get my partner involved in the baby prep

It can be hard for dads and non-birthing mamas to bond with baby before they arrive. It’s abstract to them and hard for them to envision until they are actually here. But, this doesn’t mean they get to be off the hook! 

There are lots of wonderful ways to get them excited about pregnancy and prepare your relationship for life with a newborn. But they also need to take on some of the preparations themselves. They too can nest!

So without further ado, let’s get the advice rolling so that you can help your own partner get on track for baby. 

Note: We tried to use gender-neutral language as much as possible throughout this article – but know that MLN supports all the different partners out there, and all of the advice applies regardless of your pronouns!

1. Silence every squeak in the house

This one came from an MLN team member’s husband. You see, they live in a house that was built nearly 50 years ago. Before they had their first, they had no idea just how loud and squeaky the house is! 

It always seemed that the barking dog and even the fire alarm never woke their newborn. But the squeaky door, or the sound of the latch as they snuck out of the nursery? Every. Dang. Time.

Go through the doors, drawers, and cabinets around your house. Get your WD40 on and lubricate each and every joint. Even the least handy of people can easily accomplish this task before baby arrives!

Next level?

Assess things like squeaky floorboards and other inconveniences around the house. Maybe it’s a leaky faucet, an ill-fitting door, a light that flickers, or a toilet that always needs the handle jiggled.

Get your DIY on, or consider hiring a handyman to help. Getting your house in tip-top shape before baby comes will cross one extra point of stress off the list.

This is the perfect pre-baby task to put your partner in charge of – whether that’s to DIY or oversee hiring a small-job handyman to get it done.

2. Test run the baby gear

There are so many different gadgets and gear that you’ve undoubtedly acquired as you prepare to bring baby home. Don’t stop at simply setting things up. And definitely don’t wait to pull things out of the boxes or packaging until baby is born.

Get your partner to dive in, read instructions, and test-run the gear. Have them set up the furniture and other baby devices now. 

This will ensure that you are both pros once baby is here. Putting your partner in charge of the gear will mean they know how it functions, and can get the kinks worked out before showing you how it all works.

3. “Finish the project and mow the lawn”

This was advice straight out of the mouth of another partner I know! Basically, don’t leave loose ends or things undone. As your due date approaches, your partner should be finishing things up and tidying.

You will likely be away from the house for a few days during birth. Put your partner in charge of making sure things are set for while you’re gone so that your return back home is a smooth one.

For those with tinkering partners, that means finishing up any DIY projects and resisting the urge to start new ones. It means making sure the lawn is mowed and garbage cans are put out when labor starts.

And on that note, do a DIY project for baby

A great way for partners to get in the spirit of nesting? Make something for baby all on your own! If they’re the handy or crafty type, it could be building something or refinishing a piece of furniture. 

If they need some direction, plant some DIY nursery ideas into their head from Pinterest. But try to let them complete it on their own!

Slide-In - Partner Support Guide (1)

4. Prepare for the scariest drive of your life

Driving your laboring partner to the hospital and then your brand new baby home is no joke. Have your partner be in charge of car safety and readiness. 

It might sound silly, but they should do things like get an oil change and a tune-up in the weeks leading up to labor. One less thing to worry about on the other end, and the perfect task for partners.

Practice run to the hospital

Okay, most partners are aware that they need to know the fastest way to the hospital. My husband had this down. And since I work at the hospital, I knew all of the ins and outs of getting into L&D. 

But if this is your first, and you don’t work at the hospital where you’re delivering – you probably don’t!

So put your partner in charge of knowing:

  • Exactly where to park, find valet service, etc.
  • Where to check in and how to get to the labor and delivery unit
  • Where to get wheelchairs should you be unable to walk from the car
  • How to enter the hospital if it is after hours (many hospitals lock most doors except a few)

5. Learn about birth!

Involve your partner in the baby preparations and education. Whether they are showing it or not, some amount of anxiety is definitely there. Education surrounding childbirth will serve you both during birth and in those early postpartum months.

You can even sweeten the deal by doing an online childbirth class instead of trekking to the hospital for a few weeks in a row! Your partner will thank you for this – I promise!

And know that the Mommy Labor Nurse Online Birth Classes all include a bonus section for partners that gives them the absolute must-knows about the childbirth process plus tailored tips and advice on how to best support you!

6. Join in on the meal prep

Stocking your freezer for postpartum isn’t a task that mama needs to take on alone! This is the perfect post-baby prep activity to get your partner in on. It will make the process a whole lot more fun too.

7. Have a diaper party

Everyone seems to know and expect that the pregnant mama will have a baby shower. It’s a chance to get the bulk of the baby things you need from your baby registry and bond with the special people in your life.

But partners can have a chance to celebrate the upcoming life event while scoring some free stuff too, right? Insert a diaper party. Everyone who comes brings a box of diapers for you to stockpile! Consider having people bring various sizes based on the first letter of their name or something like that.

8. Prepare for mama’s emotional roller coaster

Partners should definitely take some time to learn about the baby blues and warning signs of postpartum depression. It’s important to be aware of the shift in hormones after birth and the toll it can take on you emotionally.

Not only are your hormones going haywire, but you will be sleep deprived and undergoing a major life-changing event. While there’s no way for your partner to 100% prepared for this, knowing what’s considered normal (and what’s not!) will be important. 

9. Pack snacks for the hospital

While I’m sure you know that you need to pack a hospital bag that’s full of essentials for you and baby, put your partner in charge of their own snacks, drinks, and food bag. This is a good nesting activity for them to prepare for birth.

10. Create a birth announcement and social media plan

During labor and birth, you’re going to be awfully busy, you know, having the baby. This means all updates to loved ones are going to fall on the shoulders of your partner. I don’t think my husband was quite ready for the inundation of texts once we told our families we were going to the hospital. We should have thought this through more.

I love the idea of choosing one contact person to give updates to (if desired) and putting them in charge of telling everyone else. A childbirth phone tree, if you will. 

Get your partner involved in deciding who, how, and when to update. The same goes for birth announcements, visitors after birth, and social media. Get on the same page ahead of time so that they can enforce your wishes!

11. Communicate with each other

Communication is going to be more important than ever once baby arrives. Do everything you can to prepare your relationship now. 

The greatest adventure of your life is beginning soon. Start talking and listening now – consider it a nesting “to do” and you can’t go wrong.

Remember you’re a team. You’ve got this!

The focus of this article was on ways that your partner can prep for birth and baby. There are lots of productive ideas on this list, and they should inspire more things that are important as you both prepare for baby.

I know a lot of the baby preparations and nesting falls on mom, but remember you are a team. Roles and responsibilities are going to become more and more fluid once baby arrives, so you might as well start working together on things now.

There’s no reason you shouldn’t help with things on you partner’s list, and vice versa! Parenting is truly the most intense team sport!

Slide-In - Partner Support Guide (1)
Liesel Teen, RN-BSN

Liesel Teen

BSN, RN, Practicing Labor and Delivery Nurse

As a labor and delivery nurse, I’ve spent countless hours with women who felt anxious — even fearful — about giving birth. I want you to know it doesn’t have to be that way for you!

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