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With your pregnancy winding down, complete these important to-dos before your little one’s arrival.

Install the car seat.

Most hospitals won’t let you leave unless you’ve got a car seat. Install the seat now (following the manufacturer’s guidelines) so you’ll be ready when the big day comes.

Stock up on personal care items.

Purchase maxi pads, newborn diapers, baby wipes and laundry detergent now. You may also want a gentle laxative, plastic bags for crushed ice (for sore spots) and a comfy “doughnut” pillow.

Fill the freezer and pantry.

Cook some easy-to-freeze meals for busy newborn days and stockpile snacks like dried fruit, granola bars and healthy cereals.

Call in reinforcements.

Line up help for your first week or two home. Recruit family and friends—or arrange for temporary cleaning help, hire a reliable teen to entertain older siblings or enlist a doula for postpartum visits.

Make plans for kids and pets.

Determine who will care for any older siblings while you’re in the hospital, and pack kids’ overnight bags in case they’ll be sleeping over. Arrange for a pet sitter and have plenty of supplies on hand.

Familiarize yourself with the hospital.

If you haven’t already, sign up for a tour of the birthing areas and ask about check-in procedures, preregistration and parking.

Pack your bag.

Assemble your hospital go-bag and place in an easy-to-grab spot. Tape a note to the top listing any last-minute things you’ll need to throw in, such as your phone charger.

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