You can’t wait for your new baby to arrive. You’ve dreamed of holding your precious baby in your arms for so long, and you can’t wait to cuddle and kiss your newborn. Becoming a parent, whether it’s for the first time or not, is a sweet experience, and you are so excited for the day when you can finally see those tiny eyes gazing up at you.

Of course, you also know that the moments before your baby arrives can be pretty hectic-and we’re not just talking about the miracle of birth. It seems like everyone you know has some sort of horror story about the hours before arriving at the hospital. Your friend’s husband forgot to take their two-year-old to the babysitter’s house; your aunt left the oven on; your next-door neighbor didn’t even pack overnight bags.

You want to feel calm and relaxed before you become a new parent, not stressed or overwhelmed. Below are a few tips that can help you prepare for your stay in the hospital and the arrival of your newborn. Use these tricks to avoid any last-minute hassle before baby arrives.

1. Call a Cab

Tip number one in the about-to-be-a-parent book is this: don’t trust yourself to drive. You’ll be stressed about getting to the hospital as soon as possible, and you might drive rashly or dangerously in your haste. Instead, call a taxi.

A taxi can arrive quickly and get you to the hospital safely. Because your taxi driver is behind the wheel, you can focus on helping the mother-tobe. And if you are the mother-to-be, you can focus on breathing, not on giving driving directions.

Keep the phone number to your local taxi company close, somewhere you can access it instantly, like in your wallet or as a contact in your smartphone. Your taxi company prides itself in its fast response time, so you won’t have to wait long. You might even consider asking for a minivan taxi so that you have more room on your way to the hospital.

2.Pack Overnight Bags

The last thing you should be worried about as you’re heading out the door is whether or not you grabbed toothpaste. You may spend a couple of days at the hospital. Plus, you’ll want some personal luxuries during the physically strenuous and emotionally demanding labor and delivery.

The lists below detail what to include in your hospital bags.

For the Expectant Mother

Mommy-to-be needs items that can keep her comfortable during and after delivery, such as:

  • A warm robe and a few pairs of soft, non-skid socks
  • A few maternity bras and nursing pads
  • Toiletries, including lip balm, a ponytail holder, and deodorant
  • Personal items, like eyeglasses and your phone charger
  • A change of clothing for your return home
  • Extra maternity underwear and heavy-flow pads (The hospital will provide some, but it might be nice to have your own.)
  • You may decide you want additional comforts, such as an oversized bath towel or an extra pillow.

For the Other Parent

The mother-to-be’s spouse or partner should have a bag that contains practical items, like the following:

  • The expectant mother’s insurance information and medical history
  • A change of clothing
  • Toiletries
  • A pen and paper (to record you and mommy’s thoughts after the birth)
  • A camera, or your phone and phone charger if you’re going to use the camera on your phone
  • Change for the vending machines

Keep your hospital bags close to the door and ready to go at any time. You never know when you’ll need to get to the hospital, so it’s best to be prepared.

Next to your personal bags, keep the baby’s car seat (you’ll need it during the taxi ride home) and a bag of basic baby necessities. Remember that newborns are especially sensitive to cold, so you want to make sure that your baby has plenty of warm clothes and blankets for the drive home.

3.Prepare Your Home

You want your first days at home with your newborn to be a happy time for your family, so stock up on baby essentials now.

You’ll need diapers, and lots of them. Babies go through diapers incredibly quickly, and you don’t want your first days at home to be marred by regular late-night trips to the store for more diapers. You should also stock up on nursing pads and other linens.

Prepare your pantry and fridge before the baby comes. New mothers need lots to eat while they heal, rest, and take care of the baby. Because of the demands of a new baby, you’ll need plenty of easy-to-prepare, nutritional meals for the first few weeks at home.

The weeks before the arrival of a new baby are a special time for your family, and the arrival of your newborn will be a wonderful, happy occasion. Make sure that you’re prepared for the big day, and do everything you can now to make your trips to and from the hospital stress-free and easy. Call a cab, pack those overnight bags, and get ready for baby!