Congrats on getting to your third trimester, you’re almost done! While pregnancy can be a joyous experience, it can also feel like you have a never-ending to-do list with a clock, counting down in the background. Well don’t worry about keeping all the “must-do” items in your mental checklist, because I’ve got you covered.
Take a look at my 3rd trimester checklist to prepare for baby’s arrival.
Take Maternity Photos
I know some women may not feel like they’ve got the pregnancy goddess glow. I remember feeling like a tipped over cow when trying to roll over in bed, girl I get it. But trust me…take the pics, you’ll be glad you did.
Even if you don’t want to spend the money, go to a pretty location and have your partner, friend, or relative take your photos. It’s a great way to document the beauty of the life you’ve created. I took maternity photos and I love looking back reminiscing on my pregnancy.
Beyond taking maternity photos, take lots of pictures in general. Don’t be too shy for a bathroom mirror selfie! It’s such a cute and fun way to document your baby’s growth.
Find a Pediatrician
After you deliver, you’ll need to schedule an appointment for your newborn baby to see his/her pediatrician. This is not something you want to be looking for after your baby arrives.
If you’re not sure where to find one, a good place to begin your search is with your insurance provider’s network. From there you can read up on the options in your area. Also, ask around, your co-workers and friends may have some great suggestions.
Many OBGYN’s have multiple hospitals that they can deliver at, so take a tour to help you decide where you want to deliver. The tours will offer a lot of great information. Here’s my list of questions to ask during your maternity tour.
Pre-register at the Hospital
You definitely don’t want to be filling out loads of paperwork while you’re in labor. I HIGHLY recommend pre-registering so you won’t have to be bothered with documentation in between contractions.
Most hospitals offer free maternity classes such as labor and delivery, infant CPR, breastfeeding, and more. My advice…take them!
If you plan to breastfeed, please, please take a breastfeeding class. I’ve heard so many people say it’s the most natural thing in the world. Maybe theoretically, but in my experience, it did not come naturally for me or my baby.
If this is your first time breastfeeding, the information you receive in the class will be invaluable. You can also research online classes on YouTube if you don’t want to attend an in-person class.
Baby showers are a great way to celebrate the life that you’re creating. It’s a day all about you and your baby. Not to mention, having a baby is so incredibly expensive. Have a baby shower so the people that care about you can help contribute to this new (and expensive) chapter in your life.
I would recommend having your shower at the beginning of your 3rd trimester. I have two friends that had their babies 2 months early. So to avoid having your baby actually attend your shower, plan early.
Purchase Remaining Items from Registry
Once the baby shower is over, it’s time to purchase the remaining items (hopefully with gift cards from the baby shower). Many registry providers will give you a discount on the remaining items.
Set Up Nursery
One thing I wasn’t prepared for when I was pregnant was all of the required assembly. My poor hubby assembled the dresser (took 3 days lol), swing, crib, and more…it was a lot. So I highly recommend getting it all set up before your baby arrives.
Set Up a Diaper Changing Station in Common Area
You likely won’t be in your baby’s nursery 24/7, we all need a change of scenery. Setting up a simple changing station will save you trips around the house. This is especially helpful when you’re still recovering for the birth.
I used an IKEA dresser organizer to set up a changing station for our living room with the items listed below:
- changing pad
- diaper cream
- hand sanitizer
- hand cream
- bottle of water (child care is hard work )
Send Thank You Cards to Baby Shower Attendees
A nice gesture to show appreciation to everyone that came to celebrate and support you in your new journey.
Install Car Seat in Each Car
You will be required to have an installed car seat before you can take your baby home. Install it early so you won’t be fumbling around with it at the hospital. We took one step further and went to a police station to make sure it was installed correctly and guess what…it wasn’t. So if you don’t have much experience installing a car seat, I would recommend that you or your partner watch a tutorial on it on YouTube and/or take the car seat to get inspected to ensure it’s installed correctly.
Wash Baby’s Clothes, Sheets, and Bottles
Newborns have super sensitive skin so you’ll want to wash their clothes and sheets to avoid rashes. Here’s a great, in-depth article on how to wash baby’s clothes.
It’s also a good idea to wash and sanitize their bottles.
Pack a Hospital Bag
Pre-packing your hospital bag ahead of time will help to make sure that you don’t forget anything. Here’s my post on what to pack in your hospital bag (and what to leave at home).
Find a Lactation Consultant or Organization (if you plan to breastfeed)
If you want to breastfeed, please please please, look up a lactation consultant ahead of time. I didn’t and it is one of my biggest regrets. I vividly remember searching blogs and crying on my sofa desperately wondering, why isn’t my baby gaining weight and why breastfeeding hurt so badly.
The lactation consultant had all the answers to my questions, but I was too mentally, physically, and emotionally exhausted to effectively search for one. I called the lactation consultant at my hospital, but she neglected to return any of my multiple voicemails. Finding resources before you need them will save you so much time, effort, and frustration.
If you’re in the Houston area, this is the organization I used to get help with breastfeeding. It’s a program under WIC, but you don’t have to be on WIC to be seen by a lactation consultant there. And it’s 100% free. Thanks to their help, support, and information, I was able to breastfeed my son for 12 months.
Here are some other resources for information regarding breastfeeding and pumping:
Pack Diaper Bag
This one I completely ignored thinking that I’d keep my baby at home for the first 3 months (rookie mistake). Here is what happened when I neglected to pack his diaper bag and all the items you’ll need to pack in your newborn’s diaper bag.
Buy Tons of Hand Sanitizer and Hand Cream
Seriously, put them in every room. You and anyone near your baby will be applying hand sanitizer all day long, so stock up on it. And get hand cream to keep your hands moisturized.
Emergency Contact Numbers & Addresses
Locate the numbers and addresses for urgent care and emergency room facilities that are near your home. Hopefully, you won’t ever need this, but in case of an emergency or health concerns after hours, it’s good to know ahead of time what numbers to call and/or where to go.
Find a Child Care Provider
I saved this for last because you don’t have to do this before the baby comes, but if you’re going to return to work, you’ll need a child care provider. If you need a daycare or montessori school, it’s best to find them before your baby arrives. I recommend this for two reasons, (1) they fill up fast and may have a wait list when you’re ready to enroll and (2) you don’t want to be worried about finding a facility when you’ve got a newborn to care for.
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