As a hard core nester all through pregnancy, trust me that this third trimester checklist covers absolutely everything! You are finally nearing the end of your pregnancy and this third trimester checklist will make sure that you, your family, and your home are ready for the little one on the way!
This third trimester checklist will make sure you don’t forget a thing!
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When does the third trimester start?
Pregnancy is divided into three trimesters. The third trimester starts at week 28 and runs all the way through the end of your pregnancy. So, if you are in the third trimester it means you are nearing the end of the extensive pregnancy symptoms and discomfort! AND… you are also getting very close to getting to meet your sweet little one! Before all that happens, I want to help you feel as prepared as possible. That way you can soak up the sweet moments with your newborn and grab rest whenever you can and not have to worry about any logistics!
Before You Begin
Third Trimester Checklist
Pack your hospital bag
Packing your hospital bag is the last thing you’ll want to do when you realize you’re in labor. Not to mention, you definitely won’t remember everything you need under that much stress! I personally recommend packing your hospital bag no later than at 36 weeks! And don’t forget to have your partner back one too if they plan to stay with you in the hospital!
Here’s a few things I highly recommend you bring with you!
- Cash for vending machines
- 2-3 comfortable nursing bras
- A comfortable robe for easy feedings
- A soft night gown or two (great for natural deliveries and c-sections too!)
- Warm gripper socks
- A LONG charging cord (I’d recommend a 10 foot one! The plugs are never anywhere close to the bed!)
- Cute outfit or swaddle to send announcement pictures to close friends and family
- Going home outfit for you and baby
Create a nice space for breastfeeding
This is something that I didn’t do with my first born and I really regretted! Because if you choose to nurse, you will be nursing between five and eight hours a day for the first month! Making this space becomes worth it in this month alone but you will use it for months to come!
Here’s what I am putting in my breastfeeding space!
- A rocker glider or comfortable chair (remember 5-8 hours a day will be spent in it!)
- A nursing pillow (if you choose to use one)
- Breast pump
- STERILIZED bottles and breast pump parts
- Burp cloths
- Nursing pads
- Nipple cream
- An extra nursing bra
- Pumping bra (if you choose to get one)
- Diapers and Wipes (for those all too often blow ups that happen while they are nursing!)
- Snacks and water bottles
- Keep everything organized in a metal rolling cart like this one!
Set up the bassinet/crib, swing, and baby monitor
While setting up the bassinet/crib is a little more obvious, it’s easy to forget about setting up the baby monitor or baby swing. Make sure cords are a safe distance from the crib and kept safely tucked away. Make sure you have batteries if your swing needs batteries.
Prep freezer meals
To avoid spending a fortune eating out or stressing over cooking, I suggest prepping some freezer meals in your third trimester by making double of one meal each week and freezing half of it! It’s a minimal amount of extra work but it will be a life saver when you have a newborn at home!
Determine how you will freeze breastmilk & get supplies
If you plan on nursing or pumping, you’ll want to decide now how you plan to freeze and store your supply. If you plan to use the individual breastmilk storage bags to freeze, make sure you have plenty on hand. I personally love freezing my breastmilk in covered ice cube trays so that every cube is exactly one ounce. I found that helped me to thaw the milk quicker when I needed it and also avoided unnecessarily wasting breastmilk when my baby took one sip out of a full thawed bag of breastmilk. Just pop out the cubes once they are frozen and either store them in freezer bags or a container.
Make sure you have enough diapers and wipes ready at home
While I definitely don’t recommend buying tons of newborn diapers, just make sure you have a small pack on hand for when you get home from the hospital. Keep the receipt and you can always return them if you end up not needing them. I would also recommend having some size one diapers as well just in case. As far as wipes go, I personally am a huge fan of Huggies Natural Care wipes because they actually seem to come apart rather than come out 10 at a time.
Wash and fold newborn and 0-3 month clothes as well as swaddles & blankets
Having all the baby clothes washed and organized is not only practical, but it’s so fun too! I personally use Dreft baby detergent but you can also opt to use Free & Clear detergent on everyone’s clothes if that’s easier. You simply want something that is sensitive on that newborn skin! Don’t forget any swaddles or blankets you may have received as well. That being said, if you got a ton of newborn clothes or a ton of blankets or swaddles at your shower, you may want to only wash some and keep the tags on others. This way, if your baby ends up immediately in 0-3 month clothes, you can return all the stuff that still has tags.
Pack up/add to your diaper bag
If this is your first baby, you’ll want to set up and organize your diaper bag so that your bag is ready when you feel ready for your first outing with your newborn! If this isn’t your first, you’ll want to make sure you add everything your newest addition will need. I highly recommend the Diaper Bag Backpack. It has tons of pockets and organizational options, and a TON of space. I easily set mine up for both my toddler and my baby with space still to spare! Some of my friends actually call my diaper bag the “magic bag” cause it literally has everything in it! If you’re not convinced yet, here are all the reasons I think this bag is every mom’s dream bag.
Communicate visitor expectations to friends & family
While friends and family will want to see your new baby asap, that doesn’t mean you have to let them! Make it clear who you want in the hospital and who you want in those first days and weeks. This way, you don’t have to deal with it while you are tired and recovering.
Determine a time or two each day to do a kick count
Doctors recommend that you start doing kick counts once you enter the third trimester (starting week 28) to check-in on baby’s health. Find a time or two during the day where you can sit or lay down and wait for 10 kicks or movements from baby. Laying on your left side is ideal because it will increase blood flow and increase baby’s level of movement. Feeling 10 kicks can take a few minutes or as long as two hours. If it takes longer than two hours and your baby is normally active during that time, communicate this with your doctor.
Consider taking courses on things like breastfeeding, infant cpr, sleeping, etc.
By this point in pregnancy, you probably have taken some sort of childbirth course (if not, I highly recommend it! It was so helpful!). But if you happen to have a little bit of free time on your hands, taking additional courses on things like breastfeeding, sleeping, and infant CPR can help you prepare even better for baby.
Decide on a name (or at least narrow it down to two)
When you first find out your pregnant, it feels like you have all the time in the world to decide on a name. But, your due date will come way faster than you can expect and you don’t want to be scrambling in the hospital to decide on a name. Do your best to walk into the hospital with one or two names at most.
Enjoy your baby shower & send out thank you cards
One of the most important things you can do in your third trimester is to simply enjoy your baby shower, celebrate, and just be excited with your friends and family! Grab one of these cute maternity dresses for your baby shower, enjoy some yummy food, and check out all the fun new stuff you got! Just don’t forget to write thank yous quickly after since baby is probably not too far away and you probably won’t want to write them with your newborn in your lap.
Install the infant car seat & put the stroller in the car
The hospital will confirm that you have installed an infant car seat before you are allowed to leave the hospital. The last thing you want to do is forget to install it and not realize it until you go to leave the hospital. I suggest you install the car seat and bases for it in all your cars ahead of time. While you are at it, you might as well throw the stroller in there too so you will be ready for your first outing with your baby.
Stock up on household items, pantry items, and your favorite snacks
While most people remember to stock up on baby stuff, a lot of people forget about all the other logistical stuff that is needed to keep a house running. Stocking up before baby comes lets you avoid running out with a newborn because there is no toilet paper in the house.
Here are some of the items you may want to consider stocking up on:
- Paper towels
- Toilet paper
- Laundry Detergent
- Dishwasher Detergent
- Trash bags
- Body Wash
- Your favorite snacks
- Pasta & Sauce
- Healthy frozen meals
- You may also want to consider paper plates to eliminate the need for dishes when things get busy!
Make sure you have postpartum care essentials ready at home
While the hospital will probably send you home with a few things to help your recovery, it’s best to have a few things on hand for postpartum.
The following are what I believe are absolute must haves for postpartum:
Make sure that everything is baby proofed in your home
Whether this is your first baby or not, it’s smart to look back through your home for hazards before a new baby arrives. A newborn means that the toddlers in your home aren’t getting your attention 24/7 and may be off getting into trouble more. Make sure there are locks on things like windows, doors that lead outside, and appliances.
Buy any remaining items on your registry & finish the nursery
Regardless of if you are having a baby shower or not, a baby registry is the way to go. I personally used and loved my Amazon baby registry. Plus, they offer a 15% completion discount for all the remaining items after your shower date has passed! Once you have everything, enjoy nesting mode and finish stocking up that nursery with all your new goodies!
This post was all about the third trimester checklist that will prepare you, your family, and your home for the precious little one you will soon meet! So, don’t forget to download my third trimester checklist printable below before you go! You’re almost there, keep it up mama!