It may feel like you’ve been pregnant forever and that the third trimester would never come – but you’re in the home stretch! Baby will arrive before you know it and there are a lot of things to prepare for before the arrival of your newest little family member.
To help you stay organized and be prepared, below is a list of things you should get done during your third trimester of pregnancy before the baby arrives.
Don’t procrastinate! – when the baby arrives, you will have enough on your plate to worry about!
If you don’t have a third trimester to-do checklist, I’ve got a simple and FREE printable for you that will keep you prepared and organized. Download our third trimester to-do checklist! (no email necessary)
If you are like me, staying organized and checking things off a list will make you feel more accomplished and motivated. There isn’t a better feeling!
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Here’s what you’ll want to tackle before it’s time to meet your little one!
WASH BABY ITEMS
Below is a list of items for the baby you will want to wash and sort through. You won’t want to worry about doing these things after the baby arrives.
You will feel exhausted and will need to relax as much as possible while snuggling that adorable new bundle of joy!
If you have a lot of new baby clothes, you’ll only want to focus on washing the newborn, 0-3 and 3-month sizes for now.
Depending on the baby’s size, they may only be in newborn for a week and then quickly use 0-3 months OR may be in newborn for a bit longer.
Keep in mind too that different brands run either small or true to size. I didn’t wash too many newborn outfits or onesies but enough to get me through the first two weeks.
If I needed more newborn sized clothing, I’d throw in a load of laundry or have hubby do it 😉. My son was born 7lbs 6oz and he quickly used 0-3 months after 2 weeks.
Changing Pad Cover
Be prepared with clean changing pad covers. Have one already on the changing pad and a backup in case things get messy!
The baby may not be sleeping in their crib anytime soon but you may need to put the baby down to either pump, if breastfeeding, or get a few things done in the nursery. It’s always good to be prepared!
Pack and Play
If you are using the pack and play, be sure the pack and play itself is wiped down and the sheets are clean.
We used our pack and play bassinet for our son to sleep in when he came home from the hospital then transitioned him into the pack and play as he got bigger.
He only lasted no more than 3-4 weeks in the bassinet. They grow so quickly!
Depending on the season, you’ll want to wash swaddles, receiving or muslin blankets, or thicker blankets. The baby will want to be swaddled for a few weeks and stay warm.
Be sure lots of bibs and burp cloths are washed. You will be going through quite a few of these if baby spits up!
Sanitize Pacifier, Bottles and Breastfeeding Pump Accessories (if breastfeeding)
If you plan on breastfeeding, sanitize the pump accessories, even if you don’t plan on pumping anytime soon. I didn’t think I would need to pump right away and ended up needing to the day we got home from the hospital.
That same day I was sanitizing the breast pump accessories at 9pm at night and it was awful! Don’t make the same mistake I did – it’s better to be prepared.
*be sure to read the pump manual because not all accessories should be sanitized.
Bottles must be sanitized along with pacifiers – if you choose to use pacifiers.
Having everything set for when the baby arrives will make you feel less stressed. Even though the baby will not be sleeping in their crib so soon, you’ll find yourself using the nursery a lot.
PREPARE FOR LABOR
Reading about all things pregnancy and labor was an obsession of mine. I read a few different books and a lot of blogs/stories during my second and third trimester of pregnancy.
Labor can seem scary and totally overwhelming for a first-time mom. I promise you it isn’t anything like the movies and although every single woman has their own birth story, having knowledge of pregnancy and labor is beneficial to you.
I highly recommend reading Ina May’s Guide to Childbirth book. Ina May Gaskin is the nation’s leading midwife. She shares the benefits and joys of natural childbirth by showing women how to trust in the ancient wisdom of their bodies for a healthy and fulfilling birthing experience.
Also talk to your doctor, doula or midwife to help ease any anxiety and ask as many questions as you may have. You can even take a childbirth class and tour your hospital.
PREPARE HOSPITAL BAG
If you are a first-time mom you are probably thinking – what do I pack in my hospital bag? I’ve been there and overpacked! For my second pregnancy (currently due May 2020) I will be underpacking my hospital bag because I learned the first time.
Be sure to pack your hospital bag at least 4-6 weeks before the baby’s arrival because you never know when you will go into labor.
You can find my Hospital Bag Checklist here. It will walk you through all the essential items you will need and help you to not overpack. Most of the items your hospital will provide!
PREPARE POSTPARTUM CARE RECOVERY KIT
You may not be thinking about the aftermath of birth – well I know I didn’t. I wasn’t prepared at all and I want to be sure this doesn’t happen to you.
I tore 4th degree for my first delivery and not being prepared wasn’t a good idea. Even if you don’t tear, having a vaginal delivery or c-section will require healing. Being prepared with a postpartum care recovery kit is essential during your third trimester of pregnancy.
You can find my Postpartum Care Recovery Kit Checklist here. It will walk you through all the essential items you will need in your kit to help reduce pain and heal faster from a vaginal delivery.
DRINK RED RASPBERRY LEAF TEA
Have you heard that drinking red raspberry leaf tea will help shorten labor and aid in healing for postpartum care?
Red raspberry leaf tea can help shorten labor and reduce complications and interventions during birth (including c-section). It can also aid in postpartum recovery by helping the uterus contract back to normal.
For more information about drinking red raspberry leaf tea to shorten labor, check out my post here.
EAT 6 DATES A DAY
While there are a number of other things you can do to help achieve an easy and short labor and delivery, there’s evidence that something as simple as eating dates during pregnancy can help.
Want to learn more about eating dates in the third trimester of pregnancy? You can read about it here.
Staying active is not only beneficial to your health overall, but it helps aid in delivery.
Keep in mind the right kind of prenatal exercise can provide you with a mental and physical boost. Take a prenatal yoga class or find some on YouTube if you prefer to stay home.
I enjoyed pregnancy yoga with Katy Appleton from appleyoga.com. You can find her 5 Pregnancy Yoga videos on YouTube.
Stay hydrated and have a light snack before working out. If you start to feel dizzy, short on breath or develop a headache – stop!
Always consult your doctor before exercising while pregnant.
INSTALL CAR SEAT
If this is your first baby, it’ll feel surreal once the car seat is installed in your car. It finally makes everything feel so real and exciting!
Even though I knew about car seat safety, I took the time to read through the car seat manual and made sure the car seat was installed properly.
If you aren’t sure you installed the car seat correctly, you can find YouTube videos specific to your car seat brand or you can go to your local fire/police station and they will assist you.
PREPARE BABY GEAR
I went through all the baby gear I’d be using, making sure I knew how to use them correctly and that they all had batteries – if required. I also made sure I had backup batteries.
Handwashing the baby gear was something that I personally preferred but not required.
It’s always good to be familiar with all the baby gear you have. Testing out the items to be sure everything works well and it gives you time if you need to make a return/exchange.
I chose not to get a swing for my firstborn however with our second we are most definitely getting this swing!
PREPARE FOR BREASTFEEDING (if nursing)
The one thing I regret not doing during my third trimester of pregnancy is not learning more about breastfeeding.
I was so caught up in labor and delivery that I thought breastfeeding would be a breeze and only skimmed articles.
My son and I took 6 weeks to learn how to latch, nurse and exclusively breastfeed. I had ruined my nipples within the first 24 hours of having him and it was a difficult journey.
Be prepared with a sore nipple cream even if you don’t plan on breastfeeding. Your nipples will be sore and I highly recommend you check out this post on DIY Sore Nipples Remedy. It’s the best all-natural DIY remedy that heals and soothes nipples within 24-48 hours of using it.
You can even start using the nipple cream prior to having the baby, as it will help if you have dry or sore nipples. It will also start working to help heal before the baby starts latching!
You may have had your baby shower or it is coming up. Prepare any last minute things such as an outfit or decorations. Enjoy the event!
If you’ve already had your baby shower, now is a good time to write out your thank-you cards. They should be sent out no more than a month after your baby shower.
It may be hard to relax with the back pains, cramps, leg pain and sleepless nights. Try to take time for yourself and relax as much as you can.
Meditation and yoga are great ways to help relax and relieve pain.
Getting a prenatal massage and mani/pedi is always the best relaxation remedy.
Schedule a hair cut/style. It may be hard to get out of the house after the baby arrives.
Take long showers or baths, and enjoy every minute of it. Once the baby arrives, there won’t be too much relaxing but I promise it is all worth it!
Do whatever YOU want to do and focus on YOU mama!
Have you started working on your third trimester to-do list? We’d love to hear from you!
Whether you are a first-time mom in your third trimester, already had your baby or a mom of more than 1, share with us how you are preparing/prepared for baby during your third trimester. Comment below!