Third Trimester Checklist: 19 Things You Need to Do Before Your Baby Arrives
It’s the third trimester and your baby is almost here. If you are a first time mom, your excitement is likely building this period as you prepare to meet your baby. If this is not your first baby, you are most likely also excited and eager to meet your little one.
However, with all the excitement and stress of pregnancy symptoms, it’s so easy to get carried away and forget to actually prepare fully for your baby’s arrival.
This third trimester might feel like it will go on forever, however, if your baby is anything like my kids, they may make their grand entrance well before your EDD. This is why you need your third trimester checklist ticked completely before week 40.
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Third Trimester Checklist: 19 Things You Need to Do Before Your Baby Arrives
1) Wash Your Baby’s Clothes
Wash a few of your baby’s clothes at least two weeks before your estimated due date.
Why should you pre-wash your baby’s clothes?
Most babies’ clothes go through a lot before they finally end up in your home. From getting stored in a warehouse that might have one or two bug issues, to being treated with formaldehyde to keep them new, you don’t want these clothes touching your baby’s skin without washing them first.
If you are in your nesting period, you could decide to wash all these at once using a gentle detergent like Dreft liquid laundry detergent that’s great for your baby’s soft, sensitive skin, or you could wash them in batches every week.
You also want to wash other baby items like blankets, swaddle blankets, and stuffed toys.
2) Pack Your Hospital Bag
Statistically, only about 4-5% of babies will arrive on their due date. 70% will get born within ten days of their due dates; that’s ten days before or after the EDD. You don’t want to wake up two weeks before your EDD to find you are in labor with your bag unpacked or not completely packed.
You should include every item you would be needing for a comfortable hospital stay earlier on so you won’t need to have your partner make some quick dashes home to get the forgotten items.
3) Plan Your Maternity Leave
If you can work up until the last minute, then you want to push your maternity leave until a week before you give birth.
I once had a friend work until she gave birth, which gave her three straight months to recover and be with her baby.
She also timed her annual leave to coincide with the end of her mat leave and spent almost six months bonding with her baby before she had to return to work.
4) Sterilize Your Baby’s Bottles and Pacifiers
You also want to sterilize your baby’s bottles, teething toys, pacifiers, and all other items your baby will be needing, and keep these safely before your baby arrives.
5) Pick a Name
I’m sure by now you most likely have a name picked out for your little one. However, if you don’t here’s a list of some beautiful baby girl and baby boy names to choose from.
6) Finish Setting Up Your Nursery
You want to finish painting and setting up your nursery, including every item you’d be needing for it.
Besides picking a color or theme, you should also get your nursery essentials like a crib or bassinet, a mattress, crib sheets, a changing table, a rocking chair, a diaper pail, clothes storage, and a baby monitor.
Other nursery essentials to consider include a humidifier, blackout curtains, and a white noise machine.
7) Get Items to Make Your Postpartum Recovery Easy
Postpartum recovery is never easy, whether you had a vaginal birth or gave birth through a cesarean section and you want to do everything possible to make your healing faster and more comfortable.
Some must-have postpartum items to help with the pain and soreness include a sitz bath, tick pads, a squirt bottle, ice packs, and gauze pads.
Other postpartum must-have includes a stool softener (if you’ll be having a cesarean section), breast pads, a few good supportive bras, a nipple cream, a nipple guard ( this will come in handy if you have cracked nipples while breastfeeding), a breastfeeding pillow, and some pain medications.
8) Make Arrangement for How to Receive Visitors
You don’t want visitors trouping in at all hours. You might want to tell only a handful of close friends while at the hospital and also pre-inform them you won’t exactly be receiving visitors until a certain time to give you ample time to rest.
You’d be amazed how understanding people can be of such a decision, especially other moms who have walked that path.
9) Make Arrangement to Care for Your Older Kids
If you have older kids, then you should make arrangements for how they will be taken care of while you are away at the hospital.
You might have a friend or relative stay over the few days you will be away or have them go over to a friend’s while you adjust to having your newborn home.
10) Set Up Your Baby’s Sleep Space
According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, the best and safest place for a baby to sleep is on her back in a bassinet, cradle, or crib that is near your bed.
You should set up this sleep space well before your baby arrives so there are no last-minute hurries.
More Items to Tick on Your Third Trimester Checklist…
11) Arrange for a Baby First Aid Kit
So…accidents happen, even to the best of us and you want to see ensure you are prepared always.
Some of the most likely accidents involving newborns and babies include choking and suffocation, burns from exploring, burns from hot foods, medications left out, poisoning from household chemicals, falls from heights (beds and chairs), sunburns and scrapes, drowning in baths.
Consequently, you want to ensure you have a baby first aid box at all times.
Some items that should be in this first aid box include saline nasal drops, infant acetaminophen, and antibiotic cream (to be used when your baby is 2 years and over).
12) Download Some Pregnancy and Contraction Apps
A pregnancy or contraction app is also a must-tick on your third trimester checklist. A contraction app helps you monitor your contractions to determine a pattern early on and also know how far you are progressing with your labor.
You can download the Contraction Timer or Full Term Contraction Timer, two good contraction apps for expecting moms.
13) Install Your Baby’s Car Seat
Your baby car seat should be installed around weeks 35 to 37. You can install it either behind the driver or passenger side, so long as it kept at the back seat.
14) Order Your Breast Pump
Not a must-tick on your third trimester checklist, however, it might come in handy later. 10 -15% of new moms experience a low breast milk supply. Thankfully, there are a few ways to get your breastmilk flowing as it should and one of them is pumping often using a manual or electrical breast pump.
Since breastmilk production answers to the law of demand and supply, pumping often will see your breastmilk production increasing to meet your baby’s needs.
You can order a manual breast pump, which comes with its benefits, including being budget-friendly and able to work anywhere (think demote places with no electricity), or the electric pump that’s a lot more efficient as it pumps from both breasts at once.
15) Get a Pediatrician
You also want to choose a pediatrician two or three months before your baby arrives. If you’re having a hard time finding one, then you should ask for a recommendation from other moms, friends, relatives, and coworkers,
16) Download Some Nice Chick Flicks
So…this is another item that isn’t exactly a must on your third trimester checklist, however, if you’re going to be having a lot of time on your hands, then it will help drive the boredom away.
A few days after my postpartum help left, I found I suddenly had all this time on my hands and didn’t quite know what to do with it. I’d just given birth via a cesarean and didn’t want to exert myself. Of course, I slept a lot when my baby slept to try to rest and speed up my recovery, however, there were those times I couldn’t sleep, and watching a few good movies on YouTube and Netflix were lifesavers for me at this time.
If watching movies is not your thing, then you want to pursue an activity you like, but that won’t be strenuous on your recovering body lined up for these times.
17) Get a Formula
Yeah, a formula might also become necessary if your breastmilk isn’t flowing as it should. Although experts warn against giving your baby formula as putting your baby to your breasts is a faster way to boost your breastmilk production. However, since this boost won’t be happening overnight and watching your baby cry from hunger is not something you want to deal with, you want to get a cup of get-ready-to-feed formula beforehand.
18) Arrange for Postpartum Help
Arrange for how your home will be run; laundry done, meals cooked, home vacuumed, and every other chore that would need attending to.
You might want to take friends up on their offer to help, get a relative to move in temporarily, move over to a relative yourself, get a hired help to come in daily, or get your partner to shoulder most of the heavy stuff while you focus more on getting adequate rest and healing at the right pace.
19) Arrange for Your Regular Postpartum Checkups
Although you can’t always tell beforehand what you will be discussing at each of your postpartum visits, asking a few moms can give you an idea of what to expect during each visit.
You can also write a list of questions you want answers to before your appointments so you don’t forget any.
A third trimester checklist helps you prepare, not just for your baby’s arrival, but also for your quick healing afterward. While you can still get a lot of these things done even without one, you will find having one saves you the stress and panic of trying to get things to work at the last minute.
Tags: third trimester checklist, 3rd trimester checklist, third trimester of pregnancy, pregnancy third trimester