Your Complete Third Trimester To Do List
You’ve made it to your third trimester and are officially in the home stretch!
How good does that feel?
Hopefully you’re still feeling good from your second trimester and are ready to tackle this third trimester head on.
Whether you feel like there’s no way you’re ready to meet baby in a couple short months (or weeks!), or you were ready yesterday there’s a few important things you want to make sure you do during your third trimester of pregnancy.
This third trimester pregnancy checklist, will be your complete guide to checking all those last minute details off of your pregnancy to do list.
From learning how to do fetal kick counts to finalizing your baby’s nursery and packing your hospital bag – you’ll be set for your new baby’s arrival!
Related: First Trimester To Do List
Related: Second Trimester To Do List
Get Your 3rd Trimester Checklist – NOW
If you feel like skipping ahead and don’t have time to read this post now, SAVE IT!
And don’t miss your free printable – pregnancy checklist: third trimester by filing out the form here:
Pregnancy Checklist: Third Trimester
To Do List for Pregnancy: Weeks 28-32
Fetal Kick Counts
Learn about and start counting kicks!
Fetal kick counts are an important part of monitoring your baby.
I’ll be honest, I love to feel baby move, but I really hate doing kick counts.
On the plus side? The monitoring is easy to do and doesn’t require any fancy equipment.
So how do you perform kick counts?
Set aside a time each day (try to do the same time daily) and count how many kicks or movements you feel. Once you get to 10, you’re done!
Write down (or use an app) how long it took you to get to 10 kicks. If you notice a change in your baby’s usual pattern, or it takes longer than 2 hours to feel 10 kicks/movement, contact your doctor right away.
Tips for doing Fetal Kick Counts:
- Choose a time when your baby is usually active
- Count baby’s movements at the same time every day
- Movements count as kicks too
- Use a free app to help you keep track (I use Kick Counter – it’s free and easy)
Continue Moving Your Body
Unless your healthcare provider has told you otherwise, the third trimester is a great time to continue your prenatal exercise class.
Frequently moving your body, whether it’s a workout class, a Peleton ride, or going for a walk can help labor go more smoothly.
Keep in mind that you due to the physical changes of being in the last phase of pregnancy you may have to modify the exercises or take it easy to ensure yours and baby’s health are the top priority.
Create Your Birth Plan
Think about & write your birth plan!
Since you’re getting closer to your due date, it’s time to actually get your birth plan ideas in place.
Talk with your healthcare provider about how you hope to deliver and where.
Here’s a few topics to think about:
- Do you want medications for pain? An epidural? Laughing gas?
- Do you want to go all natural?
- How about having music in the room?
- Do you want any extra people in the room? Family members? Your mom? Just your husband?
- Where are you giving birth? At home? A birth center? A specific hospital?
If you are set on your birth experience going a certain way, it’s a great idea to write your birth plan down.
I’ll admit though, even as a nurse, I was pretty relaxed about my birth plan and never wrote it down!
Always remember that while birth plans are great, labor and delivery doesn’t always go as planned.
So try to be flexible if you can be!
Create a Plan for Visitors
It can be so much fun for new parents to let guests come visit their new baby.
However, sometimes guests don’t come at the best time or may overstay their welcome (especially when it’s the first baby in the family).
Think about when you’d like visitors and any requests you’ll have of those visitors (i.e. wash your hands before arriving, please do not visit if you’re sick).
I love this cute New Baby Rules sign you can print and have ready for your guests.
Prepare Freezer Meals for After Baby’s Arrival
Odds are you’re starting to get to your nesting stage, so take advantage of it and make some delicious freezer meals!
If you have the space, this is a great way to prepare for baby and make your life a little easier once he or she arrives.
There are tons of great freezer meals out there and you may just get a few as a gift before baby arrives.
So what were our favorite freezer meals?
Aside from the basics like lasagna and hot dishes, we loved having frozen portions of spaghetti sauce and taquitos in our freezer for a quick meal.
Our Best Bites has the BEST taquitos I’ve ever made and they freeze amazingly well – you can find the recipe here.
Attend Prenatal Classes
Go to baby classes (childbirth, lamaze, breastfeeding, etc.)!
Now that you’ve done your research and signed up for a few prenatal classes, it’s time to actually take them!
Whether you’ve decided to take 1 or 10, or at home or online, it’s a great idea to get familiar with what life will be like after baby arrives.
These classes will provide great tips to help you along your labor and delivery and postpartum journey.
Have I mentioned you can even take a class on helping get your baby to sleep? I’m all in for that one – these baby sleep tips will definitely help in the meantime though.
- This Free Beginning Prenatal Course – taught by a prenatal/OB nurse!
- Baby Sleep Class – Taking Cara Babies
- Childbirth Classes – Birth It Up: This is an amazing birthing class with TWO class options – one if you plan to go natural (and she teaches the BEST tips for how to handle labor pains – even for a mom like me who planned to have an epidural 3x times ;)) and the second one if you plan to get an epidural. (Pssst – use “JEN10” for 10% off these birth courses)
- Breastfeeding Class (Online Course) – Milkology – learn all about making breast milk for your baby
- Pumping Guide Ebook – Pumping 101 – the best ways to get started pumping breast milk for your new baby
Tip: Don’t be afraid to take notes during your prenatal classes! You can also ask if there are printouts available to hep you remember the important information!
Get Your Breast Pump!
Research and order a breast pump before baby arrives.
If you decided you want to breastfeed, I strongly suggest you get a breast pump – even if you don’t think you’ll ever pump!
You never know when you might need it.
Your baby could struggle nursing right away and you want to keep your milk supply up, or you may have so much milk that you need to pump off a little bit to get more comfortable.
So whether your pump will get one use or you’ll be exclusively pumping, there’s a pump for you!
There are so many different types of breast pumps on the market that one is sure to fit your lifestyle.
You can also get a breast pump for free through your health insurance.
It doesn’t have to be a complicated process and can actually all be done online from the comfort of your home!
Follow this guide to getting your breast pump through the insurance companies, instead of out of your pocket.
Get a Hospital Tour of the Birthing Suite
You’re getting closer to your due date, so it’s time for a hospital tour!
Even if you didn’t take a childbirth class with your hospital, call them and ask if you can still tour the birthing unit.
You’ll want to find out where to check in, if you can pre-register, if the rooms are private, and how they keep your baby safe (aka how they make sure the right baby always goes with the right momma!).
The hospital tour makes the whole process seem so real – your baby will be here soon!
Tip: Write down any questions you have, or use this list of questions, and ask away during your tour! If they can’t answer your questions, they’ll find someone who can.
Prenatal checkup (two this month)
You’ve made it to more frequent prenatal visits!
Your doctor will continue to measure your belly and listen to baby’s heart rate. Make sure to tell him or her about any contractions or leaking you might be having.
To Do List for Pregnancy: Weeks 32-36
Have Your Baby Shower!
If you’re having your baby shower before your baby is born, it’s probably happening sometime soon.
This is also a good time to be sure that your baby registry is up to date!
Write and Send Thank You Notes for Baby Gifts
Get those thank you notes out as soon as you can!
It was so kind of people to think of you and your baby and it’s time to thank them for their kindness.
When your baby arrives, things are going to get crazy and you’ll wish you had these thank you notes done sooner if you skip it now.
Organize your thank you notes with the tracker in your Pregnancy Planner.
Tip: Keep your thank you notes simple, sweet, and personable – and you’ll be set!
Take Maternity Pictures
If you’re planning to take maternity pictures, the third trimester is a great time.
Your belly will be looking great and you’ll be in excited anticipation to meet your son or daughter.
If you need some great ideas for summer maternity outfits, check out this post.
Tip: Don’t wait too long to get your maternity photos taken. If your baby decides to come early you could be out of luck!
Buy Any Last Minute Baby Items
Check your list and buy baby, mom, and breastfeeding items you still need.
Now that your baby shower is over, it’s time to go through your baby checklist once again.
Figure out what you’re still needing and go make some purchases.
Don’t forget that Target and Amazon both give you discount on items that are still left in your registry – so take advantage of the deals and get what you need for baby and your postpartum self.
Tip: Use these Amazon Baby Registry tips to get the most out of your registry!
Baby Proof Your Home
You’ll be busy once your new little one arrives, so baby proofing early can be a huge help.
From outlet plugs, to putting chemicals high up and locked – there will be several items you might have to rearrange in your home to keep your baby safe.
Want the whole list of baby proofing? Learn how to easily baby proof your home.
Tip: If you’re looking for baby locks for your cabinets that ARE NOT obvious and ugly – I have absolutely loved these!
Put the Finishing Touches on Baby’s Nursery
With baby’s upcoming arrival it’s time to put the finishing touches on his or her room. Stage the stuffed animals, lay out the blankets, and make it feel cozy and loved.
Set up any baby gear like the swing or bouncer and feel free to test out that nice comfy rocking chair too 😉
Tip: If you’re still looking for some great nursery ideas to make your nursery unique – try these IKEA nursery hacks.
Wash Baby’s Clothes and Sheets
Babies have skin that is much more sensitive than yours or mine.
One way to protect baby’s soft skin and help prevent any rashes or skin issues, is by washing all the baby clothes and sheets before you use them.
This will soften them and make them nice and cozy (and smell good!) for baby’s arrival.
You should consider washing baby’s burp cloths and blankets as well.
Tip: Choosing a baby friendly laundry detergent that’s gentle for baby is a great idea. You can find a few offered by Amazon here (and get two day shipping)!
Buy a Coming Home Outfit for Baby
If you’re planning to do a Fresh 48 photography session for your baby, you might want to consider a special hospital or coming home outfit.
Etsy is FILLED with adorable options.
Tip: Make sure you order ahead of time as sometimes Etsy products take a while to ship!
Prepare and Pack your Hospital Bag
While your due date is still a month away, babies tend to arrive on their own time.
This means you’ll want to be prepared for that moment you’re throwing your bags in the car and hurrying to the hospital (eeee, so exciting!!).
Check the hospital bag checklist and start filling your hospital delivery bag with all the items you’ll need.
I highly recommend nursing bras, cozy jammies and a pillow (hospital beds are NOT comfortable), and a few of your maternity clothes as you’ll likely have a little extra weight still and won’t want to feel restricted.
Tip: Make a “quick list” of the items that you can’t throw in your bag until it’s go time and set it on top of your hospital bag. Things like your phone charger or toothbrush might just make that list.
Buy a Gift for Your Other Children “From the Baby”
While not all parents choose to get their older children a gift, many do.
It can be a fun way to include your child in all the excitement of the new baby and let them know that they’re not forgotten about.
Depending on their age, it can also be a fun treat to feel like the baby got them a gift of their own.
With all the hustle and bustle of hospital visitors coloring books or other busy books can be a great way to help keep your child occupied while at the hospital!
Here’s a great list of gifts for older siblings from baby.
Tip: My toddler loves these activity books – and they’re no mess!
Preparing Your Big Kids for a New Baby
To prepare your child for a new baby, you’ll want to go beyond a gift from baby.
Talking with your toddler or preschooler about a new baby is vital to reducing sibling jealousy and creating a smooth transition. Fun games and age appropriate language are a great place to start. If you’re looking for guidance and fun, this New Sibling Kit is a great guide and will help your big kid become a proud big sibling in no time.
Stock up on Baby Necessities (& Other Household Necessities)
Diapers, wipes, baby bath soap, baby lotion….the list keeps going.
Make sure you have some of these essentials on hand before baby arrives so you’re not scrambling to make a trip to the store on your first day home from the hospital (like we did – oops!).
We prefer to buy our diapers and wipes in bulk since they keep so well and are a pain to go get suddenly in a pinch – plus you save money!
Tip: Be cautious buying newborn diapers. Some babies are born too big for newborn diapers so you may want to avoid buying those in bulk until you know how big your little one is!
Learn the Immunizations and Screening Tests Typically Given to Newborns at your Hospital
Make sure you’ve asked about what immunizations and screening tests are given to your baby at the hospital.
Some hospitals have different policies for when and which shots your baby gets.
You’ll want to be sure you know these details ahead of time so you’re not asking during the middle of the craziness that may ensue once your baby is born.
Group B Strep Test (typically between 35-37 weeks)
The group B strep test is done before baby is born to find out if you’re positive or negative for group B strep.
If you are negative, then there’s nothing else that needs to be done.
If you’re positive, you’ll have to receive some antibiotics during labor to help prevent your baby from getting it.
If you want more information on Group B Strep in pregnancy, just check out this article from the Mayo Clinic.
Just remember that 25% of healthy women have group B strep, so it’s nothing to fret about if you do!
Prenatal Checkup (two this month)
Another checkup means you’re closer to meeting your baby!
To Do List for Pregnancy: Weeks 36 – Delivery
Install Baby’s Car Seat
Installing the infant car seat may seem like a task you want to wait on, but it’s so much easier if you’re done with it before your baby arrives.
Your hospital will make sure you have a car seat before you can take baby home, so be sure that you have it installed correctly and know how to use it.
This is the perfect time to get your car seat inspected by a professional in your area to be sure that it’s properly installed.
If you’re not sure which car seat to choose – check out this list of 9 affordable convertible car seats for babies.
Tip: Check out this site to find an inspection station near you!
Pre-Register with the Hospital
Some hospitals allow you to pre-register before you go into labor. This can be a great task to check off your list before baby arrives.
If you’ve been seen at the clinic associated with the hospital where you plan to deliver, you may not have to pre-register at all, but it doesn’t hurt to ask! This way once you’re in labor, checking in won’t be one of your worries.
Choose Baby’s Doctor
Have you chosen your baby’s pediatrician yet?
When baby’s born the hospital will ask who they should schedule baby’s first appointment with.
You’ll want to have a good idea who your options are and who might be the best fit for your family.
Make a Plan for when Labor Starts: for Children or Pets
If you have older children or pets at home, you’ll need to come up with a plan for them while you’re at the hospital.
Whether you have family close by that can stop in and help or friends that are willing to come over, it’s a good idea to have a plan.
Tip: Unless you’re having a scheduled induction or c-section, you probably won’t know what time of day or when your baby is coming. Make sure you have a few back up people to help with your kids and pets just in case.
Get Gifts for Nurses After Delivery
This is totally optional – but some moms want to give a gift to their OB nurses who take care of them during labor and delivery.
This is a great time to prep your thank you card or gift basket for the hospital team and have it ready to go with your hospital bag.
You can find more about other great gift ideas for labor and delivery nurses in this article – including what nurses can’t accept as gifts!
Print Insurance and Work Papers
As you reach the end of your pregnancy, you’ll want to double check with your insurance provider for any papers that need to be completed and any loose ends to tie up.
Most plans allow you 30 days after the big day to get your baby added to your plan, but they might want some documentation to go along with it.
If you have short term disability or other types of maternity leave from your workplace, be sure to check if they also have paperwork you need to bring with you to delivery.
Trust me, you’d much rather have it packed and ready to go so you can just hand it to the nurses, instead of frantically looking for someone to sign it once you’ve been discharged.
Make Postpartum Plans
The early days of having a newborn can be a total blur.
You’re totally exhausted, but so blissfully in love with your new bundle of joy that you really want that to be the only thing you have to worry about.
This is why making a postpartum plan before baby comes is so important.
Some easy ways to make the postpartum stage better for new moms is to have a great support system and a kick butt postpartum basket.
Having a brand new baby is a big transition and it’s okay to ask for help.
Another helpful piece to consider is making a postpartum care kit for your bathroom to help with the vaginal discharge and recovery pain you’ll be feeling.
Prenatal Checkup (weekly until delivery)
You’ve come a long way from your first prenatal appointment and now you’re sooo close to the finish line!
With your delivery date fast approaching, you’ll start to see your doctor for weekly appointments until you deliver.
You may start to experience more braxton hicks contractions and become more and more uncomfortable as the days get closer.
You may start to discuss things like induction or stripping your membranes if you are overdue or there’s a medical reason.
Download your free pregnancy to do lists by filling out the form at the bottom of this post (and some other great free resources!) to be sure you’re organized before your baby arrives!
What to do During the 3rd Trimester
Depending on your pregnancy and your preferences, your last trimester to-do list may vary slightly.
Feel free to make the changes you need to to fit the needs of you and your baby.
Whether it’s a scheduled induction, prepping for a home birth, or modifying this plan for gestational diabetes – remember this third-trimester checklist is for you.
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