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You’ve made it to the third trimester of pregnancy or as I like to call it the home stretch. Congratulations, you are almost done! However, there are still a few items to check off of your to do list before the big day arrives. It can be overwhelming thinking of everything you need to do before your baby makes their big debut. However, I have simplified it for you by making you a third trimester checklist. These are all of the tasks I did before Olivia was born that helped make bringing her home easier.
Decorate the nursery – One of the most exciting parts of pregnancy is setting up your little one’s nursery. I loved choosing a theme, picking paint colors, shopping for furniture, and decorating. Putting everything together and seeing the finished product really will make everything feel so real. It was one of my favorite parts of pregnancy. I have a Pinterest board full of nursery ideas to help you get started.
Go on a date night – Things will be crazy for the first few months after the baby is born. That’s why it is so important to add a date night to your third trimester checklist. You’ll want to get in as much quality time with your spouse as you can now. It will never be just the two of you again.
Take a hospital tour – One of my favorite tasks on my third trimester checklist is taking a hospital tour. The more you know about your delivery the more comfortable you will feel. This is the perfect time to get any questions you might have out of the way. Here is my list of questions to ask at your hospital tour to help you get started.
Your hospital tour is also the perfect time to preregister. You’ll want to make sure you get this out of the way before you go into labor. This way when you get to the hospital you will only have a few forms to sign instead of all of the intake paperwork.
Choose your pediatrician – It’s important to take the time during your pregnancy to interview and choose a pediatrician. You’ll usually have your first appointment with the pediatrician within a few days of being discharged. It’s important to select your pediatrician early so you have plenty of time to choose the right fit. This is not a decision you want to rush.
Pack your hospital bags – You’ll want to make sure to set aside time in your third trimester to pack your hospital bags. Take some time and make a list of exactly the items you will need to bring. You don’t want to end up leaving something important at home. Don’t forget about dad and baby too! I’ve created a list of everything I packed for Olivia’s birth for you to use. Once you are all packed set your bags by the front door so you can grab them and go once you are in labor!
Make freezer meals – The last thing on your mind will be cooking dinner once you bring your baby home. That’s why it is so important to add making freezer meals to your third trimester checklist. Stock up on meals now so that you can just warm them up in the oven and eat. This way you will have a variety of healthy options instead of just ordering take out.
Install the car seat – The hospital will not let you take your baby home without a properly installed car seat. You will want to make sure you have it installed before you leave for the hospital. If you are going with a traditional infant seat I recommend the Chico Keyfit 30. If you are skipping the infant seat and using a convertible seat I recommend the Graco Extend 2 Fit. We use both of these seats for our daughter and I can’t recommend them enough.
I recommend also joining the Facebook group Car Seats For The Littles. They are a great source of information regarding car seats. They can help you choose the best car seat for your little one and help you ensure you get a proper installation.
Gather all of your postpartum essentials – You’ll want to have all of your postpartum essentials prepared for when you are discharged. I have a list of all of my postpartum essentials for a Cesarean birth that I used after Olivia for you. These made my postpartum recovery so much more comfortable and I highly recommend them!
Wash and organize all of your baby’s clothes – Getting all of your baby’s clothes ready for them is an essential part of your third trimester checklist. You’ll want to have all of the newborn, 0-3 month, and 3 month clothes washed for them before they are born. You never know exactly what size your baby will come out so it’s best to be prepared. This way you won’t have to do any extra laundry during your first few weeks at home.
I also recommend setting aside some time to organize your baby’s closet. It can take a few different tries to find the right fit for your closet. Some people prefer to hang all of the clothes while others prefer to utilize baskets and drawers. Take some time to find what organization method works best for you.
Take maternity photos – This is the one thing on the list that I did not do when I was pregnant and I deeply regret it. I really struggled with my confidence when I was pregnant so I opted out of a lot of pictures. Now I wish I had those memories to look back on with Olivia. I strongly recommend adding maternity photos to your third trimester checklist. You might not feel beautiful right now, but I can guarantee you will cherish those photos forever.
Make arrangements for pets and siblings – It’s important to make plans for your pets and other children for when you go into labor. It will be tricky to make concrete plans because going into labor is pretty unpredictable. However, you can still get an idea of what you plan to do. Make sure whomever you choose to care for your pets and children has a key to your house. You’ll also want to provide them with a rough outline of your children and pet’s schedules.
Order your breast pump – The perfect time to order your breast pump is during your third trimester. I always recommend using the company Aeroflow to order your breast pump. They will contact your insurance company and your OBGYN for you to get you approved. Then, they will send you a list of approved breast pumps to choose from. Your breast pump will be completely free (even the shipping)! Click here to fill out their qualification form to get started. (P.S. you can read my full review on Aeroflow Breastpumps here).
Once your breast pump arrives you will want to take the time to sterilize all of the parts. Also, set aside some time to read through the manual and familiarize yourself with your pump. You’ll want to be comfortable using it before that first pumping session. It will make the whole process less stressful. Don’t forget to stock up on all of the other breastfeeding and pumping essentials you will need as well!
Deep clean your house – If you still have some extra energy left during your third trimester I recommend using it to clean the house. However, if you can afford it I highly recommend hiring a house keeper. You will love coming home to a clean house after delivery.
Set up bills on automatic payments – My memory was basically shot after I gave birth to Olivia. I’m so glad I set my bills up on automatic payments during my first few months postpartum. If I didn’t I can guarantee that some of them would have been forgotten. I highly recommend adding this simple task to your third trimester checklist!
Pamper yourself – Your body has worked hard the last nine months growing that little baby inside of you. You deserve to treat yourself. Take this time to get a mani/pedi, get a haircut, or have a facial. Heck, I’d even pencil in a nap or two or ten. Sleep will be hard to come by once the baby is born so you better stockpile it now.