* This article was originally published on Simply Laura Leigh *
I can’t believe that my third trimester is already here! I swear this pregnancy has absolutely flown by! With just a few weeks left until the arrival of our THIRD baby boy, there’s so much to do in a short amount of time!!! Between the fog of baby brain and taking care of two little ones, I needed a little help to keep me on track. And what better way to do that than with a checklist!!!
This Ultimate Third Trimester Checklist has just about everything that you’ll need to get done before the arrival of your little one. And with the clock counting down you’ll want to start checking things off sooner rather than later. Because even though the final trimester of pregnancy feels like it’s never going to end before you know it you’ll be bringing your sweet little baby home from the hospital!!! Don’t forget to scroll all the way to the bottom to get your free printable!
1. SCHEDULE A HOSPITAL TOUR
Contact the hospital you will be delivering at and arrange a tour. Most hospitals will give them starting at 26 weeks and they take anywhere from 20-60 mins. Use this time to find the best place to park, and where to check-in when you’re in labor. Take some time and come up with a list of any questions and concerns you have before you go.
If you’ve given birth at the hospital before its still a good idea to take a tour. With the fast pace of technology, hospitals are constantly changing. It’s a good idea to see if any policy or design changes have been made since you were last there.
2. CLEAN, DECLUTTER, AND ORGANIZE YOUR HOUSE
Put those third trimester nesting instincts to good use. Take some time to make sure that our house is not only clean but decluttered and organized. Once your little one gets here things are going to get messy quick. And you’re not going to have a lot of extra time or energy to put into cleaning. If you can hire a house cleaner then now is the time to do it. If not enlist the help of any friends or family who are super organized or neat freaks.
3. SET UP THE NURSERY
Set up the crib, rocker, changing table, and any other furniture you’ll be using in the nursery. Take come time or arrange and organize it in a way that is not only cute but functional. Spend some time in the space and make sure that everything is in a place that will work well for you.
If you’re planning on having your baby sleep in your bedroom for the first few weeks make sure to set up the pack and play or bassinet. Organize any supplies you’ll need to have close by for those late-night feedings or diaper changes.
4. WASH BABY CLOTHES AND LINENS
Wash any linens you’ll be using in the nursery including burp rags and bibs. When it comes to washing clothes I highly recommend that you do not wash everything right away. Both of my sons were large babies and never wore their newborn sized clothes. Since they didn’t wear them I could return what still had tags on them or save them to give away as gifts.
Wash just what you think you’ll need for the first week or so until you know what fits and what doesn’t. Also, don’t waste your money buying laundry detergent that is marketed as specifically for babies. It’s no different then detergents such as ALL Free and Clean or any other detergents that are free of dyes and fragrances.
5. INSTALL THE CAR SEAT
This isn’t something that needs to be done until closer to your due date. But since there is always a chance of an early arrival its best to have a car seat purchased and know how to install it early on. If you’ve never installed a car seat before do a test run and get comfortable with it.
If you need extra help with the installation or want to make sure you have it installed correctly then look for a car seat safety event in your area with Safe Kids Car Seat Checkups. Or find you can find car seat inspection locations and events sponsored by the National Highway and Transportation Safety Administration.
6. CHECK FOR PRODUCT RECALLS
If you’re reusing items from your previous child, buying items at consignment shops, garage sales or getting used items from friends and family members then you’ll need to check if the items have been recalled.
You’ll be surprised just how often baby items are recalled so its a good habit to keep an eye on the list of recalls. If an item is recalled the manufacturer will let you know if you need to contact them for a repair or if you need to discontinue use of the product.
To check if items you are using have been recalled go to these websites;
7. TAKE A CLASS OR TWO
Check with your hospital to see what classes they offer for soon to be parents. Our hospital offers breastfeeding and infant CPR. It also offers a baby 101 class for brand new parents with little to no experience with babies. As well as a class for soon to be siblings and quite a few others.
If your hospital does not offer any classes then check with your local Red Cross. You can also do a quick google search to see what organizations in your area provide classes and support for parents to be.
8. WRITE YOUR BIRTH PLAN
Now is the time to sit down and start thinking about how you want to give birth. If you don’t have it written down and communicate it to the doctors and nurses in the labor and delivery room then they aren’t going to be able to assist you in the ways you want. Write up a draft of everything you want and don’t want. Then discuss it with your partner and your doctor to come up with the best plan for you. Some things you’ll want to think about are;
- Do you want a drug free birth or you want the doctors to give you an epidural as soon as you walk through the hospital doors?
- Do you plan on using any labor aids or do you want a special playlist playing?
- Are there any special religious or cultural preferences that you need the doctors and nurses to know?
- Do you want the baby placed on your chest right away or do you want them to be cleaned beforehand?
The list could go on and on but you get the idea. Having a plan can be a great stress reliever for first time moms. It can also help you feel more comfortable, confided and in control during the labor process. Just remember that even the best birth plan can get thrown out the window in the case of a medical emergency and at the end of the day the most important thing is the health of baby and mamma.
9. DOWNLOAD A CONTRACTION TIMER
There are a ton of options out there for contraction timing apps. Spend some time downloading a few and playing around with them. Find which one works best for you so when those contractions start to hit you’re not scrambling to track them or messing with a timer you don’t like.
10. STOCK THE FRIDGE AND PANTRY
Once you bring home your baby one of the last things you’re going to want to do is go grocery shopping or cook dinner. Make sure your pantry and fridge are well stocked to avoid running out of things you need. If you haven’t discovered the amazingness that is online grocery ordering then I suggest you check it out ASAP. This way when you do start to run out of things, all you have to do is put in an order online and have your husband or a very nice friend pick it up for you.
Another great thing to consider is stocking your fridge with freezer meals. Also, look into easy crockpot and instant pot meals. If making a ton of freezer meals doesn’t work for you then you can always but freezer meals at your grocery store. If stocking your fridge with frozen pizza, chicken pot pies and frozen meals from the grocery store works for you then go for it! Whatever makes your life a little easier!!
11. FIND A PHOTOGRAPHER
If you’re thinking about getting newborn photographs taken then its time to start looking around for a photographer. Start looking through Facebook and Instagram profiles of photographers in your area. Once you find someone you like and contact them about pricing and dates. You’ll want to have this set in advance since most newborn photographs are taken within two weeks of the baby’s birth.
Don’t forget to start looking through Pinterest to come up with ideas, background and poses that you like. Talk to your photographer about what they can do and if you need to provide anything.
12. PACK YOUR HOSPITAL BAG
Although you could very easily leave this to the last second you should really have your hospital bag packed around week 36. You don’t want to be caught off guard by an early arrival and end up at the hospital missing half the things you need!
If you’re looking for ideas of what you need to pack and what you can leave at home check out my post about what I packed in my hospital bag for the birth of my second son. It also comes with a super handy printable checklist to help make sure you don’t forget a single thing!!!
13. ARRANGE FOR HELP
If you have older children you’re going to need to arrange your plan for child care in advance. Many hospitals have policies prohibiting children in the labor and delivery room so you’ll need someone to watch them while you are at the hospital. If your husband is not able to take paternity leave or only has a few days, then line up family or friends who can help lend a hand. Don’t be afraid to ask for help if you think you’re going need it.
14. PREPARE OLDER SIBLINGS
You’ll need to prepare your kids for you to be gone for anywhere from 2-4 days. If they’re staying at someone else’s house then you’ll want to prepare a bag with everything they’ll need while they’re there. Don’t forget to write down any doctor’s appointments, sports, and school actives they need to attend as well as addresses and important phone numbers. This is good to do even if they’re staying at home with someone who is familiar with their routine. There’s going to be a lot going on during this time and you want to make sure that your older children are sticking with their normal routine as much as possible.
Also, if you want your kids to be wearing a specific outfit to the hospital when they meet their new sibling make sure it is packed in their overnight bag or somewhere easily accessible and let whoever is watching them know where to find it.
15. BUY, CLEAN, AND ORGANIZE FEEDING SUPPLIES
Last on the list and one of the more important things to make sure that you have all the feeding supplies you’ll need once you bring baby home. If you’re breastfeeding make sure you have a pump cleaned and ready to use as well as a few bottles in case you need to supplement formula while your milk is coming in.
If you are formula feeding then you’ll need to have formula, bottles, and bottled water. And anything else you’ll want to use like a bottle warmer, cleaning brush and drying rack. One tip I can give you after formula feeding both of my children is to not buy lots of formula in advance. My oldest son had to move to a gentle formula shortly after birth and my second had to be put on a hypoallergenic formula due to a milk protein intolerance. Formula is expensive so until you know which one your child will need for sure hold off on stockpiling it.
So what’s on your checklist? Did I leave anything off?? I would love to hear from you in the comments below!
If you enjoyed this post then check out
- The Ultimate Guide To Surviving A Summer Pregnancy
- What’s In My Hospital Bag – The Second Time Around
- Newborn Essentials – 16 Must Haves For Your Baby’s First Month
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