What do you need to complete in your third trimester of pregnancy? Once you reach the third trimester, you are in the home stretch and there are a lot of things to get checked off your list before your baby arrives.
As a mom of 3 (including being a mom to twins), I have been there. That’s why I thought it would be very helpful to create a third trimester checklist for expecting parents. This will help you know exactly what to do to prepare for the arrival of your little one. So, let’s get started reviewing all the items you will want to complete in your third trimester!
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Free Printable Third Trimester Checklist (PDF)
First up, you might want to grab a free, printable version of all the items we will be discussing below. This will help you stay organized and visualize which items are left on your third trimester checklist. Just fill in the form below to get it.
Third Trimester Checklist (Pregnancy Checklist for Before Baby Arrives)
The third trimester of pregnancy will definitely keep you busy. The third trimester starts at 28 weeks and will last until the birth of your baby. Below is a list of almost 30 items you might want to do before your baby arrives.
1 – Have a Baby Shower (optional)
Although it is not required, many expecting moms (and sometimes dads) have a baby shower. Your baby shower will typically take place anywhere between 28 and 34 weeks of pregnancy.
>>For baby shower ideas, check out these printable baby shower games & planners<<
2 – Take a Birthing Class
I highly recommend taking a birthing class. It will help you know what to expect during birth, learn how to get through labor, and what to expect postpartum. These are all things that will make the whole birthing and postpartum process much easier for you.
If you are looking for a great online class, I highly recommend this online prenatal class that will cover everything you need to know. It is taught by a labor and delivery nurse who is also a mom of 3. The reviews are amazing and you get so much useful information at a very reasonable price.
3 – Have a Birth Plan
Creating a birth plan doesn’t have to be that difficult. I know I personally wasn’t sure what to do for this, so I wrote down a few sentences of what I wanted during birth. A super simple way to tackle this item is to use a birth plan checklist.
Prepare for birth and postpartum with these Labor Checklists (includes a birth plan checklist)
4 – Pick Baby’s Name
This is pretty self explanatory. If you haven’t decided on a name or at least a few name options for your unborn child, now is the time to figure that out.
5 – Get Newborn Essentials
6 – Finalize Maternity Leave Plan
If you are currently working, make sure you know if and how you will be paid when you are out. Additionally, know who will cover your work while you’re away and how long you will be on maternity leave.
Finally, be aware that there might be paperwork to fill out once your baby arrives. This could includes things you need to do in order to get your maternity leave pay and also to put your newborn on your insurance (if you are the carrier)
7 – Figure Out Childcare
Now is the time to finalize your plans for childcare. Will you be home? Will your baby go to daycare eventually? Make sure you know the childcare arrangement now before your baby is born.
8 – Pack Hospital Bag
You will want to start packing your hospital bag around 34-36 weeks. It will include items for you, your newborn, and your partner. You can get a hospital bag checklist here!
Prepare for birth and postpartum with these Labor Checklists (includes a hospital bag checklist)
9 – Pick Baby’s Going Home Outfit
You will need to bring an outfit for your baby to come home in. It’s fun to select something you really love for your little one to wear.
Remember, you will likely be taking a lot of photos when you leave the hospital and journey home with your baby. Personally, I opted for some comfy zip-up sleepers that I thought were super cute too.
10 – Get & Send Thank You Notes for Baby Gifts
You’ve probably been receiving quite a few baby gifts, especially if you had a baby shower. Make sure you have a lot of thank you notes on hand. Be sure to write those thank you notes to show your appreciation to friends, family, and coworkers who have bought things for your baby.
11 – Prepare Financially
How are you going to afford the additional expenses that come with having a child? Make sure you have a good understanding of your budget and the costs you will incur.
12 – Get & Read a Baby Book
13 – Pick a Pediatrician
Once your baby arrives, he or she will need a doctor. Make sure you know which practice you plan to use and that they have openings.
14 – Assemble Baby Gear
There are a few items you will want to open, put together, and make sure they are in good working order. This includes the place(s) your newborn will sleep like bassinets, Pack ‘n Plays, and cribs. Additionally, I recommend assembling the stroller and the car seat (more on that below).
15 – Install Car Seat
To leave the hospital you will need to have a car seat properly installed. Make sure yours is ready to go at least a couple weeks before your due date.
16 – Prepare Freezer Meals (Recommend At Least 5)
It’s really nice to have ready-to-eat homemade meals on hand as you adjust to having a baby to care for at home. While you have time now, prepare some meals you can freeze and use postpartum.
17 – Get Postpartum Supplies
You will need items like pads, breast pads, appropriate clothing and more postpartum. You can grab a handy postpartum checklist to make sure you get everything you need.
Prepare for birth and postpartum with these Labor Checklists (includes a postpartum checklist)
18 – Organize & Wash Baby Clothes
I always washed the baby clothes before my kids wore them. This is recommended since babies have very sensitive skin. While you have more time now, wash and organize your baby’s clothes.
Start with the smaller sizes first like newborn and 3 months. But feel free to wash and organize as many sizes as you want and have room for.
19 – Setup Diaper Changing Area
You will need a space for changing diapers. This could be in the nursery, which I recommend if you have one floor in your home. But if you have two, I recommend setting up a changing area downstairs and one upstairs (in the nursery).
20 – Decorate & Setup Nursery
Technically, you could do this after your baby is born especially if you plan to have your baby sleep in your room at first. But, it’s better to get this task complete and out of the way when you have more time. Plus, it’s a good idea to get your baby used to his or her room and maybe take some naps in the nursery.
21 – Learn How To Feed a Newborn
Whether you plan to breastfeed, formula feed, or pump it’s important to understand what it entails. To make sure you are fully ready for breastfeeding or exclusively pumping, you can take a breastfeeding class taught by a certified lactation educator:
22 – Arrange for Free Breast Pump Through Insurance
In the United States, you are entitled to a free breast pump through your health insurance. Call your insurance company for more information. Where I gave birth, I spoke to the lactation department before leaving the hospital and they provided me with my choices and gave me my breast pump to take home.
23 – Take Maternity Photos (optional)
If you want to have a professional maternity photoshoot done, the third trimester is the time to do it! You can also opt for taking your own photos if you want to save money.
24 – Schedule Newborn Photos (optional)
If you would like professional newborn photos taken, scheduling them now is a good idea. This will ensure you get them completed when you want them happen.
25 – Clean The House
Get your house organized and cleaned now. Once your newborn is here, there will be limited time for this. It might be worth the splurge to have it professionally cleaned too.
26 – Do a House Safety Check
Make sure your living space is safe for a newborn. At first your baby will not be moving around, but once that happens you will have even more things to check off that safety list.
27 – Group B Strep Test
The Group B strep test is a swabbing test completed during weeks 36-38 of pregnancy at your OB appointment. If it is positive or you go into labor before the test has been completed you will be given intravenous antibiotics during labor.
More Third Trimester Checklists That You Might Need
I have put together a bundle of third trimester checklists to help you stay organized as you prepare for birth and postpartum. It includes the following:
- Hospital Bag Checklist
- Birth Plan Checklist
- Postpartum Checklist
Just click here to get this bundle of checklists!
Before you go, be sure to grab your free printable third trimester checklist!
That sums up all the items I recommend you complete in the third trimester. If you missed it earlier, get your FREE printable version of the third trimester checklist before you leave. Finally, good luck as you prepare for the arrival of your little one.