Third trimester checklist: the ultimate to-do list for the third trimester of pregnancy! Put those nesting urges to good use by doing these 30 things before the baby comes. You’ll be happy you did! There’s even a printable PDF checklist!
Some links found on this site may be affiliate links. See sidebar for more information, or visit my Policies & Disclosures page.
Welcome to the third trimester! The days of morning sickness are (hopefully) long behind you, replaced by nesting urges and some wacky hormones. No doubt, your body is going through a lot as it prepares for birth.
Between learning what not to do in the third trimester of pregnancy, and scrambling to squeeze in some fun things to do before the baby arrives, you’re probably feeling a little overwhelmed right about now.
Not to worry! Take a deep breath!
I’ve put together the ultimate third trimester checklist to help you get ready for your newest family member’s big arrival. You’ll even find a printable PDF at the bottom of this article!
If you still have a lot left to buy, I have a few tips for preparing for baby on a budget. If it makes you feel any better, I pretty much bought everything for my son in the last two months. It’s possible!
You might also like:
Third Trimester Checklist
1. Write Your Birth Plan
Don’t worry, your birth plan doesn’t have to be super long and in-depth. You basically just want to outline your preferences regarding your birth and postpartum care.
Here are a few key things to touch on when writing your birth plan:
- Your birthing position
- Pain relief
- Who you want in the room with you
- Whether or not you want the baby to go to the nursery
- Whether you plan on breastfeeding, pumping, or using formula
- When to weight the baby
2. Take a Breastfeeding Course
Before having kids, breastfeeding seems pretty self-explanatory. You put the baby to your breast, and they drink the milk that comes out. Well, not exactly. It’s actually a lot more complicated than that. Who knew maintaining a healthy supply could be so hard?
Many women struggle with breastfeeding, but knowledge is power!
There are different options out there, but I highly recommend checking out this online course by Milkology. It’s affordable and full of information that will set you up for success before your baby arrives. It can seriously save you the heartache of almost losing your supply from lack of knowledge, and having to build it back up (which I went through with my son).
It’s one of the best ways you can set yourself up for success if breastfeeding is a priority for you!
3. Clean Clean Clean!
Yes, you may feel like there’s a basketball stuffed under your shirt, and you have to catch your breath every time you bend over, but it’s somehow a great time to clean! I mean, what would be the point of dusting and deep cleaning while you’re in the first or second trimester, right? It would all build back up by the time the baby is born.
Now you can really focus on getting the house in tiptop shape for the baby. Plus, most women experience strong nesting urges in the third trimester, so it will practically come naturally to you.
Break out the mop and scrub the baseboards when you feel up to it! You certainly won’t have time to once the baby is born.
4. Stock Up on Household Essentials
One of the best ways to prepare for the first few weeks home with your newborn is to stock up on household essentials. That way you won’t have to worry about silly things like running out of toilet paper or laundry detergent.
Here are a few household essentials you might want to consider stocking up on:
- Light bulbs (or at least replace any light bulbs that are out)
- Toilet paper
- Dish soap
- Shampoo & Conditioner
- Body Wash
- Laundry detergent
You get the idea!
5. Take Maternity Photos
Documenting your pregnancy may seem like a chore some weeks, but you’ll totally miss this time once it’s over. Book a maternity shoot if you can fit it into your budget, and I promise you’ll treasure those photos for the rest of your life.
I’ve heard so many women say they felt too gross or big to want professional photos taken of them while pregnant, but they almost always end up regretting it.
6. Finish Buying The Final Things For Baby
Not to stress you out, but you should finish buying everything on your baby checklist very soon! You’ll feel like a weight has been lifted once you’re finished. And remember, you don’t need to buy everything right away! You have time as your baby develops.
7. Put The Nursery Together
Perhaps one of the most exciting things you can do while preparing for your baby is setting up their nursery! Sure, they may not spend a ton of time in there right away, but it’s still usually a priority for most moms in the third trimester. It’s definitely more enjoyable than washing baby bottles and folding laundry. So make it fun!
8. Put Together a Breastfeeding or Pumping Basket
If you’re planning on breastfeeding or pumping, I recommend making a breastfeeding basket! You’ll be locked down to certain spots for an hour at a time sometimes, if not longer, and it’s nice having everything in one convenient place.
Here’s what you’ll need:
- A basket (preferably one with different compartments, like this one)
- Nursing Pads
- Nipple Balm
- Haakaa (These catch all of the milk that comes out of the breast your baby is not nursing from!)
- Reusable Water Bottle
- Lactation Support Drops (always be aware that different people respond differently to fenugreek and blessed thistle.)
- A Book or Magazine
- Burp Cloths
- For Pumping Mamas: The only thing you’ll need to add is your pump and any of the pump’s attachments.
9. Wash The Baby’s Clothes and Put Them Away
Even when they’re brand new, it’s best to wash all baby clothes before hanging them up or putting them away in drawers. Baby’s have sensitive skin, and besides, you can make them smell good and fresh for your baby’s first time wearing them!
10. Read Up on Safe Baby Sleep
It’s a scary topic, but one that needs to be discussed. There are things you can do to reduce the risk of SIDS. The CDC has a great article that goes over safe sleep for your baby that greatly reduces the risk of SIDS.
Here are some important things you can do to keep your baby safe:
- Keep baby’s sleeping area free from crib bumpers, pillows, blankets, and stuffed animals
- Lay baby on his/her back
- Use a firm crib or bassinet, with a taunt crib sheet
- Let baby sleep in your room for the first 3 months
11. Take A Birthing Class
The hospital or birthing center you’ve chosen to give birth at may offer free birthing classes, which you should enroll in if you have the time! You can also find some free videos on Youtube if your schedule is too hectic.
If you’re interested in a natural birth or pain management techniques for a drug-free birth, I recommend this online natural birth course by a labor and delivery nurse. She’s super knowledgeable and the course is extremely thorough!
12. Download A Contraction Timer App
No one wants to write down the length of their contractions on a piece of paper when they’re in pain. Instead, I recommend downloading a contraction timer app on your phone! That way you simply press a button when a contraction starts, and again when it ends! It’ll help you keep track of how far apart your contractions are, so you don’t go to the hospital in false labor (too many times, anyway).
There are several options, but this is the one I have!
13. Get Your Postpartum Care Kit Together
The hospital or birthing center will likely stock you up on some essentials, like the squirt bottle and hopefully some witch hazel pads, but you should still get a postpartum care kit together.
Here are some essentials:
- Herbal perineal spray
- Extra Undies
- Witch hazel pads
- Postpartum Pads
- Postpartum Cold Packs
- Postpartum herbal bath tea
14. Decide on a Baby Name
Now is the time to decide on a baby name with your partner! True, not everyone has a name picked out before heading to labor and delivery, but why not shoot for choosing beforehand? It’s one less thing to worry about.
15. Prepare For Maternity Leave
Even if you aren’t working, you’ll still want to plan a “maternity leave.” If you have older children, you should plan out easy activities or play dates with family members so you can have time to recharge. You should consider everything you do in a normal week (or month) and do your best to prepare for an easy time once the baby is born.
16. Make Pre-Baby Freezer Meals
Pre-baby freezer meals are a lifesaver when you first bring your newborn home. You throw a bunch of ingredients in a freezer bag, and when you’re ready to make it, you simply dump the contents into a crockpot, skillet, or oven for easy cooking. My friend from Coffee and Coos has some great tips for making pre-baby freezer meals!
17. Register at The Hospital or Birthing Center
Most hospitals and birthing centers allow you to pre-register so you don’t have to give them your information while you’re in labor. It saves time and helps you feel more prepared for the big day.
Once you’re in labor, all you’ll need to do is go in and tell them your name, and they’ll have everything else they need from you, like your insurance information and address!
18. Declutter and Organize
You’re likely to start feeling some strong nesting urges sometime this trimester if you haven’t felt it already! Aside from dusting and cleaning, now is a great time to declutter, organize and downsize! Start by going through your home room by room.
Make it a goal to get rid of anything that you don’t use, don’t want, and don’t need! The less clutter you have around, the more at ease you’ll feel once the baby gets here. Plus, you’ll need plenty of room for all your new baby gadgets!
19. Put Together A Diaper Changing Kit
You might not always be at your diaper changing station, so making a diaper kit can save you time! Order a diaper caddy and fill it with some of the essentials for quick and easy diaper changes:
- Butt paste
- Hand Sanitizer
- Small Toys (your baby may be easy to change at first, but soon enough you’ll need something to distract them)
- An extra outfit (for unexpected blowouts)
- Burp Cloths or Washrags
- *Extra Pacifier
- *Nose Frida
- *Nail Clippers
- *Baby Hairbrush
20. Get Your Hospital Bag Together
Unless you think you may go into pre-term labor, there’s no reason to worry too much about your hospital bag until 34-36 weeks, and even that’s pretty early. But once you hit that mark, you might start itching to pick out your baby’s “coming home” outfit, along with what you’ll need in the delivery room when the big day comes.
Some things to consider adding to your hospital bag:
- Birth plan
- Baby’s first outfit
- Baby’s going home outfit
- Comfy socks (for you)
- Nursing bras
- Breast pads
- Dry shampoo
- Night pants
- Hair brush
- Hair ties & bobby pins
- Going home outfit (for you)
- Robe or nightgown
- Soft, comfortable shirts,
- Diapers (even though the hospital will have some for you)
- Swaddle blankets
- Comforting personal items (for you or baby!)
21. Tour The Hospital
You can usually set up a time to tour your hospital or birthing center. Not only does it let your familiarize yourself with the place you’re bringing your baby into the world, but it’s nice to take a look at their amenities and daydream about your upcoming due date.
22. Attend Your Baby Shower (If You’re Having One)
If you’re having a baby shower, most people plan them for the third trimester. Pick out a fun maternity dress and make sure to take lots of pictures and eat lots of appetizers! Simply asking friends to bring a box of diapers is a great way to stock up for the baby’s first year!
23. Schedule Newborn Photos
Newborn photos are worth it, even if they seem expensive. There’s a very short window where your baby will be young enough to get the perfect shots, so make sure you book with someone in advance. You can choose from different themes, or even ask the photographer to simply come take some lifestyle shots at your house (which is what I prefer, personally).
24. Choose And Confirm A Pediatrician
The pediatrician will likely come see your baby the day they’re born, or soon after while you’re still at the hospital, so you’ll need one lined up in advance. This is easy to cross off your list if you already have older kids, but for new moms it can be a daunting task.
I recommend starting by asking around in your area. Ask neighbors or even turn to local Facebook groups for recommendations. That usually yields pretty great results.
25. Read Some Birth Stories
Nothing gets me excited about my own birth more than reading other people’s stories! Coffee and Coos has a great pregnancy and birth stories section on her website that you should check out!
Every story is unique, and there’s only so much you can control and predict about your own experience, but it’s still nice to hear from other moms.
26. Keep an Eye on Your Symptoms
Your body is going through a lot these last few weeks, and it’s important to stay connected and in tune with it all. Watch for a decrease in movement, any strange pain, swelling, or abnormal weight gain. Keep your doctor or midwife in the loop and try to stay relaxed while you finish up your pregnancy. You should also be on the lookout for signs of early labor, as you get closer to your due date!
27. Buy A Baby Book
There are so many ways to document the first year with your baby, and nothing makes it easier than a baby book. Sure, you can scrapbook, but I’ve found I never have time to actually follow through with my scrapbooking dreams. Order a baby book now, and try to keep up with it from day one! You can even order an small photo printer for pretty cheap, to easily print pictures of your baby!
28. Install The Car Seat
Install the car seat now. Trust me, there’s nothing quite as stressful as wondering if you’re about to go into labor with no car seat in your car. Besides, this gives you time to make sure it’s installed correctly if you’re unsure.
It always seems so simple, but once you’re actively trying to install it, it’s a different story…
29. Download Infant and Breastfeeding Apps
Yay for apps! There are so many different infant and breastfeeding apps available, that it can get overwhelming. I’ve tried quite a few out over the years, and I have to say, these are crucial:
- Glow Baby Newborn Tracker App (track everything, from diaper changes and naps, to nursing sessions!)
- The Wonder Weeks (track your baby’s development and prepare for mental leaps and sleep regressions)
- Tinybeans (save photos, notes, and memories of these precious moments!)
30. Pamper Yourself
Make time for yourself! In just a few short months or weeks you’ll be on baby duty 24/7, and there will be no time to pamper yourself. So take a trip to the spa or go get your hair done. You’ll be happy you did.
Third Trimester Checklist (PDF Printable)
I hope you found this pregnancy checklist helpful! What are some things you think are important to do in the last trimester? What do you wish you would have done? Let me know in the comments below!
If you liked this post, don’t forget to pin it for later: