You’re on the home stretch of your pregnancy, which means it’s time to start marking things off of your third trimester checklist!
The third trimester is when that urge to nest kicks in, so if you haven’t felt it yet, this list will get you started.
I’m going to go over all of the tasks you’ll want to accomplish before baby arrives.
…it’s not just about nesting and preparing for labor (of course those things are super important).
What about fun things to do when pregnant in your third trimester?
You should enjoy these last weeks and take care of yourself too before you get busy taking care of a newborn. So I’ve also added some fun things to this third trimester to do list.
By the time you’re done checking things off the list, you’re going to be 100% ready to have your baby. And by doing these things in advance you’ll also be making your life so much easier once you do bring baby home.
Get started now – don’t wait until your last month of pregnancy because you never know when baby might decide to show up!
Ready? Let’s dive into the 3rd trimester checklist.
Third Trimester Checklist Of Nesting Tasks
Make A Meal Plan
One of the best things to have in place before baby comes is a meal plan. You’ll be so exhausted from the lack of sleep that there won’t be any room to think about what’s for dinner. This is where making freezer meals or organizing a meal train will be super helpful.
In my last couple months of pregnancy, I froze leftovers in single meal containers like this, so I could just pop one in the microwave and have food ready in a few minutes time.
Freezing in single meal containers gave me the option for more variety at any time. I froze leftovers of all my favorite recipes including soups, pieces of lasagna, curry, pulled chicken, etc.
I even wrapped up leftover slices of Pagliacci pizza in foil and froze it!! These single meals were a fast solution especially at lunch time.
Thankfully, we had a lot of family bring food in that first week, but after that we were definitely diving into those freezer meals.
We also put our slow cooker to good use during the newborn phase. There are tons of recipes out there that you can freeze in a gallon Ziplock bag and then “dump” in your slow cooker in the morning and have dinner cook itself all day.
We also factored in ordering food for delivery from UberEats once in awhile. It was super convenient, but of course takeout can get expensive if it’s your go-to for food. (If you’ve never used UberEats before, you can use my coupon code eats-mfxj0 at checkout for $20 off a $25 order).
Otherwise, freezer meals are definitely the way to go.
Stock Up On Essentials
Now that you’ve got a stash of freezer meals, the next thing to do on the third trimester checklist is to make sure you’re stocked up on all of your household essentials.
If you’re used to going to the grocery store a few times a week like I was, get ready to become a better planner! After having baby, unnecessary outings like this will become a nuisance.
So make sure to get stocked up on essentials including:
- Toilet paper
- Paper towels
- Dish soap and dishwasher tablets
- Laundry detergent and dryer sheets
- Hand soap
- Garbage bags
- Coffee and filters
- Snacks (you will be ravenous if breastfeeding so snack bars, crackers, etc. are a must to have in the pantry)
Basically, you want to have all of the things you use regularly on hand so you don’t have to think about any of that when you bring baby home.
When you do find yourself needing something essential, I highly recommend getting a prime membership so you can have it delivered to your door within 2 days (sometimes same day!). That way you don’t have to pack up baby and make a trip to the store that will take you twice as long as it used to.
Wash Baby Items
Start by washing all of baby’s blankets, swaddles and crib sheets. Make sure to use a detergent that is “Free & Clear” to avoid irritants (doesn’t have to be Dreft specifically. I’ve always used Costco Kirkland Free & Clear).
As far as what to wash of baby’s clothes, this can be tricky. On the one hand, you will find that your baby will grow so fast that it’s likely you won’t use all of the clothes that you bought or were gifted. In which case, if the tags are still on you can return what you don’t use.
You’re totally going to have favorite outfits! And those sleepers with all the buttons are not going to be one of them (zippers please!).
I recommend only washing some outfits of newborn and 0-3 month size to start. Different brands can run small or big so you might find that a 0-3 month fits more like a newborn size or vice versa as well.
Organize everything else in baby’s closet with some sizing closet dividers. As baby grows some of those larger sizes could end up being wrong season so don’t wash them until you need them. Return and re-gift as needed.
Sterilize Bottles And Pump Parts
In the last month of your pregnancy wash and sterilize all of baby’s bottles, nipples and pump parts so they are squeaky clean. (If you haven’t gotten your breast pump and accessories yet, you can get these items for free with your insurance card here.)
So how do you properly clean baby’s feeding supplies?
You need to keep everything separate from your regular dishes (I always put mine in a big bowl off to the side). Then soak in hot soapy water for 20 min. Clean with a bottle brush that you use only for these items. Never with the same old sponge you use for everything else as it can contain harmful bacteria.
After washing, finish by sterilizing everything in these microwaveable bags here. Let air dry and then store until ready to use.
Set Up Nursing Station
After you get baby’s feeding supplies cleaned, you can get your nursing station set up. Whether it’s in baby’s nursery in the rocking chair, on the couch in your living room, or in your bed, you’re going to want to have certain items nearby as you’ll be spending a lot of time in one place.
I used a basket to hold all of the items for my nursing station next to me, but you could also do a rolling cart.
Here’s what you’ll need:
- Boppy pillow
- Snack bars (you will be hungry in the middle of the night if breastfeeding!)
- Lanolin cream (put this on after each feeding)
- Phone charger with extended cord
- Baby nail scissors (the easiest time to clip baby’s nails is after they feed and fall asleep on you)
- Burp cloths
- Waterproof pad to protect couch or bed from leaks and spit up
- Gripe Water
- Portable dimmable nightlight (so you can see what you’re doing in the middle of the night without waking baby)
Set Up Crib
Don’t wait until the last minute to set up a safe sleeping space for your baby. My second baby decided to come 2 1/2 weeks early, which happens all the time!
Attempting to follow a manual and fiddling with crib parts is the last thing you’ll want to be doing when you bring baby home.
This doesn’t mean you need to put together the big, wooden crib in the nursery though (unless you’re super on top of things!). Focus on setting up a safe sleep space in your bedroom next to you since that’s where baby will be sleeping for the first 6 months to reduce the risk of SIDS (Sudden Infant Death Syndrome).
What does a safe sleeping space mean exactly?
It means baby is sleeping flat on his back with no loose blankets, stuffies, bumpers, cords or objects in and around the crib/bassinet.
Both of my kids slept in a pack n play next to me for the first 6 months. I highly recommend this not just as a safe space but because when it came time to transition them to the “real” crib there really was no transition because the space was already familiar.
So whatever you choose to use for baby’s sleep space, make sure it’s safe and set up 3-4 weeks before your due date.
Install Infant Car Seat
Installing baby’s car seat is another important thing you’ll want to check off of your third trimester to do list at least a month in advance.
Not only do you need to install the base in your car, you’ll want to learn how to put the car seat in and take it out of both the base and the stroller. (I’d keep the stroller in the trunk of your car as well).
Be sure to follow the instructions in the car seat manual to get it right – a whopping 80% of car seats are installed incorrectly! I find that watching a YouTube video is also super helpful when doing a new installation.
Before you know it, you’ll be driving your precious little babe home from the hospital at 20 mph 😉.
Related Post: The Best Baby Car Seats
Set Up Diaper Changing Station
Whether you’re making a whole nursery for baby or not, be sure at a minimum to set up your baby’s diaper changing station.
Ideally, your baby’s changing pad should be placed at a height that is comfortable for you. (Bending over will be impossible if you’ve had a c-section, so using the couch for diaper changes is out).
I personally like using the top of a dresser for diaper changes. Plus, all of baby’s essentials fit nicely in the top drawers.
Here’s everything you’ll need at your diaper station:
- Diaper rash ointment (this stuff here works and will last you all year)
- Burp cloths
- Baby lotion
- Laundry basket
- Diaper genie
- Waterproof changing pad covers
- Night light
If the discomfort of your third trimester baby bump doesn’t stop you, bring on that nesting urge to clean house!
This is the last chance you’ll have for awhile to really deep clean your home before baby arrives since your body will be sore and healing in the months following delivery.
If you’re already feeling too uncomfortable to do the down on your knees scrubbing jobs, get your partner involved in the nesting process and delegate some of those harder cleaning tasks. Or heck, hire a service to come deep clean for you.
Once you’re done, it’ll feel so good to have a clean space to welcome your new baby into.
Pack Baby’s Diaper Bag
You’ll want to pack baby’s diaper bag so it’s ready to go to the hospital (or at least be in the car) when you go into labor.
The hospital will supply diapers, wipes, a hat and swaddle blanket for your newborn baby while you’re there. But once you’re on your way home, it’s up to you to have all of the essentials with you.
Learn what you’ll need here 👉 What To Pack In Baby’s Diaper Bag
How To Prepare For Labor In Third Trimester
Pack Your Hospital Bag
One of the most important things to mark off of your third trimester checklist is of course packing your hospital bag.
Not only do you need to pack for yourself, but hubby and baby need a few things too.
I mentioned earlier in this post that my second son came 2 1/2 weeks early. If I hadn’t already had the hospital bag ready to go by the door, we surely would have forgotten a zillion things.
Definitely don’t procrastinate packing your hospital bag!
Find out everything you’ll need to pack in this post here 👉 Labor Hospital Bag Checklist (Free Printable)
Finalize Your Birth Plan
You know that piece of paper the doctor gave you that’s still sitting on your kitchen counter? It’s time to fill it out and stick it in your hospital bag!
When you arrive at the hospital, have your partner hand your birth plan to one of the nurses so they have an idea of your wishes.
Of course, it’s possible that your birth plan will go right out the window. Sometimes baby has a different idea! So just know, things may or may not go according to plan. And that’s ok. The end result is still a beautiful newborn baby.
Take A Birthing Class
Whether giving birth naturally is your birth plan or the thought of labor terrifies you, consider taking a birthing class. Not only will you gain a better understanding of what to expect, but you’ll feel more prepared to manage the pain.
Personally, I did not end up taking a birthing class as I had no issue with just getting the epidural if things got rough (it’s wonderful by the way). But if you think it suits you, here are some birthing methods to look into and see if there are local classes available:
- Bradley birthing method
- Lamaze birthing method
Make A Postpartum Care Kit
After you give birth, it’ll take 6 weeks for your body to heal. No matter how you give birth, things are going to be sore, swollen and bleeding for awhile.
I have given birth via c-section as well as vaginally so I know what it’s like to heal after both. There are a few differences in the kinds of postpartum care items you’ll need depending upon how you give birth.
Learn what you’ll need to get in this post here 👉 Postpartum Care Kit.
Fun Things To Do When Pregnant Third Trimester
Get Your Hair/Nails Done
Your third trimester checklist should including pampering yourself! If it makes you feel beautiful, do it!
Because after you give birth you won’t have a lot of time for grooming (and you really won’t care). So make sure to get your hair done and treat yourself to a day at the spa as part of your last month of pregnancy checklist.
If you’re feet and ankles are swollen, a pedicure will be heavenly.
Go On A Date
After you get your hair and nails done, go out on a hot date with your hubby! This is the last time it’s going to be just the two of you before your lives change forever, so go out and enjoy each other to the fullest.
Spend Time With Friends
Early in my third trimester of both my pregnancies I made sure to take a long weekend away to visit a couple of my best friends. I knew once my baby came, I wouldn’t be traveling for awhile (and definitely not by myself).
And while you’ll probably have lots of friends and family come to visit and meet the new baby, this is not the same kind of hangout as say, going to brunch with your besties.
So go and do that brunch with your friends. You deserve it!
If you and your husband have the travel bug, why not go on a baby moon?
When I was around 32 weeks with my first baby, we spent a glorious week in Maui just relaxing by the pool and eating all the delicious foods the island had to offer.
Now that we have two little kids, travel is a lot more crazy and a bit less relaxing 😂. I definitely cherish that last baby moon we took before becoming parents. I highly recommend it.
Have A Baby Shower
A baby shower is a fun way to celebrate your pregnancy with friends and family (and get everything you need to take care of baby).
If you’re still planning your shower, below are some posts you might find helpful. Otherwise, enjoy your special day!
Set Up Photography
Now that your family is growing, make sure to capture this incredibly special time with some professional photography.
There are lots of opportunities for fun photos in your third trimester whether it’s at your baby shower, on your baby moon or a staged maternity shoot in your home.
If you’re not feeling the pregnancy glow in your third trimester, that’s ok too! Instead, set up a tentative date for newborn photography based on baby’s due date (photographers can be flexible with this since baby obviously doesn’t always come when due).
You won’t want to miss that short window after baby is born to get those newborn photos. Baby’s looks change fast!
Choose A Name For Baby
Now we come to the last thing on your third trimester to do list – choosing a name for baby.
Some people already have names picked out before they even get pregnant, but if you’re like me, we didn’t have a clue! If you’re stuck, grab this book of baby names. It’s pretty much the ultimate book of baby names. There’s gotta be one in there you’ll love.
Final Thoughts On The Third Trimester Checklist
Once you do all of these things on the third trimester checklist, all that’s left is to put those swollen feet up and wait for baby to make her appearance.
You can relax knowing your life will be much easier during the newborn phase since you’ll be meal-ready, stocked up on essentials and set up to diaper and breastfeed.
If you want to come back to this checklist as you go through each to-do, here are a couple ways to save it:
- Click here for a printable third trimester checklist pdf (it’s free!)
- Pin this post to Pinterest to come back to it later 👇