Ah the third trimester! Peeing every 15 minutes, swollen feet, insomnia and, of course, pure panic over labour! I have to admit that I was a demon for the last ten weeks of my pregnancy. I couldn’t eat sweets because of gestational diabetes, I had constant braxton hicks and I was always tired. I was probably extra hard to live with because I was obsessed with being prepared for Jack’s arrival. I’m always organised in general, but this was next level prepared. I had lists in my phone, to-do’s all over my calendar and a huge written list stuck to the fridge! It may have been over the top, but when Jack decided to come two weeks early (holy relief batman!), I was completely ready for him.
THIRD TRIMESTER TO-DO LIST
Pack Your Hospital Bag
I packed my hospital bag, Colm’s and Jack’s at 31 weeks. There are ton’s of lists of what to pack on Pinterest, but to be honest I used about 5% of what I packed. I taped a list of what we needed to add last-minute to each bag (chargers, ID etc) and stored them in the guest room.
Wash & Fold Baby Clothes
My mother looked at me like I had two heads when I told her I washed all of Jack’s clothes before he was born. I worked in retail for years and trust me, the boxes and store rooms clothes sit in can be filthy. I suggest washing and folding/hanging all your newborn and 0-3 month clothes in the third trimester. Or if you’re OCD like me, wash your baby clothes, blankets, bibs and all!
Deep Clean The House
I’m not suggesting you do this yourself – treat yourself and get a professional deep clean done a couple of weeks before your due date.
Set Up Nursery
If you haven’t already, start setting up your nursery. At a bare minimum, have the cot and changing table set up.
Install Your Car Seat
Install your car seat at around 36 weeks so it’s ready to go. It is very easy to install a car seat incorrectly, so follow instructions carefully and get it checked. Most big box baby stores, police or fire stations will verify your car seat is installed correctly for free.
Pick a Doctor
Whether you’re choosing a new doctor for your baby, or sticking with your own practice, make sure you find out what you need to do to register your little one. While you’re at it, give your insurance company a call and find out what the protocol is for adding baby to your policy.
Download a Contraction Timer App
Gone are the days of timing contractions with your watch – downloading a contraction timer app makes it easy to track your contractions. I used the ‘Full Term – Labor Contraction Timer’ App, available in the app store.
Check Smoke & Carbon Monoxide Detectors
Test your alarms and replace the batteries if needed. Weird fact – our smoke alarm went off when I went into labour but there was no smoke or fire! At least we knew it was working!
Stock Up on Baby Supplies
Make sure you have enough nappies, wipes and formula (if you’re using it) to last you through your first month. Unsure of what you need? Check out our Baby Essentials List!
Download Our Baby Registry Checklist!
A comprehensive checklist of everything you need for the first year
Prenatal classes are a personal preference – We did them all. If you’re only going to take one class, I recommend taking a First Aid/CPR class so you know what to do in case of an emergency.
Do a Trial Hospital Run
You know where your hospital is, but do you know where to get dropped off, where to park, if you need to sign in with security etc? Do a trial run, and if possible do a tour of the hospital so you’re fully prepared.
Buy Postpartum Wardrobe Basics
I hate to break this to you, but your pre-pregnancy clothes won’t be fitting you for a while. Go through your wardrobe and set aside some things you can wear after baby arrives – tank tops, cardigans and button down shirts work well. I also really recommend buying a great pair of postpartum support leggings like these ones from Blanqi. If you plan on nursing, you’re going to want to buy a couple of nursing tank tops.
Set Up Changing Stations
You most likely will have a changing table in the nursery, which should be well stocked with the basics for changing nappies. We also set up a changing station in the sitting room so we wouldn’t have to run upstairs each time we needed to change the baby. A simple storage bin stocked with nappies, wipes, cream, hand sanitiser and a towel or changing pad will do the trick.
Stock-up the Pantry
The last thing you want to deal with is running out of toilet paper with a house full of visitors after the baby arrives. Do a stock-up run for toiletries, toilet paper, paper towels, laundry detergent, dishwasher powder, and dried goods like cereal. If you have pets, don’t forget to stock up on their food too! We don’t have a lot of room in our house, so we bought a metal shelving unit and set up a makeshift pantry in our garage.
Make Freezer Meals
Set aside an afternoon in the last month of your pregnancy to do some bulk cooking for freezing. I made about 6 lasagnas, several tubs of chilli and spaghetti bolognese, and some smoothie packs. It took about three hours and had us set for meals for about three weeks after the baby arrived.
Fill Out Paperwork
Having a baby usually comes with a lot of paperwork – hospital forms, maternity leave forms, birth certs etc. Fill out what you can in advance.
Try and pay any bills that are due the month baby is due to arrive, or make sure you have direct debit set up. My car registration was due the week Jack was born, so I got that paid and out of the way well in advance.
If you have any birthdays, holidays or weddings coming up, try and buy those gifts early so you don’t have to drag a newborn shopping. Don’t forget the card!
Get Your Hair Done
This was the only thing I missed off my list. Schedule a hair cut & colour a few weeks before your due date. Don’t end up like me with mad hair for a month post-baby!