Third Trimester Checklist
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The Ultimate Third Trimester Checklist

The third trimester can be a bittersweet time in your pregnancy. You’re so close to meeting your sweet little baby, while on the other hand, you are also growing increasingly uncomfortable.

Now, you might think that your third trimester to-do list will be dwindling since you are on the last stretch of your pregnancy. That isn’t necessarily the case! As your due date approaches, there are quite a few things that will help you prepare for your baby’s arrival. That’s where this third trimester checklist comes in handy. 

This third trimester checklist contains everything you need to know about this last section of your pregnancy. These tasks are practical, and most are pretty exciting to finish!

Before we get started, make sure you check out the first trimester and second trimester checklists to make sure you haven’t forgotten to do anything!

Let’s get started!

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When is the third trimester of pregnancy?

The third trimester of pregnancy starts at week 28 and goes until the last week of your pregnancy, which is week 40 (unless you deliver your baby a little early/late).

The time starts to go by so quickly and yet slowly simultaneously, giving you the perfect opportunity to wrap up some last-minute baby to-do’s!

Third Trimester Checklist: Things To Do

1. Know What to Expect at Your Prenatal Checkups

As you come closer to your due date, your prenatal checkups might be slightly different than they have been thus far in your pregnancy. Here’s what to expect:

How often will you see your doctor in the third trimester?

If you have a low-risk pregnancy, you will start to see your doctor every two weeks from week 28 until week 36. Then, from week 36 until week 40, you will see your doctor every week.

Like during the first and second trimesters, your doctor will check your weight and blood pressure at each appointment and ask about any symptoms you have. Also, they will measure your uterus and listen to your baby’s heartbeat.

What standard tests and special appointments should you expect in the third trimester?

Test For Group B Strep:

Around week 36, your doctor will test you for group B strep. If you test positive, you will be given antibiotics during labor to prevent passing it to your baby.

Tdap Vaccine:

Your doctor will likely recommend that you (and your partner) get the Tdap vaccine sometime before week 36. The Tdap vaccine will help protect you and your baby from whooping cough.

If you choose to get the Tdap vaccine and the flu season is near, you will also be offered the flu vaccine.

Physical Exams To Check Your Cervix:

During weeks 36-40, your doctor will ask if you want your cervix checked at each appointment. This is to see how you progress as you get closer to delivery.

Your doctor should give you the option to turn down a cervical check. I chose to have my cervix checked every other week until my due date, which was fine for my pregnancy.

2. Find Birthing And Breastfeeding Classes

Next on our third trimester checklist is finding a birthing and breastfeeding class. Attending birthing and breastfeeding classes is a great thing to do around week 36 or 37 of your pregnancy. When you go to a class later in pregnancy, everything that you learn will be fresh on your mind when you bring your baby home.

The hospital where you’ll be delivering your baby will likely offer free classes for you to go to. My hospital provided both breastfeeding and labor and delivery classes.

A significant benefit to utilizing these classes is that they are often taught by nurses, who can quickly answer your questions.

Another common thing you can do is find classes online. Because I didn’t go that route, I don’t have recommendations for any online courses. But, a quick search on Pinterest or Google will bring you many options!

3. Create a Birth Plan

Making your birth plan is super simple! A birth plan is essentially a list of how you would like your labor to go, as long as everything goes according to plan. Just remember to be flexible if something you wished for can’t exactly happen.

If you don’t want to write a birth plan, that’s fine! I suggest you and your partner talk through the different options you have for labor and newborn care so you are on the same page.

4. Tour the Hospital

As you get closer to your due date, you will want to tour the hospital where you will give birth.

By taking a tour, you’ll already know where the entrance is and how long it takes to get there from your house.

When going on your hospital tour, make sure you come prepared with whatever questions you may have. A few common questions are:

  • Will you will have a private room?
  • What unique things are available to ease pain, like a birthing tub or ball?
  • How many people can you have in the room during delivery?
  • Does the baby have to stay in the nursery?

A labor nurse will show you around the birth center during your tour. You will see things like the delivery rooms and the nursery. And remember, don’t be afraid to ask your questions as you go!

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5. Preregister with the Hospital

While you don’t have to preregister at the hospital before your labor and delivery, it’s nice to get it done ahead of time. 

When you preregister at the hospital, you’ll fill out all required paperwork ahead of time. You can expect to provide things like your insurance and employment information and your photo ID.

Then, once you’ve finished filling out all required documents during the preregistration, you won’t have to do it later when you’re in labor!

6. Look Into Cord Blood Banking

Cord blood banking is when your doctor takes blood from your baby’s umbilical cord after birth and sends it to a storage facility in case it’s needed in the future.

The blood in the umbilical cord is packed with stem cells, which is why storing it for future use can be beneficial.

When it comes to where you can store your baby’s cord blood, you can choose a private or public bank, or you can choose to donate it. Just keep in mind that storing cord blood can get pretty pricey, so you will want to do a lot of research.

If you want to learn more, this article from WebMD is a great resource.

7. Make a Postpartum Recovery Kit

Making a postpartum recovery kit is crucial. Having a recovery kit ready beforehand will give you peace of mind that you will have everything you need when you come home from the hospital.

If you’re unsure how to make a postpartum recovery kit, check out this post! There, you’ll find everything you need to know, whether you’re having a vaginal birth or C-section!

Another great thing to make ahead of time is a breastfeeding basket if you plan on nursing. Check out this post for all of the essentials!

8. Prep Meals In Advance

Magnetic Menu Board for Kitchen - Third Trimester Checklist

Having dinner already taken care of is fantastic when you first get home from the hospital. You will be tired and sore, and if you are breastfeeding, you will have your baby attached to you quite often. Not to mention, your partner will likely be pretty exhausted, too.

If you are the sole chef of the house, you are not going to want to cook after you come home. Therefore, having some freezer meals ready, or even meals that are super simple to put together, will be a lifesaver.

I suggest getting a meal planning calendar, or even a piece of paper, and doing some simple dinner meal planning. You can plan for the first couple of weeks or even the whole month after your due date. Anything will help!

9. Stock Up On Household Essentials

When you have a new baby at home, you don’t want to realize you are out of something crucial and have to run out to the store.

A couple of weeks before your due date, you should stock up on the non-food essentials for your home. You can also send your partner out with a list if you are too tired to want to go out.

You will want to stock up on any cleaners you use, soaps and shampoos, toothpaste, batteries, paper towels, toilet paper, and anything else you use daily. (Check out this post for a complete checklist!)

Once you look around your house and get what you’ll need, being prepared will feel like a weight off your shoulders!

10. Have Your Baby Shower!

Next on this third trimester checklist is having your baby shower. Having your baby shower is such a memorable and exciting time. It’s so fun to get your friends and family together to celebrate your new family member!

You can either plan the shower yourself or recruit someone close to you to plan it. And there are so many options for a theme! You can turn almost anything you love into a baby shower theme.

If you decide to plan your own baby shower, be sure to check out this post. There, you’ll find all the best tips and tricks for having a baby shower on a budget!

11. Buy Any Baby Items Still Needed

After you’ve had your baby shower, you can go ahead and buy any essentials that are left on your registry. 

It’s helpful to buy the last baby items you need shortly after the baby shower, so you have plenty of time to get organized. 

And don’t forget to use your baby registry completion coupon! Most baby registries offer a completion coupon ranging from 10-15% off your total order.

Don’t forget to check out this article for the best ways to save money on baby clothes!

12. Put the Finishing Touches on Your Nursery

Simmons Kids SlumberTime 4-in-1 Convertible Baby Crib

Once you’ve had your baby shower and finished buying anything you needed from your registry, it’s time to finish up your nursery!

You will want to make sure that your crib and dresser are put together, and if you are using a bassinet in your room, you will also want to assemble that.

Also, you will want to wash all of the washable items. Gather things like your baby’s clothes, blankets, towels, and washcloths to get them cleaned and put away. I used Dreft to wash my son’s clothes and blankets, but I plan to use this detergent with baby #2. Both options work very well!

Knowing some tips for nursery organization can also be very beneficial when finishing the nursery. When everything has a functional place, it can help make things like diaper changes a breeze.

13. Decide on a Baby Name

In the second trimester checklist, I mentioned how you should start thinking of baby names. Well, now is the time to make a decision!

If you want to wait to decide on a name until you see your baby, that’s okay too! My husband and I did that, and I wouldn’t have changed that decision. We just had a few options we liked and then made the final decision once we saw our son.

And remember, just because you’ve decided on a name doesn’t mean you have to tell people if you don’t want to.

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14. Start Nesting!

Okay, okay, so this isn’t really a third trimester checklist item that you can plan. It’s more of something that will likely happen on its own. But it’s nice to be prepared for when the time comes!

If you don’t already know, nesting is a time near the end of your pregnancy when you instinctually want to prepare your home for your new baby.

To be prepared, it’s a good idea to have cleaning products that are extra safe for your family. It’s also a good idea to fill your partner in on what’s happening. That way, they can step in and be ready to help you when you are cleaning your heart out.

Something to keep in mind is that nesting can happen at any time during your pregnancy, not just towards the end. Also, it might not happen at all! Both scenarios are totally fine.

15. Write and Send Your Baby Shower Thank You Notes

Writing baby shower thank you cards can seem daunting when writing notes to people isn’t something you do regularly. But don’t worry; it’s not as bad as it looks!

You’ll want to start writing your baby shower thank you cards shortly after your baby shower. Typically, you’ll want to have the cards finished and sent out in the mail between 2-3 weeks after your shower. 

If you have no idea where to start when it comes to writing thank you notes, check out this comprehensive article that outlines exactly what to do. Plus, if you get stuck, you’ll find some wording examples you can use to get started.

16. Install The Car Seat

Graco FastAction Fold Jogger Travel System - Third Trimester Checklist

Installing your baby’s car seat is such an important step on this third trimester checklist! You can’t take your sweet tiny baby home without a properly installed car seat.

A good rule of thumb is to install your car seat around week 36 in your pregnancy. If you have a low-risk pregnancy, you can probably get away with installing it around week 38 if you’d rather wait.

After installing the car seat, ensure you have it inspected by a trained technician. A lot of times, your local fire station will be able to do this for you, but you can also do a quick google search to find an inspection station.

Another thing to remember is that you do not want to use a pre-owned car seat. It is the safest option possible to buy a new car seat. This is because, with a pre-owned car seat, you can’t be 100% sure it hasn’t been in a crash.

Also, car seats do expire (typically after 6-10 years), and sometimes with a used seat, you can’t be sure when that date was.

We bought this car seat when I was pregnant with our first baby, and we loved it! My son was able to use it for his whole first year (before he outgrew it) with no problems. We bought it with the matching jogging stroller, and both items worked wonderfully.

17. Pack Your Hospital Bag

Matein Travel Backpack

As I mentioned above, with installing the car seat, it’s also a great idea to pack your hospital bag around week 36. 

You will want to have your bag ready to go so you won’t have to fumble around when you go into labor. I had everything packed in our bag except for toiletries and items we use every day, and I placed the bag in an easy-to-grab spot.

Check out this post detailing the essential items you’ll need during your hospital stay!

18. Get Your Breast Pump

You’ll want to have your pump ready if you plan on breastfeeding and pumping. Many insurance companies will cover the cost of a breast pump, so don’t forget to make a call before you purchase a pump!

19. Decide If You Want Visitors

Next on the third trimester checklist is deciding if you want visitors. As your due date approaches, you’ll want to decide if you wish to have visitors after your baby is born. Many parents choose to have no visitors for at least two weeks after birth, but ultimately it’s up to how you feel most comfortable.

Another thing to consider is setting some ground rules for visiting your newborn. These rules will help you and your guests have a stress-free visit.

20. Buy a Gift for Your Other Children “From the Baby”

If you have older children, buying them a gift ‘from the baby’ can be a helpful gesture! While it’s not completely necessary, having a gift from the baby can help older children feel included, loved, and not forgotten.

When choosing a gift ‘from the baby,’ you don’t need anything extravagant. Here are some great gift ideas to get you started:

  • Big Sibling, Little Sibling Shirts – They can have fun matching days!
  • Their Favorite Treat – Their favorite treat is especially great to bring to the hospital.
  • Kids Camera – So they can take their own pictures of the new baby.
  • Water WOW Books – Keep them entertained at the hospital and home.
  • A Baby Doll – Pretend play with a doll can help them adjust to the idea of a new sibling.

21. Make a Labor Plan for Child and Pet Care

If you have older children or pets, you’ll need to make the necessary arrangements for help while you and your partner are in the hospital. 

Also, it’s a good idea to have at least two different people lined up to help you out. Unless you’re having a scheduled C-section, you won’t know when you’ll go into labor, so you won’t want to risk the one person you counted on being unavailable!

22. Choose Gifts for Labor and Delivery Nurses

As your due date approaches, you’ll want to decide whether or not you wish to bring thank you gifts for your labor and delivery nurses. Your nurses do so much for you during your hospital stay, and appreciate any kind gesture!

If you want to get gifts for your nurses but don’t know where to start, check out this list of gift ideas! There, you’ll find budget-friendly options your nurses are sure to love.

23. Plan a Date Night

Going on date nights is something that you’ve hopefully been doing throughout your whole pregnancy. But, as you near your due date, it’s even more important to get in a few date nights!

Once you have your baby, you’ll be recovering, and both you and your partner will be exhausted. It could be a little while before you feel like going on a date again!

24. Soak in the Last Weeks of This Pregnancy

Even if your pregnancy hasn’t been the most comfortable experience, try to soak in these last few weeks.

So, the last task on this third trimester checklist is to take some time to relax and fill in your pregnancy journal. There is a good chance you will miss these days and will want to remember every little detail!

Third Trimester Checklist Pin Image

And there you have it! Once you finish your third-trimester checklist, take a quick step back, and enjoy some quiet moments with your partner. They will be few and far between sooner than you think!

Before you go, check out these related articles:

Would you add anything to this third trimester checklist? I would love to know in the comments below!

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  1. I needed to read that! I’m far to relaxed and unorganised, definitely need to get started and working through the list

    1. I was the same way when I was pregnant! That’s why I had to put together this list; it helped me get some motivation to get things done!

  2. This is a really helpful list. Wish I had it when I was pregnant. I definitely wish I had learned more about breastfeeding and baby sleep. Both threw me for a loop.

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