Pregnancy Checklist: 21 Things To Do In The Third Trimester

Pregnancy Checklist: 21 Things To Do In The Third Trimester, ideas of things to do before baby, awesome tips for first time moms, #pregnancy, #thirdtrimester, #pregnancytodolist, #firstimemom, #beforebaby, #thingstodo

This post is in partnership with Hancock Regional Hospital as part of their empowering women and children site. All thoughts, experiences, and opinions are my own. Be sure to check out their site for additional resources and support.


Welcome to the home stretch! The third trimester is often joked about as the “longest” trimester. Truthfully though, I’ve felt like it’s flown by! Despite being super proactive with things during my second trimester (checklist here), this trimester felt like there was so much more to do! Maybe it’s just because my busiest time of year for work fell during this trimester, but I felt like there was always something I could be doing. So with that said, it was definitely a great trimester in terms of learning to balance my mental “go, go go” urges and my internal desire to slow down, read a book, and have some self-care time. Im going to share my ultimate checklist for the third trimester below, and just keep in mind you may always feel like you’re forgetting something. That’s okay. No matter how things play out everything will get done.

Pregnancy Checklist: 21 Things To Do In The Third Trimester

Self care time

Like I was just mentioning, it’s a time where you may feel like there are a million things to do (especially if it this trimester falls during the holidays like it did for me). Instead of exhausting yourself mentally running through lists, follow this checklist (or create your own!) and then prioritize your self care throughout all the things. Consider trying these 3 meditation techniques to get you started. It’s important to make sure your tank is full going into the next stage of motherhood!

Baby shower

Have some fun and throw a baby shower if that’s your thing! This is a great way to get most of the items you’ll need for baby and celebrate with those you love! If the thought of a baby shower gives you more anxiety than excitement, skip it though! I didn’t have one since it isn’t really something that I felt excited about and would rather spend the day at the beach (re: prioritizing self care).

Make sure you have everything for baby’s actual arrival

If you don’t have a nursery set up, don’t sweat it. We don’t. Instead just make sure you know where baby will sleep, have some diapers on hand, and some clothes. I’d also suggest having formula on hand just incase breast feeding doesn’t go how you envision. Beyond that, you can always order what you need once you’re little one is home! For more things you may want to get for baby, check out my baby registry checklist here.

Pack your hospital bag

This was probably the hardest thing for me to do. I mostly planned on packing things like my pillows, blanket, birth ball, etc. which were all items I used daily. Instead I finally got to the point where I packed my clothes, the baby’s laundered clothes, dad’s clothes, and toiletries. Other things that have been recommended to me: your own toilet paper and/or kleenex, towel, easy slip on shoes, and if you are particular about what the hospital provides for diapers, wipes, or what they wash your baby with to find out what they use and consider bringing your own.

Keep any eye on your registry

See if there are any “must have” items on your baby registry that you didn’t receive yet. If it’s after your baby shower and you still have a lot of items unpurchased, figure out if the items are things you need asap. You may want to finish purchasing all the items left using the “complete your registry” discount most give you. If the items left over aren’t “must haves” you may want to wait until after the baby arrives and see if anyone purchases anything last minute and what you’ll actually need.

Monitor baby’s kicks and movements

You can get super scientific on this and track 10 movements an hour like they say. However for me, I did this rarely. I barely felt baby move in the second trimester, and then started feeling baby move all the time as she grew bigger in the third trimester. I quickly noticed if there was a drop or change in her movement and that’s when I would count kicks. This isn’t something I would stress about doing unless you have an actual reason to vigilantly count kicks daily or your doctor tells your too.

Pre-register with the hospital if you haven’t

You may have done this when you toured the hospital. If you haven’t, find some time to do this, but don’t sweat it if it doesn’t get done. From what I’ve heard you’ll still have to go through the entire intake process at the hospital which will include the pre-registration information. Personally, my insurance resets on the 1st of each new year, so I had to wait until basically week 39 to do this.

Find out hospital new born policies

Ideally you’ll have learned these on your hospital tour; something I recommend doing in the second trimester. However if you don’t know them, now is the time to make sure you do! See what the hospital’s standard procedure is for new borns. If there’s anything you want them to skip or anything additional you want done those are items that would go in your birth plan. If there are additional items you want done, you may want to confirm the hospital can/will do them before settling on them as where you’ll deliver.

Create and communicate your birth plan

Ideally you’ll have chosen providers (who delivers the baby and where) that already align with you. If you’re unsure about that though, now is the time to think about your birth plan. Get your questions together, create a detailed draft, and then talk with your provider and the hospital to see if everyone is on the same page. Once you’ve done that, I’d go back and remove any items on your birth plan that are standard procedure since no one will read a lengthy birth plan. On your actual delivery day you’ll bring the super condensed version that has just a few items. However the entire detailed practice is important just to make sure you don’t need to make any last minute changes to your providers! You can read my birth plan here (this isn’t the one I’d bring to the hospital!).

Finish up any classes

Do this ASAP. Many babies come early and many classes fill up quickly! We didn’t end up getting into some of the classes we wanted to do for that reason. If you don’t get through all your classes, don’t worry though. You can always take them once baby arrives or you may realize you didn’t need them after all. Personally, I think everything happens for a reason so I’m just trusting the classes we didn’t get into weren’t meant for us. For more on Hancock Regional Hospital’s classes click here.

Freezer meals

The final weeks of the third trimester is a great time to clean out your freezer (hello, nesting vibes!). Use the newfound space to stock up on freezer meals you can heat and eat once baby arrives. We’re doing a variety of casseroles and the like to keep things simple.

Install the car seat

You’ll need a carseat installed for the baby to leave the hospital. Make sure you and your partner know how to do this and install it around week 36. When in doubt, check your local fire stations and see if they have appointments to show you exactly what to do.

Wash baby’s clothing with newborn detergent

Once you have all your sheets, clothes, blankets, etc. you’ll want to pick up some newborn detergent to wash them all in! Don’t just take detergents for face value though – many that are marketed as “green” or “newborn” actually have loads of toxic chemicals. Instead checkout ewg.org and see how the detergent stacks up before purchasing.

Assemble baby gear (especially if you have pets)

It’s good to go ahead and assemble any baby gear you’ve gotten; right down to the swings! We ended up returning an item because during the assembly process it broke. Furthermore, if you have pets, it’s great to set up the baby’s corner in the family room and the like so they can get used to the new items and you can train them to stay off of them. This is also a great cue for them to realize times are about to change!

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Arrangements for your animals or other little one’s

Speaking of pets, make sure you know where they’ll go when you head to the hospital! Set up arrangements for you human little one’s too!

Get finances in order and set up recurring payments

Now is a good time to do a quick run through your scheduled payments, bills, and the like to see what you need to tweak. The idea here is you don’t want to miss a payment if you end up a little frazzled with baby’s arrival.

Download a contractions app

Usually you won’t go to the hospital until you’re having rhythmic contractions. The app makes it easy to track. Most people follow the 5-1-1- or 4-1-1 rule of thumb before heading to the hospital: contractions every 5 minutes (or 4) apart, lasting for 1 minute each, for an hour. Once you hit that flow most people recommend heading to the hospital. The app makes it easy to just hit a button and keep track of things rather than guessing and taking an unnecessary trip.

Order your breast pump via insurance

Most insurance companies will let you order your complimentary breast pump once you’re in the 30 day window of your due date. Some will make you wait until baby arrives though. Either way, look into your insurance policies and have your care provider send over the prescription. Even if you plan on breast feeding, it’s good to have a pump on hand in case any unexpected issues come up; this way baby can still get your breast milk! Read about this mom’s breastfeeding experience on Hancock Regional’s website.

Walk or workout

As long as you’re medically okay to do so, keep working out and going for regular walks. Both for your mental sanity and to help prepare your body for the big day. One of my friends equated giving birth to running a marathon. It physically takes energy and a strong mindset. You wouldn’t sit on your couch for nine months and then try to run the marathon, so why would you go into labor not training?

Choose your pediatrician

In my second trimester checklist I suggested you begin interviewing pediatricians. Now is the time to choose one. Find out if they have privileges at the hospital you’re delivering at (otherwise you’ll see whoever is on staff at the hospital) and how soon after you’ll have to come in for your first visit. We opted for our pediatrician because they got great reviews and because they had in house lactation consultants. Meaning you can privately meet with a lactation consultant for the cost of your copay!

Prep for your postpartum needs

Post-partum life is a big adjustment (you can read about loving your post baby body here) and requires a few things that may never have been stocked in your house before! Think about everything you’ll need the first week or two once baby arrives and get it! There’s no reason to run errands as soon as your home with the baby.

Some things to have on hand:

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Things you can skip:

Babyproofing the house. The baby can’t get up yet so it’s not necessarily a must do right now, despite what people will say. Especially if you are like us, who plan to move soon after the baby arrives.

There you have it! My checklist for the third trimester!

There you have it! Of course there’s a million more things that could go on this list like “take photos of your bump” or write letters to your baby or go to all of your doctors appointments for the year. But I figured at this point, if you’re anything like me, you just want to make sure you’re checking off the essentials, self-care, and then anything else to celebrate the little one that’ll be earth side so soon!

What did you do during the third trimester?


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Pregnancy Checklist: 21 Things To Do In The Third Trimester

  1. Self care time

  2. Baby shower

  3. Make sure you have everything for baby’s actual arrival

  4. Pack your hospital bag

  5. Keep any eye on your registry

  6. Monitor baby’s kicks and movements

  7. Pre-register with the hospital if you haven’t

  8. Find out hospital new born policies

  9. Create and communicate your birth plan

  10. Finish up any classes

  11. Freezer meals

  12. Install the car seat

  13. Wash baby’s clothing with newborn detergent

  14. Assemble baby gear (especially if you have pets)

  15. Arrangements for your animals or other little one’s

  16. Get finances in order and set up recurring payments

  17. Download a contractions app

  18. Order your breast pump via insurance

  19. Walk or workout

  20. Choose your pediatrician

  21. Prep for your postpartum needs

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