27 May Preparing For Baby: A Third Trimester To Do List
You are officially in your third trimester and it is time to start preparing for baby! Time for an ultimate third trimester to do list. There are so many things to get done but don’t worry, most moms go into “nesting mode.” This extra oomph of motivation will be just what you need to get this all done so you can be as prepared as possible for your new baby!
Prepare Your Home
This is something you can pay someone to do or enlist the help of others (for the chemical stuff). When I say deep clean I mean the whole house. This may the last time for a while you have a super clean home so take advantage of some baby free time. Get your carpets cleaned. We also had our couch cleaned. Scrub out the fridge and freezer.
It goes without saying to keep up with your own laundry but another way to prepare for baby is by laundering all your baby’s stuff prior to their arrival. Everything from sheets to onesies. Have it all cleaned and organized. We loved this newborn detergent which is super gentle on your new baby’s fragile skin.
Prep Your Nursery
Speaking of laundry, it is a great idea to organize your nursery. Baby clothes are tiny! Here are some great dividers to put in a normal sized drawer to help keep your baby socks and hats organized. Plus if your child’s room is on the smaller size these hanging organizers are incredible!
I would also highly recommend organizing your baby’s clothes by size. They grow so quickly in the first year and likely you will get multiple sizes at your baby shower or as gifts from friends. These closet organizers are great for preparing for baby because you can separate out each size and when baby is too big for that size you don’t have to go hunting down labels!
Set Up Baby Gear
You may not be planning on using some of the stuff you have right away but it is a good idea to have an idea of how it works. If you have a baby carrier- watch a youtube video of how it works and how your baby should fit in it. If you are not going to be using your pack and play right away set it up once anyways so you have an idea of if you can do it alone or if it would be easier with two people. That way when you need it your not scrambling by yourself.
It is a good idea to set up any baby swings or anything too. You will likely use those right away and you want to make sure they are functioning properly first.
This one was a life saver for me as far as preparing for baby. I had 6 to 10 frozen meals set up so that I would only have to worry about the oven at dinner times. I used some of my favorite meals that would always yield leftovers! That way we didn’t worry about lunch or diner for a few nights. Some of our favorites included
- any sort of casserole (including breakfast)
- meat balls
Most of your favorite recipes can be frozen and reheated so don’t be afraid to freeze your personal favorites.
TIP: write the directions on a card and tape it to the top of your dish. Then you do not have to hunt down the how hot and for how long and when your trying to juggle your role as new momma.
Related Article: Check out our Rules For Visiting a Newborn article. If someone comes over and offers to help you and the baby, send them to the freezer and have them help you start dinner!
Another great way you can start preparing for baby is by stocking up on paper goods. Go to Costco and get paper towels, toilet paper, and anything else that is not perishable that you think you may need during the first few weeks of baby’s arrival.
Prepare For Birth
Attend A Class
Whether you are a new mom or a veteran. We learn new things every day about what is safest for baby, what is the most effective for mom, ect. I am very lucky to have delivered at a “baby friendly” hospital that offered a wide variety of classes for parents. Check your hospital first! They are generally free and have a pretty flexible schedule. If not the internet is a wealth of information these days and actually offers classes by other moms and by nurses!
This blog has done the research for you had found some of the best online classes to take pre baby!
Related Article: Have an idea of what boundaries you will want to set prior to baby’s arrival, check out our Rules For Visiting a Newborn
Create Your Birth Plan
Your birth plan is your perfect world. It is everything you dream of when you see your labor going perfectly. Your birth plan should include what if’s for when your world does not go according to plan. It should include everything from your pain management goals and your preference in baby’s care. It should be short and concise, no more than one page. This is something you can share with the nurses as they change shifts so that your expectations of your labor are always known.
NOTE: I tell you that this is your “perfect world plan” but be flexible. That can be so hard because we have very little control in how our baby choses to enter the world sometimes. Have your plan but be willing and open to modifications based on what is best for you and your baby.
This mom has both an example of her own birth plan and a blank birth plan for you to use. A great resource for preparing for baby!
Tour Your Hosptial
First and foremost, if there is more than one hospital in your area (should you choose to deliver in a hospital) figure out which one covers your insurance. Then set up a tour. A few questions you will want to have answered:
- Which entrance is best for us to use when we come? Does that entrance lock at a certain time and if so, where do we go then?
- What can I expect from the nurses during labor, delivery, and postpartum?
- Is there a nursery or NICU if my baby needs it?
- Will my baby be taken the nursery or can they room in?
Knowing the standards of your hospital can also help you to decide what information needs to be on your birth plan. If it is standard practice to let mom and baby do skin to skin contact in the first 2 hours of her baby’s life then that probably doesn’t need to be specified on your birth plan.
I am grateful every day for having my babies in 2019- this is one of those reasons. It is distracting to have contractions. A contraction counter is a really easy way to measure time of contraction and distance between contractions. As you near your due date your doctor will let you know what their expectation is for you to come to the hospital. Our expectation was 5/5/1. 5 contractions in an hour, ranging 5 minutes apart, lasting a minute a piece.
If you live far away, your doctor may have different standards for you. Also if you had a previous baby who delivered fairly quickly, your next one will likely come faster so you may have different standards then a previous pregnancy. This is something that you and your doctor should prepare as your due date gets closer.
Read Positive Birth Stories
Oh man the few weeks leading up to my son’s birth all I heard was horror stories about labor. Awful. No one had anything positive to say. I was not allowed to work and stewing in how awful this would be. And then I talked to my grandmother. She had delivered 12 babies in her life (much more qualified than anyone else I had spoken with) and she asked me what I was worried about. My grandmother listened patiently however, when I finished she gave me the most amazing advice that eased all my fears. She told me this, “Labor is temporary. There is nothing you can’t do for a little while. It will not go on forever. And when you finish doing this temporary effort, you get to hold your baby boy.”
Gosh this makes me want to cry just writing it. Long story long- don’t listen to any brith story that isn’t positive. If your friends or family don’t have any, read them online. Every birth is unique and beautiful in its own way and yours will be too! While you are preparing for baby to arrive, stay positive and relaxed.
Pack Your Hospital Bag
Don’t forget to pack a bag for you (and maybe your husband). Have comfortable clothes. Bring your own toothbrush and socks. Bring slippers too because you may not fit it the shoes you came to the hospital in. I loved my maternity robe that I got at my baby shower too! It was the perfect thing for postpartum at the hospital. Easy for nursing but I felt I kept my modesty
Bringing home your new baby is wonderful however, sometimes we forget that mom needs to heal from a major life event too. You are going to be sore- vaginal or c-section. You are going to need help with things, it is ok to ask for it. If you are in pain, pay attention to that and treat it- either with medications or ice/heat. Don’t ignore your body. Your baby needs you and you can’t be your best without taking care of yourself. You spend a lot of time preparing for baby and some of that is so that you can focus your time on baby but some of that is so that you can take care of yourself.
- Tucks Pads- These medicated pads are amazing for tender lady bits after a vaginal birth. Luckily we have included a box in our monthly subscriptions- check them out here!
- Peri Bottle- this may sound crazy but you are going to hurt so bad you are not going to want to wipe- use these peri bottles to rinse yourself with nice warm water and then pat dry. Trust me, you will thank me later.
- Pads- you will bleed. Like a lot. And nothing should go back up your vagina after a vaginal delivery for 6 weeks so you are going to need to stock up on pads. Even if your a tampon girl. Give them up for a few weeks.
- Stool Softeners- the first bowel movement after baby can be almost as bad as labor so a as the day starts approaching that you think baby will arrive its a good idea to start taking a stool softener. Not a laxative. This just helps to make it easier to “go.”
- You may even want to get some benzocaine spray. The nurses at the hospital gave me a bottle of this stuff and it was AMAZING!
Do Something For You
You are likely going to feel very busy and like you have zero time once baby arrives. Before that day comes, do something just for you. A pedicure, massage, even just a walk in the park. Whatever tickles your fancy and makes you feel fulfilled- do it! It is an important part of preparing for baby to be the best you can be.
Go To The Movies
Take your husband out to the movies, you will not likely go again for a decent stretch of time. I though, eh I don’t really like going to the movies anyways so I will pass. I am sad I didn’t do this because it would have made a great date night and I miss going to the movies now.
Depending on how you are feeling or what your feeling is on maternity photos. This is the time to capitalize on that. There are some beautiful maternity photos out there and this is a time in your life worth remembering. You grew a human mom! Don’t forget that you are a rock start! Embrace it! This is more than just preparing for baby but also giving you a great memory to look back on.
Prep For Breastfeeding
Set yourself up a nursing station with these must have items
- Nursing pillow– this one was my favorite but they are all great and they give you the ability to have an extra hand! They are amazing!
- Snacks and water- I would get incredibly thirsty while breastfeeding! Plus a good way to keep you supply up is to try and have a small snack every time baby eats. Even just some almonds or a piece of cheese. NOTE: did you know, it takes more calories to breastfeed than to be pregnant. It is not the time to worry about getting your body back but rather the time to build up your milk supply.
- Phone Charger- I tracked everything in my phone, plus took about 85 million pictures so it is a good idea to have a phone charger ready right there since your going to be sitting anyways.
- Soothies- (we have a box for you to try in our baby box subscriptions!!) These bad boys are life savers for sore cracked nipples. One set lasts 72 hours however, you have to wash yourself before baby can eat so I aways brought a wet wash cloth to my station prior to beginning nursing.
Read A Books or Take a Class
Breastfeeding may not come natural to you. It was harder than labor for me and I felt very prepared for baby and for breastfeeding. What I will tell you is that without having reading the books and talking to my amazing grandmother I am not sure I would have been successful with breastfeeding. There are whole online courses you can take prior to babies arrival, hospital classes, and don’t forget the classics- books. This one has been around forever but don’t discount it! Its advice is solid and helpful! (you can stop reading when you get to the part about the family bed lol)
Preparing for Baby
Install Car Seat
Some hospitals may even require seeing the car seat installed prior to you leaving so don’t leave this until the last minute. Watch your car seats video for installation so you are familiar with how it should look. I would also recommend checking in with your local sheriffs department. Most of them have a safety officer that will help you get your car seat in as tight and safely as possible!
Pack Baby a Bag
The best part of this is getting to choose your babies “Going Home” outfit. haha ok maybe this is silly but it was my favorite. The hospital usually has diapers but its a good idea to pack a few newborn diapers, a few outfits, some receiving blankets, and a pacifier if that is in your game plan.
You may also want to pack a small amount of vaseline or coconut oil- Check out our related article about newborn hacks!
Find A Pediatrician
There are a couple ways to go about this. I recommend using them all. First ask around. People with first hand accounts of good doctors are willing to share. They are also willing to tell you who to steer clear of. Next I would google a handful of the people who were recommended. You can read reviews or you can just look at their credentials however, both are worth looking at. Of those that fit the bill find one that covers your insurance and is accepting new patients.
You may even want to interview pediatricians in person before choosing. You should feel confident in this person.
This list of preparing for baby may feel daunting however, it is all stuff you will be happy you completed before baby arrives. This will make your transition into motherhood that much smoother so you can sit back, relax, and enjoy having a newborn.