The Third Trimester To Do List

Expecting the baby soon? Check out this third trimester to do list and cross off any last-minute tasks left to do.

Third Trimester To Do ListAsk any mom which trimester is the most difficult, and many of us will point to the third and final one. Because as worrisome or nauseating as the first trimester can be, the third has its own set of challenges.

We’re bigger and less able to do the things we took for granted (who knew walking fast and sleeping on our backs were awesome?). We’re coming to terms with the reality of being a mom. But one of the biggest reasons is the overwhelming number of tasks we still need to do.

If you feel stressed, you’re not alone. In this article, I share exactly what to do during this last stage of your pregnancy. Cross off these steps and you should be ready to meet your little one. Take a look:

1. Find childcare

Even if you’re not sure whether you’ll go back to work or what kind of childcare you’ll use, look into it now before you need it.

For instance, tour daycare facilities and add yourself to wait lists. Spread the word about hiring a nanny and browse childcare websites. Perhaps ask family for help with caring for the baby while you work.

Part of feeling confident about going back to work is knowing your baby is in good hands. The more confident you feel about your childcare provider, the better you can make the transition back to work.

Free printables: Plan for your monthly expenses once the baby comes! Join my newsletter and grab the Printable Monthly Expenses Worksheet. Estimate recurring expenses and typical costs of raising a baby and know how much to expect to spend. Get it below—at no cost to you:

Monthly Baby Expenses

2. Review your maternity leave policy

Early in your pregnancy, you may not have had too much information to make plans about your time off of work. Now that you’re nearing the end of it, begin finalizing your maternity leave.

Discuss when you plan to stop working as well as how much paid leave you can expect. Get details on how you’ll receive these payments (by check or directly into your bank account?) and whether you need to use vacation or sick time first. Find out what you need to do to add your baby to your insurance and what paperwork you should submit (and to whom).

3. Make a labor day game plan

Now is the time to make a game plan so you know what to do when labor strikes. For instance:

  • Ask your doctor how many minutes apart your contractions should be before heading to the hospital.
  • Decide what you and your partner will do if you’re not together when contractions happen or your water breaks.
  • Reach out to friends and family about who will feed your pets or care for your kids while you’re gone.
  • Finalize your preferences on your birth plan.

These are the little details that may have seemed too distant to think about a few months ago but now need to be determined.

4. Install the carseat

By far the most important baby gear, the carseat will likely need to be installed before the baby comes. While you can get away without a crib or changing table, the hospital won’t let you bring the baby home unless you have his carseat installed.

Ask your local highway patrol to double check that you’ve installed it correctly or find a specialist who can do it for you. If you have a travel system with a stroller, practice locking and unlocking the seat from the base and onto the stroller.

5. Prepare freezer meals

I asked several readers for ideas on how to prepare for the baby, and nearly everyone chimed in that preparing freezer meals is a must.

Because meals are pesky that way—even with no time to do anything because of a new baby, you still need to eat. Cook food to freeze in the third trimester while you still have time.

6. Wash the baby’s clothes

Your baby may be sensitive to brand new or even hand-me-down clothes. Toss them in the wash using a baby-safe detergent before he wears them. This includes the clothes you’ll take with you in your hospital bag.

Don’t forget to wash other items like bedding, blankets, and stuffed animals. These can irritate his skin if they’re not pre-washed.

7. Pack your hospital bag

Now that you’re closer to your due date, make sure your hospital bag is ready to go for easy check-in. Include things your baby and partner might need as well! And keep a short list of items that can’t go in the bag until the day itself (for instance, your eyeglasses or wallet) so you know everything else is in there.

Don’t forget to pack maternity clothes and nursing bras, too. Your uterus won’t shrink down to its pre-baby size for a few more weeks, so comfortable clothes are a must when coming home.

8. Stock up on household items

Toilet paper, toothpaste, cleaning spray… running out of these essentials is the worst hassle during those newborn days. Take an inventory of your supplies and stock up on household items now. You may not have the time nor the inclination to shop once the baby arrives.

What to Stock Up On Before Baby

9. Ask others to help

The newborn weeks and months are some of the most challenging for any parent. If you have family and friends who can visit, begin reaching out to recruit their help during this time.

Find out when your parents can stay for an extended time and ask friends and family to come on certain weekends. Decide who will take care of your older kids (and make plans for what to do if they’re not with you if you need to go to the hospital).

Who will care for your pets, and what instructions do they have for feeding, walking, and grooming?

10. Assemble the nursery

With the baby arriving soon, assembling the nursery makes for a perfect third trimester project. Have someone piece large furniture together such as the crib, changing table, dresser, and bassinet. Fold and store the baby’s clothes and blankets in drawers or linen cabinets.

Then, if you’re using bottles, wash and sterilize all the parts. If you plan to pump, do the same with the pump parts, and fill the changing station with diapers and wipes so they’re ready to go.

Nursery room with crib

11. Prepare your older child

By now, your older child likely knows something exciting is about to happen. But if she’s the eldest, adjusting to a new sibling can feel overwhelming. Let her know what to expect now so that these changes don’t come too much as a surprise.

For instance, let her know that the baby will cry a lot because that’s how he’ll communicate and tell you what he needs. Explain that sometimes she might have to wait while you’re busy with baby, and that she’ll likely see friends and family coming over because they want to help.

Encourage her to independent time so that she can get used to playing on her own when you’re tending to her baby sibling. And be consistent with her routine so that her life can still feel somewhat normal even with the baby’s arrival.

How to Help Your Child Adjust to a New Baby


Crossing off your third trimester to do list can help you feel better prepared for the changes about to happen in your life. From finalizing maternity leave details to installing the carseat, these are the tasks that are best left to the final weeks.

That way, you can cross off all but one important task on your list: meeting your baby once and for all.

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Monthly Baby Expenses

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