Updated: Nov 11, 2020
If you’re in the third trimester of your pregnancy, chances are you’re getting into some serious baby prep! It’s starting to get real that this baby is going to be here - and soon. It’s high time to get into nesting mode!
While you do have a set due date to go by, we all know that babies have their own agendas and come on their own time. Maybe your baby will come after your due date, or maybe he/she will come weeks before!
Whenever your baby actually ends up coming into the world, you’ll want to be as ready as you possibly can be when that day comes. Realistically, it’s probably a good idea to shoot for having your main nesting items accomplished by the time you hit 35 weeks. Even if you don’t end up having your baby until closer to 40 weeks, who wants to be doing ANYTHING during those last few weeks when you’re so uncomfortable?
If you want to be ready for your baby and take a load of stress off of your shoulders before he/she arrives, check out these 35 things to do before you hit 35 weeks.
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#1. Research Baby Products & Create Your Registry
Hopefully you have already done this by the time you’re in your third trimester, but if you haven’t yet then this is the first step! You’re going to need a good amount of baby things that you probably don’t have just laying around your house. So think about what you want for your baby, do your research, and create an online baby registry. (If you need some ideas on how to get started, check out how I created my baby registry: https://www.faith-hope-motherhood.com/post/creating-my-baby-registry-what-do-i-really-need)
#2. Have a Baby Shower
Many of your family members and friends are eager to support you and your little baby. Give them the chance to shower you with baby gifts! Even during this crazy time of a worldwide pandemic, you can have a safe baby shower by having it drive-thru style. (Find out how by clicking here:
#3. Sort, Organize, Assemble, & Return Baby Shower Gifts
Once you’ve had that sweet shower, go through all the gifts you received and sort them. Decide what you’ll keep and what you’ll return. Take things out of their packages and put them where they belong in your home, where they’ll be easily accessible once you’re actually using them with your baby.
Some of your larger baby items, such as the crib and stroller, will require assembly. Get those things put together now while you have the time (or ask your husband to do it).
#4. Purchase Baby Registry Must-Haves You Didn’t Get From Your Shower
Hopefully you will get many of your baby necessities at your baby shower. However, chances are that there will still be a few things you need that you didn’t get at your shower. If you made your registry through Walmart or Target (like I did), then you’ll be able to purchase anything off of your registry for a discounted price. I don’t have experience with other registries/stores, but I’m fairly certain that most of them would have something similar that makes purchasing still-needed baby items easier on you.
#5. Wash Baby’s Clothes
Since I’m having a girl, I got a TON of baby clothes at my shower! And I couldn’t be more excited about that. I washed up all those clothes as I got them, so I don’t end up having to do it all at once when my baby girl is here. I want life to be as simplified as possible when she gets here so that I can focus on her, and not on taking off tags, washing clothes, hanging them up, etc.
So do yourself a favor and wash those baby clothes you got at your shower. Get them sorted by size and season, and make the clothing situation nice and smooth once your baby is here.
Going through all of the baby clothes and washing them also helps you to see which sizes/seasons of clothes you have plenty of and where there may be some holes. In my case, I received a lot of 3-6 month and 6-9 month outfits, but hardly any newborn or 0-3 month clothes. Had I not gone through all of the baby clothes and washed/sorted them, I may not have realized this and ended up having to run out to get tiny jammies at the last minute.
#6. Prep & Decorate the Nursery
Preparing and decorating the nursery has been one of my very favorite parts of baby prep! You’ll probably want to take your time with this project and do it little by little throughout your third trimester. (Check out this blog post for ideas on designing the perfect nursery for your bundle of joy: https://www.thelabouringmom.com/how-to-design-the-perfect-nursery/)
#7. Test Your Nursery Functionality
Once you’ve got your nursery looking cute, you’ll want to make sure it’s functional. After all, a cute nursery isn’t worth much if it leaves you feeling frustrated.
Look at the layout of the room. Does it make sense? Are the larger furniture items in spots that make them easily accessible? Are your books within reach of your rocker/glider so you can easily grab books to read to your baby? Do you want to have a place for you or your spouse to sleep in the baby’s room if needed?
If you happen to have a friend with a little baby, ask her if you can test out your nursery for a day with her baby. See how it feels and works for diaper changes, naps, rocking to sleep, feeding, etc. Adjust your nursery as needed to make it functional and convenient.
#8. Spend Time With Your Spouse, Family, & Friends
Once your baby is here, you will not have nearly as much time to invest in one-on-one time with your spouse, family members, and friends. Make the most of the time you have now. Go on dates with your spouse. Hang out with your family. Call your friends up and chat. Just enjoy being you, because things are about to change very soon.
(Bond with your spouse during your pregnancy by including him in these special ways: https://www.faith-hope-motherhood.com/post/8-practical-ways-to-include-your-partner-in-your-pregnancy)
#9. Take Birthing & Infant CPR Classes
If you’re a first time mom, you’ll benefit from taking a birthing class. The best option would be to take an in-person class at your hospital, including a hospital tour. However, if that option is not available to you now due to the pandemic, ask your hospital which online course they recommend and take it at home with your partner. If it doesn't include Infant CPR, I’d recommend taking that, too, just in case. (I’m taking the free Infant CPR Course from https://www.learncpronline.net/)
#10. Prep Meals For 1 Month
When you bring your baby home, you’ll be consumed with caring for him/her and recovering from giving birth. You probably won’t want to worry about cooking, so prepare about a month’s worth of meals in advance.
If you’re a supermom already and want to fully prepare freezer meals in advance, then go for it! In my case, we have tons of frozen meats and veggies from our garden stocked up in our freezer, so I’ll have a few easy crock pot recipes ready to go that I can throw in the crockpot in the morning (or have my husband do it).
Depending on how much help you’ll have once your baby arrives, and your own personal preferences, make a plan of how meals will be handled so you don’t even have to think about it for that first month or so.
#11. Clean Your Car(s)
Give your car (and your partner’s) a much-needed vacuuming and disinfecting. You’ll be happy to know that your baby will have a clean car to ride around in.
#12. Install Car Seat(s)
My husband and I chose to get two carseats and two strollers so that we can keep one of each in each car. Install those car seats, and make sure you’ve done it correctly. You can take your installed car seat to your local police station or health department center to get it checked for safety.
#13. Pack Your Hospital Bag
You might feel like your baby’s arrival is quite a few weeks off, but you don’t want to end up rushing to the hospital and forgetting half of the things you wanted to bring because you had to pack during contractions! Pack your hospital bag well in advance, including everything in it you’ll actually need, other than things you’ll use everyday up until then (Click the following link for a helpful guide to packing your hospital bag: https://www.faith-hope-motherhood.com/post/what-s-in-my-hospital-bag)
#14. Do a Hospital Test Run
Once your hospital bag is packed (and your husband’s, too) take a test drive to the hospital. Time how long it takes for you to gather up your bags, get into the car, and drive all the way to the entrance you’ll use at your hospital. This way, you’ll have an accurate idea of when to leave your home and get to the hospital during labor.
#15. Research & Choose Your Breast Pump & Nursing Gear
If you’re planning to breastfeed, do some research on breast pumps. I’ve already purchased a Haaka for manual pumping, and I’ve heard so many good things about it! It's easy to bring with you, more gentle on you, and way easier to clean than an electric pump.
While I don’t plan to use an electric breast pump much, I am going to get one, just in case. I’d recommend that you do, too, especially if your insurance will cover it. Also, stock up on nursing pads and milk storage bags so you’re all set up for a successful breastfeeding experience.
#16. Call Your Insurance
As mentioned above, your health insurance will likely cover the cost of an electric breast pump. Call them to find out which ones they would cover, or if there’s an option for you to upgrade to a more advanced model for a small price.
Also, ask your insurance company about exactly what is covered for your labor and delivery, as well as for your baby. Ask about how to add your baby to your health insurance plan once he/she is born. You may need to call your insurance company once you go into labor, before checking in at the hospital. Ask if this is the case, so you don’t end up with any financial surprises.
#17. Choose a Pediatrician
Before your baby is born, you will need to have a pediatrician in mind so that you can call to set up your baby’s first doctor’s appointment once he/she arrives. Do your research on pediatricians near you, and find one that will work with your insurance and also is currently accepting new patients. Just call their office to ask if there are any special protocols they have for accepting newborn patients.
#18. Deep Clean the House
While you’re in nesting mode, this one will probably come naturally to you. Clean your house room by room, from top to bottom. Make sure your bedding is clean, floors are mopped, carpets are vacuumed, and bathrooms are disinfected. It will be a comforting thought to come home to a clean house with your new baby.
#19. Install New Household Baby Gadgets
If there are any household baby gadgets you’ll need for when you baby is here, get them set up and installed now. In my case, since I’m planning on cloth diapering, I will need a diaper sprayer to rinse off poopy diapers in the toilet, as well as a clothesline for hanging diapers in direct sunlight outside. We’ve recently gotten both of these items ready to go.
If you have stairs in your home, you may want to get a baby gate installed. You baby won’t be climbing all around at the very start, but crawling will start before you know it! Also, think about other ways you may need to baby proof your home with outlet inserts and drawer locks. Go ahead and install these items so you can get used to them even before your baby needs them.
#20. Set Up Baby Zones in Several Main Living Areas
Chances are that you won’t be hanging out all day long in your baby’s nursery. So get some baby zones prepped in the main living areas of your home where you’ll spend most of your day. Think about having a bouncer, bassinet, cradle, or swing in areas of your home such as your kitchen, living room, and office. You can also have some baskets of feeding essentials, burp clothes, and blankets ready to go in these daytime areas.
#21. Prep Your Kitchen For Baby
Prepare your kitchen for your baby by washing the bottles you have and clearing off a shelf or cupboard to store baby feeding items. As far as bottles go, it’s a good idea to get one of several different kinds so that you can find out which ones work best for your baby before purchasing an entire bottle system.
#22. Get Gifts For Your Midwife/Labor Nurses/OB-GYN
If you want to show those who help deliver your baby some love, get some little gifts to bring with you to the hospital to give to them. I love this cute spa gift basket from Amazon!
#23. Plan For Child Care & Your Work Situation
Once you have your baby, will you be returning to work? If so, now is the time to plan for child care once your little one is here. Consider options such as day care, getting a nanny, or asking a grandparent to babysit. Talk with your boss about what your work schedule will look like when you return from maternity leave, especially if any adjustments need to be made to your current schedule. Discuss the whens and wheres of pumping if you’re planning to do so.
On the other hand, you may want to consider the option of becoming a stay at home mom to care for your baby. Once you weigh the costs of childcare with your current income, you may find that it makes more sense for you to stay home with the baby. Or, maybe you’ve just always had that desire in your heart to stay at home with your baby. If you and your spouse can make it work, then why not? (Check out this blog post of reasons why being a stay at home mom might NOT be for you: https://www.faith-hope-motherhood.com/post/5-reasons-that-are-not-reasons-why-i-m-choosing-to-be-a-stay-at-home-mom)
#24. Plan Financially
Whether you’re planning on going back to work or staying at home with your baby, your budget will need some adjusting. Babies cost a lot of money, especially if you’re not diligent with your financial planning and purchasing. Talk with your spouse about how to adjust your budget to best accommodate your baby and new lifestyle.
#25. Consider a Side Hustle
If you find in the midst of financial planning that you’re going to need to increase your income to make this work, think about some side hustles you could potentially get started. Is there a skill you have that you could use to make some more money? For me, I’ve started giving private piano lessons, and I’ve also started this blog. While blogging isn’t a quick, easy money type of thing, I know that with some time and effort it will provide an additional income for our family.
(Find out how to start a mom blog here:
#26. Decide on a Baby Name
Your third trimester is a great time to decide on a baby name, if you haven’t yet. (Check out this article on how to choose a meaningful name for your baby:
#27. Practice Self Care
While you’re taking care of all these nesting tasks to get ready for your baby, don’t forget to take care of YOU! Take some time to practice self care so that you can be at your best when it comes time to give birth. (You’ll find some pregnancy self care tips here:
#28. Make a Birth Plan
As you get closer and closer each day to meeting your baby, think about what you want out of your birthing experience. Having an idea of how you’d like things to go will make you feel empowered and even excited for this intense experience. While we all know that you can’t control how things may actually unfold, if you go into it knowing your preferences and what kinds of choices you may face, you’ll feel much more ready and secure. (Check out how to create your birth plan here:
#29. Prepare Yourself Mentally For Labor
Aside from having prepared a practical plan of what you want and don’t want during your birth, your mind is a powerful tool that needs to be prepared for birth, too. Listen to pregnancy and birth meditations. Practice deep breathing. Recite birth affirmations. Do everything you can to strengthen your mind for labor and delivery.
(You’ll find some beautiful birth affirmations here: https://www.faith-hope-motherhood.com/post/do-i-need-to-fear-giving-birth)
#30. Decide Guidelines for Visitors & Communicate To Family & Friends
Once your baby has arrived, everyone and their brother will want to meet the new bundle of joy. Decide now what your guidelines will be for visitors. This is so important to consider ahead of time, especially during a worldwide pandemic. Your first priority will be to keep your baby safe and healthy, but you’ll also want to involve family members and friends in a reasonable manner.
Talk to your care provider about what they recommend. They may suggest that anyone who meets your baby self-quarantine for 2 weeks ahead of time. Or, they may suggest that visitors wear masks and use hand sanitizer before holding the baby.
Decide what you’re most comfortable with, and what you believe will be best for your baby. Talk with your spouse about potentially having a time limit for guests, such as half an hour, or maybe just on your cue. If you and your spouse are on the same page, it will help ensure that visits go smoothly. You might ask him to be the one to usher guests in and out, and to arrange visit times so that you don’t have to worry about managing it all.
Whatever guidelines you and your partner decide on, clearly communicate your wishes before the baby is born so that you don’t have to spring any surprises on them or create unnecessary drama. In the end, it’s your choice and visitors should respect that.
#31. Prepare a Baby Info Folder
Once your baby arrives, you’ll get lots of paperwork for them that you’ll need to keep track of. Get a folder and label it with your baby’s name. Pack it in the car you’ll be taking to the hospital so you have it when the time comes. You’ll be grateful to have an easy way to stay organized in the moment.
#32. Buy Paper Plates & Utensils
Before hitting that 35 week mark, stock up on disposable plates and utensils. This way, dishes will not be a thing you have to think about when your baby comes home. As a general rule, I’m a pretty big advocate for reducing waste. But when it comes to saving some of your sanity during such a hectic, short period of your newborn’s life, it’s worth it. Just use paper plates for a little while. It’s really okay.
#33. Reflect on Your Pregnancy
As your pregnancy nears its end, reflect on what the experience has been like for you. What have you liked about it? How have you felt? What are you looking forward to? It’s a good practice for your mind to spend some time reflecting, and it will also give you something precious to look back on one day. (Read some of my pregnancy reflections here: https://www.faith-hope-motherhood.com/post/the-best-things-about-being-pregnant)
#34. Discuss Parenting Ideals & Roles With Your Spouse
Take some time now to talk about parenting with your spouse. Talk about things from your own childhood that you want to be part of your child’s life, as well as things you might want to do differently from your own parents. Talk about the values and character traits you’ll both want to pass on to your child.
Discuss roles as parents. What does it mean to be a mother? To be a father? It may sound a bit abstract, but you’ll feel inspired by connecting on a deeper level as you look forward to your parenting journey. Talk about some logistical things, too, such as the division of housework and childcare once your baby arrives.
#35. Enjoy The Last Few Weeks - You’ll Miss It.
Last, but certainly not least, do your best to truly enjoy these last weeks of being pregnant. By 35 weeks, you will probably be very uncomfortable and feeling ready to just get this baby out. But one day, you’ll look back on your pregnancy and you’ll miss it. You’ll reminisce about feeling those little kicks and jerks inside of you, guessing what your little one will be like and who they’ll become. (Watch these fun pregnancy films to get even more excited about your baby's arrival: https://www.faith-hope-motherhood.com/post/12-best-movies-to-watch-while-expecting)
Even when you’re up all night with terrible heartburn and hip aches, try to stay positive. Cherish this special moment in your life, just as you will forever. (Click the following link for tips on how to make the most of your pregnancy during a pandemic
There you go, mama. Happy nesting.
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