The third trimester of pregnancy is often the most exciting but also most taxing part. Your body and baby continue to grow (from the size of a cucumber to a watermelon!) and little things like small bladder, sleep difficulties, back aches and practice contractions might start to take their toll. But you also have an energetic baby inside of you that is kicking and shifting, listening and waiting to come out into the world. Focus on the exciting parts of the third trimester and soon enough your little baby will be in your arms instead of in your belly.
Finishing Your Nursery
Now that your baby’s space is all ready, it’s time to move in the new furniture you bought and add the final finishing touches to your new nursery.
Set Up the Furniture
As your bump gets bigger, the first thing you might want to set up is the nursery chair to use for yourself in the last weeks of your pregnancy. For all baby’s new furniture, remember to follow all assembly instructions closely and carefully, extra pieces at the end could be a sign of compromised safety.
Buy a Mattress & Bedding
When shopping for a crib mattress, it’s important to find a firm one that fits tightly in the crib to reduce risk of SIDS. Bedding should fit snuggly as well, and don’t be afraid to spend a little extra on it as your little one will likely be sleeping a lot during their first year.
When you furniture is all set up, now is the time to pick some personal details and make sure you remembered all the essentials. Some things you might still need? A changing pad, a baby monitor, a bookcase, and a storage solution for all your new baby things.
Finding the Right Gear
As baby’s arrival draws closer, there are a few more things you need practically right away for your little one.
Buy a Car Seat
Many hospitals won’t even let you leave without a car seat, so definitely use your third trimester to find one that works for you and you family. Make sure yours meets the federal safety standards and look into the options for stroller car seat adapters to make it easier to be on the go.
Buy a Stroller
There are so many different kinds of strollers to fit all your needs as a new mama. Double strollers for twins, joggers for the active family, lightweight strollers for travel, and versatile strollers with reversible seat positions that will grow with your child. Decide what kind of stroller is best for you and definitely test it out to be sure you like it before baby comes home.
Buy a Bassinet
Thought not always a must-have, many new parents like the portability and size of a bassinet for their new baby. There’s no reason your baby can’t sleep in a crib from day 1, but a bassinet gives new parents the comfort of having baby in their room for the first few months. Many bassinets also come with an auto gliding function that will help lull baby to sleep.
Planning for Baby’s Arrival
As your new baby’s birth day approaches, there are lots of steps you can take to be more prepared for their arrival.
Create a Birth Plan
Talk to your doctor and your partner about your expectations during labor. Make big decisions like whether you want an epidural or not beforehand, and have a back-up plan as well. Determine what would happen if you needed a C-section or how long you’d want to wait before being induced. Limiting surprises and having an expectation of how things will go will help you to relax when it’s finally the big day.
Take a Hospital Tour
As your doctor if your hospital gives tours of the maternity wing to expecting parents. This way you can get used to what your room might look like and understand where you baby will be taken with the nurses and where your friends and family will be waiting.
Sign Up for Birthing Classes
Many expecting parents find birthing classes helpful for preparing them with tools during the toughest parts of labor. The third trimester is a great time to take these classes. It’s also a great way to meet expecting moms in your area, and perhaps start some friendships for your new baby.
Find a Pediatrician
After baby is born, you will be at the pediatrician very often in the first few months, and many families stay with the same doctor for the next 18 years. Research the doctors in your area and choose one you like before baby is born so you feel you have someone you already trust when it comes time for those first few appointments.
Planning Your Baby Shower
As the stresses of pregnancy get harder, remember you still have your baby shower to look forward to! Your shower can be a great time to celebrate your new family with only a few weeks to go and is a great way to propel yourself through the home stretch!
Picking a Date
Many women suggest having your shower early in your third trimester but not so early that you have nothing to look forward to. Somewhere between weeks 30 and 35 is a great time to do it.
Setting Up a Registry
Lots of new moms choose to create a baby registry for things they haven’t bought yet or bigger items they are hopping to receive as gifts, like a bassinet, play yard, or high chair. Remember to also include the little things, like multiple sizes of clothes for your fast growing new born, as well as bottles, diapers, toys, and books. If you don’t do a registry, be sure to make it clear to your friends what you really need and don’t be afraid to ask for gift receipts.
Letting Someone Else Do the Work
Hopefully, one of your close friends or siblings is doing most of the work for your baby shower so you can just show up and enjoy yourself. But make it clear to them what you want at your shower. Do you want co-ed or girls only? Heavily themed or just a simple party? Your friends and family are here to celebrate you so don’t be afraid to ask for what you want.
Taking Care of You
Don’t forget to take care of yourself during these last months. As the little things get harder and preparing for baby becomes more real, take time to take care of yourself.
As your bump gets bigger, exercising may get more difficult, but as long as your doctor gives the okay, try to go for walks or do light exercises to keep your blood flowing.
Plan a Bump Photo Shoot
Lots of new moms like to take photos of their bump at this stage to have for their photo albums and nursery décor. Lots of professional photographers will do these photos, but you can also have fun with a friend and your iPhone to get some nice shots.
Give In To Your Cravings
The third trimester is notorious for crazy cravings (pickles anyone?). As long as you’re still getting the nutrients you need, why not give in to your thirst for chocolate covered bacon?