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As much as you want to rest in your third trimester, there isn’t much time left–your ‘checklist before baby is born’ is relatively long. So, here is your comprehensive list of things to do before baby is born that you need to start checking off and free up your last few weeks leading up to labor and delivery.

You are getting bigger by day, and labor looks more real now that you are in the last stretch of your pregnancy.

The third trimester of pregnancy is still far from giving birth, but it is essential to get ready for your baby’s arrival and preparing for the life after the baby. If you do this now, your postpartum recovery will be easy.

I spent most of my time making sure the nursery looked pretty and buying stuff for the baby during my third trimester with my first one. This is necessary, but other super essential things on the list needed to be done – going on a date with your partner, spending quality time with your other kid/kids, or getting a haircut (very important!!). But, trust me, you won’t be able to do that soon or ever when your baby arrives.

This blog post highlights essential things to do before the baby is born that will make your life easy once the baby arrives and you can concentrate on bonding with your baby.

This checklist before baby is born is comprehensive and contains super helpful information like – preparing for breastfeeding before the baby arrives and other things that shouldn’t be ignored.

Knowing as much about breastfeeding is super duper important if you want to make your initially breastfeeding life easy. Trust me; it takes so much to survive the first few days with a newborn.

And make sure you make it to the end of this article because, in the end, I have included a FREE third-trimester checklist for you to download.

Now, let’s go right into this,

Table Of Contents
  1. 36 Things to do Before Baby is Born
  2. Get things done around the house
  3. 1. Clean your House
  4. 2. Stock up your Pantry
  5. 3. Get Paper Plated and disposable Utensils
  6. 4. Declutter
  7. 5. Get Freezer Meals Ready
  8. 6. Find out about Local Grocery Delivery Services
  9. Get Prepared for Birth
  10. 7. Pack your Hospital Bag
  11. 8. Pack Dad’s Hospital Bag
  12. 9. Do a Labor Prep
  13. 10. Write your Birth Plan
  14. 11. Pre-Register at your Hospital
  15. 12. Tour the Hospital
  16. 13. Download a Contraction track App
  17. 14. Double check with your Insurance Company
  18. 15. Arrange Baby sitter for your other kids when you go for labor
  19. Get prepared for Breastfeeding
  20. 16. Take an online Breastfeeding Class
  21. 17. Inquire about Breast Pump Coverage
  22. 18. Prepare a Nursing Cuddy
  23. 19. Pack Breastfeeding Supplies in your Hospital Bag
  24. 20. Get Nursing Tops
  25. Get Ready for Baby
  26. 21. Prepare Baby’s Stuff
  27. 22. Get Car Seat Installed
  28. 23. Install Crib or Bassinet before Baby arrives
  29. 24. Learn about Sleep safety
  30. 25. Prepare Baby’s First Aid Kit
  31. 26. Learn about how to Care for Newborn
  32. 27. Pack the Diaper Bag for Baby
  33. 28. Pick out a Perfect name for Baby
  34. 29. Decide on Baby Birth Announcement
  35. 30. Book a Newborn Photographer
  36. Get Yourself ready for Labor
  37. 31. Take care of yourself
  38. 32. Spend Quality time with Kids (if you have them)
  39. 33. Go on a Date with your Husband
  40. 34. Prepare for your Postpartum recovery
  41. Get other things done
  42. 35. Take care of your Recurring Bills
  43. 36. Take a look at your financial situation and how it will change after a baby
  44. Start checking off things from the Checklist before baby is Born, mama!
  45. How about it?

Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links. As an affiliate and amazon associate, I earn commission on qualified purchases at no extra cost to you.

36 Things to do Before Baby is Born

You have many things to check off before you bring baby home. So, lets get started.

Get things done around the house

1. Clean your House

If you are like me- a clean freak, you want this to be done first on your list. You want to deep clean your house before you get too heavy and practically wouldn’t want to move from a couch.

woman cleaning window -things_to_do_before_baby_is_born
Image by Simon Kadula from Pixabay

And also, it is the best time to clean, declutter and organize your house before the baby arrives.  Once the baby is born, you won’t have time to bend and clean the juice drops on your kitchen floor.

I would first go after the pantry. Get rid of those expired cans of pasta sauce or beans sitting back of the pantry.

Second, I would go after cabinets under the washroom sink. While cleaning this area, make sure you have enough body wash, shampoo, conditioner, and body lotion for the next couple of months. While cleaning the washroom, if something smells harsh, stay away from it.  Also, stock up on extra dishwasher detergent, laundry detergent, and paper towels.

You can also hire a house cleaner to deep clean your house toward the end of the third trimester if you can afford it.

Or if you are not incredibly tired, and decide to do it yourself, make sure to take some help from your partner or loved ones.

Even then, stay away from moping and vacuuming because chores that require leaning forward can aggravate sciatica- inflammation of the sciatic nerve that runs from the lower back down the leg.

Sciatica during pregnancy is very common due to weight gain and pressure of the uterus on the nerve.

2. Stock up your Pantry

While you are cleaning the pantry, make a list of what you have and what you need. I like to make sure what canned goods and dry things I have and what need to be purchased, so I don’t need to worry about it for the next couple of months.

different size jar organized - Things to do Before Baby is Born

It also helps your postpartum freezer meal planning. Focus on easy-to-make food, natural ingredients that will keep you full and satisfied because you will be starving as a breastfeeding mother.

Stock up on granola bars, rice, beans, whole-wheat pasta, trail mix, oatmeal, crackers, protein bars, pretzels, popcorn, nuts, and other stuff that you prefer to eat. 

3. Get Paper Plated and disposable Utensils

When you bring the baby home, the last thing you want to do when you bring the baby home is finding time to do dishes. You will be busy feeding your baby, changing baby’s diaper, and catching up on your sleep (is that even possible??), and you don’t want the stress of undone, dirty dishes in a kitchen sink.

So, stock up on paper plates, bowls, plastic spoons, and forms that you can use and throw.

Trust me; disposable plates are a godsend during the postpartum time.

4. Declutter

While you are deep cleaning your house, make sure you are decluttering as well.

I mean, get rid of stuff that you haven’t used for a while. I know it’s hard to throw stuff away, but trust me, you will be so happy to get that much-needed extra space.

And if you have a small space to be with, decluttering is a lifesaver because once you have a baby, you need all the space to store your baby’s playpen, travel crib, baby bouncer/rocker, and toys.

5. Get Freezer Meals Ready

This is a lifesaver! Especially when you don’t have help after you bring the baby home.

Get this thing off the to-do list around 8 to 8.5 months if you can! It will be hard to chop off that much veggie, and cooking for a couple of hours when you have a big belly that is about to burst at nine months, isn’t fun at all.

Even if you are not a big fan of freezer meals, having two weeks’ worth of freezer meals will make your life easy once you bring the baby home from the hospital.

Here is a straightforward, easy to follow, Postpartum Freezer meal planning eBook that I absolutely loved, and you can wrap up around 15 to 20 healthy and delicious meals in 2.5 to 3 hours.

You don’t have to do this alone. Ask your partner or a friend to help you out, and it will be done in no time while chatting.

And if you are not at all into freezer meal planning, here is a 28 Day Breastfeeding Meal planning eBook. The eBook comes with a grocery list, easy prep recipe for each day. Each meal is breastfeeding-friendly and comes with a calories calculation.

Recommended Reading: 8 Beverages to keep Breastfeeding Moms Hydrated other than Water

6. Find out about Local Grocery Delivery Services

woman in white shirt holding a red bucket with grocery
Photo by Liuba Bilyk on Unsplash

Grocery delivery service will come in super handy when bringing the baby home from the hospital. You might think that your partner or husband will run and get the grocery for the week, but with the baby and sleepless nights and work (if he is still going to work), it will be extremely hard to find time to get the grocery.

Having a delivery service on hand makes life so easy. Inquire in your local grocery store if they have a delivery service. Some grocery stores offer grocery pick up (you have to place the order and pick it up later) or grocery delivery service to your door.

We had used a grocery delivery service for the first month when our second baby was born, and it was one less thing to worry about.

Amazon also offers a Grocery delivery service. We have used Amazon Grocery delivery service during a pandemic, and it was great too.

Get Prepared for Birth

Labor is long, unpredictable, and scary, especially if it is your first time giving birth. So, you need to prepare and educate yourself about the labor and delivery process before your impending birth to help you make an informed decision when needed.

7. Pack your Hospital Bag

This must be done around the 8th month. Pack stuff that is necessary. There are tons of articles out there that tell you to pack the hospital bags with music/movie DVDs and nursing nighties. You are not going there for vacation so keep this in mind. Trust me; you will hardly have time to think about music or nighties.

Pack only stuff that you are actually going to use like, toothbrush, toothpaste, comb, lip balm, water cup with straw, hair tie, comfortable pants, shirts, nursing bra, socks, phone charger, nursing pillow, etc.

8. Pack Dad’s Hospital Bag

brown duffel bag besides white and brown chair
Photo by Erol Ahmed on Unsplash

Your husband is your support person, and he is going to the hospital with you too, so he deserves his hospital bag! Pack stuff for your husband like clothes, underwear, toothbrush, blanket, pillow, phone charger, etc.

Most importantly, DO NOT FORGET TO PACK SNACKS FOR LABOR AND HUSBAND. Not all hospital has great food when you need it, or your husband might not have time to go and grab the snack when hungry. Also, labor is very unpredictable; it doesn’t hurt to be prepared if it is long. Here are great suggestions for snacks to pack in your hospital bag.

9. Do a Labor Prep

Labor is a scary process. I have been through twice. No wonder why so many women go all and above prepping for labor.

If you haven’t yet thought about taking a childbirth class, I highly recommend taking online Birth It Up labor course or Prenatal course for couples. Both courses are great and will prepare you for your upcoming labor from the comfort of your home.

Depending on the kind of labor you are hoping for, the Birth It Up course offers natural, epidural, and C-section labor courses. The Birth It Up course is very thorough and very affordable.

The Prenatal course for Couples will prepare you for hospital birth that you and your partner can take it together.

Both courses are great and will ease any fear of your impending birth.

Many hospitals offer free prenatal classes, too; you might want to check it out with your hospital.

Read my review about

10. Write your Birth Plan

A birth plan is where you can write down your wishes for your birth, like what kind of labor you desire, how you want to birth, who can advocate for you, delayed cord clamping, and much more.

However, you might not get all you put on your birth plan, but you made things clear with your doctor.

With the unexpected nature of the labor, you might get a c-section even when you hoped for a natural birth. So, your birth plan needs to be flexible.

Don’t get stuck on things that you have on your birth plan; your OBY/GYN knows your condition during labor, and they will decide what is safe for you and your baby.

11. Pre-Register at your Hospital

If you haven’t yet filled the from your hospital, it’s time to fill them now. You don’t want to fill the form when you are in labor.  

12. Tour the Hospital

It might be easy for you to assume that “we will figure out when the time comes.” But trust me, once contractions start, you can’t think of anything other than getting to your OBY/GYN.

So, find a time to tour a hospital before your due date. Find out where to park, where to get the parking pass (cheaper than paying for parking per day), cafeteria, labor and delivery ward of the hospital, and check-in procedure of the hospital. It will make your life easy when the day finally comes.

13. Download a Contraction track App

The first time around, I had a hard time keeping track of contractions, and asking a husband to tract was a big mistake.

So, the second time, I downloaded- Contraction Timer-Time labor from the Apple App Store. Again, it was an easy one-button interface to track the duration and interval between each contraction.

Make sure you figure out how to use it before you go into labor.

Recommended Reading :

14. Double check with your Insurance Company

If you haven’t yet figure out how much it will cost you for your labor and delivery, call your insurance company and get an estimate of how much they are going to cover.

If you know how much you have to pay out of your pocket, you can plan ahead and save money to pay bills. The last thing you want is to worry about how to pay bills when the baby is home.

15. Arrange Baby sitter for your other kids when you go for labor

Unfortunately, your kids can not come to the hospital as your little support person during labor. That means you need to arrange care for them while you are at the hospital.

You might have to find a babysitter or ask your family members to watch your kids or send them to their grandparent’s house. So, start asking your family now if they are able to watch your kids. If they are not available, you need to find a babysitter.

Get prepared for Breastfeeding

Third Trimester Pregnancy Checklist

There is a lot you can do to get ready for breastfeeding in your third trimester. Trust me, it isn’t as simple as it looks. There is a steep learning curve and it takes a firm determination to continue breastfeeding. Here’s how you can prepare yourself for breastfeeding in your third trimester.

16. Take an online Breastfeeding Class

You must be wondering, isn’t it too early to take a class. Trust me, knowing what to expect will prepare you mentally and physically for breastfeeding success. Breastfeeding in the first few days is very challenging until you and the baby get the hang of it.

So, preparing in advance will make your life much easy and you will know what to do when you face any breastfeeding challenges.

If you think that breastfeeding is a natural process and will naturally come to you, you are making a big mistake. There are a plethora of breastfeeding challenges that you might face while breastfeeding.

And once you have a baby, you won’t have enough time to read or take a class to learn how to breastfeed.  So, do yourself a favor and read as much as you can about breastfeeding.

Even better, take this fantastic online breastfeeding class in your third trimester. The Ultimate Breastfeeding Class by Milkology is affordable and will prepare you for breastfeeding in just 90 minutes. This class teaches you

  • most effective breastfeeding position to get a deep latch
  • how to increase your milk supply
  • when your baby has enough milk
  • common mistakes that mama makes when breastfeeding
  • and much more
  • Recommended Readings :

17. Inquire about Breast Pump Coverage

Most insurance companies cover a breast pump every 3-4 years. You want to call your insurance company and determine how much they cover and the procedure to claim the money for a breast pump. You might need your doctor’s prescription to claim for the cost of your breast pump.

18. Prepare a Nursing Cuddy

You want to make sure you have all breastfeeding essentials in place for easy access when you are feeding your baby. Get one basket and keep all supplies that you can carry around the house. Here’re supplies that you will need,

Also, you should have a nursing station right beside your bed for those nighttime feeding. Along with the supplies listed above, an organic nursing pillow and a side table to keep your supplies will be really helpful at night.

19. Pack Breastfeeding Supplies in your Hospital Bag

While you are packing your hospital bag, do not forget to pack breastfeeding essentials. You want nipple cream, breast pad, nursing pillow, water bottle, and burp cloth for your nursing comfort at the hospital.

Nipple cream is a lifesaver when you are breastfeeding for the first time. However, you will be feeding our baby around the clock, and there will be some bruising at your nipple. So, DO NOT FORGET NIPPLE CREAM in your hospital bag.

20. Get Nursing Tops

You don’t want to invest in a nursing bra just yet because your breast will change the size until your breast milk supply is not regulated (which takes approximately 6-8 weeks). So, getting an expensive nursing bra in the third trimester is too early.

Instead, you can get nursing tops.  Nursing tops come in a variety—some with a bra cup to hold the nursing pad and others with an inbuilt bra.

I pretty much lived on nursing tops when I was breastfeeding. I hated going to bed with a nursing bra. And nursing tops with bra cup to hold nursing pad (so you don’t wet your bed sheet with breast milk) was a lifesaver.

If you are someone who hates wearing a bra at night, you might need to invest in a couple of nursing tops. Trust me; you will need it.

Also, get breastfeeding-friendly tops so you can breastfeed in public without exposing yourself to the world.

Get Ready for Baby

Besides buying baby stuff and installing them before the baby is born, there are some things that you need to give special attention to. So let’s look at stuff you need to do before the baby is born.  

21. Prepare Baby’s Stuff

If you haven’t yet shop for baby stuff (which I highly doubt), do not go overboard with baby’s stuff.

Besides the necessity for your baby like a car seat, non-toxic crib or safe crib alternatives (if you don’t want a crib), or bedside bassinet for your baby to sleep, and diaper changing arrangements, your baby needs

  • Diaper
  • Wipes
  • Baby clothes (o-newborn). If you have received many newborn/0-3 months outfits in your baby shower, wash only a few pairs that you think you will use because babies grow fast. Most of the time, days are literally too short, and you do not have time to put cute clothes on a baby. You will only care about feeding your baby and catching up on your sleep initially.
  • Diaper rash crèam
  • Swaddle blankets
  • Baby monitor
  • Baby bottle (in case breastfeeding didn’t work)

Recommended Reading :

22. Get Car Seat Installed

If you are installing a car seat for the first time, it might take time to figure out how to install and adjust the strap of your car seat correctly.

There are many reports of car seats not being installed correctly, and you don’t want to become one of those cases.

If you installed a car in advance, you would have enough time to call the non-profit organization or your local polish or fire -department to come for car-seat inspection if they provide that service.  

It is always better to be safe than sorry when driving on the highway with a baby.

23. Install Crib or Bassinet before Baby arrives

The only thing your baby needs when you bring them home from the hospital is their safe place to sleep, whether it is non-toxic crib, safe crib alternatives, or bedside bassinet.

Make sure you don’t leave to the last moment to install the crib. Because time flies, and you never know when you have to rush to the hospital.

24. Learn about Sleep safety

The AAP has sleep safety guidelines for newborns as there are many infant death cases due to unsafe sleep practices. You might want to read those rules and get familiarize yourself with what not to do.

25. Prepare Baby’s First Aid Kit

The essential things to have in your baby’s first aid kit are

Saline Nasal drops were a lifesaver for my baby’s frequent nasal congestions. Keep your baby’s first aid kit in your night drawer for easy access when you need it.

26. Learn about how to Care for Newborn

The babies are exceptionally delicate, and if you are a first-time mom with no help when you come home, you need to invest some time into learning how to care for your baby.

Although nurses at the hospital will show you how to change a diaper and hold the baby for breastfeeding, there are things like giving a bath to a baby, baby massage that you need to figure out yourself.

I was scared to give my baby his first bath.. he was so tiny. I was fortunate to have my mom help me, but if you don’t have anyone experienced to assist you, you might wait it out until you are confident to do it.  

If you want to be a confident mom caring for your newborn, invest your time into learning how to care for a newborn. I loved the Newborn care 101 online course from a labor nurse. This course is full of tips on caring for a newborn with video demonstration with a newborn. The Newborn care 101 course is comprehensive, affordable and you can access it anytime you want.

Here are topics covered by this online course,

  • Baby Gear and Home Essentials
  • Newborn Characteristics/Normalities
  • Tummy Time
  • Breastfeeding
  • Formula Feeding
  • Burps, Gas, Spit-Up, Reflux & Dairy Allergies
  • Diapering
  • Bathing & Skin Care
  • Cord Care
  • Circumcision Care
  • Newborn Sleep
  • Crying, Pacifiers & Colic
  • Illness, Fevers & Colds
  • Safety/Shaken Baby Syndrome
  • Car Seat Safety
  • Postpartum – Your Body Changes
  • Adjusting to A New Normal – Parenthood Challenges
  • Introducing Siblings

27. Pack the Diaper Bag for Baby

Do it in your third trimester, so you don’t need to worry about it when you need to go for the baby’s first pediatrician appointment. Here’s what you need to pack,

28. Pick out a Perfect name for Baby

You must be thinking about names for your baby or received suggestions for the name since you had your gender reveal party, right!! But you haven’t finalized it yet.

It’s about time to get serious and get your top five names to list out. You want to finalize your baby’s name before your due date.

29. Decide on Baby Birth Announcement

You want to have a plan on hand if you want to make a unique birth announcement for your baby. Whether you want a simple text message to the family, or a printed birth announcement for your baby, check out this post on unique birth announcement ideas.

Trust me; it’s better to have everything finalize now. You won’t have enough time to select the perfect birth announcement for your baby once the baby is born. So, if you really want a birth announcement to be memorable for your family and friend, decide on your birth announcement plan now.

30. Book a Newborn Photographer

You don’t want to miss having cute photos of your newborn because they are adorable and grow too fast.  And, having those sleeping beauties captured in camera by a professional photographer is worth every.single.penny.

Find a local newborn photographer who is willing to come to your house or the hospital to take photos of your baby.

Get Yourself ready for Labor

The third trimester of pregnancy is really uncomfortable, with extra 25 pounds around your belly. Also, 10 hours of working day and not sleeping well at night make it tough to manage. For this reason, you need to take it slow and listen to your body.

31. Take care of yourself

You’re probably too tired to cook and even move around in your third trimester. But help your body get ready for birth by making sure you eat nutritious food, drink enough water, and take prenatal vitamins. You might want to go for a walk with your partner.

We all get too busy checking off that third-trimester to-do list, but make sure to find a time to get a prenatal massage, pedicure, and visit your friend or do something that makes you happy.

Don’t forget to get a haircut. So, you don’t have to worry about it for the next 3 to 4 months once the baby arrives.

Once baby arrives, you won’t have a ‘you’ time, so pamper yourself while you can.

32. Spend Quality time with Kids (if you have them)

Once you have a baby, your baby will need all your attention, and you will not have time for your loved ones. So, to make up for that, spend some quality one on one time with your other kid/kids.

33. Go on a Date with your Husband

Schedule a couple of date nights with your husband before your due date. The more connected you two feels, the better you’ll be for a new life after a baby.

34. Prepare for your Postpartum recovery

Getting ready for a baby is a top priority, but don’t miss the train on prepping for recovery! Postpartum recovery is a big deal, and there are so many things that you need to stock up in your third trimester.

Make sure you have at least these things on hand,

  • Giant absorbent pad
  • Mess underwear
  • Peri-bottle
  • Numbing spray
  • Tucks pad
  • Epsom salt and lavender essential oil for sitz bath
  • Padsickle

(Complete postpartum recovery tips and checklist)

Get other things done

35. Take care of your Recurring Bills

Once you have your baby, you’ll not have time to think about paying your bills. As a result, you may end up paying interest on your unpaid bills and also bad for your credit.

If you are like me, who doesn’t pay a cent of interest, set automatic payment for your recurring bills (only if things are not tight in your budget).

36. Take a look at your financial situation and how it will change after a baby

Hopefully, you have started thinking about your maternity leave by now and discussed the plan for return to work or the possibility of staying home.

If you are thinking about going back to work, you need to search for childcare. Unfortunately, finding childcare can be time-consuming.

First, look at your monthly budget and added expenses associated with having a baby. Then, try to cut back where you can. Also, determine if you have enough money coming in while you are home.

Think about your option of going on extended maternity leave by working from home as I did after the delivery of my second child. I started tutoring kids from home and started this blog with the help of Wealthy Affiliate – an online training community that prepares you for starting a blog and earning a passive to full-time income out of it. 

Start checking off things from the Checklist before baby is Born, mama!

There you go, mama! You have a checklist before the baby is born!! Of course, you don’t have to go through everything from this list, but if you do, you will be well prepared, and your life will be easy once the baby is born.

Just organize and prioritize your task week by week. Then, you will be set for your big day and life after baby.

Take good care of yourself, mama!!

How about it?

Did I miss any super important thing to do Before Baby is Born? Leave your comment below.

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8 Comments

  1. Lopa Lewis says:

    Hi Pranali,
    Very informative article. I couldn’t agree more with the all the point you listed here. Pre-preparation is very important for stress free first 2 month with the baby. I didn’t know about contraction app to tract contraction during labor. Neat idea! For second baby, I am downloading it for sure, No need of husband for this !!

    1. Hi Lopa
      Thank you for the comment. Yes, contraction app is very helpful. But make sure you figure out how it works so you don’t have to struggle to use it when you actually need it.

  2. This is a great post and well thought out.

    I tried to get as much of this done prior to my daughter’s birth, and I was so glad that I did. Especially the food prep. Things are so chaotic those first few days home from the hospital…it is nice to have a healthy meal available.

    While I had several names picked out, I did not decide until I saw her face 🙂

    1. Hi Irma,
      Thank you for your comment. It is very important to get things done before the arrival of baby so you can bond with your baby without being stressed about other thing. Thank you for sharing your experience with us.

  3. Very informative! This will come in very handy for all of the “new” moms out there, as well as the veterans!

  4. Great Advice and article. I would like an actual checklist to print. I guess I could print this page. So many mothers would appreciate this. I do. Thank you

    1. Thank you for your comment. currently i do not have printable version but certainly i can work on it. Third trimester is very important time to get ready for your “forth trimester”. If you are well prepared you will have stress free couple of months and you can bond with your baby. Also taking care of yourself is important as your body has gone through so much trauma of giving birth and taking care of your body and recovering is prime important. To learn more about speedy recovery check out this post,
      https://empiricalmama.com/postpartum-care-after-vaginal-delivery-what-to-expect-and-tips-for-fast-recovery/
      Thanks again.

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