Anyone that knows me knows that I love to-do lists, I might not always get around to completing them, but I sure do love making them!
When you find out you’re pregnant (congratulations are in order!), you don’t realise how much planning you have to do and how many things you need to take care of before the arrival of your baby. Luckily you have a couple of months before the time to make sure you’ve sorted everything out that you need to, but you’ll be surprised at how quickly time flies by and you’re left with trying to juggle a lot of things at once.
It can get stressful if you leave important factors for the last month or so and you’re running around (waddling more like it) trying to handle everything without losing your mind too much (although that can already be blamed on preggy brain).
I’ve split the to-do lists into the three trimesters so it’s easier to track and prioritise, however you can mark them off as and when it works for you best.
Let’s look at the to-do list for the third trimester. I KNOW! It looks hectic, but luckily you CAN move some of these to your SECOND trimester to even things out a little!
Book your bed
This is an important one as you need to make sure your space is booked at the hospital for your delivery day. Most doctors recommend doing so from 28 weeks of your pregnancy. You’ll need to phone your medical aid with the information provided by your doctor to get your authorisation code for the hospital stay. Double check on what information and documentation the hospital admission department will need from you to complete the necessary paperwork. Once that’s done, the hospital will provide you with a booklet with important information, FAQs as well as a suggested packing list for you and your baby for the duration of your stay.
While your due date might still be a few weeks away, it’s still best to pack your hospital bags a while in advance in case you go into labour earlier and the last thing you want to worry about is making sure you have everything you need while you’re half way in the process of getting in the car. Double check with your hospital about what items are supplied by them so you don’t need to pack double of items as you’ll need to still take everything back home again. The recommended time for starting the packing is a month before your due date and then adding on the smaller things as needed. It’s easier to pack your things separately to your baby’s things so you’re not overturning everything in one bag while looking for one item. Here’s what I packed into my baby’s hospital bag.
Make sure to pack all the necessary information/documents for registering your baby at the hospital. You’ll need copies of your ID, your husband’s as well as a copy of your marriage certificate. The hospital staff will provide you with all other forms needed.
You’re not going to be getting a lot of time to get to spring clean after your baby is born, and you don’t want to still worry about that once you have a newborn at home. You need take things a lot slower during your third trimester to not over exert yourself so if you can, you can even start the spring cleaning during your second trimester.
A special day to celebrate your new baby with friends and family. Whatever you decide to do, big or small, remember it’s not about how much money you spend on the day, it’s about the thought: celebrating a new life.
Buy remaining baby things
Once you’ve had your baby shower, mark off the ideas you’ve received at your baby shower (yes, another list you have to make!) so you know what you still need to buy for your baby (and yourself). This is where your research comes in from your first trimester, where you’ve already looked around at products and prices.
Make sure you’ve charged your camera and you have a clean memory card so you can take photos and videos right after your baby is born (you can even take photos and videos during the birth-make sure to add this to your birth plan)
Decide where baby will sleep
Once you’re home, are you going to have your baby sleep in their own room or in yours? Depending on what you decide, make sure you rearrange your furniture as necessary so you don’t need to worry about it when you’re home and ready to settle in.
The first couple of days at home, the last thing you’ll be wanting to do is stand in front of the stove, cooking up healthy meals. Freezer meals are ideal to prepare before you head to the hospital so that you know it’s done and dusted, and once you’re home, you can just unfreeze, heat and enjoy! There are so many ideas you can find online that are healthy and quick! You can follow my Freezer Meal Ideas Pinterest Board for some yummy ideas!
You can’t always depend on your due date and expect an easy journey to get to the hospital with ease. Do an emergency run to the hospital; so you can see how long it would take you and if you know that a specific road has severe traffic at certain times, research an alternative route so you’re not stuck bumper to bumper with your baby on the way.
If the nesting hasn’t set in yet, it should soon! It’s time to prepare the baby room and make sure you have everything in place for once you’re at home so you’re not left rushing around searching for things. See that you pack the items that you will use often closest to your reach so it’s easier for you to find what you need.
While the hospital has its own visitation rules, you can set up your own. If you don’t want everyone rushing to the hospital on the first day, but only want a selected few, only let those people know. You can set up a card to send out to everyone with your “rules” so that others are aware of your wishes. Visitation rules also apply for when you’re home, so if you don’t want anyone popping in for the first few days, let them know until you are ready.
While it’s not a must, it’s always nice to have a few professional photos taken of your husband and you. Who doesn’t like to dress up and show off their bump?
Going home outfit
Choose a going home outfit for your baby and yourself as it’s a special moment: taking your baby to their new home. For yourself, pack in clothes that you wore when you were around six months pregnant. You’re going to be bloated for the first while and you’ll want to be dressed comfortably.
Install car seat
I know this sounds a little silly, but it takes some time to install a car seat while making sure you’ve done it properly, especially if it’s your first time doing it. Practice getting it right before the time so you’re not left waiting outside in the parking lot while you try to figure it out.
Spoil yourself and your hubby
Do something not baby related. Get a new haircut, buy a new book, or buy a new purse. Whatever you choose, make it about you. You can also buy something for your husband, something you know he’ll like. Soon, most of your purchases will be baby related.
Do something with your hubby
Finding time for each other after your baby is born will be a lot trickier and it might take months before you’ll able to have a date night (without wanting to call the baby sitter every few minutes). Why not use the time you have before the baby to enjoy the time together in peace and quiet? There are many ideas, and you don’t need to wait for the third trimester to come around to start on them. Here are a couple of ideas you can look at for things you can do with your husband before baby arrives.
If you’re still in your FIRST TRIMESTER, have you completed your to-do list yet?
Still in your SECOND TRIMESTER? Have a look at the to-do list for the middle three months of your pregnancy!