When the third trimester arrives, it really sinks in that a new baby will be here soon. These essentials will help you put the last preparations in place.
Focus on purchases to relieve aches and pains, prep for labor, and set you up for breastfeeding success.
- Nursing bras: Find some that are comfortable to sleep in. You’ll probably be wearing bras around the clock for a while.
- Nipple cream
- Breast pads
- Nursing pillow
- Belly band: Extra support feels so good when your belly is at its largest. A postpartum belly band can help support your abdomen after delivery, when your abs may feel weak.
- Giant pregnancy pillow: Supporting your belly and back while you sleep can minimize achiness and help you sleep better. Now is not the time to worry about taking up too much of the bed.
- Waterproof bed liner: If your water breaks while you’re sleeping, you won’t soak the mattress.
- Large water bottle with a bendable straw: The bendy straw is important. You want your partner to be able to give you a sip of water no matter what position you’re in during labor.
- Comfy loungewear
Baby supply lists are overwhelming, especially if you’re a first-time parent and don’t know exactly what you need. You can go all-out or take a more minimalist approach, depending on your style. All your baby really needs in the early days is a car seat, a safe place to sleep, and a few basics to stay clean, warm, and fed. Toys, baby swings, and even a stroller are extras at this point, although they’re handy to have. If you’re having a baby shower, check your wish list afterward and see which of the following is left to purchase:
- Car seat (a local fire station can inspect it and teach you to install it correctly)
- Crib or bassinet
- Waterproof crib liner
- Fitted sheets
- Changing table/dresser
- Changing pad and covers
- Diaper cream
- Diaper pail
- Baby socks and mittens
- Swaddle or warmer pajamas for sleeping
- Baby carrier
- Baby bath
- Baby swing
- Washable play mat for tummy time
For the Rest of the Family
Your new baby’s other parent needs a labor bag, too. Providing labor support is still hard work. Get prepared with:
- Energy-boosting snacks: Ideally, these are things you hold in one hand and scarf down quickly. Energy bars, cheese sticks, fruit, jerky. Ask the pregnant mom about any smelly snacks to avoid
- Deodorant: Don’t offend her heightened sense of smell while she’s in labor
- Breath mints: See above
- Shower shoes
- Comfy lounge-wear
If this isn’t your first baby, it’s nice to pick up a gift for older children to celebrate their new big sister/brother role. You can even label it as a present from the baby.
For the House
Whether you fling your doors open immediately or take some time to yourselves as a new family, eventually you’ll have visitors to see the baby. Make sure your house has necessities for heavier traffic:
- Toilet paper
- Paper towels
- Hand soap
- Dishwasher soap
- Gentle laundry detergent
- Extra cleaning sponges
Note: The extra sponges are not for the recovering mom. Write “toilet,” “sink,” and “counters” on sponges in permanent marker. When a guest asks, “Is there anything I can do?” you’ll be able to point them to the nearest dirty surface. The point of all the advance prep is to let you devote your attention to your beautiful newborn.