Pregnancy can be a busy time, especially if you’re a first-time mom.
There are so many things to do during pregnancy from appointments to schedule, classes to take, and all that baby gear to buy!
You’ll have a lot of decisions to make too all while battling fatigue and other fun pregnancy symptoms.
Don’t worry, it’s all totally worth it in the end! Use this printable pregnancy checklist to get everything done from the classes to the baby shower. It’s your week by week guide to helping you prepare for baby.
None of the information in this post should be used in place of medical advice. These are simply my opinions based on experience and research. Always consult your healthcare professionals if you have concerns.
Updated March 2021
This list is meant to serve as a rough guide. Your timeline may vary a bit depending on when your doctor’s office does certain things and your own schedule.
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Check out the pregnancy page for resources for every trimester!
Read through the entire timeline or jump to the section you need:
Click on any of the pink links to get further information on a specific subject.
First-trimester to-do list
Week 1-4– Say goodbye to Aunt Flo and conceive a baby. Your pregnancy actually begins on the first day of your last period, before your baby is conceived!
It’s a bit odd that it starts before you’re actually pregnant, but that’s how doctors calculate it. An ovulation kit can help you to pinpoint exactly when to do-the-deed to better your chances of getting pregnant.
Week 5-6 – Take a pregnancy test or 10. Many tests can now actually give you a positive test result before you miss your period!
But, to avoid driving yourself crazy it’s best to wait until you’re actually a few days late before taking a test.
It can also be disheartening to test so early and have an early miscarriage. Miscarriage is most common very early on and you could get a positive on a chemical pregnancy that your body will never really register, but a pee stick will.
The pink dye pregnancy tests tend to be the most accurate.
Week 7 – Research OBGYNs and schedule your first appointment. Read reviews online, ask your mom friends, or ask in a local Facebook mom group for recommendations.
You’ll want to make sure the doctor takes your insurance, will be open to your birth preferences, and is the gender you prefer, if you have a preference.
Weeks 8-9 – Rest and hydrate. If you haven’t already you will likely start to experience some pregnancy symptoms, like morning sickness or fatigue.
This is usually about the time my coffee aversion kicks in! Get some rest and start increasing your water intake.
It’s very important to stay hydrated, especially as you may experience nausea. I recommend getting a large water bottle to carry with you.
Personally, I love hydro flasks which will keep your water cool all day. They even make slings for them now for easy carrying.
I also love these water bottles with time markers to help you drink enough each day.
Week 10 – Attend your first OB appointment. The week this happens may vary a bit depending on your care provider. You’ll likely also get your first ultrasound! Learn what else to expect at your first prenatal visit.
Week 11 – Start looking at baby names. Once you have that first appointment and ultrasound confirming you have a healthy pregnancy it’s time to get excited! It’s a great time to start looking at baby names.
Visit our baby names page for loads of ideas and to grab our baby brainstorm worksheet to help get you started.
Week 12 – Purchase maternity clothes. If your clothes aren’t starting to feel tight yet, they will be soon. Purchase some maternity clothes before you wake up one morning and have to wear your husbands pants!
There are tons of great shops like motherhood maternity, pink blush, and old navy.
If you plan to breastfeed check out my article all about the best breastfeeding clothes, many of them can double as maternity wear.
Second-trimester pregnancy to do list
There seems to be disagreement as to whether the 13th or 14th week is the start of the second trimester, I’ve gone with 13 here.
Hitting the second trimester is the first big milestone in your pregnancy so I think earlier is better.
Week 13 – Get some pregnancy books. Now that you’re settling into the second trimester it’s a great time to pick up some pregnancy books! There’s a book or two for you no matter what type of birth you plan to have.
Week 14 – Make a pregnancy announcement. Now is a great time to announce your pregnancy. Whether you plan to announce just to close friends or put it on social media for everyone to see is up to you. Here are some clever pregnancy announcement ideas that you may want to use for inspiration.
Week 15 – Start a baby registry…or 3. It’s time to get busy on that baby registry. Even if you don’t plan to have a baby shower you still want to make a registry! Here’s my take on must have items for your baby registry.
You can get free stuff, points, or just help to keep track of all those items to make returns easier by making a baby registry. Start one everywhere. Each store you register at will likely send you some free goodies just for creating a registry.
Week 16 – Look into maternity leave. Maternity leave can vary by your employer, country, and state. Find out what you qualify for and what paperwork you need to fill out.
Week 17 – Start a savings account. Start an extra savings account to help cover your maternity leave. No matter how much leave you get some or all of it will be unpaid. Start saving money to help cover this gap.
You’ll want to enjoy as much time off with your baby as possible. You can pick up a side job like driving for Door Dash or Uber Eats to help save more money (this is what I did during my first pregnancy).
You can also check out these apps that can help you save money.
Week 18 – Research and hire a doula. I highly recommend having a doula as part of your support team during birth. Especially if you either don’t have family nearby or don’t have family who can be the supportive person you need in the delivery room.
A doula is well educated about birth and will support both the mother and father through the birth process.
Week 19 – Anatomy scan. – Somewhere around 18-20 weeks, you will have an anatomy scan. Many of us pregnant ladies instead refer to this as the gender ultrasound. If you have a healthy pregnancy this may be your second and last ultrasound.
The tech will take all sorts of measurements and should also be able to tell you the gender of your baby if you want to know.
If you don’t want to know the gender be sure to tell the tech at the beginning that you DO NOT want to know the gender.
Week 20 – Have a gender reveal. Gender reveal parties are the hot new thing. Honestly, I’m too impatient to wait and let someone else know the gender first.
But I did mail a popper to my best friend who lives across the country so I could surprise her with a gender reveal for what turned out to be my second daughter.
Week 21 – Start planning your baby shower. There are really no rules anymore. Get a relative or close friend to plan your party or plan your own!
I helped plan most of my own party. Plus then I got veto power over some of the games. I was not about to let anyone measure how big around my belly was!
You want to have your shower at least 8 weeks before your due date. Otherwise, you will probably be kind of miserable at your own party.
You also want to leave time to return items, purchase things you didn’t receive, and get everything set up before the baby arrives, and they can always come early!
Week 22 – Get a prenatal massage & register for childbirth classes. By this point in your pregnancy, you might be feeling some aches and pains. It’s a great time to book yourself a prenatal massage.
Just make sure it’s at a reputable place and that it is a prenatal massage. They’ll avoid having you lay flat on your back or stomach.
This is also a great time to register for birthing classes. You generally want to start your classes between 26-28 weeks along and they can fill up quickly.
Lamaze is the one most people have heard of, but I don’t think they even have that anymore. There are lots of different classes and birthing methods you can use.
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Week 23 – Send baby shower invites. You want to send out your invites 3-4 weeks before the party so people’s schedules don’t book up.
You may want to send a save the date even earlier if your shower is going to be in a busy time of year. My first was due December 27th so we were definitely contending with the holiday busyness!
Week 24 – Viability week. Celebrate as you’ve reached another pregnancy milestone, viability week. This is the point where if your baby comes early they have a good chance of surviving. It’s always the point at which you breathe a big sigh of relief.
Week 25 – Pick a nursery theme. If you haven’t already chosen a theme for your nursery now is a great time to choose one and start decorating. You certainly don’t have to pick a theme but it sure is fun!
We did an Inside Out themed nursery for my first daughter with lots of colorful polka dots. Pinterest is a great place to get inspiration. You can check out my dream nurseries board on Pinterest for some great ideas.
Week 26 – Get a mani/pedi & schedule a hospital tour. By now it’s probably starting to get difficult to reach your toes and shave your legs. Treat yourself to a mani/pedi and a little relaxation. Just try to go to a place that is well ventilated as breathing in fumes isn’t good for you or the baby.
It’s also a great time to book a hospital tour if you haven’t already! They’ll let you know when to arrive, where to check in, and often give you a tour of a labor and delivery room. You don’t want to be figuring these things out while in labor!
You’ll want to find out what sort of birthing aids they have, how many people are allowed in the delivery room, any age restrictions on visitors, etc.
(Some hospitals will not allow young children to visit, especially during flu season!) Be sure to check out my post all about questions to ask on your hospital tour (includes printable worksheet).
Third-trimester pregnancy to do list
Week 27 – Have a baby shower. About now you will hopefully be having your baby shower. Prepare to feel loved and stock up on baby stuff. Hopefully, people will get you practical gifts.
Be prepared for all the off registry items. People love to buy cute stuff and many have their favorite item that they like to gift people for their baby.
Week 28 – Get your rhogam shot & select a pediatrician. Week 28 is when you need to get your rhogam shot if it’s required. It’s very important to get this shot.
You also need to select a pediatrician for your child. They generally want to know this information before your child is born! You can always change it later, but it’s easier to do your research in advance. Here’s a guide to choosing a pediatrician.
Week 29 – Create a birth plan. If you have specific desires for your birth it’s a good idea to create a birth plan. Print out several copies to have in your hospital bag to give to the main nurse staff.
Remember to keep it simple. If you make it too complicated or too long it’s going to be harder for the hospital staff to help you out. If you have a doula they can also have a copy and help to advocate on your behalf. I’ll be covering birth plans towards the end of our series.
Week 30 – Detag & wash baby clothes. Now that the baby shower is over you likely have a mountain of baby clothes. It will take way longer than you think to remove all the tags from those things. Each one seems to have at least three of those plastic tag hangers on them!
If you get newborn size clothes only detag and wash a handful of them. You can’t be sure until the baby arrives how big they will be. Some babies skip newborn clothes altogether! You want to be able to easily exchange them if your baby is never going to wear them.
My favorite detergent to wash baby clothes in is Dreft. It is completely unnecessary, let me make that clear. But, it smells amazing!
Didn’t have a baby shower? Check out my favorite places to buy cute baby clothes.
Week 31 – Decorate nursery. Hopefully, by now, you have most of the items you need for your baby. It’s time to start putting that nursery together. Use that nesting energy that’s common in the third trimester to start building furniture, hanging decor, and organizing baby supplies.
Week 32 – Take a
You can read about my breastfeeding struggles with my daughter if you like. I had no idea how many issues there can be! Luckily I had a friend who connected me with a support group and I was able to nurse my daughter for 18 months.
If you even think you want to breastfeed please take a class. If your schedule is extra busy or there aren’t classes near you there is a great online course called Milkology that is only $27. Whoever is going to be supporting you in breastfeeding should take the course as well and an online course may be more comfortable for husbands.
Week 33 – Stock up on post-partum supplies. Time to start stocking up on supplies. You may want to make some padsicles to have on hand. Make sure you have basic home supplies stocked up, paper towels, toilet paper, etc. You will not want to go to the store for mundane items.
Look into food and grocery delivery options to help out those first few weeks. Meal Prepping is also a great idea. There are a lot of crock pot meals you can make and freeze ahead of time.
Post birth you’ll want to have giant pads, lidocaine patches, etc. on hand. Much of this you can get while you’re at the hospital but you probably want to have a small supply at home too. Here’s my take on the best postpartum pads.
Week 34 – Install your car seat. You do not want to be figuring out how to install your car seat at the hospital! Making sure your car seat is installed properly and you know how to properly secure your baby in it is one of your first big safety tasks as a parent.
My husband about had a nervous breakdown trying to install our seat the first time. He had trouble getting it in and started freaking out that our baby wasn’t going to be safe!
Car Seats for the Littles is a great place to get information on car seat safety and to identify the best seat for your situation. Car seats are frequently used incorrectly and they will only keep your child safe if they’re used right.
Pro Tip: If grandparents are going to regularly be watching or visiting with your child then have them get the same seat as you once you switch to a convertible car seat. Moving a car seat all the time is a pain. If they have the same seat as you then you can easily instruct them on how to use it and ensure it’s being used safely and properly.
Week 35 – Pick a coming home outfit. It’s time to choose that first adorable outfit for your little one. Keep it simple and warm as you’ll all be tired. Be sure to pack two options in different sizes, newborn & 0-3 months, as your baby may come out bigger or smaller than expected.
Week 36 – Pack your hospital bag. Things are starting to get real. You’re probably starting to feel desperately ready for the baby to be born. It’s a great time to pack your hospital bag. Grab my printable checklist and find out what you should pack in this hospital bag packing guide.
Week 37 – Have your Group B Strep test. The Group B Strep test can actually be done between 35-37 weeks. Group B Streptococcus is a common bacterial infection in the vagina affecting approximately 25% of healthy adult women according to the American Pregnancy Association.
If the mother is a carrier it can be passed to the baby during childbirth and cause major illness in the young baby. If you test positive you will receive IV antibiotics during childbirth to greatly reduce the chances of it being passed to your child. You have to be tested every pregnancy as the bacteria can come back.
Not getting testing can have serious complications. Here is one mom who shares her story of losing her son due to Group B Strep.
Week 38-41 – Have a baby! You’ve finally made it to the big show! Time to do a little math, 40 weeks divided by 4, the average number of weeks in a month, equals 10 months. Most women are actually pregnant for closer to 10 months than 9. Not sure who messed up that math!
As uncomfortable as you may be those last few weeks try to relax and enjoy time with your spouse before your new addition arrives.
If you’re desperate to get things moving check out these methods to try to induce labor.
I hope you enjoyed this preparing for baby checklist. With this guide, you should be as ready as you can be for baby’s arrival. Please let me know if you have any questions and be sure to subscribe to my email list to get your printable pregnancy checklist.