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Pregnant woman in third trimester with her partner

The third trimester: What to expect for you and your baby

With the arrival of your third trimester, you’re just a few weeks away from the grand entrance of your newest adventure buddy. What is your baby up to at this stage of growth, and what does this trimester hold for you? We’ll answer both questions in this article.

Plus, you’ll read a few tips for getting your home and car ready for your baby’s arrival. Once everything is prepared, all that’s left to do is eagerly wait.

What to expect in the third trimester: your baby

Mom holding her pregnant belly

Growth

Your third trimester of pregnancy starts at week 28 and ends at 40 weeks or whenever your baby is born. And your baby does a lot of growing in those weeks.

At the beginning of this trimester, your baby weighs a mere two to two and a half pounds and is the size of an eggplant. They measure around 15 inches from head to toe.

Development

At 28 weeks, your tiny baby has developed a nervous system that can control their body temperature, and they can hear, smell, and touch.

Throughout the course of your third trimester, your baby will grow fingernails and toenails, their lungs will mature completely, and they’ll be able to fully open their eyes and respond to light.

Rest assured that though their bones develop and harden, their skull stays soft for delivery.

Kicking

Couple feeling baby kick in the third trimester

If you haven’t felt the precious kicks already, you’ll notice your baby moving and grooving in the third trimester. As they grow and develop, they’ll start kicking, stretching, and grasping.

Turning

Toward the end of your third trimester, your baby will probably turn head-down in preparation for delivery. Your doctor will keep an eye on this as you progress.

What to expect in the third trimester: your body

A baby belly

Woman in third trimester

If it wasn’t pronounced in your second trimester, your baby belly will definitely make itself known in the third trimester! Your baby and your uterus are growing, which means you might notice back or hip soreness, heartburn, urine leaks, or more frequent trips to the bathroom.

To keep yourself comfortable as your body carries the extra weight, take a warm bath or apply a heating pad to your aching back and sleep with a pillow between your knees. Going for a stroll can also help.

Third-trimester fatigue

Pregnant woman sleeping

Feeling tired during your third trimester is normal. Your body has done a lot of work, and now it’s carrying around an ever-growing belly.

Do what you can to get the rest you need, whether that means taking a catnap, lounging on the couch, or getting in bed an hour earlier. Care for your body in other ways, too, such as eating well and staying active in pregnancy-safe ways.

Putting your feet up (literally) is a good idea for another reason: You may experience puffiness in the third trimester. Elevating your feet can help.

Braxton Hicks contractions

You’ve probably heard of Braxton Hicks contractions — mini-contractions that might feel like period cramps or a tightening of the front of your abdomen. They’re common in the third trimester.

But how can you tell them apart from real labor contractions? Braxton Hicks contractions are inconsistent, come and go at irregular intervals, and don’t keep you from walking and talking. They also ease up when you change positions or go for a walk.

Meanwhile, labor contractions become more frequent and more intense as time goes on, and you may feel pain in your lower back, abdomen, and cervix.

What to do in the third trimester

Mom and toddler looking at new baby

In addition to going to all of your doctor appointments and caring for yourself in the ways we mentioned above, use this trimester to put the final touches on getting prepared for baby. You want everything to be ready and waiting for whenever they decide to make their appearance!

Finish the nursery

First things first, finish setting up your baby’s nursery. While there are a few details you can take care of after your baby’s birth, at the very least, they’ll need a place to lay their head. Plus, you don’t want to be painting and putting furniture together at the last minute.

Finish decorating, pack the diaper bag, wash and fold baby clothes and sheets, put the crib in its place, and organize the changing table so things are easy to access.

Gather baby supplies

Couple strolling with bassinet stroller

If you had a baby shower, hopefully you have all of the baby supplies you need. It may seem like a no-brainer, but if you didn’t get everything on your registry, now’s the time to buy the last few things.

Consider the smaller baby care supplies, such as bathtime products and diapers, but don’t forget about the bigger items, like a play yard and stroller. You’ll thank yourself later.

The Bugaboo Stardust play yard is great whether you’re going from room to room, visiting friends and family, or taking a trip — and it opens in just one second.

As for a stroller, we recommend one that offers a bassinet for your newborn as well as a seat option for when your baby is a bit older. The Bugaboo Bee 6 seat and bassinet stroller (bassinet sold separately) is our quickest and zippiest stroller yet, with a compact design and comfortable build.

It folds effortlessly with one hand, is easy to carry up and down the stairs, and stands by itself when folded. All of this makes travel and storage a breeze.

The larger-than-average, puncture-proof wheels and advanced suspension mean fewer bumps. And, since you can push it smoothly with one hand, you’ll be able to enjoy sipping your favorite drink as you stroll.

With a rotating bumper bar for added protection, a sun canopy, and high-performance seat fabric, your baby will ride in comfort.

Prep the car

Mother placing car seat in car

All of your attention might be focused on the nursery, but don’t forget about prepping the car, too. It’s essential since your baby can’t come home from the hospital without a properly installed car seat.

We recommend a travel system car seat, like the Turtle One by Nuna. Designed in collaboration with the premium car seat brand Nuna, this car seat has been designed based on principles of smart simplicity and intuitive design.

It’s the first car seat to be compatible with every current Bugaboo stroller, so you can travel seamlessly no matter which stroller works best for you, from the Donkey side-by-side double stroller to the all-terrain Fox 3.

(Note: Make sure to check and see if adapters are needed to convert your separate stroller and car seat into a travel system.)

The car seat base only takes a few seconds to install, and the stability load leg was designed to minimize any impact force, ensuring a secure ride.

If you’re at a loss when it comes to installing a car seat, we’ve got you covered. Click here.

Woman installing car seat

Clean your house

Another way to get ready for your baby is to get your house in order. Clean and meal prep ahead of time so you’ll have less to do during those first couple of weeks with your newborn.

This is a perfect time to ask for help from those closest to you who are ready to lend a hand. It takes a village to raise a child, and oftentimes, it takes a team to get ready for the baby’s arrival.

Rest

Last but not least: rest! If you’re keeping a to-do list, be sure you add self-care and rest to that list. Use this time to look out for yourself in addition to investing in your relationships with your partner and your older kids.

The final stretch

Pregnant woman resting in the third trimester

You’ve made it to the third trimester! You’ll get to meet your new baby in no time. While he or she is busy developing and your belly is growing, don’t be surprised if you experience third-trimester fatigue or Braxton Hicks contractions.

In addition to taking care of yourself, get ready for your baby’s arrival by finishing the nursery, gathering the necessary baby supplies (including a play yard and stroller), installing a car seat such as the Bugaboo Turtle One by Nuna, and getting your house in order.

Before you know it, you’ll be off on a brand new adventure with your baby!