You're in the home stretch of your pregnancy, mama -- and whether you're feeling a little weepy at the bittersweet realization that the amazing journey is almost over or feeling so over it already, the fact is, there's lots to do when you're 8 months pregnant or more. The good news: A lot of those third-trimester to-dos are fun! Check out our list (and have fun crossing everything off)...
1. Make every beauty appointment you can. We're not going to give you the whole "You'll never have time for this stuff again!" spiel, but let's be honest: You won't want dark roots in your new-mom pics, and as for your bikini area? Well, let's just say you're not going to want anyone in that area postpartum -- least of all someone wielding hot wax. So take care of all of your beauty necessities in the final weeks before you expect your baby. Get a mani-pedi in a fun shade of pink or blue (or both, if baby's gender will be a surprise) and spring for a prenatal massage, too.
2. Install the car seat. No, it's not exactly fun, but take the time now to do it right -- or have a pro do it -- so that you're not fumbling with the task on the way home from the hospital with your new precious cargo in tow. Not going home in your own car? Make sure you know how to adjust the straps and use your car seat's latch system.
3. Pick out Baby's going-home outfit and wash it. Of course, your baby will look sweet in a hospital-provided cap and plain white kimono top, but he'll look even more adorable in a special going-home outfit. So pick out the softest, easy-to-put-on (i.e., nothing that has to go over Baby's head) outfit you can find. We love organic cotton kimono-style tops with pants to match.
4. Find a pediatrician. If you haven't already found the right doc for your little one, get on it! Ask fellow mom friends in your area who their kids see, and book a prenatal consultation with your top choice. You'll be seeing this person a lot (and let's be honest, probably calling with new-mom questions after-hours), so you want to feel comfortable with her.
5. Have a cooking party to stock your fridge and freezer. You may not feel comfortable asking someone to start a meal chain for you, but you can invite your best friends over for a cocktails-and-cooking party. (The cocktails are for them, of course.) They can help you make double batches of your favorite freezer-friendly meals so that during those first bleary-eyed weeks with your newborn, you'll be able to simply pop something homemade in the oven.
6. See a movie... in a theater. Better yet, see a double feature! Enjoy the fact that you aren't paying a babysitter on top of the cost of those crazy ticket prices and the money you spent on a bucket of popcorn.
7. Learn how to use your baby carrier or wrap and stroller. There's a reason new moms are always late for everything: Getting out of the house with a baby takes time. When you're trying to get to a pediatrician's appointment -- or even just out for a walk and some fresh air -- you don't want to be figuring out how to get your babe into her Moby wrap or how to collapse that dang stroller you spent a small fortune on. Watch the DVDs, read the instruction manuals, and practice that "patented one-step fold" now.
8. Have sex! You won't even want to think about having sex after pushing a human being through your hoo-hah (not to mention that your doctor probably won't allow it for at least six weeks post-birth). Do it now. 'Nuff said.
9. Pack your hospital bag. Chances are you're not going to be there long, so you don't really need to haul a stuffed-full Samsonite with you. Pack the necessities you know will make you feel good, and add a few fun extras -- a pretty nursing bra, cozy socks, some KIND bars, whatever. Remember that PJs and undies might not fare so well, so pack (or buy) wisely.
10. Go on a date. Sure, you might be able to bring your baby to a decent restaurant, but plenty of swanky establishments will give you the stink-eye if you show up for your reservation with an occupied car seat in hand. So do it up during what will be your last date night for a bit. Go to those really un-kid-friendly, fancy establishments. Or go on a daylong hike. Although you and your partner will be spending plenty of quality time together once Baby's around, now's the time to do things that won't be possible (or as much fun) with that tiny bundle by your side.
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