Everything to take care of during your 2nd trimester of pregnancy
YAY! You’ve made it through the scariest part of your pregnancy, the doubt-filled first trimester.
Now that you’re in your second trimester, it starts to get exciting.
Not only can you start telling people you’re pregnant, but you get to start preparing to welcome your bundle of joy!
Some of it is work, but most of what’s on your second trimester to do list will be legitimately fun since you’ll be so excited about why you’re doing it.
With each thing you do, you’re going to be saying to yourself, holy sh*t I’m going to have a baby in less than 6 months!
Let’s dive into this second trimester checklist and go through everything you should do during weeks 13 through 26 of pregnancy.
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Let’s tackle this second trimester checklist!
Set up an Amazon baby registry
This takes a couple of minutes, max, so it’s a quick win.
Why specifically Amazon?
Because if you’re a Prime member, you can get a 15% discount on the stuff remaining on your registry!
This equates to a $300 completion discount when you spend $2,000 on eligible products.
I used my discount on an Uppababy stroller and car seat!
Amazon gives you 60 days to use the discount after your due date, so you can wait and see if there are any big ticket items that your friends/family didn’t purchase.
P.S. You can also set up a second (or third) registry with Babylist, Target, BuyBuyBaby, etc. I’m all about taking advantage of those completion discounts.
Quickly set up an Amazon registry here and then I’ll help you with what to add to it in #8.
Buy some starter maternity clothes
Start with a few basics and then slowly buy more as your belly grows.
The very first thing I’d buy, even if you’re early in your second trimester, is comfortable lounge pants to wear around the house.
If your bump isn’t big yet, you can cuff the belly band.
These are stretchy and silky and won’t dig into your belly.
Click here to see them on a real woman in her 2nd trimester!
Now for a short list of frequently recommended items in my mom’s groups. All of these recs are from real people.
- Fitted exercise tank top “I loved this top. It worked well for the entire pregnancy.”
- Full coverage maternity leggings “All of my other maternity leggings fall down but these fit so perfectly!”
- Zella maternity leggings (splurge) “I lived in these my entire pregnancy.”
- Lululemon Align leggings (splurge) These aren’t actually maternity pants, but they’re an absolute cult favorite amongst pregnant women. Go 1-2 sizes up from your usual size.
Download a pregnancy tracking app
Apps are great for seeing how many days/weeks you have to go, the approximate size and weight of your baby, what changes you can expect in your body, and so much more!
I downloaded several apps to see which I liked best and ending up keeping them all.
- Pregnancy +
- Pregnancy Tracker – BabyCenter
- Pregnancy & Baby Tracker WTE (What to Expect)
I loved seeing which fruit or vegetable Dot was that week! (Dot was our nickname for future Aden).
Join a due date group
Here’s how to find one on Facebook using the app:
1. Click on the icon of the 3 people at the very bottom of the screen.
2. Tap the magnifying glass at the top right.
3. Search for the month and year you’re due + “due date” or “babies”.
Pick whichever one(s) you think look good. You can always join another one later.
Fair warning: Due date groups are notoriously a mixed bag. You’ll see lots of “woo” (i.e. pseudoscience) being recommended by ‘experienced’ moms. You’ll also see lots of repetitive posts and occasionally some stupid drama.
That said, it’s comforting to see all the variations of normal and it will make you feel less alone in your pregnancy.
Join some evidence-based groups
Without any exaggeration, the very best thing I did to prepare for my baby was join the Facebook group, Safe Sleep and Baby Care.
I realize that sounds nuts, but it’s 100% true.
I didn’t know what I didn’t know until I joined this group.
SSBC is one of the very rare places on the internet where you can ask questions and receive quality, trustworthy, evidence-based answers. You will learn SO MUCH about all things baby care and how to keep your sleeping baby safe.
There are several other excellent groups to join as well:
- VBAC and Birth After Cesarean Facts — Evidence Based Support (great for all things pregnancy, even if you’re not having a VBAC)
- Evidence Based Feeding & Parenting: Formula, Breastfeeding & More (great for breastfeeding and formula feeding questions)
- Safe Infant Sleep – Evidence-Based Support Group (another excellent safe sleep group with a different style than the one I mentioned above)
- Car Seats for the Littles (run by CPSCs who can help you figure out which car seat to buy)
Continuing on with our second trimester checklist!
Start thinking about a baby name
I kept a running list on my phone of all of the names I liked. From time to time, I would read over the list and try to rule out any of the names I liked less than the others.
I’ve got several great lists of baby names for you to check out:
- 200 Cool + Modern Girl Names You’re Going to Love
- 250 Hippie Names for your Boho Baby
- 70 Modern *One Syllable* Boy Names
- 113 *Two Syllable* Boy Names for Modern Little Dudes
- *3 Syllable* Boy Names that are Modern & Masculine
P.S. If you’ve already got your heart set on a name, make sure to talk it over with your partner ASAP! The sooner you know if he hates it, the sooner you can start negotiations 😉
Plan your baby shower
Whether it’s virtual, drive-by, or “normal”, now is the time to start thinking through the details so you can give notice to your guests.
Start building your baby registry
The more registries you make, the more completion discounts you get. 😉
I had one at Amazon, Target, and Babylist.
It’s super overwhelming to figure out which of the zillion baby products to register for, so here are some of my personal favorite products just to get you started…
- Newborn socks that don’t fall off
- Flour sack towels to use instead of ‘burp cloths’
- Non-ugly pacifier clips
- Pampers Swaddlers (get NB and Size 1 to start)
- WaterWipes (my favorite baby wipes)
- Dishwasher basket for bottle parts (literal must-have)
- Arms up swaddle (my favorite swaddle sack)
- Halo fleece swaddle (my other favorite swaddle for cooler nights)
- Zipadee-Zip (the safest swaddle transition product)
- Baby bath support (great for the first 8ish months!)
I do not recommend getting a DockATot (or any similar $$ product) as those are unsafe for sleep—despite what you see on social media. Read why here.
I have several evidence-based guides to help you figure out what else to register for (and what not to!):
- What *not* to put on your baby registry unsafe stuff to avoid—and what to get instead
- Bassinet and Pack ‘N Play buying guide this will help you choose the most practical sleep space for your newborn
- Crib mattress buying guide this will tell you which crib mattresses are unsafe and what to look for in a safe mattress
- Uncommon and practical registry items these are things I didn’t realize I needed until my baby arrived
- 21 Diaper Bag Essentials this list contains more of my favorite baby products
You may want to come back to these posts later. Now let’s continue with our second trimester checklist…
Get moving again if you’ve been sedentary
I know, this one sucks. But I’m including it here so you can learn from my mistake.
I was exhausted during my first trimester and stopped working out entirely. Even though I felt more normal during my second trimester, I never re-established an exercise routine.
When my 3rd trimester hit, I felt like I weighed a million pounds because I had lost all my muscle tone. It made the end of my pregnancy extra uncomfortable. I also think this made giving birth more difficult.
If you don’t get into a good routine now, it’s only going to get harder and harder to do so.
Book a pregnancy photo shoot if you’ll be having one
(I didn’t have one).
If you’re not sure who to use, ask your local mom friends.
If you don’t have local mom friends, join a local mom group on Facebook and ask there!
Photographers book up many months in advance, so don’t wait to do this.
Order a breast pump
(Or, figure out the process for ordering one).
Breast pumps are covered under most health insurance plans, so you should be able to get one for free.
Some insurance companies make you wait to place your order until you’re closer to your due date.
Others, like mine, let you order it in advance.
So, here’s your action item: Call your insurance company and find out what they want you to do.
OR (this is easier): go through Aeroflow (a medical equipment company) and have them verify your insurance information for you. (They’re who I used and they make this super fast and easy)
P.S. Don’t forget to order at least one extra set of pump parts.
Make a dentist appointment
It’s easy to forget about oral health while you’re pregnant, but actually, it’s more important now than ever.
Hormonal changes during pregnancy can cause gum disease, yuck!
Go get your mouth checked out.
Do not forget to tell your dentist you are pregnant.
Start planning maternity and paternity leave
Some people prefer to begin their maternity leave during the last month of pregnancy; and others wait until the baby is born.
Start thinking about what you’ll want to do.
You have plenty of time to figure out the specifics, but it’s wise to get the ball rolling now, especially if you want to give advance notice to your boss or employees.
Read your company’s policies and make sure you know the following:
By when do you need to provide notice?
How will you be paid during maternity leave?
How many days are you able to take?
Will you need to file paperwork with the state?
You should also start thinking about whether you and your partner will take off at the same time—and whether there’s an option for your partner to stagger his paternity leave instead of taking it all at once.
Find and schedule childbirth, breastfeeding, CPR, and parenting classes
I was shocked by how early these book up. I suggest scheduling them as soon as you can.
Find out if your hospital offers classes. If they don’t, see who your OBGYN recommends.
If you have an FSA or HSA card, you may be able to pay for classes with those funds.
In all honesty, only a tiny bit of what I learned in these classes was useful, but I’m still glad my husband and I took them because it was good mental preparation.
A useful tip: It’s not the worst idea to delay scheduling a CPR class until your baby is around 6 months old. The class we took was excellent, but I’d be lying if I said I remembered everything by the time Aden was at the age where the information was relevant.
Start *sale* shopping for baby clothes
Skip this if it isn’t fun for you.
I was SO excited to enter my second trimester because it meant I finally had the green light to do some baby shopping!
The nice thing about starting your shopping early is that you can jump on deals and buy things off season.
I bought some of the cutest winter clothes while I was pregnant in the summer.
Here’s a list of some of my favorite brands for baby clothes:
- Zara probably my #1 favorite
- H&M somewhat hit or miss but still my 2nd favorite
- Target very hit or miss but I’ve had lots of great finds
- Old Navy also very hit or miss
- Primary great for basics and PJs
- Childhoods pricey but great for sets
- Kate Quinn great for organic colors
- Hannah Anderson great for PJs
- Peek lots of cute and unique stuff
- Rylee + Cru a pricey version of Zara
- Quincy Mae a slightly cheaper branch of R+C
- Ralph Lauren for a preppy look
- Lacoste also quite preppy
- Kyte great for onesies and sleep sacks
- Oliver and Rain great for PJs
All of these brands have amazing sales throughout the year, so keep your eyes peeled!
Buy and assemble a crib
You could technically wait until your third trimester to do this, but don’t count on feeling like assembling furniture when you’re exhausted and huge.
I was super glad to have gotten this out of the way during my second trimester.
Plus, having a crib set up makes everything feel real!
Choosing a crib and a safe crib mattress can feel a little daunting, so I’ll quickly summarize what you need to know.
Choosing a crib
Per CPSC standards, as long as you buy a new crib that was manufactured after June 2011 and meets the ASTM F1169-13 standard, you’re good to go.
Cribs sold by major retailers are likely to meet these standards, but you should always double check.
I’m 100% happy with the crib we chose. It’s super cute, was very reasonably priced, and has held up well. Plus, it converts to a toddler bed!
It comes in other colors if you aren’t a fan of all white.
The pricing fluctuates, but if you can grab it online for anything less than $400, I’d go for it. Check the price on Amazon.
Choosing a crib mattress
Unlike cribs, crib mattresses are NOT federally regulated. (Advocacy groups are pushing for this to change).
There are 2 things to look for in a safe crib mattress:
- The mattress should be extremely firm. Memory foam mattresses are unsafe.
- The mattress should fit perfectly inside the crib with no gaps.
We have this Babyletto mattress.
It’s very firm and fits perfectly in our Babyletto crib.
It also comes with a washable cover.
For a more affordable option, consider this very popular Graco mattress.
That concludes our second trimester checklist…
But if you get all this stuff done and want to get a head start on more pre-baby to-dos, you can check out 35 Things to do Before Baby (while lying in bed!)
More articles to check out if you’re in your second trimester of pregnancy…
- 250 Hippie Names for your Boho Baby | The Ultimate List
- 8 Things to DELETE from Your Baby Registry (Unsafe stuff you’ll want to skip… and what to get instead)
- 12 Uncommon Baby Registry Essentials
- Easy Boho Baby Shower Decor [DIY a Stunning Party!]