Alright, mama, are you feeling up to your ears in to do lists lately? I know that pregnancy is often filled with advice on everything you need to get done before baby. And rightfully so. Adjusting to life with a newborn is tough, and preparing ahead of time is key.
But let’s make sure your pregnancy doesn’t flash by focused solely on organization and house stocking, okay? Let’s talk about the fun things you don’t want to forget to do during your 9 months.
What exactly do I mean? A pregnancy bucket list of course! This is your go-to list on all of the fun things, memories, and experiences to do during your pregnancy.
So whether you’re finding this in your first trimester or third, be sure you make the time to celebrate this special time in your life. I made the mistake of focusing solely on planning and organization and often forgot to relish in the wonder of pregnancy.
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19 Fun Things to do during Pregnancy
1. Take weekly bump photos
One of my biggest regrets in my first pregnancy was not taking enough photos. I’m not even talking weekly ‘against the same wall’ type photos either. I have like zero photos from my pregnancy aside from our professional maternity shoot.
I was so caught up on how full my face looked, how much pregnancy acne I had, and how few clothing options I had. Ugh. I want to go shake my pregnant self!
Pregnancy is beautiful and your body is doing the most amazing thing. You know. Growing another human and all. So please make sure to take lots of pictures to remember this special time.
Pro Level? Go for the weekly bump shots! I’m definitely planning to do this next time around. I think looking at other people’s bump progression pictures is so cool. You’ll definitely love having these for yourself.
If you are going to commit to weekly bump photo shots, then there are plenty of apps that you can use that will make this process a whole lot easier. These apps pretty much all work the same way. But you can expect to find cute backgrounds, cute slogans, and easy to track milestones that will allow you to record your progress through your pregnancy easier than ever.
Already pretty far along? Who cares! Start now. Your bump will literally change up until the day you deliver 🙂
2. Journal every week, month, or trimester
Take the time to write during your pregnancy. The feelings and emotions that occur while growing the greatest love of your life are intense. I’d love to have a keepsake and collection of where my head was at during my first pregnancy.
If you’re interested in templates to help, our Bump Smart Series includes FREE weekly journaling templates to help you.
If journaling or writing every week sounds like too much, try doing some writing each month or at the start of trimesters.
Another awesome activity? Document your pregnancy milestones! Things like, feeling baby’s first kicks, dad feeling kicks, your first serious craving, seeing baby for the first time, and the end to morning sickness. If you keep brainstorming, you’ll come up with some great ideas. Check out our Nesting Planner too! We have lots of fun worksheets to create a pregnancy keepsake in addition to planning sheets to get your organized.
3. Write letters to baby
Imagine if your own mother had written you letters while she was pregnant for you to open when you turn 18, or when expecting their first baby. Ah! I’m literally tearing up just thinking about how special that would be. Give your little one this gift.
Consider writing letters to your baby whenever the feeling strikes, or specifically:
- Hear their heartbeat for the first time
- When you find out their gender
- Have your 20-week ultrasound
- After your baby shower
- Few weeks before delivery
If you are going to put a baby book together, then these letters are one of the best ways to make your baby book that much sweeter. For more tech-savvy moms, you might even want to create an email address where you send all of your pregnancy experience letters for your little one too. When your little one turns 18, or graduates high school, you can give them the email address and the password to access it. Then, they will have a full account of your whole journey of motherhood. By going about your letters this way, you can be sure that the letters to your baby will always be safe and secure.
4. Embrace the baby shower
So maybe you’re already all about your shower, and if that’s the case, live it up mama! But if you’re more like me, maybe you’re feeling uncomfortable about the thought of having all the attention on you. Maybe it feels weird to ask your loved ones to spend money on your registry. Or maybe baby shower games just make you want to gag.
Here’s the thing. If this is your first pregnancy. You really only get one shot at a big shower. Sure, you can have them for second, and later babies, but it’s not really the same. I say embrace the shower. Ask for what you really want on your registry and avoid some common mistakes. Include some cheesy games. I’m willing to bet you’re going to have a ton fun. And might even regret not doing them 😉
If you are planning your baby shower, one of the most important things is to keep your budget in mind. The time period before your baby arrives is crucial as far as saving money goes. You can still pull off a stellar baby shower without spending tons of money by carefully planning it. When it comes to decorations and making your baby shower beautiful, be sure to take advantage of online retailers like Etsy, eBay, and Amazon. You can find plenty of cheap decorations from these online sites. If you want to shop more locally, then stick to your neighborhood dollar store. You can find plenty of beautiful decorations at affordable prices at your local Dollar Store.
5. Book all the beauty appointments
There’s really no better time in life to pamper yourself than pregnancy. This is it mama. A time when society (in general) actually encourages you to get a pedicure, go for prenatal massages, and feel good about yourself.
Taking the time to do these things is a nice treat to yourself, will help you relax, and feel more confident in your skin. I especially recommend making the time to do things like a massage and haircut in the few weeks before birth, because it will be harder to get to those things once baby arrives.
6. Flaunt that bump!
As soon as you’re feeling comfortable with sharing your news, flaunt your bump! Invest in a few key maternity clothing pieces that will flatter and work in many outfit combinations. Definitely choose at least one outfit that you wouldn’t wear without a bump like some cute maternity overalls.
A great option for any mama looking to expand their pregnancy wardrobe in a meaningful way is a Stitch Fix Maternity Box. You can ask your stylist to give you maternity options that fit your lifestyle, will grow with your bump, and/or can be used for postpartum and nursing too.
For special occasions, like your baby shower, maternity photos, or babymoon, definitely splurge on a fun maternity dress or something that really hugs your bump. These types of maternity outfits often photograph better, and all of these days will be filled with photo ops!
Because maternity clothes are something that you can only wear during specific points in your life, you want to make sure that you spend your money carefully. Be sure to pick out quality maternity clothes that are also affordable. This is going to be super helpful especially if you plan on saving your maternity clothes for your next baby. This keeps you from having to shop for well-fitted clothing all over again.
7. Splurge on something(s)
I’m the kind of person that never likes to spend money on myself. I always look for the best bargain, and settle for the cheaper option. Recently, I’ve started to realize that this often comes at a price. Now, I know you can’t always get the very best of everything. Budgeting and deal shopping does have a time and place.
But, during your pregnancy, I give you permission to splurge on one (or a few) really nice things that will make your life with a baby easier or happier. One thing I did splurge on was a beautiful area rug for N’s nursery. I still love it to this day!
Some other great choices for maternity splurges (at all different price points!):
- A prenatal massage
- A high quality rocker/nursing chair (I got a budget option and have had to replace it twice using the warranty due to popping springs. Way more hassle than it was worth!)
- The best baby swing around (Trust me, you’re going to LOVE having a swing with a “driving car” mode)
- The best birth class around (if you want to have a natural birth, this is SO worth the investment)
- A really nice, highly reviewed nursing bra (just trust me on this)
- Maternity/Postpartum underwear (why did I wait so long to embrace these? I’d be lying if I said I didn’t still wear these two years later…)
- Something beautiful and special for the nursery, here’s some inspiration!
- Mommy and Me matching nursing robe and swaddle (because, hospital photos)
8. Do a maternity shoot
I actually didn’t think I was going to do a maternity shoot, but randomly booked it one day during my third trimester. I’m so glad I did! I mentioned before that I have barely any photos from my pregnancy. But at least I have a ton of gorgeous shots from this day.
Ideally, book with a photographer that has experience with maternity shoots. You might be able to find package deals that include hospital and newborn shoots too. For a budget option, browse Craigslist. We used a photography student and paid a fraction of the price. The photos still came out great.
Definitely make sure you know exactly what you’re getting with your photography session. Sometimes you get digital rights, and sometimes not. Just be sure you understand the terms. Read all of our tips when it comes to maternity photography before you book!
9. Plan some date nights!
Pregnancy is an amazing time to connect with your partner and get him excited about pregnancy too. You should definitely go on impromptu date nights whenever possible during pregnancy. The days of last minute nights out will soon be over. Scheduling a babysitter, and even planning a night out after 7pm might feel exhausting for a while.
In addition to your on the fly date nights, plan some intentional “expecting date nights” too! Make a date out of shopping for baby things, stocking your freezer, celebrating pregnancy milestones and ultrasounds, and your due date if you wind up going past.
Before my little one arrived, when we got close to the third trimester of my pregnancy, my hubby and I planned a special date night just for the two of us. We went all out to a fancy restaurant where we had to dress to the nines. Moments like these can be super special because time to just you and your spouse will be drastically limited once your baby arrives. If you have the opportunity to, be sure to take full advantage of date night opportunities with you and your partner.
10. Pick out baby’s going home outfit
This is so much fun! What’s cuter than itty, bitty baby clothes? Have a blast choosing the perfect going home outfit for your baby. There are so many great options out there. Here’s a brainstorming list to help you make the perfect choice:
- Choose a weather appropriate outfit and accessories
- Make sure the outfit you choose is car seat friendly
- Browse personalized options if you’ve already chosen a name
While you’re at it, start doing the shopping, gather and packing for your own hospital bag too. There’s so much you’ll want to remember for the ultimate comfort. There are also some must haves to help you prepare to breastfeed.
Once you have picked out your baby’s going home outfit, you want to pick out a special box where you can store it in. Having a special baby box can be a super sweet thing to give to your little one when they get older. If this is something that you are going to have, then your baby’s first outfit is something that you absolutely have to include in it. As your baby grows and you look back at their going home outfit, you are going to be astounded and mesmerized at how quickly they outgrew it.
11. Have a “you” day
In the weeks before your due date, choose a day and clear your schedule completely. Bonus points if you can take a day off from work to do it. Sleep in and do the things you love to do. This will look different for everyone.
Celebrate yourself and your identity now. Fulfill your wants, desires, and hobbies for a day. When baby comes your life will change forever. It will be amazing. But it will be different. So spend a day being ‘you’ to your fullest, before you become a mama.
12. Do a trip with your girlfriends
This is something I did do before I was due, and had a blast! My two best girlfriends and I road tripped down the coast of California and stayed in Air BnBs along the way. This wound up being a time to be fully present with my best friends, and relax and rejuvenate. The bonus was that this was one of my travel bucket list desires! Kill two birds with one stones on this one.
A more budget option would be to host your girlfriends at your place and have your partner leave for a weekend. Or even just plan a fun girls’ dinner or other activity. This is a way to connect with your very best friends, but without the pressure of the shower and all of the baby fever.
13. Embrace the Nesting
Nesting during pregnancy is that intrinsic desire to get everything organized, clean and ready for baby. In some cases, nesting can even bring out the crazy in you (anyone, anyone?). But if you harness it in the right way, it can help you prepare and complete some super fun tasks while you’re at it.
Pick some fun tasks or DIYs and let your nesting instincts take the reins. Complete a personalized craft project for the nursery, or tackle some decorative and organization projects around the house. Let your mind guide you through Pinterest. You’ll have a blast getting stuff done and fulfilling that nesting urge.
14. Go on a babymoon
It’s hard to grasp just how much life changes with a baby until it happens. But veteran moms will tell you it can be hard to even plan a date night let alone an entire weekend away. Try to find some time to take a babymoon before your due date. Getting some time to relax, unplug, and be really present with your partner can be just what the doctor ordered.
Don’t feel like it has to be expensive either. Consider a local Air BnB, budget hotel, or even a staycation-style babymoon. All can work, the key is to being intentional about letting it feel like a babymoon.
15. Sleep in and take naps!
If you’re getting tired of hearing, ‘sleep while you can’, then I won’t be offended if you skip this tip 😉 But I couldn’t do a pregnancy bucket list without including this. It might be a LONG time before you get to sleep as long as you’d like. Live it up, mama!
I also recently stumbled across a meme that fits this perfectly: “The best thing about being pregnant? People want you to nap and you don’t feel guilt or lazy doing so.”
So go head mama, sleep in and take those naps! Your body is likely craving more sleep anyways while growing a baby. Listening to your body is one of the best things you can do.
16. Boost your confidence
I really tried to fill this list with just the fun stuff of pregnancy, but boosting your confidence about birth and feeling more in control counts as fun too, right? I know that when I’m feeling confident, I’m generally feeling happier.
One of the best things you can do to prepare for birth is take a childbirth class. And I don’t mean a boring drawn out one at your local hospital either. There are so many amazing online childbirth class options to get totally ready.
Even if you aren’t really the exercise type, getting involved in some prenatal exercise can be so much fun! There’s lots of different ways to go about it. This means you can find a way to stay active during pregnancy that’s just right for you.
Here are some prenatal fitness ideas to get you started:
- Get an online prenatal fitness membership that allows to you work out whenever and wherever
- Look for in-person prenatal fitness classes at local yoga studios, YMCAs, or gyms. It’s a great way to connect with other expecting mamas!
- Team up with a mom friend, girlfriend, or other group of expecting mamas for weekly walks or hikes
- Go swimming, if this is a summer pregnancy, it’s going to feel heavenly
- Incorporate a lunchtime or evening walk into your routine. Get your partner on board too.
18. Make a mom/bump friend
Speaking of exercising with expecting friends… making a bump-buddy is a must-do on your pregnancy bucket list! I got involved in a group prenatal care class at 20-weeks and made some amazing friends. Our babies are now 2+ years old and we still see each other regularly.
Yes, your other friends who’ve had babies and your partner are amazing sources of support during pregnancy. But having a friend who’s going through it in real time with you is just the best. No one can fully empathize or celebrate better. So put yourself out there and don’t be afraid to make the first move. I’m willing to bet she wants some expecting friends as well 🙂
19. Stock up on postpartum supplies
Okay, you probably read that and thought pads and witch hazel spray? What a blast. But I don’t just mean stocking up on the postpartum care kit supplies. I mean indulge in some really fun personal care products. Showering becomes a bit of a luxury once a baby is in the picture, so make that shower count! I love to turn my showers into a 10-minute spa retreat.
Get a nice scented candle, all-natural body wash, body scrub, and high quality moisturizers. Have fun shopping for these thing before baby arrives. You’ll love having some fun new products ready for you during postpartum.
Make your pregnancy count, mama!
For this list, I wanted to remind you to celebrate and enjoy your pregnancy.
- To have sentimental moments, connect with your partner, and pamper yourself.
- I want you take time to do the things YOU love to do.
- To celebrate your identity now and spend quality time with your friends and love ones.
- I want you to feel like you experienced your pregnancy to the fullest and are ready for your shift into motherhood.
But I can’t wrap it up without reminding you that staying organized and preparing as much as you can during pregnancy will go a long way in how easy your transition into life with a newborn will be.
So no matter where you’re at during your pregnancy, it’s not too late to start getting a handle on things, and as always, Mom Smart Not Hard is here to help. Check out these other list-style articles to get you on track:
- First Trimester Checklist
- Second Trimester Checklist
- Third Trimester Checklist
- 17 Things You’re Forgetting to do Before Birth
- 17 Ways I Should Have Prepared during Pregnancy
Good luck, Mama. Your little one is already so lucky to have you.
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