Nesting During Pregnancy: Hacks & Tips For Preparing For Baby
Nesting during pregnancy: all the best hacks and tips for preparing for baby, from organizing and cleaning your home, to finishing up the nursery and creating a breastfeeding basket. Find out what things to do while nesting hormones are in full swing and organize your thoughts by making a nesting checklist!
Nesting is the strong urge that pregnant women experience to clean and organize their homes in preparation for their new baby. If you haven’t experienced it yet, imagine being naturally high on life, mixed with a little dash of crazy. (If you ask my husband, he’ll tell you it’s more than a dash…)
I genuinely enjoy the hormones and nesting instincts that come with pregnancy, even through the tears of exasperation. You might cry one moment if you come to the realization that you don’t have as many newborn hats as you thought you did, but that feeling will immediately be replaced with a surge of energy that causes you to dust your entire house from top to bottom. I’m talkin’, even the blades of your fans will be spotless.
It feels as if every thing you’ve ever pushed off for “tomorrow” is suddenly of dire importance. TOMORROW IS HERE. Everything has to be done, right now, in this moment!
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Nesting During Pregnancy
Are you currently nesting? Do you feel it coming on? I have some tips and hacks to make you feel at ease before your baby comes, along with some answers for the most commonly asked questions. Time to kick it into high gear and prep your home for your new bundle of joy!
Nesting in Pregnancy – How Long Before Labor?
Most women experience nesting in the weeks leading up to baby’s arrival, but don’t get it twisted! It can happen super early. Nesting can even come and go, reappearing again right before your due date.
The degree of your nesting urges will vary, and are dependent on a variety of factors. Are you comfortable where you are? Are you living with family or feel out of control? Do you already keep a tidy home most of the time? These things all play a role in how strong your nesting instincts kick in.
The idea that nesting means you’re about to go into labor soon is technically an old wives tale, but there are plenty of women who would beg to differ. The reality is, it’s just Mother Nature’s way of guiding us through our transition into parenthood. Embrace it, no matter when it hits, or how hard. It doesn’t necessarily mean your baby is about to come. It just means you’re getting things ready for your little one.
Related: Old Wives Tales About Pregnancy & Gender Prediction
Nesting In Early Pregnancy
Some pregnant women experience nesting early in their pregnancy. Don’t worry! It doesn’t mean you’re going to go into early labor or experience a miscarriage! Maybe your hormones are just pushing you to be a go-getter. I’ve seen this question asked in mom groups and forums, and it hurts my heart to think that people are worried about that.
I felt nesting very early in my second pregnancy, and it lasted throughout my entire third trimester with my first pregnancy. Both babies are healthy and fine. Remember, every pregnancy is different.
Pregnancy Nesting Tips & Hacks
Now, let’s get to the tips I have for women experiencing nesting urges. If you feel like you should organize your entire home and get things in tip-top shape, but you don’t know where to begin, this will help you get on track!
1. Make A Breastfeeding or Pumping Basket
If you plan on breastfeeding or pumping, I highly recommend getting a basket together, full of all of the breastfeeding essentials you’ll need.
The last thing you’ll want to do in the first few weeks home with your new baby, is search everywhere for misplaced breastfeeding items. A basket or tray allows you to have everything in one convenient location, with one major upgrade: it’s portable!
You’re not always going to breastfeed or pump in the same spot. You’ll want to be able to easily grab the things you need all at once to move from room to room.
Here’s what you’ll need:
- A basket (preferably one with different compartments, like this one)
- Nursing Pads
- Nipple Balm
- Haakaa (These are lifesavers, y’all. They catch all of the milk that comes out of the breast your baby is not nursing from, that would otherwise be wasted. The suction makes them hands-free, and super convenient.)
- Reusable Water Bottle
- Lactation Support Drops (always be aware that different people respond differently to fenugreek and blessed thistle.)
- A Book or Magazine
- Burp Cloths
- For Pumping Mamas: The only thing you’ll need to add is your pump and any of the pump’s attachments.
Later, add some snacks, and you’ll be ready to go! If you want to be extra about it (like me) choose a snack that’s great for breastfeeding, like these lactation cookies!
2. Go Through Your House, Room by Room
When organizing your house, it’s easy to get overwhelmed by the amount of things (you think) you need to do. Take a deep breath, Mama!
Start by going through every room one by one. Declutter, scrub, and clean everything to your heart’s desire! Move furniture (with help) to sweep, mop, or vacuum under it, and do all of the dusting and organizing that you’ve been putting off for all this time.
And don’t forget to clean out your car and install your baby’s car seat!
3. Wash Baby’s Clothes & Organize Them
Wash all of your baby’s clothes, even if they’re new, and organize them by size. Match all of the cute little baby socks and mittens together, and put away any hats or bows. If you’re hanging your onesies, you might want to order some closet dividers to organize them by size.
4. Make A Diaper Changing Kit
Though you’ll likely change your baby’s diapers at a changing table most times, it’s still nice to have everything organized at your diaper station.
Order a diaper caddy and fill it with these diaper changing essentials:
- Diapers (of course)
- Diaper Cream (or make your own, like I do!)
- Hand Sanitizer
- Small Toys (your baby may be easy to change at first, but soon enough you’ll need something to distract them)
- An extra outfit (for unexpected blowouts)
- Burp Cloths or Washrags
- *Extra Pacifier
- *Nose Frida
- *Nail Clippers
- *Baby Hairbrush
5. Assemble The Big Baby Items Ahead of Time
Assemble all of the big items, like the crib, jumparoo, pack ‘n play, and any other furniture/items. Your baby might not sleep in their crib for several months, but it’s good to have it all set up and ready to go. Same with the jumparoo. It will be a few months before your little one is big enough to sit up in it, but you’ll feel good about having it put together.
Put the bassinet in your bedroom, next to your bed, and assemble the pack ‘n play in the living room. You’ll need sleeping arrangements for your newborn in any room you plan on spending time in.
I remember spending a ton of time putting my son’s nursery together, and everything ultimately ended up in other rooms. A swing here, a bouncy chair there…
6. Stock Up on Essentials For The House
Think about how much laundry detergent, cleaning supplies, toilet paper, and other necessities you run through in about a month, and stock up on it! Sure, if you have friends or family around, you can always ask them to run to the store while you stay home with your newborn. But it feels good to be stocked up! It’s one less thing you’ll have to worry about once the baby is here.
7. Make-Ahead Freezer Meals & Meal Planning
Dump meals are a popular choice for moms during their nesting phase. The idea is simple: you buy food for several dinners (preferably in bulk), and separate the ingredients for full meals out into ziplock bags. Then you freeze them, and once the baby is born, all you have to do to prepare dinner is dump the contents of the bag in a crockpot and set it to cook for a few hours! Genius, right?
If you want to go the extra mile, write out a meal plan for the first few weeks home with baby. That way you know exactly what to throw together each day, and you’ll be able to prepare meals more efficiently. Coffee and Coos has a wonderful post about creating pre-baby freezer meals!
8. Get Your Hospital Bag Ready
Go ahead and get your hospital bag ready while you’re full of energy! This is only really necessary when you’re nearing your due date. There’s no sense having your hospital bag ready in the first trimester.
Here are some ideas on what to include:
- Birth Plan
- Swaddle Blanket
- Baby’s First Outfit
- Baby’s Going Home Outfit
- Diapers (though the hospital will have some for you)
- Robe or Nightgown
- Soft, Comfortable Shirts
- Night Pants
- Going Home Outfit (for you)
- Nursing Bras
- Comfy Socks (for you)
- Breast Pads
- Dry Shampoo
- Hair Ties and Bobby Pins
- Hair Brush
9. Make A Nesting Checklist
The very best thing you can do to ensure your productivity isn’t going to waste while nesting, is to create a nesting checklist! Write down everything you need to get done, and prioritize.
If you’re comfortable just going with the flow, that works too! But I personally have found that I tend to get too distracted by tasks that don’t really matter. I walk into a room and end up spending two hours scrubbing the floorboards with baking soda. Dusting and cleaning the baseboards is totally fine! But there are tasks that are more important, that end up getting pushed off for later.
So, checklists are super helpful in terms of keeping you on track, and keeping yourself motivated.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is Nesting A Sign of Labor?
Everyone wants to know, does nesting mean labor is near? Not necessarily. It doesn’t mean your body is warning you that you’re about to give birth, though most women do experience it in the weeks leading up to their due date.
How Early Can Nesting Start?
Nesting can strike at any time, even at the end of the first trimester. When you experience nesting early, be prepared for it to come back later in your pregnancy as well. Just embrace it! If you’re feeling motivated, let it happen naturally. It’s never too early to prepare for your baby.
What are your favorite things to do while nesting? How many weeks along were you when it hit the hardest? I’d love to hear from you! Let me know in the comments below.
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