The Nesting Instinct: Tips for Nesting Productively

You may have heard about the nesting instinct before becoming pregnant yourself.  Now that you’re in the hot seat, the nesting instinct may be coming over you in ways you never expected.  Just like many wild animals, human mamas have a strong desire to prepare for the arrival of their new babies during pregnancy.  This is known as nesting.  It is as natural as nature itself and the instinct can be quite powerful.

Nesting can occur at any point during pregnancy but is most often reported towards the last few weeks before childbirth.  The nesting instinct is believed to come about due to a combination of adrenaline and hormones.  Later in pregnancy, many expectant moms feel anxiety about still being pregnant or start to realize their time will be limited once their babies arrive.  They start to use their extra energy to prepare the home for a new baby.  On the other hand, some pregnant women never feel the urge to nest, which is completely normal too.

nesting__1457446424_162.206.228.38Nesting can take form in many ways.  Some moms-to-be feel the urge to deep clean their homes, organize every drawer and shelf and purge unwanted items.  This is a very productive form of nesting.  After all, you want to bring you baby home to a sanitary environment.  Do be careful not to use harsh chemicals that have dangerous fumes you may inhale or toxic ingredients that can seep into your skin.  Instead use natural formulas that will be less abrasive for your baby as well.  Also, be careful not to overdo it while cleaning.  Spending too much time standing, kneeling, thrusting a mop or climbing stairs can take a toll on your body.

Along with cleaning, your nesting phase is a great time to thoroughly wash rugs, comforters and bath mats.  These little-washed surfaces can harbor a lot of germs so put your nesting instinct to good use and wash away.

Another productive way to nest is to stock your kitchen.  Chances are you won’t have time to make 5-course meals while tending to a newborn.  Precook several of your favorite dinners and freeze them.  Also, buy double and triple of your go-to pantry and fridge foods because you may not get to the grocery store for awhile.

Of course preparing your nursery and baby gear is a tremendously helpful part of nesting as well.  Be sure to pre-wash all of your baby’s clothes, blankets, sheets and towels.  While your baby won’t know the difference if her nursery is complete by the time she gets home or not, many new moms feel compelled to create the perfect room for their newborns.  If this entails painting, hanging shelves, building cribs, dressers and bookcases, let someone else do the heavy lifting and ladder climbing.  You can direct while others take on the heavy duty work.

Use your nesting instinct to pamper yourself a few last times before your baby arrives.  Buy a few comfy outfits for your time at home with baby.  Be sure to stock up on nursing bras and nursing tops to make breastfeeding easier day and night.  Also get one last mani/pedi, hair blow out and girls’ night out in before your new little love takes over all your free time.

Your nesting instinct may manifest in a number of ways.  However the urge strikes you, use it to productively prepare for your baby.