Nesting During Pregnancy: What It Is, Plus 9 Tips For Making The Most Of It

Pregnant woman nesting

Once you get toward the end of your nine months of pregnancy, you might find yourself constantly in the mood to organize, clean, and arrange the nursery. This is what many people call nesting, and it’s quite common! 

Some people think nesting is a built-in maternal instinct while others aren’t so sure. Either way, many pregnant moms turn into busy bees in the last trimester of pregnancy.

If this is you and you’re wondering what exactly nesting is and how to use that urge to your advantage, you’re in the right place.

What Is Nesting?

Nesting can seem like a strange and mysterious thing, but it’s not all that complicated. During the third trimester, many pregnant women get the urge to clean, organize, and prepare their baby’s nursery — basically to feather their human nest!

That is what we call nesting.

It’s common, but it doesn’t happen to every pregnant mom, so don’t be surprised if nesting doesn’t come knocking at your door.

Plus, nesting can take many forms — it’s not just about cleaning and organizing. You might find yourself going through closets, cooking, buying more baby things, folding and refolding clothes, rearranging furniture, decorating the nursery, or stocking up on baby essentials.

woman ironing baby clothes while nesting
Is nesting a natural, maternal instinct? It might be.

There aren’t many scientific studies about nesting, but one published in Evolution & Human Behavior found that many pregnant women experience a surge of energy and the compulsion to do some sort of cleaning, organizing, and preparing in the later stages of pregnancy.

Whether or not nesting is hard-wired into women, the urge to get your house ready is a good desire to create a safe, healthy, protected space for your family and your new little one.

Nesting will also help you prepare emotionally to welcome your baby into your heart and home!

No matter what nesting looks like for you, we’ve come up with a few tips to help you make the most of it and your last trimester so that you will feel on top of things and ready for your baby’s arrival.

9 Tips To Make The Most Of Nesting

These tips are designed to help you channel your nesting instinct into productive activities that will help you get ready for your baby’s arrival with no task left behind!

That being said, you don’t want to spend your entire third trimester running around the house cleaning and organizing. It’s also important to rest and take care of yourself and your relationships with friends, family, and your partner.

Keeping all of these things in mind, here are nine tips to make the most of nesting.

pregnant couple cuddling

1) Manage Anxiety

It’s one thing to stay occupied during the day with all the things you want to accomplish before your baby arrives. It’s another thing to be anxious about your to-do list — or to be generally anxious — to the point of losing sleep at night.

If you find yourself with unusually anxious thoughts or having trouble sleeping at night (other than the typical discomfort of third trimester sleep!), you’ll want to step back and make some changes.

Here are a few ways to reevaluate and manage overactive nesting urges:

  • Talk to your partner about things
  • Make a manageable to-do list for each day with only the necessary tasks
  • Ask for help from friends or family members
  • Stay active and get some light exercise
  • Find a way to relax and enjoy yourself every day

2) Get Some Rest

All through your pregnancy, you’ve taken care of yourself and your body by eating well, staying active, and going to the doctor.

Don’t stop now! Good self-care is still important and will continue to be once your baby arrives.

While your nesting urges might be strong, don’t forget that your belly is big and you’re in the final stretch of pregnancy. Make time to put your feet up and get some much-needed rest.

Put self-care on your to-do list and check it off every day!

Pregnant woman having a self care day while nesting

3) Pack Your Hospital Bag

Your third trimester is when you’ll want to pack your hospital bag, so why not take advantage of nesting energy to get this important task done?

There may be a few items you want to wait until the last minute to pack, but otherwise, you can pack your bag and then let it sit until the big day comes.

Make sure you think of all the things you might need or want at the hospital, like your pillow, slippers, copies of your birth plan, and the clothes you want to labor in! Check out our complete list here.

4) Pack Things For Your Baby

When packing your hospital bag, it’s important to also remember to pack those cute, tiny clothes that you’ll want for your baby’s first days on this planet.

If you have a special going-home outfit, don’t forget to put that in your hospital bag, too. And if you’re planning on doing newborn photos at the hospital, you may also want a special swaddle or something similar.

Check out Newton Baby’s cute Organic Swaddle Blankets. The 100% organic muslin cotton is cozy for your baby and machine washable for ultra-easy care.

Choose from four different adorable patterns to suit your style. Plus, these swaddle blankets are multipurpose and can double as a light blanket, burp cloth, or nursing cover. Don’t get caught without one!

baby wrapped up in an organic swaddle blanket

5) Finish Your Nursery

Finishing your nursery might already be on the top of your nesting list, and understandably so! Decorating and outfitting your baby’s nursery is not only fun, but it’s also important since you and your little one will spend lots of time in this room.

If you’re nesting, you probably want to finish every single little project. If that’s possible, great! If not, don’t stress about it.

The most important things are that your little one has a safe place to sleep and that you have gathered all of the baby essentials, like onesies, bottles, and diaper wipes.

If you don’t have your little one’s crib and crib mattress yet, make that a priority! Choose a crib that’s up to safety standards and opt for a breathable mattress, like Newton Baby’s Crib Mattress.

Our two-stage infant and toddler crib mattress comes in both miniature and standard sizes to fit whatever crib suits your nursery best.

The Newton Baby Crib Mattress is 100% breathable thanks to our Wovenaire® Core, which is 90% air and 10% food-grade polymer, making it much more breathable than leading organic mattresses! This is one nursery decision that isn’t hard!

Crib mattress with Wovenaire core

6) Wash Baby Clothes And Linens

One thing that is definitely worth doing while you’re nesting: baby laundry!

Once your baby arrives, the dirty laundry will be endless. But still, it’s a good idea to do a couple of loads now to get things in order for your little one’s arrival.

Wash all of the tiny socks, onesies, bibs, swaddles, and hats so they’re ready for your baby to wear. You’ll also want to wash linens like their crib sheets and any baby blankets you might have.

That brings us to our next point.

7) Put The Sheets On The Crib

A couple of weeks before your due date, it’s time to wash your baby’s sheets and put them on their crib! You don’t want to be left with a bare crib at the last minute if your little one decides to make an early appearance.

Choose natural, breathable crib sheets, like Newton Baby’s Breathable, Organic Cotton Sheets. They come in four different patterns to choose from and two different sizes, but all of them are cozy, hypoallergenic, breathable, and washable!

Baby crawling in crib

8) Install The Car Seat

You don’t need 100 children’s books to be ready for your baby. You do, however, need the essentials, like a safe crib mattress, diapers, feeding supplies, and a car seat.

And when it comes to the car seat, you need to do more than just purchase it — you also need to install it!

Most hospitals won’t let you go home without a car seat that’s correctly installed, so go ahead and put it in place a few weeks before your due date. Besides, driving around with your baby’s car seat will just get you that more excited about their coming arrival!

9) Cook And Clean

Doing some cooking and cleaning is basically a given when it comes to nesting. And doing a bit of both is a good idea!

Stocking up on freezer meals will serve you well in the weeks after delivery, also known as the fourth trimester. And having a clean house to come home to after your hospital stay is a great way to start your new life!

But when it comes to cleaning before your baby’s arrival, do what you can and then ask for help or hire a professional cleaner to take care of what you can’t get to.

Invest In Your Nest

Parents looking over baby in nursery created by moms nesting

Nesting helps you to create a safe, warm, welcoming environment for your little one.

As long as you don’t drive yourself crazy or wear yourself out, your nesting urge can help you to check off necessary tasks before your baby’s arrival.

Keep our tips in mind to be productive and make the most of your nesting energy. And if nothing else, invest your nesting energy into setting up a crib with Newton Baby’s Crib Mattress so your little one has a safe place to lay their head when they arrive at their new home!

Happy nesting!

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