According to the American Pregnancy Association nesting is the urge to clean and organize, getting your home ready for the new baby. It's usually strongest in the last weeks of the pregnancy, so you might wake up one morning feeling more energetic, just before the baby arrives, although not all women experience this feeling.
Nesting can be different between mothers. You might want to clean the home extremely well, re-decorate your home, organize your own closets or just prepare for the baby.
Here are some things we, as mothers, found nice to prepare before our own babies' arrival.
We recommend not only washing the baby clothes before the baby arrives, but also to create an order that works well for the clothes and helps you safe time in the coming months.
Apparently many baby clothes are sprayed with a toxic material to make them look nice, which can be especially bad for baby's sensitive skin. It is therefore very important to clean all new baby clothes, as well as other items that will touch your baby's skin.
We recommend using special detergent for babies or for delicate skin, as other detergent might contain chemicals and fragrances that irritate the extra-sensitive baby skin. It might save you time and effort to use the same laundry detergent for the whole family, something that's hypoallergenic, fragrance free and chemical free. Your baby will cuddle in your and your partner's arms, so cleaning your own clothes with the same detergent could be a good idea.
Talking about cleaning laundry, it's also great to prepare the crib by cleaning the sheet/bed set, sleep sack and other items that will be used in the cradle/crib. Make the bed before the baby arrives and make sure your own sheets are washed with the same special detergent if the baby will cuddle with you in your own bed.
Make sure the sleeping area is safe for your baby. The American Association of Pediatrics (AAP) recommends a safe sleep environment in an effort to reduce the risk of all sleep-related infant deaths. In this blog you can read a summary of the highlights of AAP's report for parents.
If you’re using a monitor, do a safety check before the baby arrives, such as making sure no wires are loose/close to baby’s sleeping area and the monitor works as intended, for example the alarm.
Make sure there are no loose items in the bed with the baby. Plush items, such as the Lulla doll should always be placed outside of the crib. Lulla doll can be securely attached to the outside of a crib or bed with attachment straps hidden inside a pocket on its back.
You will probably need to make numerous changes in your home when the baby starts crawling around. Make sure you'll be ready for the baby's new rapid skills by reading about the child's development before the baby arrives.
But there are also things that need to be kept in mind when the baby is newborn, such as protecting them against infection. Make sure you and all visitors wash their hands before holding the baby. It's also a great idea to keep a hand sanitizer by the entrance or on a prominent place where guests pass, making sure they use it. Don't be afraid asking guests to wait visiting the baby if they have a current infection, such as a cold or cold sores, which can be very dangerous to a newborn baby. Discussing this with your family and friends while pregnant could ease your mind, as it could be hard dealing with it while experiencing the baby blues and feeling tired after the birth and all that comes with a new baby.
Other things to keep in mind are for example choosing age-appropriate toys for your baby and checking toys regularly for any small loose parts, up to the age of three. Also making sure the home is safe for everyone, for example by making sure you have enough smoke detectors and planning an evacuation plan in case of emergency.
If your baby has it's own room (whether it sleep in there or not) it can be a lot of fun to plan how it should be decorated! Decorating the room can also be a great project for both parents to be involved it. It also makes it all much more real that a baby is indeed arriving soon. Make sure you choose nursery furniture that meet the standards in your country and make sure to follow all safety guides, for example to secure a chest of drawers to the wall, if guidelines tell you to.
Often, furniture will come with brackets included but if not, or you are not using new furniture, here are tips for securing the furniture to a wall.
Each home and person will have it's own style, but if you like to follow trends, or at least get some inspiration, here are some tips on nursery trends for 2020 from Project Nursery:
You usually don't know exactly when the baby arrives and sometimes babies surprise us with an early arrival! It's good to prepare the hospital bag a few weeks before the due date, just to make sure you're ready if you suddenly have to rush to the hospital. Here you'll see a list of what to bring to the hospital.
Preparing the changing table before the baby arrives could make the time coming home easier. If your changing table doesn't come with a changing pad you'll need to purchase it separately. Here is a list of items you'll need for changing time.
Make sure the changing table/pad has raised edges to prevent the baby rolling down. Never leave the baby and keep at least one hand on the baby at all times. You can also use just a changing pad and change the baby on the floor or other safe place if you prefer. In that case we recommend having a basket close by with all the items necessary for changing time.
Make sure you're not forgetting yourself! When feeling tired and you can't wait for the baby to arrive we recommend focusing on self-care and spoiling yourself... a lot! Things you could do before the baby arrives:
While going through the nesting period, make sure you're not doing all the work yourself! Avoid lifting heavy objects and don't do any "stunts", such as climbing ladders and using strong chemicals when cleaning. Try resting as much as possible and make sure you'll have some energy left for the birth and long nights with the baby.