Nesting — it's not just for mama birds. The urge to clean, organize, and otherwise prepare your home for the arrival of a baby is common among human mothers, too. It's not a medical condition, but that doesn't mean it's not a real biological instinct. That being said, not every expectant mom will be a "nester." But for those who feel the urge to gather twigs (or, in our case, crib sheets), you may find that it's a rather satisfying experience. In my opinion, nesting is the best part of pregnancy.
To be clear, there's very little that I find enjoyable about being pregnant. I am grateful to my body for its ability to carry this little life inside me, but honestly, I feel miserable most of the time. Between hyperemesis gravidarum (HG) in the first trimester to hemorrhoid surgery in the second to severe backache in the third, well, I'll take any positive aspect I can get. For me, that's nesting. I have a type A personality, and I love the process of putting my house in order, so to speak. I derive significant pleasure from washing and folding little clothes and organizing them into boxes by size.
Nesting can manifest itself in a variety of ways, including deep cleaning, putting together baby gear, and even monitoring the company you keep. You want to watch out for signs of extreme nesting, and of course, you should take appropriate safety precautions. In most cases, however, nesting is not only harmless, it may very well be your favorite part of the whole pregnancy experience.
Spring cleaning and it's not even spring? Chalk it up to nesting and enjoy the spotless state of your home. Perhaps the best part of this phenomenon is that all those random chores you've been putting off finally get done. You may surprise yourself at how much you enjoy vacuuming under the couch and scrubbing the baseboards. No, really.
The nesting mom is all about the laundry. Normally a dreaded (and never ending) household task, you don't really mind it when it's for the baby. Armed with special detergent for that sensitive baby skin, you lovingly turn all those onesies and footed sleepers inside out to be washed, dried, and folded into tidy little stacks.
Assembling all that baby paraphernalia can be intimidating, but not when you're nesting. You are a veritable zen master of instruction manuals, Allen wrenches, and wooden pegs. It's an essential task that gets done, and let's not pretend that nursery design does anything but please your Pinterest-loving heart (says the felt solar system mobile you just crafted).
All those adorable storage options you've been eyeing at your local Target? You now have an excuse to buy them. After all, those clothes, toys, and miniature blankets need a place to live. Whether you go for matching striped canvas bins or an eclectic assortment of baskets and crates, you'll have all the receptacles your inner Johanna Gaines could ever hope for.
Late pregnancy is likely to bring on a KonMari phase. It feels amazing to purge your toddler's collection of Happy Meal toys, your partner's concert t-shirts, and anything that doesn't bring you joy, damnit. Going through your possessions can help make room for all that new baby stuff at the same time as it decreases your stress.
Ah, the irony. At the same time you're attempting to Swedish death clean, you also feel the urgent need to stock up on "necessities." Making freezer meals in bulk or ensuring you have enough diapers for the apocalypse might seem a little over the top, but you'll probably thank yourself later.
Nesting is characterized by surges of energy that allow you to get everything done in preparation for your little one's debut. It's a pretty major departure from the intense fatigue you've been feeling from growing a life support system in the first trimester and carrying extra weight in the third. A burst of activity is a nice change of pace.
OK, so technically, there's no correlation between nesting behavior and onset of labor. However, it does tend to peak as your due date approaches. Anecdotally, I can tell you that I felt an overwhelming compulsion to clean the hair out of the drain and gave birth three days later. So there's that.
Washing the lovey you hope they'll attach to, shopping for the perfect shade of paint for their nursery walls, and generally ensuring that your home is a clean and safe environment for your baby can all help you feel more connected to the child on their way. And that, mama, is downright magical.