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Preparing Your Nest: Making things just right before baby comes


Just as a bird prepares the nest before laying eggs, making it just right, expectant human parents do the same. Nesting will look a little different for each expectant family, but in general, there’s a lot of cleaning and preparing for when parents are too tired to do all those things after the baby comes. Cleaning, cooking freezer meals, and making lists are all a part of getting ready for a new family member. Nesting happens in both pregnancy and adoption.

Jenny Harmon is a nesting expert, by any definition. She is the mother of eight children, including an infant. She said nesting changes as a family grows and can also change depending on the needs of the family at that point in time. As she planned a home birth, she made sure her bedroom and bathroom were extra clean.

“It was such a peaceful place to have a baby. I had various comfort items for labor in a basket, and my favorite snacks and drinks were ready,” she said. 

For the family with older children, they can get in on the action as well by making sure their personal areas are tidy, helping make meals ahead of time, and being prepared to get mom or dad a burp cloth, diaper, or bottle of water when it is needed. 

Organizing is a sure sign of nesting. Whether it’s sorting food storage containers or alphabetizing a bookshelf, many expectant parents decide to tackle their overdue to-do lists. Consider it natural preparation before the big day.

“We organized our whole kitchen over the summer, and I’m so glad we have that out of the way,” Harmon said. “Because we have a large family, even a few days’ worth of food takes up a lot of space, so we needed to be organized to better store it all.”

Nesting is a good thing and can be a productive time prior to a baby’s arrival in the home. Don’t sweat the small things, and be sure to rest. too. 

“We learned that the arrival of a new baby usually does not mix well with other major life changes, even if they are happy ones,” Harmon said. “Now we do all we can to take as much off our plates as possible before the new family member arrives. Nesting is a large part of that.” 

Whether or not the urge to nest happens in your household, being prepared to add a new family member can be a daunting and joyful thing, and a little preparation can go a long way in making things easier after the arrival.