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Nesting Instinct During Pregnancy: What It Is?

Table of Contents

Nesting Instinct During Pregnancy

Table of Contents

What is Nesting Instinct During Pregnancy?

More often fueled by big bursts of energy late during pregnancy, nesting is the act of preparing your home for your baby’s arrival. You can find this biological urge in birds and many other animals. Just like them, you could also feel the urge to get your “nest” ready for your little one.

Nesting Instinct during pregnancy refers to all the physical preparations you have to make for parenthood, which might involve deep cleaning the nursery (or even your entire house), setting up baby gear, and doing loads of laundry. It could also involve emotional preparation for approaching parenthood and bonding with your unborn baby or partner. There’s been very little research done on this common instinct.

Few studies found that pregnant women tend to spend more time cleaning and organizing their home in comparison to women who aren’t pregnant. Pregnant women also get more selective about the company they are keeping and more likely to stick close to home.

Nesting is not a medical condition, rather it’s more of an interesting reminder of our animal nature than anything else. So, you won’t be receiving a diagnosis even when nesting comes up in conversations with your doctor at a prenatal visit.

Do all expectant mothers nest during pregnancy?

Not necessarily! A survey among mothers suggested that about 73 percent of expecting moms nested during pregnancy while 27 percent said that they didn’t. It doesn’t necessarily matter if you do nesting during pregnancy or not because both are normal. Some people have urges while others don’t. Whether or not you are struck by the nesting instinct does not indicate the health of your pregnancy or if you’re getting closer to going into labor.

Every woman’s experience of being pregnant is different. So, the last thing any mom should be doing is worrying about whether you’re nesting “right”. Some moms are unable to nest because of physical restrictions, like being on bed rest. While others may nest more cautiously or not at all because they have undergone infertility treatment or had a previous miscarriage or stillbirth.

Tips for Nesting Instinct During Pregnancy

Here’s a list of last-minute details that you’ll want to check off your list while nesting instinct during pregnancy:

1. Restock your fridge

The time has come to be out with the old, in with the new! While preparing for the birth of your baby, throw away any outdated items and shop for fresh ones. You should stock up on key essentials that you’ll want to have once the baby arrives which might include, milk, yogurt, cheese, juice, pre-washed salad greens, fruit. You could even buy some roasted chicken or two as they are perfect for meals, snacks, and salads. Moreover, if the baby doesn’t arrive this week, you can always restock again next week.

2. Expand your pantry

You should stock up on staples like there’s no tomorrow because once the baby arrives you won’t be able to spend your tomorrow at the grocery store. It’s not easy being a new mom, so remember to line your shelves with every healthy item you can think of, from soups (can be eaten during lunch) to nuts (perfect nutritious nibblers), which are particularly great when teamed with dried fruit. Some other goods that you can get are fruits and vegetables, whole-grain crackers and cereal, canned beans, pasta, brown rice, and sauces.

3. Cook in quantity

Cooking will almost certainly take a back seat once your baby is here, so indulge while you can. Make sure to prepare some extra servings of your favorite frost-friendly foods, such as lasagna, mini-meatloaves, pancakes, bran muffins, etc. Then, store them in single-meal containers in the freezer. Remember to mark them so you won’t forget which one is which.

4. Do your laundry

It’s time to toss in the towel! If you want to add duvet covers, pillow shams, throw rugs, guest bedroom sheets, and anything else that doesn’t get washed regularly. Your washer and dryer will be working extra hard just to keep up with the spit-up stains once the baby arrives.

5. Deep clean

The time has come to tackle the spring-cleaning that you’ve been putting off seeing that your nesting instinct during pregnancy is nice and strong. From wiping down the windowsills, blinds to vacuuming behind the sofa and under the sofa cushions. Remember to be sensible in your quest for cleanliness. Don’t push yourself if you’re too tired and stay away from ladders or other precarious perches.

6. Outfits for your baby

There’s no need to overbuy while you prepare for your baby to come. However, make sure that you’re well-stocked on the newborn essentials, which include T-shirts, onesies, sweaters, socks, and booties. Check out some awesome and comfortable baby clothes!

7. Outfit for yourself

Seeing as you are buying things for your baby, why don’t you buy things for yourself too? So, if you are planning to breastfeed your baby, you should buy some nursing bras, nursing pads, and nursing or easy-to-open shirts. You also need to stock up on soft, breathable, oversized underwear you don’t like. This is because they might get stained with blood and discharge that may not wash away. Plus, for the first few weeks after the birth, you will need them to be big and comfy.

8. Always be prepared

Babies need more than just clothes. You need to be prepared with a list of items, which include diapers, diaper rash ointments, and a host of other crucial consumables. Also, stock up on baby soap, cotton pads, a nasal syringe, nail clippers, a rectal digital thermometer, rubbing alcohol, bottles, nipples, etc.

Does nesting instinct during pregnancy stop once you have the baby?

Nesting Instinct during pregnancy is all the preparations that you make for your baby’s arrival. From a practical point of view, most of your time and energy will be devoted to caring for your newborn once your baby is here. This will result in less time for almost everything else.

A lot of women spend so much energy on nesting because they’re not going to have the energy or time or motivation once their baby is there. Most new parents do not have the time or energy to do any further nesting. This is the reason why social support is so important, especially after the baby arrives.

Will the father of the baby nest?

There have been no studies done on fathers and nesting as of yet. However, a lot of dads tend to launch some of their projects to prepare a home for their baby or get swept up in their partner’s preparations. It’s great when a dad takes pleasure in nesting, however, be against the idea that they have to do it. Or that if they don’t, there’s something wrong. It depends on parent to parent.

Will there be any downsides to Nesting Instinct during pregnancy?

Nesting itself isn’t necessarily harmful. However, as with any activity during pregnancy, you need to be cautious:

  • Avoid climbing tall ladders just to hang pictures or clean hard-to-reach dusty spots.
  • If you’re going to paint or clean, just make sure that the room is well ventilated and the products that you’re using are safe.
  • Nesting during pregnancy might fill you with energy, but try not to overexert and exhaust yourself out. Make sure that you are taking regular breaks and drinking plenty of water.
  • It’s fairly easy to feel overwhelmed by the sheer number of choices that you have to make. Plus, thinking that everything has to be just perfect before the baby comes gets frustrating. So, remember to trust your instincts because all the baby needs is you.
  • Having anxiety is common during pregnancy. But if nesting is starting to become obsessive, that is, you’re losing sleep worrying about the “perfect” crib mattress. Do consider talking to your healthcare provider, if you find any signs of anxiety.


Some women during pregnancy get a real and natural instinct called nesting. It doesn’t matter when or how these nesting instincts hit, however it’s important to understand that it’s a normal experience that can help provide a better environment for the baby.

Also, it is important for expecting mothers to not overdo during the nesting stage, and remember to avoid any strenuous activity. Learn to use this newfound energy on some ‘safer’ nesting activities that will be safe for the mother and baby’s health and safety.

FAQs on Nesting During Pregnancy

1) How early do you start nesting during pregnancy?

Nesting usually starts toward the end of the third trimester which is around week 38 or 39 of pregnancy or even a few weeks before your due date.

2) How do you know if you're Overdiding when pregnant?

If you develop a headache, nausea, cramps, or a racing heart, or if you're sweating buckets and feel faint or dizzy, this means you need to stop. Your body is letting you know that it's having a hard time regulating your body temperature, which can be harmful.

3) What causes nesting in pregnancy?

The reason or cause of nesting is unknown. However, it's often associated with the hormonal changes that occur during pregnancy. On the other hand, nesting behaviors could be coping mechanisms for general or pregnancy-related stress and anxiety.

On behalf of the editorial team at Parenthoodbliss, we follow strict reporting guidelines and only use credible sources, along with peer-reviewed studies, academic research institutions, and highly respected health organizations. To learn about how we maintain content accurate and up-to-date by reading our medical review and editorial policy.

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