For most of your pregnancy, you’ve probably had little to no energy. But now you find yourself wanting to clean and organize your home. This is known as nesting. Nesting during pregnancy is very common and can happen during any trimester, but we see it a lot more with moms closer to their due date!
Why Does Nesting Happen?
It is an instinct that overcomes us to start cleaning and organizing for the baby.. It’s like a biological nature to get things ready to make life easier when the baby arrives.
If you don’t have this urge to clean that is also totally normal, no one pregnancy is the same!
36 Things To Do While Nesting During Pregnancy
This is a major list of things to do before your due date, take some time and go through them. Some of the things you’ll need to do weekly and some only once!
1. Make A Baby Registry
If you haven’t already you’ll want to make a free Baby Registry that way your friends and family can get you what you want and need. You will also get a few perks if you sign up and go with Amazon.
A baby registry on Amazon can get you a free baby welcome box (worth $35)
2. Stock & Clean Your Bathroom
Unless you clean with no chemicals – just water and soap – ask your partner to give the bathroom a good scrub from tub to the toilet and behind all the crevices.
You’ll also want to stock up on things like:
- toilet paper
- bath soap
- hand washing soap
- shampoo / conditioner
You mainly do this because you don’t want to leave your house the first few weeks after the baby as you’ll be recovering from birth and bonding.
3. Use Underneath Your Bed Space For Storage
This is great because you will spend more time in your own room with your newborn than other locations of your home, at least for the first few weeks anyway.
5. Take an Online Birth Course
This is my favorite thing to do when I gear up and get ready to birth. Not only does going through a birth course, like this one, help you prepare mentally it also gives you great tips on pushing, epidurals, hospital births, and going natural.
It’s also taught by an actual labor and delivery nurse. (This was my second birth and I took the course, it made the biggest difference)
6. Learn About Pain Management During Labor
If you’re not sure a birthing course is for you, but you want to go natural and feel nervous or anxious about pushing your baby out.. Then you’ll want to take this class on pain management during labor.
It is one of a kind course, that can be done in a day and helps you throughout labor and new motherhood.
7. Turn Your Master Bedroom Into A Nursery
This is a total must-do as you will spend a lot of time in your room with your newborn.
8. Create A Breastfeeding Station (or breastfeeding basket)
The reason you’ll want to do this (if you plan on breastfeeding) is that babies nurse every 2-3 hours sometimes even every hour (my 3 weeks old) so you want to have things nearby that will make it easier on you.
Nursing a newborn is such a learned skill, that can come with a lot of different issues.
9. Write Your Birth Plan
I always ask new moms to write 3 birth plans. The first would be your ideal birth if everything could go exactly as you want. The second you would change 2-3 things. The third would be what you don’t expect to happen. (c-section, medicated, no skin-skin)
The reason for this is because birth never follows a plan. Just giving you some hard truth right now. Making these 3 different plans will help get your mindset ready for any unexpected birth.
10. Clean Your Car
The last thing you want to do is get into your car to find 10 sweaters and an old sandwich inside when all you want to do is install your car seat and insert a baby mirror.
11. Install The Car Seat
You can go to your local fire department to make sure that it’s been installed correctly.
Your hospital won’t allow you to take the baby home if you do not have a car seat installed.
12. Baby’s Sleeping Area
If you are going to have a nursery apart from your room you’ll want to have a safe sleeping area for the baby.
However, it is recommended that the first few months baby sleeps in your room IN THEIR OWN SLEEPING AREA as a safety precaution to avoid SIDS.
I used this pack and play for the first year of the baby’s life when we didn’t have space for a nursery. It comes with a bassinet that was used the first two months and then we moved him down to the play yard with a mattress.
Related: 9 Inspiring Nursery Themes
13. Tour Your Hospital
When you tour your hospital you get insights on things like:
- Where to park closest to the maternity ward
- How to find the entrance to register
- Where the NICU is (in case baby goes)
- How your partner can find the cafeteria
- What location the c-sections happen in
14. Have Your Baby Shower
Did you create your baby registry? Sometime in the third trimester, try to have your baby shower. If you have one post-2020 you can see our baby shower ideas here.
If you have one during the pandemic you can see how we did a drive-thru baby shower set up.
15. Clear Out Freezer
If you plan to do freezer meals, clearing out your freezer of old food, and items that have been there for a long time will give you the space you need to place all the items for your freezer meals.
16. Anchor Big Furniture.
Large dressers, artwork, mirrors – attach them to the walls, drill them down, apply the L – shaped hardware to them.
17. Buy Some Rugs
Doing this is a great idea because rugs absorb sound. So having rugs in different rooms can let you have a peacefully sleeping baby.
19. Make freezer meals
By week 36-37 I highly suggest you spend a week doing freezer meals. Go grocery shopping, chop everything up, put things in big ziplock bags and containers.
Here are a few examples of freezer meals you can try:
- Breakfast Burritos
- Veggie Omelets
- French Toast
- Pizza Casserole
Check out this amazing post from The Millennial SAHM ’20+ Freezer Meals‘
20. Toss Expired Medication
Doing this is just a good habit. You don’t want to have expired medication with kids around.
21. Fill Up Car With Gas
This has to be one of the easiest things you can do while nesting or just while being in the third trimester. You don’t want to run out of gas on your way to the hospital.
22. Back Up Plan
You never know when you’ll go into labor, it could be the day your partner is out of town and your parents or other family members are on vacation.
To make sure someone is available in the worst-case scenarios – ask your neighbors if they’d be willing to take you to the hospital in case your partner/family aren’t around.
Also, have someone who will be available to watch your other kids in case the first person you asked (for whatever reason) can’t.
23. Emergency List Of Number
You’ll already have these in your phone and your partner’s phone’s but what if you need to give them to your Dr., your neighbor, etc…
- Your partners phone number
- your best friend
24. Register At Your Hospital
Some locations won’t admit you into the hospital if you have not registered. So go ahead and do it online or go to the hospital and register when you take the tour.
The most hospital now has online registrations. Check out the hospital’s website first.
25. Have A Binder Ready
You will get a lot of paperwork when you go to the hospital. Make sure you keep your hospital registration papers, your insurance, a copy of your ID, and your driver’s license. This way you can take all these items with you to the hospital.
I always put this paper inside the hospital bag I’m taking with me.
26. Read A Baby Book (if this is your first)
See this list of 10 awesome books for first-time parents
More of an audible listener? See these 10 audible books to inspire first-time moms
I also really love this class on newborns, that tells you about colic,
27. Put Your Baby Shower Gifts Away
If you already had your baby shower, put all the items away. Remember not to remove the tags from duplicates so you can return them and get store credit for diapers.
You will never have enough diapers.
28. Stock Up On Groceries
Besides having the freezer meals you also want to make sure you have some fresh fruit, fresh veggies, and meat in your kitchen. In case you go into labor – that way you don’t have to get out of your home to go grocery shopping those first few weeks.
29. Clean Your Kitchen
Sweep, mop, clear drawers. Wipe down the fridge, throw away any containers that you don’t have lids for. Or extra lids that you don’t have containers for.
30. Bathroom For Baby
Think shampoo, towels, bathtub, toys. Most of these items will be small and not take up a lot of space.
You can see how we organized our bathroom for babies when you download the free Prepare Home For Baby Checklist.
31. Place New Batteries In Fire Alarms
Safety first, and this is the perfect time to test out if they even work. I suggest you let your partner do this instead of having yourself go on a ladder and change them yourself.
32. Go On A Baby Moon
You can do this in a few different ways. You can go all out and book a hotel and go to a different state, city or country and fly before you can’t (you know past 36 weeks).
Or you can go as simple as taking a day off work and staycationing in your house with your partner.
In general, babies tend to bring a lot of stuff with them, even if you try to go minimal. They have diapers, wipes, and blankets, and outfits for days.
Declutter now to start making room for this extra stuff you will soon have.
You can go as easy as cleaning out your closet with items you no longer use or love, or go all out and declutter a room a day.
Take it slow.
34. Finish The Nursery
If you plan to have a nursery or a room for your baby, you’ll want to finish the important stuff in it first.
What’s important? An area that is safe for the baby to sleep in, a changing diaper area, and a location where you can breastfeed or store feeding items.
35. Sterilize Bottles
If you plan to bottle feed baby now is a good time to sterilize your bottles and binkies.
You do this by adding the bottles to a pot and boiling water.
- Let them boil in the water for 5-10 minutes.
- Air dry.
- Store them away
36. Fold Baby Clothes
This is one that all new moms love to do because it makes us feel so close to our upcoming little baby. Go ahead and find where you will store the baby clothes.
Whether that is hanging in a closet or in a dresser, start putting it away now.
Want to see how to fold baby clothes using the Mari Kondo Method?
37. Take Maternity Pictures
This is very optional and up to you. But I loved taking my maternity pictures during my second pregnancy. It made me feel amazing knowing that I was so close to becoming a mother again, and looking at the pictures now is just as amazing.
How Early Do You Start Nesting During Pregnancy?
No time limit exists for when an expecting mother starts nesting. Some pregnant mothers notice that they start organizing their home as early as month 5 while others go until the last few weeks.
A big reason nesting happens towards the end of pregnancy is also because of maternity leave. Once an expecting mother is on leave she can focus more on her home and preparing for the baby.
Is Nesting A Sign That Labor Is Near?
No, nesting is not a sign that labor is near. You’ve probably heard this old wives’ tale that once you start nesting, your baby will come shortly after. This of course is a myth.
It can be weeks from the day you start organizing and even months depending on how early you started nesting.
How To Tell You Are In Nesting Mode?
Are you wondering if you’ve started nesting or are you just cleaning things along to prepare your home for a baby? Both answers equal nesting.
You’ll know if you are doing any of the following:
- Your dirty fridge is making you cringe – so you clean it right away
- The baby’s clothes NEEDS to be put away and organized by season
- You want your home to be super safe before baby arrives
- The need to clean and prepare is a little overwhelming
It is like an escalated feeling to clean and organize your entire home to make things perfect for the baby.
So there you have our major list of things to do before giving birth on your nesting journey!
How early did you start nesting? Let me know in the comments below!
Nesting Like A Pro, The Ultimate Third Trimester To Do List
You may also like:
- Sharing Master Bedroom With Baby (tips for small spaces)
- How Does Maternity Leave Work?
- Prepare Bedroom For Baby | Bedside Nursery Tour
- How To Make A Breastfeeding Basket
- The Best Online Breastfeeding Courses
Rosaura is the mom blogger who helps first time pregnant and postpartum moms find the solutions to their everyday problems. From first finding out you’re pregnant to giving birth and baby care, she has you covered.