My husband asked me this question as I was cleaning the kitchen last night. With only a few weeks to go, he has been watching me closely lately. He says he’s waiting for me to start nesting as a sign the baby is coming soon. This got me thinking about the term nesting.
The term comes from mother birds preparing their nests prior to laying eggs. In human mothers, the term comes from the flurry of activity that seems to happen to women getting close to the arrival of a new baby. Nesting can take many forms, from cleaning like crazy to preparing baby gear.
I have been getting things ready in the last few days. I realized the baby will be arriving in a few short weeks and nothing was ready. This made me nervous. I dug out the car seat from the back of the closet the other day. It was a mess! I took off the cover and washed it. Then I proceeded to scrub the inside of the seat and the base. I even used Q tips to get every nook clean.
So far, this is all I’ve done to get ready. There is still a lot left to do. The major urge to scrub the entire house hasn’t hit yet. Maybe it will soon. I remember nesting with my first baby. I cleaned every inch of our house. This included the refrigerator and freezer. Every bit of food came out and I scrubbed like crazy. I don’t know why. It’s not like the baby would be spending any time in there.
Thankfully, I haven’t gone to those extremes with the next three pregnancies. I’ve probably been too busy with the other kids. I don’t have that kind of time on my hands anymore. As a more experienced mom, I now understand that the last few weeks should be spent resting and getting ready for labor.
If you feel the urge to nest, don’t go over board. Remember you need to conserve energy for the delivery and the first sleepless nights caring for a newborn. If you must clean every inch of the house, use some precautions. Don’t lift anything heavy. Leave that for your husband. Be careful with chemical cleaners too. These are no good for you or your baby. Take some time for yourself and save your strength for the big day.