Baby, Pregnancy, and Parenting Information

You Are Nesting!

Something that is highly anticipated and can be incredibly exciting during pregnancy is the nesting instinct. This is a primal instinct that most if not all female mammals go through while preparing for their young, and can be seen in pregnant women as well.

For a pregnant woman nesting is an uncontrollable urge to clean and organize your house, while getting things ready for your baby. It can be as little as washing your baby’s clothes and bedding, to repainting your entire house because you all of a sudden don’t like the color theme you have. Some women will clean walls, baseboards, and door frames as an effort to make sure the house is clean. In some cases women who rarely have a “clean” house will be obsessed about having a spotless house.

It is believed that the act of nesting helps a woman feel more like she is in control. It can begin as early as the second trimester and last the duration of the pregnancy. The urge to have everything in “order” can wake a pregnant woman up at night, or keep her up all night while she completes her latest “project”. When the nesting instinct pops up at the end of pregnancy it can often signify the beginning of labor or that labor is just a couple of days away. It can take over the last hours of pregnancy with an urge to make sure everything is done and just right.

Nesting is normal and natural for a pregnant woman, even if her partner thinks she has gone insane when they find her bleaching down the kitchen cupboards at 3am. However, there are some precautions the pregnant woman should take.

Try To Avoid Paint Fumes
If you HAVE to have the nursery or house repainted at the last minute, try to get someone else to do the actual painting for you. Make sure you wear a mask when you are around the paint to minimize the paint fumes you breathe in.

Climbing On Furniture
When cleaning cupboards, reorganizing the closet and washing down your walls, try to stick to the areas you can reach without standing on a chair or climbing on other furniture. While you are pregnant your balance may be off, and you may fall or get light headed. If you keep your feet planted firmly on the floor then you won’t have to worry about an accident and the possibility of hurting yourself or your baby.

In The Garden
Most pregnant women know if they have a cat not to change the litter box as cat feces could harm the baby. However, you also must remember this and watch for feces and certain other pests you might find while gardening. In most cases anything you come in contact with will be safe, it is just best to take extra precautions.

Nesting can be a fun part of pregnancy for the pregnant woman, even if her husband doesn’t agree when his wife hands him a “honey-do” list and sends him out to pick up another roll of the wallpaper she used in the living room because she all of a sudden decided it would look great in the hall as well. When your partner roles his eyes because you are sending him out for supplies tell him it is all right, you will both be laughing about it in a year.


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45 Responses to “You Are Nesting!”

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  1. 45
    Alison Says:

    Oh Thank God for this forum… I honestly believed I was losing my mind! I am 34 weeks pregnant and have been furiously nesting for over a month. I sleep a few hours at a time and then pop awake in a panic thinking of everything I still have left to do! We are mid renovation which is making it really hard because “I can’t” control and have everything tidy cause so much of my house is ripped apart. I have an obsession with the house being done before the baby arrives, and I remind my husband of what needs to be done every 5 minutes. I would not chose a pregnancy mid reno again- the urge to have everything done is overwhelming! I wish I could say I was enjoying this. I feel so overwhelmed- the amount that needs to be done in so little time brings me to tears. I’m terrified of my baby being born and not being “ready!” I have a lot of anxiety about everything being perfect and “just so” before this little person arrives. I have cleaned out and organized all of my kitchen cupboards- washed the ceiling- the inside and outsides of everything! Just so it can get covered in drywall dust!? Ahhhhhhhhhh! I just want everything to be done so I can relax… I can’t stop thinking about what needs to be done. I am looking forward to being free of this crazy OCD!

  2. 44
    Diana Says:

    I am just over 36 weeks and I am now convinced that what I’ve been going thru the past week is nesting. I have been obsessed with getting all the baby’s things together. I keep making and remaking my list of things I need to get for the baby, and I finally got my husband to go with me yesterday to get most of the things I needed to get. So excited, especially since today I went overboard with all my cleaning, more cleaning than I’ve done in a while. Now it’s just a waiting game but since I’ve been having strong contractions for the past 2 weeks I am hoping that it means that I am going into labor soon!

  3. 43
    SteffM Says:

    Just had my first bout with nesting today. My husband and I live in a rental property and despite restrictions on how we can decorate, I’ve gotten the urge to hang wall art and rearrange every piece of furniture in the house. Suddenly it seems that there just isn’t enough space in the living room and I never noticed how much I hate our ancient microwave. I’m 31 weeks pregnant and it feels like an eternity until my due date, I just hope that I have the energy to keep up with this rapidly-growing to do list.

  4. 42
    kimberly Says:

    Love what everyone had to say on this topic but what do you do when your nesting but have no where to put the baby. We have to keep the baby in our room. As for cleaning the rest of the house. I help out but i would feel uncomfortable scrubbing someone else’s kitchen.

  5. 41
    Melissa Says:

    Plus, I haven’t had my baby shower yet and it’s driving me mad!!! I feel like I have so much left to do!

  6. 40
    Melissa Says:

    I’ve been madly sewing things for the baby’s room, finishing projects that I’ve had on the back burner for years, and sweeping the ceilings. I’ve found that when I have a hard time sleeping due to projects on my mind, all I have to do is write down the project on the back of my hand while I’m in bed and then I can fall into a peaceful sleep- at least until I have to go to the bathroom!

  7. 39
    Angela Says:

    Nesting had me drive 4 hours yesterday to pick up the ‘perfect carseat’. Go figure. . .

  8. 38
    elizabeth Says:

    i been nesting for the past 3 days i am 27 weeks pregnant, its driving me insane i cant sleep and if i try i wake up every 30 minutes or so, i go to bed at 12 or 2 midnight, i wake up 2 hours later to think about cleaning and just when im tired i keep telling myself “just a little bit more” but it hasnt ended i am freaking out. no sleep no rest no nothing… im glad im not alone on this.

  9. 37
    Sophia Says:

    Omg! Me too!!! I am 35 weeks and this nesting madness has been going on since I was 28 weeks.. every night I make sure my house is clean before I hop into bed, and I just bought the stuff for the hospital bag for my hubby and I.. my next project is going to be washing all of the baby’s clothes and blankets so I can be completely ready by 37 weeks

  10. 36
    Caroline Says:

    Omgosh I am 31 weeks and have been nesting for a looonnnggg time… lol… I was also up at 3 am reorganizing the babys room…I arrange the size of the clothing perfectly in the closet and folded all the nb onesies nicely in the drawer, folded up the blankets and put those away, etc… It’s my favorite part of the house for sure and I almost don’t want to share it with anyone!!! My showed my husband where everything was in the room and he was like “okay, okay” – felt like he wasn’t even listening but we are both going to be going in there a ton so I hope he was paying attention! I also rearranged the fridge and cleaned it to the T one day and made my husband help me. I also get on him if he doesn’t put his dirty dishes in the dishwasher… I guess you could say I like the house clean right now but it makes me happy :) I am about to clean the house as we speak lol. I’m excited for the baby!!!

  11. 35
    Andrea Says:

    I love this article! I totally identify myself with it. I’m 32 weeks/1day and started nesting at different points into my pregnancy.
    The cleaning at 3am comment made me laugh, because I was doing the same for three days in a row! My husband woke up one morning to go to the bathroom, and found me mopping and dusting at 3:00am! He looked at me as if I had gone crazy…lol
    I would stay up and do laundry, wash dishes, clean up and rearrange my husband’s messy garage, redecorate the living room, etc…and I’d rest on the couch thinking I still have more projects to do! My mind won’t stop thinking about things I’d like to do like creating a garden, repainting the swing set, repurposing furniture, and painting the walls! I’m obsessed!!! I usually go to bed at 3:00-4:00am because I can’t sleep thinking of what to do next! Obviously I’m exhausted during the day too from my lack of sleep, and I have to hear it from my husband telling me I’m nuts. I sleep during the day and I’m wide awake at night!
    Talk about nesting!!!!! Lol

  12. 34
    brittany Says:

    I am due in 3 1/2 wks. I have washed all my baby clothes, rearranged my bedroom and cleaned my nieces, who lives with me! I am usually so tired but had a burst of energy…..am I close to going into labor?

  13. 33
    Jessica Says:

    i am 34 weeks and it took me 5 hours to clean my already clean kitchen, i took toothpicks to my stove to clean the small spots…i cleaned the bathroom like crazy, we are also selling our house, i filled up all the boxes i could and have them waiting for someone to carry them to the shed for storage for me. i can’t stop thinking about all the things i can do and need to do. Nesting may have started a week or two ago for me actually because i already have all the clothes for the baby washed and organized in drawers…how long will this last????

  14. 32
    vicki Says:

    i have a hand washing obbsession along with a dettol one i’m 37 weeks pregnant my hubby thinks i’ve gone mad lol

  15. 31
    sabrina perry Says:

    omg ok what do you do if you have the nesting and no one will help you aand everything that needs done you cant do im going to go crazy and no one gets it HELP

  16. 30
    TRACY Says:

    I AM 33 WEEKS PREGNANT TODAY WITH MY THIRD CHILD AND I MUST BE NESTING. I HAVE OBSESSED WITH GETTING MY NEW SON’S CLOTHES PUT IN HIS NEW DRAWER AND GETTING HIS CRIB AND ROOM TOGETHER. I CAN HARDLY SLEEP SOMETIMES AND WHEN I’M AT WORK I AM WISHING I WAS AT HOME SO I CAN MOP THE FLOOR OR CLEAN UP SO THAT EVERYTHING IS READY FOR HIM! I’M JUST REALLY EXCITED! I CAN’T WAIT TO MEET HIM:)

  17. 29
    Malina Says:

    Am 24 weeks into second pregnancy and up till now have had no energy. Am exactly 24 weeks otday and ion the space of 3 hours I have done 3 loads of laundry, vacumed all of downstairs, polished and dusted, mopped, wiped the kitchen down top to bottom with bleach and descaled the kettle! I feel great! Lol!

  18. 28
    amy Says:

    i am 33 weeks preg w/ my 4th boy and i never really had the nesting thing before but i have found the older i get the pregnancy changes so much and my last pregnancy was 8 years ago and it feels like this is my 1st one for some reason. so im readind books likes crazy.i start on thing and it just leads to another and another and another. i bet i have the tiedest fridge ever. i love a clean house, but i did notice that at the end of the day i was very worn out and i was having a lot of BH contractions. so for the sake of the baby i have limited myself to the work i do throught out the day and my husband makes sure i dont do to much as well. i would just say limit yourself and dont over due it…congrats to all you soon to be beautiful moms!!!

  19. 27
    megan Says:

    i am 29 weeks and the last few weeks i have been cleaning my house like crazy, my boyfriend laughs at me.. i feel like i have ocd! i yell at him if his shoes arent aligned perfectly somewhere and he laughs! he thinks its hilarious! i go home everynight and clean, and dust (with gloves) the same things over and over again. it feels so good to clean! i have never been like this before. i use to be a very messy person but im liking this nesting thing! :)

  20. 26
    Danielle Says:

    well im now 40+1 weeks my due date was yesterday and all i have done is clean clean clean theirs nothing left in my house to clean,but all my friend have said they have had this burst off energy and had their kid 48hours to 2 weeks later so i hope my wee man comes quick!!

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