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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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47 Comments on "You Are Nesting!"

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Mother of 3
4 years 4 months ago
Today and yesterday has been really bad. I’ve started nesting at 5 months and than stopped at like 33 weeks and now it has come back really bad. Just today alone I’ve super cleaned my kids room, my room, the kitchen, the bathroom and I’m about to start on the living room. I’m 36 weeks and 4 days. I’ve had a positive fetal fibronectin since 33 weeks (meaning I’ll most likely have a early baby) my drs are surprised I’ve actually made it to 36 weeks. I’ve supposed to be on bedrest since 33 weeks but of course other mother’s… Read more »
jo arellano
4 years 7 months ago

Im only bout 6weeks along and getting strong urges already to clean windows bleach omw I love that smell, my second son is just 7months so I dont know if this need to clean is linked to him or if it is nesting already, feels great though once ive done what I wanted, fortunately my hubby doesnt really question my actions he just very helpful, 3rd child madness

5 years 9 months ago
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… Read more »
6 years 2 months ago
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… Read more »
6 years 2 months ago

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.

6 years 3 months ago

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.

7 years 7 months ago

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!

7 years 7 months ago

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 years 7 months ago

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

7 years 7 months ago

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.

7 years 8 months ago

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

7 years 8 months ago
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… Read more »
8 years 1 month ago
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… Read more »
8 years 1 month ago

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… I close to going into labor?

8 years 2 months ago
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… Read more »
8 years 2 months ago

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

sabrina perry
8 years 2 months ago

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

8 years 2 months ago


8 years 3 months ago

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!

8 years 4 months ago
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… Read more »
8 years 4 months ago

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! 🙂

8 years 4 months ago

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!!

8 years 4 months ago

I am 28 weeks and I just started nesting today. My husband was doing everything he could to help, I wore him out and me and the baby too. I hope the urge to get everything ready doesnt go away after tonight, I have to finish doing everything tomorrow. I have never felt like this. It feels good to know my son is almost here!!

8 years 4 months ago

I am 35 weeks tomorrow and all of a sudden out of nowhere lastnight I started cleaning mine and babies room like crazy!! I am doing all of the laundry..I am reorganizing..and more things just keep popping up that I want to go clean…except I am sooooo wiped out from staying up so late…lol…I will take a nap while the laundry is still dryinh :)!!

8 years 6 months ago

[…] I think I am nesting! […]

8 years 6 months ago

And I’m 37 weeks.

8 years 6 months ago
I’ve been obsessed with the baby’s room being ready. I am not supposed to lift over 20 lb. Or do strenuous work, etc. So my house looks terrible- except for the baby’s room! My poor hubby has had to put up with my nagging until it was done. We had to insulate it, put panelling in, carpet, then move all of the baby stuff in there. After It was finished to my satisfaction, I sat and sat in the rocking chair, rocking away in contentment. I do that every day and at night when I can’t sleep. I remind myself… Read more »
8 years 8 months ago

Glad I’m not the only one losing sleep. I can be SO tired and still want to stay up and reorganize baby’s closet! Next will be my van, after that…rearrange the girls rooms! Busy weekend ahead of me!

8 years 9 months ago

my nesting is random im 36 weeks now and im finings myself hoovering when theres a few crumbs and hoovering the curtains im obsesed with wanting a spotless home lol

8 years 9 months ago

The only nesting I experienced with my first was the need to wash all clothes & bedding. Of course I was on bedrest for the last 3 mos, so that may have prevented it from being worse.
This time around, I can’t clean and rearrange enough! My fiance came home last week to find everything in the kitchen reorganized. He just shook his head & walked away. I’ve washed all extra linens, couch & chair cushion covers, curtains, rugs…I’ve even pulled dishes out of the cabinets & rewashed them because they weren’t clean enough! The list goes on….

8 years 9 months ago

i am 37 weeks and i clean every 10 min. Nothing is ever clean enough for me, I go from sweeping to vaccuming to moping to dishes to scrubing the cupboards, i cant relax unless i no the house is spotless, its crazy!

9 years 15 days ago
I must be nesting. I completely tore apart our bedroom Wed morning before my dr’s appt. Packing up winter clothes for storage, washing the new babies clothes, packed our bags for the hospital. I’m 34 weeks 3 days now. I just came in from trimming the hedges with the electric hedge clipper! It was really hot so I was only out there 15mins but I felt like I could be out there all day. I came in to cool off even though I REALLY didn’t want to. My DD came at 36 wks 5 days and they think this one… Read more »
9 years 1 month ago

And Chelsea don’t worry i never went through this with my first its normal not to just as its normal to nest.

9 years 1 month ago

I’m so nesting and only at 19 weeks. This morning I got up and started shampooing my carpet in my living room by hand so i don’t miss a spot. Whats sad is when i first started i said to my self I would only do part for the day but could not stop myself now my living room floor is wet and my DD is running around with towels that i had spread out to soak up some of the wetness.

9 years 1 month ago

I have a baby due in 28 days.. and im Not Nesting… Why??

9 years 2 months ago
I’m 13 weeks. My boyfriend thinks I’ve lost it because I yell at him to pick EVERYTHING UP. I’m used to having NO clutter and aside from clothes in the closet is disarray-I’m very very clean. He’s one of those that will leave empty food containers in the fridge/ on the counter, come home from the grocery store and let the bags just sit by the door where he dropped them till I put them away, he has school papers/bills/scraps from work EVERYWHERE and freaks because I try to tidy up AND I’m having a really difficult pregnancy, I haven’t… Read more »
9 years 2 months ago
I’m 38 weeks today, yesturday I swept the whole store, I even put the chairs up to mop. My sister (boss) came out of her office and took a look. All she could do was look at me and say “What are you doing?? Your doing to much, get Linda or Lori to mop. Now go and REST” Then today I reorganized my office and labeled EVERYTHING. It’s terrible lol. I’d be doing laundry right now but I have my neighbours little boy over to play with my 2 girls and husband is gone with the neighbour. It’s killing me.
9 years 4 months ago

I am 27weeks today and for the past week all ive been wanting to do is buy stuff just buy baby things and every time i do i feel so much better. people tell me not to buy anything because i will get a lot of things at my baby shower which is next month and i cant wait!! i need to make a list!!!

9 years 7 months ago

I am three weeks before my due date and boy can I tell you how bored I am to clean anything! I am trying to relax as much as I can because after baby has arrived, rest days are over!!!! Hey Stacy, maybe you could come over my house and give me a hand !! LOL

9 years 7 months ago
As for as early as the second trimester.. im in my second trimester im 13 weeks nearly 14 i have been non stop cleaning, disinfecting everything i walk past so i think that this post is really spot on. Last night i cleaned out every single draw in the house i was up until 3 in the morning and today i have been non stop cleaing the entire house.. ive mananged to rearrange the lounge room dinning room and the study.. i have run out of spots to dust, ive wipe down all the walls with disinfectent and keep in… Read more »
9 years 8 months ago

I have been experiencing this since my 3rd trimester happened. lol I was up until about 2am this morning because I wanted to clean out my closet and rearrange my room. lol

Michelle Lavigne
10 years 1 month ago
Barbara – if you don’t feel like doing something – I say don’t! Babies don’t need a spotless house, and germs are not “the enemy”. In fact, many cleansers introduce a lot of toxic by- products and fumes into your home (ie-bleach and dioxin). I’m due in one week…and have been cooking and freezing meals for the past week. But otherwise, there are fluffs of dog hair under the coffee table and dusty shelves. This is the way our life is, and our baby will join it – as is! Anyways, don’t be hard on yourself for not displaying obsessive… Read more »
10 years 3 months ago

I had this in the first trimester and part of my second im now 7 months and can not seem to motivate myself to clean any suggestions

10 years 6 months ago

I completely agree my husband thinks I am NUTS because nothing is clean enough for me. I keep going over the same things with a white glove!! I feel like I am just never satisfied. I have only 3 weeks until delivery via c-section.

10 years 8 months ago

ive become obsessed with dettol antiseptic disinfectant i clean everything with it even put a couple of capfuls in my bath, if i run out i feel like i have to go and buy some more or i cant relax but it keeps me happy while im cleaning away and getting evrything spotless before my baby comes

10 years 8 months ago

i totally agree and thts wht i m on my way doin ,givin ma home a fresh new look and spendin crazily,i even get nightmares of a pretty home..m obsessed

10 years 8 months ago

Great post! I totally identify — nesting is such a satisfying feeling! I had to stifle a giggle at bleaching down the kitchen cupboards. . .

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