Adorably sweet reasons why mums are overcome with the nesting instinct

Mother bears do it.  Mama cats and squirrels do it. Expectant birds do it. Now it's your turn to feather your nest for the little one in your life.

The nesting instinct is a primal urge that is as powerful for us, humans, as it is for our furry friends.

So why do we get this nesting instinct when we are pregnant? What drives us to scrub our bathroom grouting with a toothbrush the night before we're due?

1. Nature

It is nature's way of preparing you for nurturing a child. It is as physical as it is emotional. Don't be surprised to find yourself hoovering under your bed at 39 and a half weeks pregnant (true story). You may even find yourself digging into the Spare Sock Bermuda Triangle Basket, and those teeny little baby clothes you lovingly picked (and cried over) have been laundered to perfection, ready for your new arrival.

2. Science

Nesting isn't a frivolous past-time for those with a baby on board.

Science has proven that it's a recognised behaviour, characterised by unusual bursts of energy usually in the later stages of pregnancy.

Research published in the journal Evolution and Human Behaviour found that such obsessive behaviour is a mechanism to protect and prepare for your unborn baby. A trait of nesting is also how selective mums-to-be become over the company they keep, preferring to just spend time with people they trust. Mothers have been overcome with this instinct for thousands of years. As the birth draws near, it's an important task that helps us provide a safe environment to promote bonding and attachment between the parents and their child. Adorable.

3. Personality

If you are the type of person who craves organisation or order, then you can expect to have preparation lists coming out of your swollen ankles - baby clothes list, baby products list, maternity wear list, hospital bag list, freezer meals list, a list for your partner and a list for your sisters (that mostly says 'bring chocolate'). You will pre-empt every single thing that could possibly happen, and then some.

Although it can be all consuming for many of us, if the nesting urge doesn't strike you at all, that is perfectly normal too. Everyone's journey is unique, and besides, people prepare for life events in very different ways.

4. Preparation, preparation, preparation

I am not joking when I say that I had a spreadsheet for my lists when I was pregnant with my first little girl. I even had the text message composed announcing her birth ready to go, with blanks left for her gender, name and weight. I was ON IT.

I had two weeks worth of meals in the freezer. I had even done the Internet grocery shop ready for the days after the birth, and I made sure I had biscuits for the visitors. In a nutshell, I was in nesting frenzy and nothing was going to stand in my way.

5. The Nursery

I had this room perfected in my head for years.

It was a vision of soft toys, chic colours and white furniture to safely house my baby. But life doesn't always work out the way we plan.

We were living in a small one-bedroom apartment when we were pregnant with our firstborn. Our room was so small that a cot would barely fit next to the bed. The day my husband suggested we house our little one in our ensuite bathroom was the (first) day (of many) that I sat down and cried, as the visions of our beautiful nest swirled down the bath drain.

But never underestimate the strength of a mum-to-be who wants to feather her nest.

Within a few weeks, we had made plans to move. We left behind our jaunty city centre lifestyle and I waddled my way to a more suitable accommodation where the baby wouldn't have to sleep in the sink. Sacrifices were made, but before you could say 'Braxton Hicks', we were knee deep in Magnolia paint, creating the nursery of our dreams (ish), and putting together white flatpack furniture for our future baby chick.

And then it's time.

You pack your soft, freshly laundered babygros into your hospital bag, the impossibly small hats stacked on top of downy blankets. You stroke them lovingly, wondering how they will soon house your brand new person - your little creation.

If you’re looking for the best option when washing for your little one (you want only the cleanest, softest fabrics next to their skin) Fairy has the answer with their Sensitive Skin Dream Team which includes:

Fairy Non Bio PODS® will gently clean your family's clothes, without causing any irritation. The Fairy Non Bio range has been awarded the Skin Health Alliance seal of approval. And they've been voted the number one laundry brand for sensitive skin*.

Fairy Fabric Softener allows you to add snuggly softness to your washing) – all you need to do is add some to your washing machine's fabric softener compartment and it’s job done.

Fairy in-wash scent booster is designed to work in perfect harmony with Fairy PODS® and Fairy fabric softener. The scent booster is dermatologically tested & endorsed by the Skin Health Alliance. Just add in-wash scent booster to your laundry for mild freshness that lasts and lasts.

6. The Baby

As much preparation as you make, NOTHING will really prepare you for the day you meet your child. Until it is happening, you cannot ever understand how it feels to hold your tiny newborn against your skin and feel the warmth of their little body next to yours. Your hearts beating together, as you feed and snuggle and snooze and gaze in awe and fascination over your new baby. She's here!

The pride you feel when you wrap them up and hold them close is all consuming (and addictive). You sniff their baby smell, stroke their velvety little toes, and whisper promises that you will protect them forever and mind them for life - even if it means YOU have to sleep in the bath someday!



Voted number 1 laundry brand for Sensitive Skin* - the sensitive skin dream team is hypoallergenic and dermatologically tested, wrapping your family’s delicate skin in huggable softness. Enjoy freshness as if you’ve dried your clothes outside, even when you dry inside!

(*Online panel of 3327 females aged 18-70)