A mother’s instinct is a funny thing, particularly when it comes to nesting.


If you're not exactly sure what it is, put simply it’s characterised as the urge to prepare your home – or your ‘nest’ – for your impending arrival. And it’s not just us humans who are at it; even pregnant cats make nests by putting soft materials like cloth scraps and straw in a nook or corner!


According to a study by McMaster University in Canada, nesting is actually a primal instinct which goes back thousands of years. We feel the urge to organise our lives and clean as mechanism to protect and prepare for our baby.


“It ties us to our ancestral past,” says Doctor Marla Anderson. “Providing a safe environment helps to promote bonding and attachment between both the mother and infant.”


So if you’re wondering why you're rushing around the house like a cleaning tornado (since when do I clean?) rest assured you're probably experiencing nesting, and it’s totally normal.


Nesting can occur at any time, and often not at all (also normal!) and it’s usually strongest from the fifth month onwards.


Here are our top nesting tips:



1. Be careful


That surge of energy you get to scrub the entire apartment and reorder the furniture might make you think you have the strength to physically exert yourself, but the odds are you’re just going to strain your already-under-pressure back. If there’s any moving to be done we strongly urge you ask your partner to do it (while you sit back and eat ice-cream of course!).


2. Stock up on baby-safe detergent


If you’re in nesting overdrive, a good place to start is to ensure your washing detergent and softener is suitable for baby’s sensitive skin, because you are going to be doing a LOT of laundry. We suggest stocking up on the specially-formulated Persil Non-Bio followed by Comfort Pure to leave clothes oh-so fresh, soft and kind to baby's skin.



3. Fill the fridge with essentials


Nesting can really kick in as you get closer to your due date. Around now is a good time to make sure the fridge and freezer are stocked with essentials because when you come home with baby, doing a shop will be the last thing on you or your partner’s mind. However, make sure not to overstretch yourself, and for the love of gawd ask for help!


4. Stock the press with staples


As well as kitting out the fridge, it’s a good idea to stock up on the cupboard staples like rice, pasta, chopped tomatoes, beans and cereal – and of course some treats, because by God you’ll deserve them!



5. Do a baby essential blitz


Rope in your partner, or family and friends to ensure you have all the baby essentials prepared and ready to go. As well as the obvious ones like babygros, blankets and nappies, we’re talking nappy rash cream, cotton pads, nail clippers, baby shampoo and sponges.


6. Don’t get carried away cleaning


The thing about nesting is that we can be a teensy bit unrealistic – at six or seven months pregnant it’s hardly pragmatic for a tired mum-to-be to deep clean the entire house! Choose your cleaning projects wisely, ensuring you’re not bent over or on your feet for long periods of time.



7. Talk about your feelings


Our urge to nest can often stem from nervousness and anxiety, particularly for first time mums. Becoming a parent is a huge change in our lives so it stands to reasons we’re going to be all aflutter. If you feel a little overwhelmed open up to friends and family about how you feel, chances are other mums will have been through the exact same thing. And if you feel particularly stressed, make an appointment to chat to your doctor.


8. Stock up on mama essentials


Another way to prepare your ‘nest’ during this period is to think about your needs. We suggest treating yourself to some posh body cream, shower gel or perfume as well as stocking up on all the things you'll need to ensure you’re comfy as possible post-birth like nipple pads and cream if breastfeeding, comfy, large underwear, large sanitary towels and nursing bras.


Just remember that nesting is normal, and a mother's way of preparing a safe and loving environment for her new cub. And if anything it helps pass the time while we wait to meet baby!


Have you experienced nesting? What did you do? Feng shui the entire house? Paint the living room baby pink? We'd love to hear from you!


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