It sounds like a nature documentary and it probably could be considered an episode about what humans do when expecting a baby, but what Nesting really is, is postpartum life with a newborn.
Life before a baby is both exciting and stressful as you prepare for their arrival by decorating your home, decorating a nursery, outfitting your home with baby swings, playpens, blanket baskets, changing stations and more. Here are a few things to consider as you begin your nesting journey:
Depending on the layout of your living spaces, it will be important to have multiple sets of one item in different rooms when you arrive home with your baby. This can include wipes, diapers, boppy pillows (or any pillows/cushions used to support your nursing), paper towel, snacks for yourself, cozy blanket and ointments to support dry cracked nipples.
If your budget doesn't allow for multiple sets of items you can circumvent this with a mobile, multi-shelf bathroom trolly. This is an item you might usually slide between your toilet and sink for toiletries. But instead you keep it in your main nursing area and move it to the room you will need it in to nurse.
Side note: this is also a great item to have for postpartum care of your body. It can be stacked with pads, wipes, ointments, postpartum cleansing spray and more.
Don't be shy about food prepping before the baby is born. Ideally this is something you can task a partner or loved one with but prepping a few meals for after your due date does not hurt. Pack these meals with vegetables, meats, grains and prepare separate packets with fruit, yogurt and nuts.
Ways you can pack your meal prep are either by using tupperware or ziplock bags. You don't have to buy fancy tupperware. You can do like your grandma used to and reuse butter containers and more.
Support from family, friends and neighbors
A huge part of Nesting is leaning on your close family, friends or neighbors to support you when you need to set up baby furniture, food prep/cook and cleaning. Ideally, when you come home from the hospital your only focus should be the care of your baby and yourself. This works best when you have a few people you can lean on to help with keeping your living space tidy, preparing meals for you, doing laundry, shopping for food you need, and giving you words of encouragement.
Think about self care
We all fantasize about having a great Nesting postpartum experience but what often happens is we neglect our own self care. Here are a few tips to make your postpartum experience more enjoyable:
- Have a postpartum trolly handy with pads, cleansing spray, wipes, snacks, water, ointments, comfy socks and a pair of clean clothes.
- Lower your expectations and focus on what is in front of you. For the first 2-3 weeks the last thing you want to do is stress out about things that are of your control.
- Say NO. People may want to visit and see the baby but if you are not up for visitors it is OK to say NO. Instead recommend them ordering food for you or set up a date later on when you feel you have more control.
- Say YES. People may visit to see the baby. Use that time to take a shower, stretch, take a nap, eat a big meal without interruption or get comfortable. DO NOT use their time there to clean or cook. Ask them to do it!