My third trimester is right around the corner, and I can’t believe how fast this pregnancy is going. My urge to nest has officially started, new shelves have been put up, baby clothes washed and folded, and I can’t wait to prepare even more these coming weeks for the arrival of our second daughter. I know it seems all a bit early, but as old wife tales say nesting doesn’t actually kick in until the labor and birth are near. For many other mothers and me I know, this has definitely not been the case.
So, what is nesting exactly? It is pretty simple to explain, the name itself says a lot. It’s the major urge to organize, clean, shop, and prepare your home before the arrival of your baby. It is a basic instinct pregnant mothers and their partners share. The exact date when the necessity of nesting starts is actually quite debatable, and I personally think it depends on each mother.
This time around though, I know which things are vitally important in postpartum (such as prepared meals, washed newborn clothes, safe car seat, etc.), which are kind of personal depending on your choices (cloth or normal diapers, pacifier, crib, etc.) and which are completely useless (a bottle sterilizer, lactation cookies, a changing table, etc.). I remember during my first pregnancy, a mother recommended me not to buy a changing table, as we would mostly change her on the bed. Guess what? She was right. Guess what else? I still bought the changing table. We sold it pretty much after a couple of months. I don’t regret buying it though, as I think we all need to go through the first pregnancy shopping spree and experience first-hand what is useless and what is lifesaving.
“Birds (hence the name) and other animals also do it and it is driven by a psychological urge to provide a safe environment. The nesting instinct is the result of a mechanism that kicks in during late pregnancy to protect and prepare for the unborn baby. It also helps to promote bonding and attachment between you and your infant.” – Emma’s diary.
I do have some basics which we will definitely use again this time around:
- Baby carrier and wrap. These we used all the time and were the best investment ever. We hardly ever used the pram, not until she was at least one and a half. Most naps were also in the carrier, as she liked to be close to us.
- Sidecar crib. For the first few weeks at least, and when the baby was bigger, I brought her closer to me. Co-sleeping is recommended at least for the first year to avoid SIDS (sudden infant Death syndrome). It is also a lifesaver for breastfeeding, as you can just take the baby and put her quickly on the breast.
- White noise. So, you can buy a machine, or simply use a good speaker (not too close to the crib or bed) and download the white noise audio from my website. Babies love to sleep with white noise, and it helps with calming.
- Swaddle bag. We got so many blankets which we hardly ever used because we didn’t know how to swaddle her properly. We bought a special swaddle bag, which we used for the first 3 months so she would sleep a bit better at night. Never swaddle a baby while bed-sharing, and it is recommended to stop swaddling babies before they learn how to roll.
- Nursing pillow. I used it more to sleep comfortably during pregnancy, and later on, we used it to help with tummy time.
- A good rear-facing car seat. This should actually be nº1 on the list. This is single-handedly the most important item here. It is literally life or death. Children should be riding rear-face as long as possible. A good car seat is way more important than a good pram, or expensive toys which the baby won’t use for the first year or so.
- A small night light to change diapers at night.
- Cloth diapers. Loved them and used them for 18-20 months. Mia now only wears diapers at night, but the cloth diapers don’t hold as much pee anymore. So we changed to biodegradable diapers.
I do have a baby registry on my website for free, which you can download from the section “free goodies”. It is just a guide of what I bought the first time around, but it is definitely not a bible and you don’t need everything on there. It is super personal, and you should decide what works best for your family. In my opinion, the most important items are mentioned above, the rest is relative.
What wouldn’t I buy this time around?
- Anything related to bottle feeding. These items were merely bought due to fear-mongering. People warned me “Most women can’t breastfeed” which is obviously not true. I ended up donating most stuff. This a big reminder of how secret marketing of big pharma/formula companies work based on spreading false information and fear. Most women, with guidance and practice, can absolutely breastfeed. It has everything to do with your surroundings and your tribe.
- Too many clothes. During the first month, my baby was basically naked on me most of the time (Summer baby). They grow so fast, and you won’t use most of the items. I do however think second-hand clothes are a great option, as they will be hardly used and are certainly a money saver.
- Changing table. We changed her mostly on the bed, as predicted.
- Commercial diapers. Seriously, that is how most babies get rashes. All those chemicals are horrifying and shouldn’t come near a baby’s buttocks.
- Countless bottles of baby soap. In the first weeks just washing with water is fine, babies don’t really get dirty. And one soap bottle will last you a year at least.
I am for sure forgetting many examples and will experience again what works and what not with our second baby. Are you experiencing or have you experienced nesting? If you have anything to add or any questions, don’t hesitate to contact me.