The first few weeks of summer break were busy as we were knocking out our family vacations before I got too far along in this fourth pregnancy. But once we were back in town for good, a huge desire to start nesting settled in (finally at 34 weeks pregnant!).
First off, I knew I only had a month of guaranteed time to prep for baby since my second baby came at 38 weeks in the summer. I’m hoping this baby will arrive two weeks early as well, but just my luck, he’ll go past my due date!
At any rate, I’m feeling the pinch of getting everything prepped asap. It’s crazy, because as I’m in the middle of folding and putting away towels, I’ll realize the state of our linen closet and stop then and there, taking everything out to reorganize. I just seem to be hypersensitive to all the messes behind closed doors—cabinets, closets and the like.
If you’re pregnant in your third trimester and nesting is starting to kick in, here are several nesting tips and checklists broken down by baby stuff, home, meal prep and other kids.
Nesting Tips for Baby Stuff
Preparing your home for your new baby is exciting and overwhelming at the same time. There are so many little things to be done, and many that have to happen after your baby showers, which typically puts you into the second half of your third trimester. So as not to forget anything, here are some nesting tips for all things baby:
- Wash all baby items. This includes anything made with fabric, such sheets, clothing, swaddles, blankets, burp cloths, bibs, changing pad covers, bath towels, etc.
- Organize baby clothing by size and season. This way, you’ll know what you have and it will be easy to pull yet another onesie from the “newborn drawer” once an inevitable blowout occurs.
- Organize nursery closet. Besides organizing any hanging clothes, organize extra diaper boxes as well as baby items you will use as your baby ages, such as toys.
- Set up nursery. Assemble baby furniture such as crib, changing table, dresser, rocker etc. Also, make sure you have it arranged in a functionally aesthetic way so you don’t have to worry about it after your baby arrives. Be sure to hang up artwork, shelves and any other decor you have purchased. Prep your diaper changing station, whether it’s on a dedicated changing table or you’ve made your own version on top of a dresser. Set up a nursing/feeding station for middle of the night feedings. Ideally, a rocker or glider with a nearby nightstand will work perfectly.
- Assemble all other baby furniture not going in nursery. Besides nursery furniture, there are plenty of other baby products that may need assembly. I would suggest putting together every item you think you’ll use in the first 6 weeks. This may include a pack and play, swing, bassinet, stroller, etc.
- Set up an additional changing station. This secondary station can go in one of your main living areas so you aren’t going to the nursery each diaper change. Also, many pack-and-plays have diaper changing stations built into them.
- Pack your diaper bag. You won’t need to carry a diaper bag to the hospital with you, as hospitals have everything you need for baby. But it’s good to have it packed and ready to go if you have a long ride home from the hospital or for your first pediatrician visit, which typically happens within 48 hours.
- Pack your hospital bag. See what no-frills items I packed for my fourth baby.
- Install your infant car seat. And bonus if you have time to stop by a firestation to get it checked out and approved.
- Set up a nursing/feeding station. Though you may feed your baby in the nursery in the middle of the night, babies eat so often that it’s a good idea to set up a separate feeding station somewhere else in your house, if possible. Many women set up an area in the living room so they can watch TV, chat with their spouse or keep an eye on older kids while feeding the baby.
- Finish writing any thank you notes for baby gifts or showers hosted. It’s crucial to send out any thank you notes before you give birth, because it’s impossible to know how your delivery will go and how you will feel those first few weeks postpartum. At the very least, you’ll be tired.
- Book a newborn photo session. It’s totally optional, but if you plan to have newborn pictures taken, be sure to book a session with a photographer well ahead of time. The photographer will want to know your delivery time frame to make sure he/she can accommodate you.
Nesting Tips for Your Home
Depending on how your delivery goes, it may be weeks (or more) before you are able to deep clean your home again. Cleaning just before baby arrives is your best option for keeping your home as ship shape as possible. Here are a few nesting tips for your home:
- Clean your home’s windows.
- Wipe down baseboards.
- Clean all doors and knobs.
- Clean spots on carpet.
- Vacuum under furniture.
- Dust corners of ceiling for cobwebs.
- Reorganize linen closet.
- Clean out older kids’ closets.
- Deep clean fridge.
- Inventory and clean out deep freezer.
- Clean out all bathroom cabinets and make room for baby bath products.
- Downsize and organize playroom if you have older kids.
- Clean out your car.
- Clean and organize your garage to ensure you can park in it.
- Stay caught up on laundry.
Nesting Tips for Easy Meals
If you are the main cook of your home, it’s crucial that you do as much as you can to plan how your family will eat after your new baby arrives. Here are a few nesting tips to make meal time just a bit easier after your baby comes home:
- Make as many freezer meals as you can. This will depend on the amount of time you have to prep and your available freezer space. Some freezer meals can be cooked ahead of time and frozen, and others can be prepped to thaw and throw in a crockpot.
- Stock up on frequently used pantry items. If your family often eats oatmeal or pancakes for breakfast, buy extra before you deliver so are well stocked for a few weeks postpartum.
- Make a list of quick and easy meals. At some point, freezer meals will run out and friends and family will cease dropping off meals. At this point, it’s nice to have a list of quick and easy meals that you can make at the last minute when it’s been a crazy day. Tacos are one of our go-to last-minute meals that everyone loves.
- Prep list of typical weekly groceries. If you have a rough delivery or a C-section, prepping a list of groceries you buy weekly for your family will be super helpful. That way, if your spouse, a friend or another family member asks how they can help you, one option is to send them grocery shopping for you.
- Try out a grocery pick-up or delivery service before delivery. If you don’t have friends or family who are able to shop for you, another option is scheduling grocery pick-up or delivery. This way, you save a ton of time by choosing your items online and letting a store employee gather them for you. (See my post on The Ins and Outs of Kroger Clicklist.)
Nesting Tips If You Have Other Kids
If this is your first baby, then all your attention can go to preparing your life for this little one. But if you have older kids at home, you have a few more things to think about before the big day. Consider these tips to help make things run more smoothly before delivering a new baby:
- Finalize your plan for older kids during delivery. Maybe your relatives or a friend will be caring for your older kids while you’re in the hospital. Will they babysit at your home or will your kids go to their house? Make sure your caregiver will have a phone by their bedside the final two weeks before you are due in case you go into labor in the middle of the night.
- Pack kids’ overnight bags. If your kids are staying somewhere other than your home during your hospital stay, you want to make sure you have their bags packed around the same time you pack your hospital bag. If your caregiver will be staying at your home, it’s always a good idea to set out some outfits to make it easier to find clothing and pjs at a moment’s notice.
- Order big brother/sister shirts. This is completely optional, but many kids love to sport T-shirts announcing their big sibling status, especially if they plan to show up at the hospital to greet the baby. There are a ton of cute big sibling shirts on the market (especially on Etsy) but because many are custom made, you’ll want to order shirts for your kids before you hit 36 weeks to ensure they arrive on time.
- Write down your kids’ daily routines. If you have a baby during the school year, it’s a good idea to write out your kids’ daily routine, including school/bus drop off/pick up times as well as any extra curricular activities. If your kids aren’t school age, note a rough schedule of lunch time, nap time and bed time for your caregiver. Kids thrive from routine, so keeping their daily activities the same will help the few days without mom to run smoother. If you deliver during summer break, when routines are more relaxed, just be sure to note any fun activities available for your kids as well as where their life jackets are stored in case swimming is an option.
- Talk through expectations of having a new baby. Most kids are super excited to welcome a new baby into the family. They’ve watched your belly grow over months and months and continually ask if it’s almost baby time. What they don’t realize is how bringing home a new baby will affect the whole family. Spend time talking through the expectations of a new baby with your kids during your last trimester. Explain how you will have to spend a lot of time caring for the baby as well as recovering and resting more than normal. Let them know what baby care tasks you will have to do alone (nursing) vs. other tasks that they can help with (bath time, grabbing diapers or burp cloths).
- Create a busy box. Creating a busy box is an especially useful nesting tip if you have younger kids. It’s great to have a special activity to entertain them while you are feeding/changing/bathing your new baby. I have so many stories of things my toddlers did while I was nursing a newborn, including drawing with red crayon on the walls. Your best bet is to have a handful of special activities that you only pull out on occasion. Pinterest is full of busy box ideas for kids of all ages.
What other nesting tips would you suggest for moms-to-be in their third trimester?