5 Tips to Make the Most of the Nesting Phase


The final weeks before baby arrives can feel like a mad dash to get your home ready. After months of daydreaming about your little cutie, you want everything to be perfect. But with so much on your to do list, it can be hard to know where to start. When the clock is ticking and the nesting phase begins, which tasks give you the biggest bang for your buck in preparing for a newborn?

As a mom of two and a home organizer, I like to focus nesting energy on creating systems and habits that optimize daily routines. This gives you more time for recovery and snuggles and less time maintaining the house. Sure, paint the nursery if you have time. But prioritize the following five things and set yourself up for easier days as a new mom.

A pregnant mom looks at a baby onesie.1. Designate Three Bins for Baby: Laundry, Donations, and Keepsakes

It is astounding how much laundry newborns create in a day. Give baby his or her own laundry basket, so items can be washed separately — and more often — for the first few months. Begin a habit of doing a load of laundry every day, no matter how small, so when baby arrives, laundry will never pile up. This works for dishes, too!

Designate a container for donations. As baby outgrows clothes, toss unstained items in the box. Pass the clothes along to another mom or schedule a pickup from a local charity. (While we are on the topic of donations, I am officially giving you permission to donate or return unwanted baby shower gifts.)

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Pick out a special keepsake box for pregnancy and baby mementos. As your child grows, seemingly at light speed, you now have a place to save treasured items. I like to keep a notebook for each of my girls where I record little things I don’t want to forget as we all get older, like the way my youngest smiles with her tongue out or the songs my oldest plays on repeat.

2. Store Essentials Within Reach

Reserve surfaces and the highest drawers of dressers for the baby essentials you use most, like burp cloths, pacifiers, diapering supplies, and a favorite blanket. While you are recovering from birth, you will appreciate not having to bend over or kneel. Later, when baby packs on the pounds, you won’t have to do squats with your little peanut in your arms . . . unless you’re into that.

Plan to carve out five minutes a day to restock these areas so you are never caught without something you need. Every morning with our first daughter, I carried her around the house opening all the blinds, singing a good morning song, and restocking her essentials. This routine gave me a boost of confidence each day as a new mom.

3. Sort Clothing by Size and Learn How to File Fold

Label a few containers with common clothing sizes like 0-3 months, 3-6 months, 6-9 months, etc. Sort pajamas, onesies, and accessories into these containers and store them on the top shelf of the closet, so you and baby are always ready for the next size.

For outfits you want to hang, purchase a set of size rings, small hangers for tops, and clip hangers for bottoms. I like to file fold onesies and burp cloths in a drawer or basket rather than stacking them. This allows you to see and use everything you have.

A basket of baby clothes and washcloths file folded for organization.4. Ask for Help

Whether it’s a lawn service, grocery delivery, an organizer, or cleaners, arrange for a little extra help in the first couple months. When we welcomed our second daughter in February, I realized time is more valuable than money (in most cases). We asked our house cleaners to come every week and paid the delivery fee for groceries until we acclimated to life with two kids.

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If paid help isn’t in the budget, think about small ways your network can show up for you. Request a casserole dropped on the porch, a grocery pick-up, or a few minutes of holding the baby. People want to help but often don’t know how.

5. Take Time to Plan for Yourself

Nesting is an opportunity to plan for your own wellness as you go through yet another huge transition.

Stock up on yummy snacks to make those nighttime feedings a little more enjoyable. Save a few guilty pleasure shows to your watchlist. Get a stack of paper plates and forget about dishes for the first few weeks. Buy extra mesh underwear. Budget for a few new pieces to add to your post-baby wardrobe. Maybe even do a quick journal about what you want to give more and less time to in this new chapter of your life.

Most important, talk with your doctor and your partner about what to expect from the postpartum period and how to ensure a smooth recovery, both physically and mentally.


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