In the nesting stage and not sure where to start? You might feel overwhelmed by all the things that need to be done, but the truth is, your newborn only needs you and a safe place to sleep. Rather than tackling linen closets and garage shelves, focus on these 7 easy tasks if or when you wake up with nesting energy.
1. Plan and prepare a few extra meals.
When you come home from the hospital – especially if you have children at home already – you’ll be grateful you thought of these days in advance and have a few freezer meals to rely on. We like this list of 150 freezer meals you can make ahead of time if you need some recipes!
2. Stock up on the staples.
Having what you need at home after baby will alleviate pressure to get out of the house before you’re ready. Things to think about include baby’s essentials like diapers, wipes, formula if you plan to formula feed, baby wash, and baby lotion; and your essentials like menstrual pads and nursing pads (whether you plan to breastfeed or not). Stocking your pantry can be helpful, too.
3. Catch up on laundry.
Now is a good time to wash the monthly or quarterly things so you have some time off after baby arrives. Think about your routine laundry as well as sheets, duvet covers, and throw rugs.
4. Pack your bag.
Use your nesting energy to gather the things you’ll need for your delivery and hospital stay. Things you might pack include a nightgown, lip balm, a clean change of clothes for yourself, your phone and charger, and 1-2 outfits for baby.
5. Get the car seat installed.
Trying to get the seat installed correctly on your way out the door can cause delays when you’re ready to go home. Instead, take advantage of these pre-baby days by getting free help from a certified car seat installation technician to install the base in each vehicle you plan to transport baby in. When it’s time to go home after baby, you’ll be ready (and confident it’s done right).
If you have a closet full of baby shower gifts and items that you purchased in advance, now is a great time to assemble the things you think you’ll use in the first 3-6 months. Wash all clothes with gentle detergent before putting them away and assemble any other equipment you have: bouncer, bassinet, bottle rack, stroller, etc. (Not all moms have these items, and that’s okay. None of them are necessary to give your baby his or her best start.)
7. Sort clothes by size.
We hear from new moms all the time how difficult it can be to coordinate baby clothes to avoid finding a special outfit a day too late – just as baby has outgrown it. The most effective methods we’ve seen for ensuring baby gets a chance to wear the right clothes at the right time is sorting and storing by size. Clear shoe boxes or Rubbermaid totes work well. Then, when baby sizes up to 3-6 months for example, you can move the clothes in that tote to the closet and move the 0-3 to the tote and relabel. It makes it easy to pass clothes down to the next baby or to sell or give away, too.
And the most important thing to know? You don’t have to nest to love that baby when it arrives, and the tasks you do complete if you do nest won’t make or break baby’s first months at home. Trust your instincts; we do!