Nesting 101: Is My Partner Nesting?
Getting ready for your baby’s debut is quite the process and brings out a lot in everyone. From that one friend who overdoes it with the gifts (we know she’s dying to be the godmother), the in-laws that pawn all their age-old pregnancy tips and stories on you, to your very own partner: I mean, did they really need to spend 6 hours reading about car seat safety?
The fact of the matter is, parents react in different ways with the idea of being in charge of another human. Whether it’s because they can hardly choose one outfit, let alone two every morning- or they’re thinking about how to feed another- it’s natural to fiercely prepare for your baby’s arrival. Enter: nesting mode.
Nesting is a natural, parental instinct that kicks in during pregnancy. It’s the voice in the back of your head that says your baby is going to hate that new wallpaper you just installed, so naturally, you rip it out and start over again. It’s the voice that causes fear when choosing the safest crib with the best reviews. And it’s all completely natural. You’re growing the most beautiful thing inside of you and of course, you want to protect it with your whole being. But what about your partner? Is it expected for them to enter nesting mode?
Yes. Yes yes yes. Bonding with the baby can start long before its arrival, even for your partner. It’s something that you should cherish and encourage because even though it can seem a little too much, you’ll be thankful for the extra help when you get into your third trimester, and right after birth. You can never be too prepared.
If you’re a partner and nesting isn’t coming naturally to you, here are some things you can do:
Accompany mama to her checkups and ultrasounds. During COVID this is a little tougher, but if you can’t make it in, at least drive her there and provide emotional support. You’ll love being part of the process.
Celebrate the milestones. You’ve probably done anniversaries, so why not treat pregnancy milestones the same way? Mama is probably having a tough time (it’s a lot of stress on her body!) so celebrate her, her body, and your baby by keeping track of different milestones. A great app for this is WebMD Pregnancy.
Ask mama how you can help around the house to prepare. After creating a registry, or your dream nursery, see what you can do to help. Whether that’s breaking down boxes of gifts that come in, helping keep everything tidy, or building the crib when it gets there; helping set up the space will be a huge help, and you can get involved in the design of it too!
We know that sometimes, change isn’t always easy… and having those immediate, parental instincts don’t always occur naturally. But hey, don’t sweat it! To better develop them, we recommend diving deeper to understand the true changes that happen to the body during pregnancy, and how those changes might lead to new transitions within your relationship. Read more here, where we describe many of the changes you go through during the process - everything from emotions to relationships.
Research safety. Okay, we joked about it above, but you can take the weight off mom’s shoulders by researching things for her. When pregnant, it’s easy to research things and become fearful about everything; sometimes it’s nice to have someone else on top of it and reassuring you that everything’s under control. Install baby locks, the car seat, the crib, and other precautions around the house so you’re not scrambling on arrival week.