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April 13, 2024

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Hello, Third Trimester Nesting!

What do you do when you're feeling overwhelmed by all that needs doing before Baby arrives?

By Meagan Ruffing

Right around the end of your second trimester and somewhere in the beginning of your third, something magical happens in your pregnancy. This something magical is called "nesting." Simply put, it's a term that means you're preparing for Baby and therefore, wanting to clean everything in sight and getting organized before the arrival of your precious bundle of cuteness.

For some women, this period of nesting is a relaxing and comforting time for them as they organize and control what goes where. For others, it can be a bit stressful depending on other factors in life such as an outgrown home where there's not enough storage and space to put things in the place that you want them to be put.

So what do you do when you're nesting but feeling overwhelmed about where to begin? Many women ask this question, and unless you're pregnant yourself or have been pregnant – this very distinct stage in pregnancy may cause more stress than relaxation.

Try these seven tips and ideas to get you started on your way to creating a calm, organized and nesting-approved home that results in a place where the entire family wants to gather. No matter the size of your living quarters or the question of where to begin, this list will give you the nudge you need to get things going.

7 Tips

1. Make a list.

Lists are great because they're visual. Do it the old-fashioned way with a pen and paper. Write down everything on your mind from organizing your shoes to washing all of the baby’s new clothes. Having something tangible to read from will help you stay focused.

2. Be realistic.

You may think that repainting your master bathroom three months before you deliver is a great idea. But hang on. Nesting is a time of organizing and settling in. Save the painting for your husband or paint your soon-to-be baby a one-of-a-kind masterpiece made by yours truly if you really have the itch to paint.

3. Take your time.

Revisit your list of things to be done and do them one at a time. Trying to tackle everything at once will leave you feeling overwhelmed and defeated before you've even tackled that first item. Give yourself grace when it comes to tidying things up and take it slow.

4. Enjoy nesting.

Nesting is one of the many fun times during a woman’s pregnancy. It says, "The end is near," and this, that and the other needs to be done before the baby is born. Nesting allows for some sort of control over the pregnancy and signals to the brain that, "Yes, I am ready for this baby to come." Bottom line, it feels good to be prepared.

5. Include the kids.

If you have other children, this is a great time to let them help you with organizing the home. Kids love to help; especially when it comes to the arrival of their younger sibling. Something as simple as putting the baby’s bows in a bin to vacuuming the nursery can make all the difference to your children when they want to help.

6. Reflect.

After one thing is done, take a break and eat a snack. Take time to reflect on where you are in your pregnancy. Enjoy the moment. Relish in the fact that your other children get a smile out of helping. Embrace the idea of waiting until after naptime to tackle the dishes. Take time to be in the moment.

7. Save something for your husband.

Just because you think you can get everything done by yourself, your husband may want to be involved! This serves two purposes: 1.) You can direct your attention to another task and 2.) Your husband will feel needed and appreciated when he sees how happy you are now that the curtains are hung in the baby’s room. It’s a win-win.

Nesting happens. It's part of a woman’s pregnancy that many look forward to. Take this list of ideas and get started on your own list of "to dos." If the baby decides to come early, you will be comforted knowing that everything is in its place before the arrival. If you go past your due date, well, now you just have more time to nest.


  • Buy the two essential safety items: the car seat and the crib.
  • Stock up on newborn must-haves, including enough outfits, bibs, bedding, and changing and bath supplies.

What Can Wait:

  • Making lots of meals in advance to freeze for the newborn days. You'll be fine as long as you know good restaurants that do take-out.
  • Toys: Baby won’t be doing much more than sleeping and eating the first few weeks.
  • Installing baby gates, outlet covers and drawer locks. You’ve still got months before baby crawls.
  • Big home remodeling projects. This isn’t your last chance ever.

Meagan Ruffing is a freelance parenting writer. She is pregnant with her third child and is currently enjoying the nesting stage.

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