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Nesting Instinct During Late Pregnancy: How To Make It Better?

Updated: May 29, 2023

nesting instinct during pregnancy

If you wake up one day with a sudden urge to clean & organize your house or prep (repack) your baby’s hospital bag for the tenth time probably! What do you think is happening to you at this early hour of the day? That’s nothing but nesting instincts and yep, it’s real this time.

Nesting isn’t just a fancy word but a natural urge to prepare for your baby’s arrival. And that’s a happy feeling, right? You must not stop yourself from satisfying those urges when they tend to happen. But it’s important that you keep yourself safe from the things you do & try. You mustn’t succumb to those instincts.

Owing to these urges, you may also want to reorganize & plan stuff for your little one. And that's completely normal & productive at the same time when you're this close to welcoming your child. This also brings us to our next concern - Is nesting really a sign of labor?

Read on to find out. Furthermore, if at this stage, you want to plan your baby’s arrival productively, we have a better idea. You could opt for blissful baby massages after welcoming your newborn into the world. In addition, plan for yourself too. Convert your high energy levels into joyfulness & register for pregnancy massages right away.

Table Of Contents

Nesting During Pregnancy: What Does It Mean?

Nursing during pregnancy simply means an urge to prepare your surroundings for the arrival of your child. This includes a lot of activities like reorganizing, cleaning, planning & others. And, if you’re experiencing such unusual bursts of energy in the middle of the day, it’s okay. Prenatal massages in the third trimester will help you take control. It can take the form of putting things in the right place for your baby & that’s nothing but nesting. It can also be associated with a feeling to create a safe environment for your little one.

During the nesting period of pregnancy, a woman has an intensely tempting desire to check off the lists from the ‘To Do List’. And that’s how -

  • You stock up the things in advance

  • Finalize your child’s birth plan

  • & Reorganize your child’s drawers

Besides, past research has suggested that nesting traits in a woman may create an emotion of protectiveness. This is usually followed by cleaning & organizing behaviors. That also leads to expectant mothers laying the groundwork for the big day to arrive in their lives.

The Nesting Instinct: When Does It Occur & Stop?

Nesting may at times occur to you ahead of time. That can be as early as 5 months and usually peaks around the third trimester of pregnancy. During this time, pregnant women generally experience nesting instincts. This increased urge within your system can be as productive as ensuring that your home is perfectly safe for your child!

For the same reason, nesting during pregnancy is more likely to happen than after pregnancy. The impulse to make sure that everything goes right for your child after the delivery is only up to that point. Besides, the nesting trait cycle usually stops after you give birth to your child for logical reasons. It naturally assures you that everything around your little one is good and safe.

However, nesting instincts may strike you at some point & may not at all. Both of these scenarios are perfectly normal & require you to just have faith in yourself. Having the right amount of confidence & control in yourself will help you productively seek the nesting phase.

Reasons For Nesting Instinct During Pregnancy

nesting instincts during pregnancy

The urge to protect your baby and create a protective environment for your little one is usually accompanied by other nesting instincts as well. Whatever it is, at the core, this is fundamentally only about your motherly instinct that takes over. Not all women go through the nesting instincts but those who go through it weeks before their due date must avoid any physical or emotional stress.

For many, the traits of nesting can be joyful & productive too. Since you become an ace in brushing away the garbage & ensuring that everything is tidied up, you also got to save some of that surplus energy for the big day. You don’t want to hurt or exhaust yourself - when you’re this close to giving birth to your child. Right?

The real source of nesting instincts is unknown but is often associated with several other factors. So, here are the most common suggested reasons for nesting instinct during pregnancy -

  1. The motherly instinct to create a safe environment for the child.

  2. The desire to monitor that everything is planned, fixed & in its place for your child.

  3. Bursts of high-energy levels during the second & third trimester.

  4. Continuous hormonal changes during pregnancy

  5. The natural impulse to protect your child even from the not-so-big dangers.

What Are The Most Common Signs Of Nesting?

nesting instincts during pregnancy

There are several characteristics of nesting that you may experience during pregnancy. These are most common in nature & if taken forward in the right way, you can channel your frustration & boredom into completing all these tasks. On top of that, the excitement & fear of welcoming your child into the world gets you going & makes you do things in the most righteous manner possible. This may often keep you up at the night too.

So, without further ado, let’s drive into the most common signs of nesting -

1. Planning Your Child's Arrival

You tend to invest a lot of time in planning your child’s arrival & the way you want things to be. This includes - childbirth plans, finding a pediatrician, making lists, checking nursery designs online, and others.

2. Organizing Your Baby's Closet

The intense desire to organize your baby’s clothes again & again, getting the house babyproofed, furniture assembled, and others. In one go, you want it all to be done. Unless and until you do not get hurt or overtired in the process, you're fine.

3. Focusing On Cleanliness

Ugh! What’s your instant reaction when you see that dirty spot in your bathroom? Even if it’s 2 a.m. in the morning, you would want to clean it & you will. Besides, a pregnant woman usually has a thing for cleanliness and you may focus even more during the nesting phase - be it your laundry or your house in that matter.

4. Restocking On Essentials

Restocking your fridge with all essentials is another common sign of nesting. On top of that, stocking up the baby essentials at this point may become another crucial concern. You’ll more likely be making lists & shopping for those products now.

5. Creating A Safe Environment

Protecting your upcoming child from all the potential dangers will be on your priority list. You won’t compromise on that. Nesting doesn’t only involve impulsive that have an irrational ending - instead, there’s more to it. From baby-proofing to getting the furniture rearranged & fixed for the 15th time, you want it all nice & safe.

Overdoing Nesting Chores: What Can Happen?

Healthy nesting instincts will keep you out of trouble. That’s because it is more about protecting your child from getting into trouble not involving yourself in it. Here are the warning signs that you must take seriously and stop overdoing it. You must not worry be mindful about what you choose to do.

  • Anxiety

  • Panic Attacks

  • Sleep deprivation

  • Lack of appetite

  • Overobsession with the nesting chores

  • Postpartum depression at later stages

Nesting Tips: What Can You Safely Do To Make It Better?

In this blog, we’ve mentioned at many places how you must convert your nesting traits into productive results. So, that’s how you can do it without tiring or exhausting yourself.

  1. Maintain a diary - You must note everything that has to be done for your baby’s arrival in it Once you complete the task, the feeling of checking off an item from the list will make you relaxed

  2. Seek external help - Do not lift heavy items for your own safety. Use external help and be nice & strong. It’s okay to accept help.

  3. Pre-planing - Planning things in advance is always good. Be it your child’s birth plan or the nursery designs, it’s good that you’re doing it. However, what’s important is to have control over your feelings. If you feel overwhelmed at any time, seek help. Talk to your loved ones & your OB-GYN, if you feel so.

  4. Tak breaks - Set alarms at some intervals of the day. This will help you remember to take a break at some point. However, after a nap, you can get back to your nesting chores.

  5. Be mindful - You mustn’t stress much throughout the day. Pushing yourself too much will only result in doubt & anxiety. To overcome this, create a nesting plan for yourself. You can include the following items in the plan to make it work -

    1. Do your laundry

    2. Stock up on essentials

    3. Pack up your hospital bag

    4. Finalize the child’s birth plan

    5. Get new outfits for your baby

    6. Babyproof your home

    7. Focus on your daily needs

    8. Spend time with your family & friends

    9. Read about - breastfeeding schedule, baby food chart, baby teething to look after your child in the future.

nesting instincts during pregnancy


1. What are the signs of nesting?

Nesting signs may not be the same for all expectant mothers. It may surely vary but it’s important to look out for any dangers that can hurt you while chasing those instincts. In case, you experience any prompt urge to do the following, consider yourself already welcomed in the nesting phase.

  1. Deep cleaning of the surroundings - especially the bathroom

  2. Organizing everything before the arrival of the baby

  3. Stocking up on the must-have essentials immediately

  4. Setting up the nursery in advance

  5. Packing up - the hospital bag, diaper bag, & the mom’s bag

  6. Spending a lot of time on planning & finalizing the birth plan

2. Is nesting really a sign of labor?

The nesting stage surges around the third trimester. When you’re very close to the labor & delivery, you’re bound to worry about prepping for your child’s arrival. The phenomenon of nesting is not a medically acclaimed diagnosis but a psychological occurrence of a series of emotions. It’s an obsessive situation that usually happens around childbirth.

Besides, you cannot associate it with labor or delivery. That’s only because nesting is not a medically proven sign of labor. Although, you can consider it as a signal that you’ll soon be welcoming your child.

3. Can nesting happen in early pregnancy?

Nesting can occur as early as 23-24 weeks of pregnancy but peaks around the third trimester. For many women, it also starts at the end of the third trimester. The desire to plan & organize your child’s arrival may overpower you but you can always make it productive too. You can also associate it as nature’s way to gear you up with the motherly instincts in advance.


Nesting is an instinct that will fade away with time. It generally occurs during the third trimester but can vary from one person to another. You must be patient with yourself and be mindful about what you intend to do. It can both be productive & challenging at the same time. By trusting your motherly instincts, you can always find a way to deal with it. On top of that, the above-mentioned nesting tips will help you empower yourself.



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