That undeniable urge to clean, organize and make everything perfect for baby’s arrival isn’t all in your head. A September 2013 study in the journal Evolution & Human Behavior indicates that a mother’s third-trimester nesting instinct may have evolved from a desire to protect and nurture a newborn. “Providing a safe environment helps to promote bonding and attachment between both mother and child,” says Marla Anderson, lead author of the study and a psychology graduate student at McMaster University in Hamilton, Ontario.
When the need to nest kicks in, embrace it by starting with this list of 6 things to do before baby arrives.
Prepare the nursery
Set up the crib or bassinet, wash the sheets, and put any finishing touches on the room décor.
Stock the diaper changing table
It’s a good idea to have several different sizes and brands of diapers on hand since you won’t be sure of your baby’s size until she arrives. Plus, you may find that certain brands fit better or are more absorbent. Don’t forget other necessities like baby wipes, cotton balls, and washcloths.
Wash baby’s clothes
Use a gentle detergent that is free of perfumes and dyes to wash your newborn’s clothes before she wears them. This helps to remove any irritating chemicals used during manufacturing. You can later switch to regular detergent and include your baby’s clothes in the family wash as long as she doesn’t have sensitive skin.
Get ready for guests
You know the grandparents are coming to visit. Now is the time to wash the sheets for the guest bed and make some room in the closet and dresser for grandma’s things.
Install the car seat
Have a certified child car seat technician inspect the car seat to ensure proper installation. Visit the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration for a list of (usually free) car seat safety inspection stations.
Fill in the baby book blanks
Get a head-start on the baby book by completing the family tree section or writing a letter to your baby about your pregnancy experience or your dreams for her.
By Jeannette Moninger
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