When it comes to the weeks leading up to labour, mums-to-be will be all too familiar with the idea of nesting - getting their homes ready for their little arrivals. But new research suggests we might be taking things a little further than cleaning and baby-proofing, with some parents admitting to redecorating, renovating and even moving house in preparation for their bundle of joy.
Welcome to nesting 2.0.
The survey, by Milton, revealed 97% of expecting women experience the nesting urge, but almost a third are moving into the territory of so-called “extreme nesting”.
Polling its Facebook audience of almost 30,000 mums, Milton also discovered that the need to nest is strongest in the third trimester of pregnancy. In fact, 70% of those asked revealed that they gave birth within six weeks of experiencing the feeling, confirming the long-running theory that nesting is a tell-tale sign that the baby is on the way.
Cleaning appeared to be top of most mum’s to do lists, with 83% saying they cleaned frequently, from several times a week to several times a day. A further 8% admitted to cleaning several times an hour in sprees that went above and beyond the call of domestic duty, with jobs including disinfecting windowsills, radiators and even ceilings.
And it isn’t just the ladies – 52% of men also showed nesting tendencies.
The survey also offered an insight into the cost of creating the perfect nest, revealing that the majority of first-time mums spend anywhere between £500 and £3,000 preparing for their newborn.
Costs tended to dwindle as mums added to their brood, with 55% saying they spend less than £500 on preparations for their second child.
“Everyone tells you about that natural nesting instinct; at a time when the expectant mother should be resting with her feet up, she often finds herself indulging in this pre-labour ritual that involves anything from defrosting the freezer to re-organising the kitchen cupboards,” says Katie Hilton, Midwife, Health Vistor and expert advisor to the mother and baby industry.
“Research suggests nesting is an inbuilt need to protect and prepare for the arrival of a new baby and helps to get the home ready for your baby before life becomes too hectic.
“Whilst this is completely normal behaviour, it’s important to be sensible; no overstretching, reaching or heavy lifting and avoid anything too risky.”
Are you a parent? Did you find yourself going through the nesting phase? Tell your story below.