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Do Husbands Nest? How Do They Prep for Baby?

July 6, 2015

“Nesting” is a fact of life for most pregnant women, as it’s a natural instinct that comes with those pregnancy hormones and feelings when baby’s arrival nears. But, did you know that nesting isn’t just for moms-to-be? Yes, it’s true: husbands and dads-to-be “nest” as well.

The nesting instinct hits dads too. You might notice your husband is nesting when he dives into a home repair or DIY project to get the house ready for baby’s debut, or as he obsesses over reading up on car seat safety and then devotes an hour to making sure that car seat is installed exactly as it’s supposed to be. Many moms-to-be notice their husbands nest by supporting them, jumping in by their side in major cleaning or house-prep projects.

Get Involved in the Process, Milestones

A father’s bond with his baby can begin long before the baby’s arrival. Get involved in the process and participate in all of the pregnancy milestones right alongside mom. Some things you can do include:

  • Accompanying mom to her prenatal checkups and ultrasounds. Obviously, with work and other commitments you may not be able to make it to every single appointment but do your best to be there. Mom will appreciate your support, and you’ll love being a part of it all—hearing the heartbeats, seeing baby’s growth and getting to know your wife’s OB/GYN. Also, since this is the doctor that will likely be delivering your little one, it will be nice to know him or her in advance of the big day.
  • Celebrate the milestones. This can be done in so many ways, from helping your wife document her pregnancy by stepping in as photographer to downloading a pregnancy app on your phone so you’re getting updates on baby’s (and mom’s) daily or weekly development. Two popular apps include The Bump’s Week-by-Week Pregnancy and Newborn Tracker and WebMD Pregnancy.
  • Participate in creating the registry. Join Mom at Target or Babies R Us as she creates the baby registry. Weigh in on items you’d like to include, and more than anything, keep Mom company as the two of you wander the aisles and get overwhelmed together at the countless products and variations of bibs, bottles, and onesies.

Building the Nest

As a father (or dad-to-be) your protective instincts may kick in urging you to make your house and surroundings as safe as possible to protect your sweet little baby. So don’t be surprised if your honey-do list that you’ve been neglecting for months suddenly becomes your top priority. In fact, it will likely grow as you become more aware of potential safety hazards that need to be repaired or upgrades that need to be made as part of Mom’s vision for the nursery.

Remember—pregnant women should avoid painting the nursery and pass the brush to Dad instead. The paint fumes can have harmful effects on moms and the baby, so this is a great opportunity for Dad to help.

Supporting Mom

Hormones. Lots of hormones. Yes, we’re talking about pregnancy hormones, and they can be a wild ride, for both the expectant mother and her partner. Offer your wife support in all ways you can. Be a listening ear. Be attentive to her physical needs—is she pushing herself too hard to tackle her nesting to-do list? Encourage her to rest or take a break. Connecting with and supporting Mom in her time of need will strengthen the bond between mom-to-be and dad-to-be, which will make the connection between parents and baby even stronger upon his or her birth. Moms aren’t the only ones with emotions and needs. Dads will experience it all too, so lean on one another as you experience it all and prepare to become parents.

Read Up

The saying “Knowledge is power” is right on, especially for parents. Don’t wait until baby arrives to read up on tiny humans. Use your nesting period to learn all you can about your baby, his or her needs, sleeping patterns, safety information and more. Wondering what to read or where to start? Try reading the same books Mom is reading, or ask other dads what books they read or recommend. Here are some popular and high-rated books for dads-to-be:

  • The Expectant Father: Facts, Tips and Advice for Dads to Be (available on Amazon here)
  • Dads Expecting Too (available on Amazon here)
  • Your Pregnancy for the Father-to-Be (available at Barnes and Noble here)

We’ve got you covered with even more tips and information on bonding with baby—check out our article on How to Bond With Baby: For Both Moms and Dads.

You’re going to be an amazing father. Enjoy that nesting period as you prepare for the arrival of your little one.

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