How to Nest Like a Pro: Preparing for Your Little One’s Arrival

Jul 25, 2023

Carly Buxton, PhD, CLC

As you eagerly await the arrival of your little bundle of joy, there's no better time to prepare your household for their arrival. Nesting is a natural instinct that kicks in for many parents-to-be, and it's a wonderful opportunity to create a safe, comfortable, and welcoming space for your baby. But there’s more to “nesting” than setting up a nursery. Here, I’ll share with you my preferred checklist—as postpartum doula, lactation counselor, and mom of 2—for ensuring that you’re prepared to embrace your new addition with open arms.

1. Set Up Baby's Sleeping Area:
Create a safe sleeping space for your baby, using the best practices about safe sleep setup for an infant as specified by the American Pediatrics Association (APA). Ideally, this will be a bassinet or side-car next to your own bed. Use a firm, flat sleep surface with a tight-fitting mattress, and keep the sleep area free from soft bedding, pillows, and stuffed toys.

2. Purchase and Install a Car Seat:
Most hospitals won’t let you leave until you’ve safely and securely installed a car seat! My brother saved this job for last and was scrambling when his baby arrived early. 

3. Organize Clothes by Size:
Stock up your baby’s dresser or closet with clothing that will fit a newborn. Set aside the larger sizes so that they don’t clutter your space before they’re needed. Look to Facebook Marketplace, community shares, and neighbors with older kids who could provide hand-me-downs. 

4. Baby Proof Your Home:
A postpartum doula, pediatrician, newborn care specialist, or other expert is the perfect person to help you cover all the bases to ensure that your home is safe for baby’s arrival. From best practices in the kitchen (like keeping hot foods out of reach) to crib bar spacing to water safety, there’s a lot to consider. Alleviate your anxiety by discussing infant safety with an expert who knows how to help prepare! Check out our experts on Nessle and schedule a 1-on-1 to grow your confidence. 

5. Prepare for Work Leave:
If you'll be taking parental leave from work, make necessary arrangements with your employer and colleagues in advance. Each parent has a different situation, with different needs. Connect with other parents at your workforce to ask about what to expect and how to set yourself up for success. Prepare by talking to HR and your manager well before Baby arrives, covering topics like: 

    - When time off begins
    - How to add Baby to insurance
    - Expectations during leave
 - Expectations when returning, getting back in the swing
- Prepare your out-of-office auto-response

6. Fill Out Your Postpartum Wellness Plan:
Download Nessle’s one-page postpartum wellness plan and set a hot date with your partner or other support person to fill it out. The idea here is to spark conversation—and visualization—around your expectations of the early postpartum days. Take time to consider your physical and emotional needs, and think about the ways that your friends, family, neighbors, and professionals like the Experts of Nessle might help support you along the way.

7. Place "Help You Can Do" List on Fridge:
Create a list of helpful tasks that friends and family can assist with when they visit. This way, everyone can support you without overwhelming you during those early days. Ask visitors for help, by placing a list like this one of things they can do on the fridge or on your pantry door!

With this comprehensive nesting checklist, you can prepare your home and heart for the joyous arrival of your little one. Embrace this special time and savor every moment as you create a warm, loving, and welcoming environment for your family.

Happy nesting!

Carly Buxton
Postpartum Doula, CLC
CEO of Nessle

Nessle is the first open marketplace connecting parents to experts for support and resources throughout the journey of parenthood. Learn more at and follow us on Instagram @nessletogether.