If you find yourself sweeping the garage, cleaning out the pantry, and de-cluttering areas of your home that you would otherwise overlook, you may be engaging in the pre-labor ritual known as nesting. Preparing your nest for your babies' arrival can be an extremely productive way to pass the time. Here are a few not-to-miss nesting steps to take care of before your babies come home.
Baby Clothes and Linens
- Purchase baby-safe detergent and begin pre-washing your babies' clothes. (Tip: Keep in mind that after the arrival of your babies, you will be doing laundry for your babies as well as for yourself and your partner. You will want to select a detergent that will work for all of you, unless you plan to do your babies' laundry separately. We love All Free & Clear and Seventh Generation.)
- Organize baby clothes by style. Have a drawer for sleepers; a drawer for onesies; a drawer for socks, hair bows, etc.; and a closet or drawer for outfits.
- Then organize baby clothes by size. For clothes that give a size range, organize by lowest size. For example, if a baby sleeper is size 3-6 months, place it with 3-month clothes. Newborn and 0-3 month clothing should be grouped together as well. You may find that one of your twins wears the newborn size longer than the other; this way, you won't have to hunt for the item you need.
- Make space in your nursery for baby linens.
- Clear out a cupboard or a large drawer in the kitchen or pantry. You will need it to store things like bottles, formula, a breast pump, and breast pump parts. (Another option is to create a twin pantry in the nursery.) This cupboard is here to stay and will turn over several times as your babies grow and begin to use utensils, plates, and sippy cups.
- Make space on the counter for a baby-safe drying rack.
- Make space in the freezer and/or deep freezer. You will need a designated space for frozen breast milk if you pump and store, as well as space for frozen meals that you cook in advance and/or receive from family and friends.
- Sterilize all breast-feeding accessories, pacifiers, and bottles as directed. This can be very time-consuming, so we recommend purchasing these sterilizing bags to save time.
Car Seats and Other Baby Gear
- Purchase and install car seats. Make sure you're comfortable with the car seats and how to use them.
- Assemble cribs, bassinets, swings, changing tables, strollers, etc.
- Put clean linens on cribs and bassinets.
- Determine the number of changing stations you will need, and plan accordingly. It's helpful to have one main changing station in the nursery and a partial changing station in another common location, especially if your home is more than one level. Having a second changing station—perhaps in the master bedroom at first—is especially important if you are having a C-section, since your mobility will be limited for the first few weeks of recovery.
- Stock the changing station (Check out our Twin Source Demo!) so it is ready to go when your babies come home.
- Place portable changing pads in a few different places. Perhaps have one in the nursery and another in the master bedroom. (Tip: Pick out changing pad covers that match your nursery but are also fun. You will take quite a few pictures on the changing pad as you ooh and ahh over your newborns.)
Photo Albums/Baby Books
- Complete any photo albums, especially if you have existing children and their albums aren't finished. Also be sure to back up all of your digital photos!
- Purchase baby books for your twins, and begin to get them ready.
- Line up a photographer if you plan to have newborn pictures taken.
Paperwork and Administrative Tasks
- Fill out maternity leave paperwork (leave of absence, baby bonding leave, Family and Medical Leave Act leave, etc.). Submit to your employer and/or state.
- Complete hospital registration paperwork. Submit to the hospital.
- Complete insurance forms and/or determine what type of coverage is offered for your delivery. This is especially important when trying to determine which hospital to deliver at, as some hospitals may accept your insurance and others may not.
- Complete your emergency contact information, especially if you have other children. Provide copies to caregivers and relatives.
- Write out a birth plan if desired. Discuss and share with your partner, OB/GYN, birthing coach, etc.
- If you plan to use an online service for ordering baby necessities, "test-drive" the service a month or two in advance to make sure you are comfortable with it. It's best to have your account established so you can quickly reorder products when needed once you return home from the hospital. We love Diapers.com or Amazon Prime Subscribe and Save.
- Fill prescriptions. If you are having a C-section, make sure your OB/GYN writes your prescription for pain medication at your prenatal office visit so you can fill this in advance and have it ready when you return home from the hospital. Make sure you have a full stock of prenatal vitamins too.
- Purchase some nursing bras so you'll have them handy at the hospital and at home. You'll want to select some that are comfortable enough to wear to bed and others for wearing out of the home. We love the Elle Macpherson nursing bra!
- Have some large granny panties on hand. Buy them in a larger size, and purchase high-waisted panties if you are having a C-section. (You don't want your panties to hit at your incision.)
- Purchase a month's supply of regular-sized maxi pads. Whether you have a vaginal or C-section delivery, you should plan to wear pads for at least a month after you return home from the hospital.
- If you plan to breast-feed, make sure you have a good supply of breast pads, nipple cream, and especially sore nipple shields.
Support Systems and Tools
- Research baby groups and/or support groups, and sign up in advance for any groups that have wait lists.
- Line up help. Communicate with family and friends and allow them to help you, especially once you return home from the hospital.
- Research newborn schedules so you have an idea of what to expect when your babies arrive. For example, you can expect to feed your babies every 2 to 3 hours for the first few weeks. Mentally prepare for this by familiarizing yourself with the schedule and implementing it at the hospital before returning home.
- Review baby logs (we have a do-it-yourself log here), and determine which one you will use when your babies arrive. We love the Baby Connect app, especially for twins, since it allows you to add more than one child and syncs in real time with a server—meaning you, your partner, and your nanny can all track the schedule and view it at the same time.
- Get waxed, especially if you're having a C-section, to avoid ingrown hairs from shaving.
- Get your hair cut and styled as close to your due date as possible.
- Get a nice pedicure and manicure.
- Spring for a facial.
- Treat yourself to some great eye cream. You'll need it once the babies arrive!