Nesting is a word predominately used to describe female behavior prior to giving birth; nesting can be defined by behaviors such as: getting the house in order, setting up the nursery, creating an ambiance in the household to prepare for the arrival of the new baby. But what does nesting mean to me, the dad? And how can it be defined by men?
The first and most important aspect of nesting for the dad-to-be is to support the mom in her decisions and help to make sure each and every task gets accomplished completely. Be prepared for the possibility you’ll be asked to paint the nursery, and then repaint it when the color didn’t come out quite right. This also includes building the crib, the playpen, the swing, the strollers and any other baby product that comes needing assembling.
But it also means that it’s time to get the house in order and finish all of those lingering projects you’ve been slowly working on for a year. It’ll be time to review or establish a life insurance policy, a living trust, and a long term college fund for the new baby. Check on status of smoke alarms, and light bulbs through out the house. You’ll want to be prepared for anything and everything.
During dad’s nesting phase, he should also start reading books about daddyhood and taking some classes on fatherhood, too. You’ll want to know what to expect from your pregnant wife and also from your baby once you bring him or her home. It is also important to try and get caught up on work, so you can take some time off. Get caught up on sleep if you can; you want to be well rested going into the hospital, because the first 6 weeks of having a newborn is like living in a 24/7 casino. Trying to get caught up on any chores around the house, such as oiling squeaky doors and tightening screws on cabinet doors will feel utterly impossible.
Of my many concerns that came to me during nesting, the most important was safety. I wanted to be sure the cabinets were securely fastened to the walls. Picture frames could not just drop off the walls and hurt my new baby. I wanted the crib to be “super duper” sturdy, and all nuts and bolts tightened beyond the normal strength of humans. I was concerned about the bathtub and making sure the sliding door was removed, the faucet had a cover, and all the cabinets had safety latches. Of course I had to go “all over” the house with a can of WD 40 to eliminate all squeaks, and possible creaks in the doors, cabinets and windows. Finally, my concern was the garage, where was all the “stuff” going to go? Strollers, porta cribs, toys, etc. So sweeping and re-organizing the garage was a must.
Preparing for a baby is fun. Enjoy each moment you spend struggling to build that changing table with seemingly too many pieces and confusing instructions! Those nine months will fly by and before you know it you’ll be bringing your new baby home.
The final piece of nesting for dad is to be prepared for the actual birth day, whether its at a hospital, birthing center, or your own home. Know the route you’ll drive; know of a backup route, and have your Daddy Pack packed and ready to go at a moment’s notice – and of course do not forget your DaddyScrubs by Daddy & Company, you’ll want to be comfortable and mobile during the delivery!
**All of our contributors to PAM are providing tips based on their personal experience. Please always use your common sense and talk with your mate/partner before embarking on any home improvement project. We are not experts, just parents sharing our experiences. Robert Nickell is a PAM Advisory Team Member and owns a company that is a paid sponsor of the PAM 2014 Campaign, Daddy & Company.