Male Nesting: How do expecting fathers prepare for a new baby?

Male Nesting: How do expecting fathers prepare for a new baby?

It's not just moms who go all out when preparing for a baby!

We often hear about how pregnant women “nest” or frantically prepare for the arrival of a baby, but apparently, expectant fathers also demonstrate their own nesting behaviors. While women are more likely to buy clothes or obsessively cleaning, expecting men usually go into building and DIY projects.

“Women see the baby as a soft little creature to dress in soft little clothes,” explains Dr. Louann Brizendine to Babble. “Men’s focus is often on construction and equipment of all kinds—whether it’s a new family car, stroller or high chair.”

male nesting

Photo: Shutterstock

Protective instincts kick in

When dads are expecting a baby, it’s normal for their instinct to protect and provide for the family to come into play. You might notice them working a little harder at the office, or puttering around the house fixing potential safety hazards and remodeling.

This works well for pregnant mothers, who shouldn’t be around paint fumes. If you want to repaint the room you’re converting into a nursery, that’s definitely a job for the dad.

According to ParentMap, many dads suddenly take into account their shifting transportation needs. “We needed a safe car that could fit a car seat and still have room for a passenger,” one dad said. “It was like, panic time—we couldn’t cram our first son into our pre-baby car.”

Nesting and anxiety are closely interlinked. Read more on the next page.

Nesting and anxiety

There are few things more anxiety provoking than welcoming a new child into the world, which explains why both men and women have strong nesting urges. “Nesting’s both an expression of anxiety and an attempt at mastery of a new role,” explains family therapist Mary Dodge to ParentMap.

male nesting

Photo: Dreamstime

This anxiety doesn’t just manifest in remodeling and buying a new car for men. They could also purchase items they need for work (provider instincts at work) or finally invest in their man cave (thinking ahead—they know they won’t be spending as much time at the pub once the baby pops out).

So if you’re wondering why your partner’s suddenly in a frenzy over that creaky floorboard you’ve been pestering him to fix, you now know what’s up.

READ: How celebrity parents prepare their nests for their newborns

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