After nine long months, the time to finally meet your baby has come. While this is an exciting and life-changing moment in any parent’s life, it can also be stressful, uncertain and quite frankly, sleep-deprived.
That’s why preparation is key. Making sure your house is baby-proofed, having enough clothing and nappies, and stocking up the fridge are just some of the things expectant parents can do to make the transition a little smoother.
Here are all the essential tips for getting your home baby-ready.
First things first
Assess your home from a baby’s perspective and think about how baby-friendly it is. Can you see any cords? Are power points blocked? Are there any objects the baby could swallow?
It may feel like it’ll be ages until your baby is crawling - but time flies. Babies practically become mobile overnight, and by then you may not have the time or energy to deal with baby-proofing, so start doing a safety exam as soon as possible
In addition to home safety measures, think about getting legal affairs in order. You’ll soon have offspring to look after, so it’s a good time to update financial documents and your will accordingly. This will give you peace of mind when you need it most.
1. The Nursery
The nursery is the most important room you’ll have to prepare before bringing your baby into your home. Start with the changing station. Make sure you place all the nappies within arms reach, unwrapped and stored in baskets. Placing a bin next to the changing station is also a good idea, for a clean and quick disposal.
Next, organise your baby’s closet by development stage; the clothes they’ll use when they’re younger in front and the ones they’ll use as they get older at the back.
Last but not least, don’t overbuy. Just make sure you have the essentials, such as t-shirts, onesies, booties and receiving blankets. You’ll be sure to receive plenty of gifts to fill in any gaps.
Your bedroom should be your safe haven in moments of stress. You’ll likely have little sleep, so you’ll want to make the most out of it. Make sure your mattress doesn’t need replacing and that it’s truly comfortable, and the same with your pillows.
Stock your bedside table with a clock, lamp, wet towels, tissues and a phone charger. Think about removing any wobbly or extra tall furniture, as they could be really dangerous when your baby turns into a curious toddler.
3. The Kitchen
The kitchen is not only one of the most hazardous rooms in the house, it’s also one that will be used often, so baby-proofing is a must. Secure the refrigerator and stove, the dishwasher (which uses very hot water and may contain sharp cutlery), cabinets, drawers (especially those containing cutlery) and the rubbish bin.
After baby-proofing is complete, it’s time to stock up the fridge and pantry. It can certainly be hard to get around grocery shopping when you have a newborn at home.
Bathrooms will also need lots of baby-proofing. From the toilet water to power points in a room filled with faucets, there are several things that could be quite dangerous for a child.
Where possible, try to keep your baby away from the bathroom. Installing a childproof lock could be a good idea, but if this can’t be done, make sure the bathtub is always completely drained, the toilet seat is always down and razors, makeup and sharp objects are kept in a locked drawer.
They might be tiny, tiny humans - but they sure know how to make a lot of washing. Chances are you’ll become better acquainted with the laundry than ever before, so stock up in the laundry department - with detergent, fabric softener, soap, fabric disinfectant, etc.
Of course, avoiding nasty rashes and allergies is a must, so buy baby-friendly products, designed for sensitive skin.
6. Living Room
The living room is likely a room your baby will quickly claim. Soon enough you’ll be seeing toys and baby seats everywhere. Don’t panic - nobody expects a pristine home when you have a baby. But you can prepare to minimise damages. Use an old sheet to cover your lounge so that any potential spills won’t stain the lounge’s fabric. And if you have a low centre table, think about removing it completely or replacing it with a soft ottoman for the time being - those corners make quite the hazard.
Tiny humans can be a lot of work. It’s hard to believe sometimes that such small creatures can come with such a heavy workload. But if you prepare your home before your bundle arrives, you’ll be able to focus on what’s really important - like playtime and precious cuddles.