The US National Center for Health Statistics estimates that 3.6 million babies were born in America in 2020. There is undoubtedly a lot to prepare for as a parent looking forward to welcoming a baby. For instance, you need to get your finances in order and alter your eating habits to remain in optimum health. However, it is also vital to transform your home into a baby-friendly domicile to welcome your newest family member. Thankfully, there is no shortage of things you can do to make your home ready to accommodate your child. Below are nine tips to help you prepare your home for your baby’s arrival.
- Set up a nursery
Your newborn will need a place to sleep, keep their items and clothes, and change diapers. Therefore, consider setting up a nursery as early as possible to prepare your home for the baby’s arrival. You will need to decide what your baby will sleep in, for starters. Cribs, bassinets, and baby cradles are the three major options to consider for your baby’s sleep needs, so keep this in mind. It is crucial to make choosing the safest baby cradle a top priority if you intend to select this alternative to keep your baby secure. For instance, always buy a new cradle instead of accepting hand-me-downs so your baby can enjoy the latest safety standards. Furthermore, you will need to purchase clothing bins, a rocking chair or glider, toy bins, and a diaper changing table for your nursery. In addition, you can decorate your baby’s nursery with traditional baby themes like animals and alphabets or opt for something more appealing to you.
- Tweak your lighting system
Your home’s lighting systems were selected pre-parenthood to guarantee maximum visibility. However, your illuminations needs will change significantly with a newborn’s arrival because lights play a critical role in getting children to sleep or stay asleep. Therefore, consider investing in soft ambient lights, dimmer switches, and night lights for your bedroom and child’s nursery. This way, you can ensure that overly bright lighting does not interfere with your baby’s sleep or wake everyone up during midnight feeding sessions.
- Spruce up the guest room
Your guest room will undoubtedly see more activity once the baby arrives, so consider sprucing it up in advance. Numerous relatives and well-wishers will come to visit you and the baby and may need a place to stay. Also, you or your partner may come to this room occasionally to catch some shut-eye when off duty. Consequently, stock up on toilet paper, toothbrushes, toothpaste, and towels to make the guest room ready to receive visitors. Additionally, change the sheets and bring some earplugs, eye masks, and a white noise machine into this room to optimize it for relaxation.
- Invest in child-proofing
Experts estimate that 2-2.5 million are injured or killed by hazards in homes across America every year. Consequently, safety is one of the biggest priorities to be concerned about when preparing your home for a baby. For starters, move and put away any sharp furniture, decor, vases, and things that your child could bump into and hurt themselves. Also, put safety locks on all cabinets below your kitchen and bathroom sinks since the last thing you want to see is your curious toddler opening medicine, cleaning supplies, and other items that can harm them. Furthermore, anchor all your furniture, particularly those in the nursery. Crawling babies try climbing on furniture, so anchor these pieces to the wall to prevent them from tipping over. You can also install childproof window guards to prevent your child from falling after opening the windows to see chirping birds or snow. Baby gates are also worth investing in if you have stairs in your home to prevent trips and falls. These gates also come in handy to close in rooms and prevent your child from wandering off when they start crawling. An estimated 90% of unintentional injuries to kids in the home can be prevented by correct childproofing, so this is definitely not an area to skimp on.
- Clear clutter
There is no denying that babies come with plenty of stuff despite being pretty tiny. As such, even the smallest home can soon become cluttered if it has to contain toys, bottles, a Moses basket, pram, diapers, changing mats, and other baby items. Therefore, prioritize decluttering in the early stages of your pregnancy to prepare your home for the new child. You may discover that you won’t require many books, CDs, hobby equipment, etc., you use after the baby comes along. Consequently, you can sell or donate these items to free up much-needed space for your child. Amazon, eBay, and Facebook are some of the best places to sell some of these items for cash that you can spend on baby items or decorations. Alternatively, you can rent out a storage unit to keep items you don’t want to get rid of just yet.
- Deep clean
The last thing you want is to come back home from the hospital to a dirty house in dire need of thorough cleaning. As such, it would help to deep clean your home to prepare it for your baby’s arrival. The National Sanitation Foundation recommends focusing on particularly dirty areas like countertops, faucet handles, kitchen sinks, and refrigerator handles since these are some of the germiest areas in your house. You can ask friends and family to come over and help with the cleaning or hire professional cleaners to handle this task if you can afford it.
- Invest in smart storage
Your home will be awash with toys and baby supplies that can take up space. However, you can keep your house clutter-free by investing in smart storage solutions that can keep everything in place. You can use baskets, bins, and other containers to store baby clothes and toys. Additionally, consider buying shelving units and fixing them at varying heights on your wall’s vertical space. These shelves can help you keep toys and supplies organized and out of your baby’s reach but easily accessible to you.
- Batch cook
You can also batch cook and freeze numerous meals to prepare your home for your newborn’s arrival, so keep this in mind. After bringing your child home from the hospital, free time and the will to cook will be hard to come by. Therefore, having frozen meals you can rely on to get you through the first few months after the baby’s arrival is a real lifesaver. Besides saving time and energy, you will also avoid the cost of takeaways which can become a huge price to pay for convenience. Some foods to batch cook and freeze include curry, soups, chili, and pasta sauces. Similarly, you can ask your family members and friends to bring you meals and other food supplies instead of gifts to make your adjustment to life just after the baby’s arrival less challenging.
- Set up feeding and pumping areas
Babies eat multiple times during the day, especially in the early stages. As such, it is prudent to set up multiple feeding and pumping areas around the home to prepare for their arrival. You can set up a feeding area in the nursery to feed them when they get up in the middle of the night. A feeding station in your bedroom is also crucial so you can feed them just before bed or early in the morning. Also, a living room feeding station is vital to feed them throughout the rest of the day. Some of the essential items you need to set up feeding and pumping areas include tables, comfortable chairs, burp clothes, nipple shields, tissue paper, and infant support pillows.
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