Congratulations on your new addition! By now you’ve probably got a long list of things to buy: diapers, a stroller, a crib, etc., etc. But what else should you do to prepare your home for baby? We’ve put together a list of the top things to consider before you bring your new bundle home.
- Reimagine Your Space
It’s time to take a look around your home and decide what can be stored and what can stay put. For example, the coffeemaker is a DEFINTE must, but can you hide the toaster or knife set? Make room instead for a bottle rack or baby-food maker. Designate a drawer to store pump parts and pacifiers. Eventually you’ll keep baby spoons, bowls, and sippy cups here.
In your family room, clear out a space for baby toys and books (there will be a lot of them), as well as plenty of space for activity gyms and tummy time play mats. We love this chic, understated B. toys play gym. It comes with soft-colored charms of different colors and textures, fun for baby to play with and not an eyesore for you to look at!
- Perform a “Safety Check”
The thought of having a baby at home who can climb on furniture and crawl into the bathroom and open cabinets full of toxic chemicals might sound a bit terrifying and like a world away, but any parent will tell you it happens sooner than you think. Babies become mobile practically overnight, and it’s easier to prepare now than when you’re sleep-deprived later. According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, cleaning products (including laundry and dishwasher pods) and medication should always be stored out of sight and out of reach in securely locked cabinets. Below is a checklist of additional precautions to take before baby arrives:
- Secure any furniture likely to tip and fall once baby starts to crawl and pull themselves up.
- Cover all electric sockets.
- Get safety latches for any cabinets within reach, especially the ones with anything hazardous (although it’s generally good practice to put all dangerous materials way up high).
- Get rid of your magnets.
- Remove any dangling cords, either for window blinds or appliances.
- If you have firearms in your home, remove ammunition and lock it away in a place separate from the gun. Store those keys in a different area from where you keep your household keys.
- Check or install smoke and carbon monoxide detectors.
- Prep the Fridge
Cleaning out the refrigerator is something we should all be periodically doing anyway. Your baby may be on an all-liquid diet now, but you’ll still need to allocate some space to store breast milk and formula, plus all those yummy casseroles that friends and family will surely be bringing over. When your fridge is nearly empty (ideally before you go food shopping), give it a good cleaning. Work from top to bottom, and take everything out, tossing expired, unidentifiable food, or anything you no longer need.
Once your little one arrives, there won’t be a lot of time for cooking gourmet meals – get gift cards for restaurants, buy frozen meals, or prepare your own food and throw it in the freezer. Meal delivery kits like HomeChef are also a huge timesaver!
- Smooth the Edges
You might currently have a spotless, sophisticated grown-up house filled with stylish glass and/or metal furniture, unfortunately, glass and metal aren’t particularly baby-friendly. Anything breakable or with sharp edges should be removed. If you can’t bear to part with it, put it far out of reach or wrap the edges with bubble wrap or plastic corner guards so that baby won’t hurt themselves.
- Clean it Up
We’ve all been on our best behaviors this past year when it comes to washing our hands and keeping germs at bay. Surprisingly, the germiest areas aren’t light switches and doorknobs, as you might suspect, but kitchen sinks, dish rags, stove knobs, sponges, faucet handles, countertops, refrigerator handles, cutting boards, and toothbrush holders, reveals research from the National Sanitation Foundation International. Before baby comes home give your space a once-over and going forward stash sanitizing wipes near hot spots so you can wipe them down on a regular basis.
Keeping on top of the dust in your home is also a good habit to get into. Dust and allergies go hand-in-hand, so it’s important to keep the home as clean as possible during your pregnancy. A longer duster will assist you to get into those hard-to-reach corners, while a small microfiber cloth is perfect for keeping surfaces dust-free.
You should also make sure you’re giving your home a deep cleaning on the regular to get rid of bad bacteria that can’t be removed with traditional supermarket bottles and sprays. They also use harmful chemicals that can damage sensitive skin, while also being dangerous to breathe in. Unlike regular cleaners, a steam cleaner delivers deep results that you otherwise won’t achieve.
- Invest in Tech
Being a new parent is seriously tough business and you may want to consider investing in a few high-tech gadgets to help make life with new baby a little easier.
The iBaby Air is both an air quality monitor and purifier that’s perfect for your tot’s bedroom. It can detect carbon monoxide, cigarette smoke, benzene, alcohol, hydrogen, methane, and ammonia. It also has an ion purifier. Other features include an audio speaker and breathing RGB light to help create a soothing environment.
The BEABA Babycook Duo lets you prepare your baby’s food from fruits, veggies, meat, or fish within 15 minutes. It’s essentially an all-in-one baby food maker, steam cooker, and blender that allows you to do batch cooking or steam two dishes at once with one-handed ease.
An Amazon Echo might not look much like baby-friendly tech, but this one isn’t so much for the baby as it is for you, the parents. When your child arrives, being able to get your podcasts or soothing playlists playing without access to your phone or physical controls will be a godsend. Amazon’s smart assistant Alexa will become your best friend, getting things rolling while you’re elbow-deep in diapers and bottles. It’s a must for any parental home.
- Get Some Sleep
There’s no way around it, you are going to be tired. Very tired. Exhausted, even. Getting up in the night to go to another room to feed and soothe your baby may seem downright daunting. Instead, get a co-sleeper, like the Baby Delight Beside Me Dreamer Bedside Sleeper or a bedside bassinet like the Halo Luxe Swivel Sleeper so baby can be next to you, yet still out of harm’s way. You can feed her, then put her back in her bed and fall back to sleep yourself.
If you have a separate room for your baby, you’ll want to make it as dark and quiet as possible. Consider buying blackout curtains or liners for your window treatments, so light won’t wake baby. To drown out any noise, think about getting a white noise machine to block out the sounds outside.
Bringing home a new baby is an undeniably stressful and life-changing event, but with these helpful tips you will be well on your way to acing parenthood!