Getting ready for your baby’s arrival is an exciting time for any parent-to-be but the last few weeks of pregnancy can be very tiring so it’s best not to leave all the preparations to the last minute. If you’re feeling overwhelmed by everything you need to do, here are some top tips on how to prepare your home for your newborn.
Our homes are full of hidden dangers that as adults we don’t always notice until there’s a baby or small child in the house and we suddenly realise how sharp all the corners of our furniture are or how steep our staircase is! Your newborn baby won’t be able to move around for a little while but it’s easier to babyproof now before they start wriggling and crawling their way into trouble!
At the very least, you’ll need stairgates at the top and bottom of your stairs and cupboard catches for drawers or cupboards that contain things that might be hazardous to your baby or toddler, such as cleaning products or sharp kitchen utensils. Ideally, things like knives, scissors, laundry capsules, bleach and alcohol should be kept up high, out of reach of little hands.
Prepare the nursery
Make sure your baby’s nursery is ready and that any painting or decorating is complete and that any furniture is built and ready. This means that any strong paint fumes will have dissipated before your baby’s arrival and also means you can enjoy those early days and weeks with your newborn without worrying about DIY projects and flatpacks! Even if they won’t be using it just yet, having the nursery ready to go will make life easier when it’s time to transition your little one to their room.
Prepare your own bedroom
The UK safe sleep guidelines say that your baby should sleep in your bedroom with you for the first six months of their life in a separate crib, cot or moses basket. This means you need to be prepared to share your room with your baby and will want to set it up in a way that makes life easier and more comfortable for you both.
Think about the positioning of your baby’s crib or basket – next to your bed is easiest to keep a close eye on them and for those all-important night feeds but you’ll also want to make sure that you can get in and out of bed freely in case you need the bathroom or need to express milk or change a nappy in the middle of the night.
If you’re a first-time parent, it can be difficult to know exactly how many clothes your newborn will need and what are the best types of clothing to buy. All babies will need comfortable sleepwear such as babygrows, all-in-ones or sleepsuits as well as vests, which can be sleeveless, short-sleeved or long-sleeved.
If you ensure you have the basics covered with some soft and comfy clothes, you’ll find that once the baby is born people will be excited to buy you cute baby outfits to add to your baby’s collection! Don’t forget baby bedding too, like flat or fitted sheets for their crib, cot or moses basket and cosy swaddle bags to help them get a good night’s sleep.
Feeding & changing stations
The early days and weeks of your baby’s arrival can feel like they pass in a blur of feeding and changing so you’ll want to have a set-up in your home that makes both of these things as easy and painless as possible.
You don’t need a dedicated feeding or changing station but consider setting areas up where these things are easy. For example, a specific countertop or cupboard in your kitchen for keeping your breast pump and pumping accessories, or for preparing feeds. You could also set up a comfy chair with a footstool, nursing pillow and muslin squares for breastfeeding.
Some people have a purpose-built changing table for changing baby’s nappy where they keep all the essentials close at hand but if you don’t have the space for this, a basic changing mat and a small basket, bag or box with nappies, cotton wool or wipes and a change of clothes can make life easier.
Preparing your home for a newborn before your baby’s arrival can help you bond with your unborn baby and it’s also a practical way to make your life easier after baby’s arrival by ensuring your home is set up to be parent and baby-friendly.
Here are some more of my baby-related posts!