Having a baby, especially for the first time, is an experience every family is looking forward to. However, just like every other aspect of family life, letting a newborn inside your home requires preparation and lots of planning.
Taking care of a newborn baby requires time and effort 24 hours a day, seven days a week. This means once the baby arrives home, there won’t be enough time and energy for mothers (and even fathers) to clean regularly and make the necessary adjustments to ensure the safe and perfect environment.
It does not matter whether it’s your first or third child—preparations should be made in your home to make childcare more manageable, not stressful.
Preparing Your Home for a Child
The very first question you should ask is where you will place the child once he or she arrives home. Should it be in your bigger kid’s room, or do you want the baby to stay in your room?
Whatever the case may be, the child’s location in your home is a crucial decision you have to make beforehand. Factors such as proximity to the person in charge of the care and proper ventilation are some of the things you need to consider when choosing a location for the newborn.
Once you’re done with that, here are a few essential tasks you need to start with:
- Clean the entire room thoroughly. Babies are sensitive to dirt, and some minute particles may cause sneezing, allergic reactions, or sometimes even diseases. Thus, you have to clean, not just the room, but your entire house thoroughly.
If possible, you can move some furniture, replace curtains and upholstery, and relocate pets to ensure the best environment for the newborn baby. You can also check outside the room if there are factors that may affect its cleanliness or ventilation.
Cleaning the baby’s room and the entire house does not stop when the baby arrives. Dusting, sweeping, wiping, and other cleaning chores should be done daily to avoid dust buildup. Obviously, you would need to relocate your child so that he or she doesn’t inhale any specks of dust or dirt during the cleaning process.
- Don’t do everything by yourself. While preparing, you may feel the urge to do everything by yourself. That is not the best way, most especially if you are the mother, because you need to take it easy. Moreover, even if you’re the father, it’s always better to get help from family and friends.
In addition, you don’t need to be in a hurry. You have nine months to plan what you need to, so just execute your tasks slowly in the span of nine months until you complete it, right before the baby arrives. Between spouses, the delegation of tasks or division of labor is an effective way to ease the burden of doing chores.
- Prepare multiple ‘baby stations’ throughout the house. Once the baby arrives, you should have various areas where you can change diapers, feed the baby, prepare formula, or even play with him or her. If you have a two-story home, then you should have at least one station in the living room and one upstairs.
Of course, each station should have its own set of necessities and clothing. This is important, so you don’t have to get everything from a single cabinet when you need something. If you manage to set this up beforehand, you’ll be amazed at how much easier and convenient everything will be. Maintain the cleanliness of your stations to prevent the baby from contracting illnesses.
- Keep your surroundings safe. Another crucial factor you have to check when preparing a room for your newborn is the safety of the child.
Do you have cabinets that contain hazardous chemicals, or sharp or pointed tools? If yes, then you need to ensure that these objects will not be accessible to your child, especially during the years when he or she is starting to crawl and climb.
Moreover, check the corners of your home furniture, including sofas, beds, cabinets, chairs, and tables. If you don’t cover these sharp corners and edges, these pieces of furniture may also cause injuries. Outlets should also have the necessary covers.
- Make room for baby-related things like food, toiletries, utensils, and other necessities. Another common way of baby proofing your home is to store certain tools or equipment that you don’t usually use. If the dresser in your room contains tons of make-up and other beauty items, you may want to reduce the clutter and place baby stuff that you may need instead.
There should be enough room for you to prepare baby food, replace diapers, and allow baby to roam or crawl around. If your space is limited at home, then you have to make the adjustments before the baby arrives.
- Prepare for daily chores and tasks. Always remember that taking care of the baby is only half of the work that you need to do daily. Another group of responsibilities you should be prepared for includes laundry, food preparation, putting away toys, and other related activities.
In relation to this, you must finish all your remaining laundry and cleaning chores before the baby arrives. Doing so will let you focus on taking care of the baby and preparing the things he or she needs.
Also, it definitely helps if you and your spouse will talk about the division of labor once the baby arrives. Doing everything alone simply won’t cut it. Proper communication and cooperation are necessary for this new set-up to work for both of you.
- Prepare an extra room for people who like to help. If you are fortunate to have someone such as your parents, in-laws, or friends who are willing to help out for several days after the baby arrives, then you got to prepare a separate room for them, too.
It’s nice if you got a guestroom at home, but if not, then it’ll be slightly more complicated as you may need them to sleep in the living room or your own bedroom.
If you’re planning to get a helper at home, then you also need to prepare his or her own room. Make sure to pick someone trustworthy and recommended by people you personally know.
Make a List of Necessary Items and Goods
Now that you are aware of the preparations you should do, your next move is to make a list of the different items that you and your baby will need once he or she arrives home. These items can help make chores more manageable for both you and your spouse.
Some parents prefer to place the baby in a separate room that will also serve as the baby’s personal room when he or she grows up. Meanwhile, some parents want their babies to stay in their own master’s bedroom. Whatever the case may be, they should use a proper and quality crib that can completely protect the baby regardless of his or her sleeping positions.
The crib perimeter should be covered with cushions to prevent the baby from bumping his or her head or other parts of the body. It doesn’t matter if you’re using a brand new or used crib—what’s important is that it is capable of keeping the newborn safe while you’re sleeping and not watching over him or her.
Lots of Clothes
Whether these clothes are brand new or hand-me-downs, the primary consideration is that these should always be clean and soft, fit for the baby’s delicate skin. Remember that your priority should be to clothe the baby for comfort, and not for mere appearance.
Formula Milk, Vitamins, and Medication
Place small cabinets in several areas of your home so that you can access them easily. Always follow your doctor’s recommendations regarding follow-up checkups, medication, and diet. If you’re torn between two types of food or vitamins, the doctor’s decision should always be your priority.
Toys may not be needed right away, but babies will definitely start looking for things to play with once they reach six months old or more. Make sure to bring them toys and objects that facilitate learning. Plush toys are extremely popular while at their early stages of development, and it can help boost their imagination skills.
Don’t entertain your babies with smartphones or tablets because these devices can be harmful to their eyes.
Bringing your baby home from the hospital is probably one of the most memorable experiences you’ll ever have. The moment you take him or her inside your home, the baby does become not only a part of the family but also a member of your household. That is why you should do whatever it takes to make the preparations way before you bring the baby home.
As mentioned earlier, a cooperative relationship between parents is essential to create a homey environment for the child. More than duty or obligation, love should be the primary driving force that pushes both parents to do everything in their power to raise the child.
In addition, it is also wise to get more information and tips about parenting. Reading useful resources like this one would not only provide valuable information but can also help you become even more prepared to welcome your baby into your home.