Perhaps one of the biggest events of your life is about to happen. As the date of baby’s coming into this world quickly approaches, the realization is setting in that your whole life is about to change completely.
That change is not just something that happens to how you live your life. Where you live also needs to undergo some major changes to not only make it safe and healthy for baby, but make raising your baby easier for you.
Everything from safety and sanitation to how you will care for yourself are considerations to make before baby comes into the world.
We at Catimini know how hard it can be to be a new parent. That’s why we’ve put together a comprehensive list of the 10 best ways to prepare your home and your life for your new baby.
What have you done to make the transition into baby life easier in your home? Leave a comment!
While your home should already be a safe place to live, this consideration will be even more important for your baby.
That’s because even small safety risks for you can be very detrimental for baby. Sharp corners, exposed cutlery, and hosts of other safety risks can be very harmful to baby if not paid attention to.
We suggest going room by room throughout the house to point out every single way a baby can injure themselves. Taking this fine-tooth-comb approach allows you to generate a holistic set of recommendations for yourself to act on.
Here’s a quick list of the most common risks to babies in most every home:
- Sharp corners
- Open lower cabinets
- Water leaks
- Overstuffed or unstable shelves
- Power outlets and electronics
- Slippery floors
- Air quality
This last risk may require bringing a professional into the home. In line with this recommendation, you will want to have your smoke and CO detectors inspected for battery life and operation to ensure they are working properly.
Sanitation and Cleanliness
Baby’s immune system is still developing, which means they are vulnerable to sickness and infections.
This vulnerability can create a host of problems. Without the ability to fight back germs like adults, potentially life-threatening infections and ailments can be contracted extremely easily by baby.
Many parenting magazines suggest doing a thorough and deep cleansing of the home ahead of baby coming home. Some even suggest that this is a great time to hire a professional cleaning service. With the expertise of a professional cleaning service, cleansing the house goes beyond dusting and removing stains - these services generally take a comprehensive and holistic approach to cleaning and sanitizing all facets of your home top to bottom.
Many mothers will have visitors stay over to help take care of baby during the first few weeks after coming home.
That means they will need certain amenities to make staying overnight easy. This could include having a separate bathroom set for them, and bedding if you have a guest room.
However people will be staying over, make sure they have everything they need before the baby comes home.
Along with preparing for people to stay over to help take care of baby, you’ll need to make sure you have honest conversations about how to handle baby with visitors.
Proper sanitation is everything to baby. Their immune systems are not able to fight back illnesses easily, so all visitors will need to know that if they are sick, they cannot hold the baby.
Also, having things like sanitizer always on hand will help everybody prepare to hold baby in healthy hands.
Laundry is something most people don’t want to do, but with baby expect to have A LOT more to do all the time.
One thing new mothers do to manage this increased laundering is to separate baby’s clothing and laundry from the rest of the house. This will allow you to completely replenish all the reusable wipes, clothing, and bedding that babies mess on all at once.
This will also allow you to use a higher-quality detergent for baby’s laundry. Regular detergents can irritate sensitive baby skin, so you’ll want to purchase a separate brand that will leave baby’s skin comfortable.
Because these special detergents are generally more expensive than standard-use products, you’ll want to have them last as long as possible.
If you plan on having baby sleep in their own room, you’ll need to make sure you have everything they need for comfort, safety, and more.
Baby rooms need to be quiet and low-lit when sleeping. That means special blinds to keep out sunlight and sound are crucial. This will allow them to get as much sleep as they need and give you peace of mind.
For Co-Sleeping Mothers
Some professionals recommend having your baby sleep in your room for the first six to twelve months of life. If you do decide to do this, many mothers purchase simple bassinets that can be placed right next to the bed for easy access.
This is a great way to help you sleep better. If baby wakes up, you can very easily access them, get them back to sleep, then easily return to getting the sleep you need.
In most cases, baby won’t be left alone very much during the first months of life. But, they are sleeping in their own room, video and audio monitors are crucial to keep them safe.
Is it any surprise that the need to change baby can happen at anytime and anywhere?
For especially messy situations, it’s important to be ready wherever you possibly can be. Many mothers will have diapers and changing stations throughout the home for easy access anywhere accidents happen.
Here’s a list of what you’ll need in a properly-stocked changing station:
- Disinfectant wipes
- Baby powder
- A towel, or a mobile baby-changing station
Cooking becomes much more difficult when you have a newborn in the house.
While some people fall into the slump of ordering out more than before, there are healthier ways of eating with less time. Meal preparation is the key to achieving this.
Most foods are freezable, and new mothers can coordinate with their partners to cook large amounts to be preserved for later. You can also plan to make healthy and nutritious meals to keep you going for the long haul that is caring for a newborn.
If there’s one thing mothers forget about when baby is coming home, it’s themselves.
Losing yourself in the throes of pregnancy and motherhood is all too common, but with some preparation any mother is able to make baby life enjoyable and healthy for everyone.
Develop Your Support System
They say it takes a village to raise a child, and a big reason for that is how much work is involved. It’s important to establish a support system around your baby so that you can split up the work and keep yourself healthy.
Your significant other should be the first person with whom you have an honest conversation. As one half of the parenting team, it’s crucial that both of you do your part for the child. This goes far beyond having one person be the bread-winner - more emphasis needs to be put on caring for your newborn than simply providing for it, so both parents have an opportunity to grow with the child.
The next line of defense is nearby family. Babies who spend time with families will continue those bonds later in life, which offer a deep and healthy sense of well-being and self.
Finally, you can always consider daycare as a partial option. While infant daycare can be prohibitively expensive, this can be a great way to give yourself a day off every once in a while.
Do Things For You
A major factor of postpartum depression is believing you are only as valuable as how your child feels. Many new mothers forget that their own happiness is just as important - unhappy mothers raise unhappy children.
Working with your support system, get yourself some days off to do things just for you. Whether it’s reconnecting with friends, taking a spa day, or engaging in a new or old hobby that may have taken a backseat since pregnancy, it’s absolutely required to engage in activities away from baby to avoid losing your sense of self.
Now that We’ve Got the Facts….
It’s clear to see that preparing the home and your family for a newborn baby is a lot of work. But we believe that if you put in the time before baby comes home, you can significantly change the course of your life during the first year of your newborn’s first year.
The takeaway for this is that all facets of your life will need to change, from family and friends to how you maintain your home. By taking advantage of your support system and planning ahead for this major life change, you can make motherhood enjoyable and easier to manage.