How to Prepare Your Home for a New Baby

Even if you’re already stocked up on diapers, onesies and pacifiers, you probably have a long way to go before your home is completely ready for the birth of your new baby.

Not only do you need to get your home ready for your new baby boy or girl, but you also need to prep the home for yourself as a new parent. For instance, preparing and freezing home-cooked meals for you and your partner or purchasing a co-sleeper bassinet are simple actions you can take now to make your life a whole lot easier once the baby arrives.

Before the birth of your baby, it is important to think of all the different ways you can prepare for life as a new parent. Everything from stocking your pantry with kitchen essentials to upgrading your washer and dryer with more efficient models can help you to prepare your home before your newborn arrives. For more tips on how to prepare your home for the birth of a new baby, read the information below.

Baby-Proof Your Home

Before your newborn arrives, you’ll need to baby-proof your home by covering or removing sharp and dangling objects from your living areas and moving any breakable items into storage. For instance, you’ll need to:

  • Install tightly-secured banisters to the sides of any staircases.
  • Use plastic guards to cover any sharp edges inside of the home.
  • Cover any exposed electric sockets and secure cabinets with safety latches.
  • Store any dangerous items up high and away from the ground.
  • Remove any low-handing cords, magnets or choking hazards from your home.
  • Store any medications or hazardous cleaning products in a tall, locked cabinet.

To determine whether your home will be safe for your newborn, crawl around on the floor and see if you’ve missed anything that your infant may be able to reach.

Install a Ceiling Fan

Studies show that ceiling fans and increased room ventilation can help to reduce the risk of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS) by up to 72 percent. Therefore, you may choose to install a ceiling fan in your baby’s room or have your existing ceiling fan cleaned or maintained if you already have a fan installed.

Simplify the Cycle of Laundry

When your newborn arrives, you’ll find yourself spending more and more time with your washer and dryer to keep your infant’s clothes, bibs, onesies, cloth diapers, blankets and socks clean and soft. But if your current washer and dryer are due for an upgrade, now is the time to do it. When your baby arrives, you’ll want a self-cleaning, noise-reducing, efficient, allergen-friendly washer, and a dryer with a variety of different controls to choose from (such as steam or sensor dry).

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After upgrading your washer and dryer, stock your laundry area with everything you’ll need to wash and dry clothes after your newborn arrives, including baby laundry detergent, fabric softener, dryer sheets and enzymatic stain removers. Install additional storage space, a clothesline and folding station. For cleaning dirty onesies and cloth diapers, install a diaper sprayer attachment onto the side of your most-used toilet.

Keep Germs Under Control

The dirtiest parts of your home may seem like the doorknobs or light switches, but areas with the most germs often include stove knobs, faucet handles, toothbrush holders and kitchen and bathroom countertops. Before your baby comes home for the first time, have your partner, parent or friend disinfect these areas once more, and place disposable disinfectant wipes near these germy areas for easy reach in the future. Additionally, you’ll want to stock up on cleaning supplies such as multi-purpose sprays, sponges, dish soap, dishwashing tabs, toilet bowl cleaners, trash bags, sanitizing wipes and rags.

Prepare Your Meals

Grocery shopping with a newborn isn’t an easy task, because you won’t have a lot of time or energy to chop vegetables or prepare meals when you’re caring for a new baby. However, preparing, cooking and freezing nutritious meals in advance can help to keep you energized and well-fed after the birth of your newborn. Before your baby arrives, set aside some time to prepare and freeze the following meals for you and your partner:

  • Enchiladas with sautéed chicken or pre-cooked black beans
  • Baked ziti with roasted vegetables
  • Macaroni and cheese with boiled chicken or baked tofu
  • Bean and vegetable chili
  • Beef stew
  • Quinoa with black beans, diced tomatoes, corn and spices
  • Lentil and veggie soup
  • Chicken pot pie
  • Spaghetti sauce
  • Chicken noodle soup (vegetarians can use tofu instead of chicken)

If you don’t have the freezer space for storing these make-ahead meals, purchase a chest freezer and store it in your garage, laundry room or a spare bedroom. If you don’t have time to prepare meals before your baby arrives, however, you can purchase frozen meals from the grocery store, or you may sign up for a meal delivery service such as MaMeal, Hello Fresh, One Potato, Blue Apron, Sun Basket and Purple Carrot.

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As for feeding your newborn, you’ll want to invest in a high-quality breast pump, nursing pillows and glass bottles before your new baby arrives.

Stock Your Pantry

If your pantry allows for it, stock up on as many essential items as possible before the birth of your new baby. These items may include nonperishable foods such as flour, pasta, canned beans and vegetables, or paper towels, toilet paper, facial tissues and napkins. Even stocking up on over-the-counter medications like ibuprofen or allergy medications may be helpful.

Get as Much Sleep as Possible

When your newborn arrives, you’ll likely find yourself getting up in the middle of the night to tend to your baby. However, a co-sleeper bassinet attaches to your bed, making it easier to feed and comfort your baby in the middle of the night. Plus, the co-sleeper will keep you from getting out of bed throughout the night, helping you to fall back to sleep more easily.

Additionally, purchasing a minifridge for your bedroom can keep you from dragging yourself out of bed and trekking to the kitchen every night. Instead, keep the minifridge stocked with breastmilk, baby formula, water and nutritious snacks for yourself.

Maintain Your Home

Before your baby arrives, schedule any overdue or upcoming home maintenance appointments. For instance, you’ll want to:

  • Clean your dryer’s lint filter and inspect its vent and exhaust duct.
  • Use a “green” cleaning service to have your carpets cleaned.
  • Clean your home’s air ducts and replace your furnace filter.
  • Schedule a tune-up for your heat and air conditioning systems, refrigerator, washer and dryer, lawn mower and garage door.
  • Hire a professional cleaner to vacuum and scrub your floors, wash your walls, and clean your kitchen and bathrooms.

Take Your Home On-The-Go

Before your newborn arrives, take the time to properly install your car seat and stock your family’s vehicle with baby wipes, diapers, plastic bags, empty baby bottles and stuffed animals. To save time in the future, bring your vehicle in for an oil change or an annual tune-up, to avoid doing so after your baby arrives.

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