As I neared my due date a couple of months ago, I went on a mission to try and make sure my house was ready for the baby’s arrival. I had spent a lot of time preparing for childbirth, and of course getting all the baby gear, but as his due date got closer it really hit me that he would be here soon and I wanted our home to be ready for him! I’ve gathered some tips for how I prepared my home for my baby, and hopefully these tips will make your little one’s arrival to your home even smoother.
1. Set up stations
There are several things you’ll be doing all day long with your baby- mostly feeding and diaper changing. You don’t want to have to be trekking from downstairs to upstairs or from one end of the house to the other every time you need to change a diaper or need something for nursing. So it’s a good idea to have stations set up in a couple key areas to make things easier.
What works in our home is to have three diaper stations. There is obviously a space in his nursery dedicated to diaper changing but I also created mini diaper stations in our bedroom for the nighttime and early morning changes as well as a station downstairs where we spend a lot of our time during the day.
I used these woven diaper caddies to set up our station. I keep diapers, wipes, diaper cream and hand sanitizer in each one. Our downstairs diaper caddy stays by the pack n’ play we have set up. Our pack n’ play has a spot for diaper changes as an attachment for the newborn stage which is great! But you could just as easily keep your caddy on a convenient shelf, in a cabinet, on the floor wherever! I keep disposable changing pads with the caddy in our bedroom to protect our bed during changes.
It’s also a good idea to get your feeding stations set up. This may look different depending on how you’re planning to feed your baby but here are a few thoughts to consider. If you’re nursing, you may want to consider adding a few things to your diaper changing caddies to have nursing supplies around the home. Things I added for those early days were nipple cream, breast pads and granola bars (breastfeeding makes you hungry!).
If you’re planning to bottle feed at all it’s a good idea to go ahead and get your bottle station set up. You can create a dedicated space to store bottles, a place for washing/drying them, a place to mix up formula. Think about what will make it as convenient as possible for you. You may end up changing it once your baby is here and you see how it works, but having a starting place is great! If you’re going to be a pumping mama, you may want to add similar items to your diaper caddy like I suggested for nursing.
You’ll also want to set up a spot for washing, drying and storing all of your pump parts so they’re always ready for you. You also want to think about how you’ll store your pumped milk. This freezer organizer is great!
2. Sanitize and wash baby products
Another important thing I did before the baby arrived to save myself time was to sanitize or wash as much baby gear as I could. I wanted to know that items I would need were ready for me when I needed them and not still in a package needing to be cleaned first. For me this meant sanitizing pacifiers, my breast pump parts and also a couple bottles since I knew I planned to introduce that relatively early on. If you’re planning to exclusively bottle feed you’ll want to be sure to sanitize plenty of bottles so you’re not having to wash more than once per day.
I also washed all of the newborn and 0-3 month clothes I had for our little guy. Now you may not want to wash all of those clothes if you have a LOT of clothes. If your baby has a large wardrobe you may opt to wash about half to start and you can wash the rest as needed. The goal is to give yourself plenty of outfits to get through those first few days without having to do multiple loads of laundry.
3. Clean your home
So, in theory you clean your home whether or not you’re having a baby. But I found it helpful to tackle several bigger cleaning tasks right before the baby arrived for two reasons. One, because I wanted to be sure I was bringing the baby into a clean, healthy environment and two, I knew I probably wouldn’t get to those tasks anytime soon after the baby had arrived. A bonus was that I thought some of this more intensive cleaning might jump start my labor (spoiler alert: it did not).
Some of the items I decided to check off were a deep clean of our shower- the grout and all, wiping down the baseboards, a thorough cleaning of our hardwoods and cleaning the oven. These may not be the tasks that are most important to you or perhaps you’re the kind of person who cleans your baseboards more regularly than me, but I encourage you to pick a couple of things that aren’t everyday cleaning projects to get done before the baby arrives.
Another option, if cleaning while 8 months pregnant isn’t for you or if you’re on bedrest or working full time and don’t have the time for any big cleaning projects, you could always hire someone to do a full clean of your house. There are often companies that will do one time deep cleans without having to commit to regular service.
4. Consider safety
Obviously your baby isn’t going to come into your home walking or grabbing for the electrical outlets but you do want to think ahead in regards to baby safety. One important safety task would be to double check the smoke detectors in your home and change batteries as needed. You’ll also want to be sure you have a safe sleeping space for your child such as a crib or bassinet with a flat, firm mattress.
Another good way to plan ahead is anchoring furniture, especially the pieces in rooms the baby will frequent. This is more of a requirement once they’re mobile but doing it ahead of time means you don’t forget or miss it before they start moving. You might also want to consider going ahead and purchasing some of the necessary baby proofing items you’ll want so that as they become necessary you already have them. This might include things like outlet covers, baby gates, cabinet locks etc.
5. Have the “just in case” baby items
I’m sure it goes without saying that for you to be ready to bring your baby home, you’re going to want to make sure you have plenty of diapers, wipes, clothes etc. But there are a few other baby essentials you might want to consider. They aren’t essential in the way diapers are in that you may not need them every day but they are things you don’t want to have to run out for when you realize you need them. They’re what I consider “just in case” items.
First of all, a thermometer. You may have one in your home that you use but if it’s an under the tongue one it won’t be much help for your infant. There are a lot out there that you can choose from but just know a lot of pediatricians want you to be able to take a rectal temperature so I encourage you to have one even if it’s not the one you use primarily. You don’t want to be running out to the pharmacy at a late hour because you realized you don’t own an infant compatible thermometer. Along these same lines you may want to go ahead and get some infant tylenol just to be prepared, and you’re definitely going to want nail clippers! Those things grow fast and you’ll want to be able to manage them right away.
What did you do ahead of your baby’s arrival to help get your home ready to welcome them? Share your tips with Caden Lane mamas!