It's been several months now since that pregnancy test showed positive, and there's just a little time left to wait before your new baby is in residence. Congratulations!
With all the excitement in the air, well wishes from loved ones, and preparation for the delivery, getting your home ready for your baby's arrival is probably be on your list of things to do in the near future. Here are some ways you can get your home ready before the stork pays a visit.
Things you need to make you and your baby comfortable during early parenthood
- Invest in, or find a good quality, second hand, baby cradle, bassinet, or basket. Be sure the mattress is comfortable, clean, and baby safe.
- A baby-safe car seat carrier is a must.
- A sturdy changing table, or dresser top that is wide enough to set up your baby's diaper changing station: changing pad and diaper changing equipment (diapers, cotton, wipes, hand sanitizer, etc). When it comes to shopping for diapers, wipes, and other baby products for newborns.
- It's always the safest to get a changing pad with safety straps, but if you cannot find one, you might consider having pillows around the changing pad, or attaching a temporary (but firmly fastened) belt attached under the table for strapping baby in while you're changing his diaper. This can help to prevent him from accidentally rolling off the changing table, especially once he is older and moves around more.
- Have a lamp or night light somewhere near, but preferable not dangling over, your baby's changing table. This will really come in handy during late night diaper changes.
- You should also have a comfortable chair for nursing and feeding your baby.
Before bringing home the baby...
- How safe is the area where you plan to have the baby's crib and changing table? While hand-me-downs are a huge saver, be sure that second hand cribs and changing tables do not have missing parts, rusty edges, or sticking out nails and splinters. In most cases, the mattress should be changed or have a new cover sewn on to avoid problems with dust and skin allergies.
- Don't have too many pillows, blankets, or stuffed toys in your baby's crib. While your baby is still small and doesn't play or move around much, these can cause your baby to suffocate.
- Shopping for baby toys and other baby products for newborns is a fun time, but be sure you shop for what you will actually need. Avoid fluffy, furry toys around the crib. These gather dust easily and cause your baby to sneeze.
- How are the smoke detectors and air filters in your home? Be sure you check the air conditioners as well.
- Check the rails on the stairways in your home. When you're going up and down the stairs with your little one, falling down can be fatal to you both. Remember to always hold the rail tightly when you're walking up the stairs with baby in your arms.
Once baby starts moving around?
Babies pretty much start crawling around 6 to 9 months, but some may start sooner. When your baby is about 4 months, it's time to baby proof the rest of your home and the areas that your baby will frequently play.
- Cover all the unused electrical sockets and plug points in your house.
- Keep wires from your laptop, TV, and lamps out of reach or behind furniture.
- Place a temporary baby gate at the top and bottom of your staircase to prevent your toddler from climbing up or down on his own.
- Cover all sharp edges and corners on your furniture.
- Use safety latches on your cabinets and doors.
- Keep medications, cleaning products, and dangerous items away from reach.
- Keep all small, sharp, or pointed objects out of reach. These may cause choking. The general rule is: Anything small enough to fit through the centre of a toilet paper roll is small enough to risk choking.
- Use one-piece door-stops that cannot be removed and accidentally swallowed.
- Keep all houseplants out of reach.
- Check that furniture, electronics, and general house items are safely out of reach or firmly fastened to their spot to prevent your baby from accidentally pulling it down on himself.
- Remember to always closely supervise your baby when in the bath or around pets.