10 things you need to do to prepare your home for your newborn baby

Looking forward to bringing a new baby into your home soon? Here are 10 things you need to do to prepare for them.

Getting ready to welcome your baby home may seem like the longest marathon of your life. As your body prepares to bring new life into the world, so too should you prepare your home.

There’s a lot to consider, from the nursery to pets and how soon you need to babyproof. To help you get a head start, here are 10 things you need to do to prepare your home for your newborn baby.

1) Prepare your kitchen for feeding

If you’re planning to bottle feed at any point, get ready to turn your kitchen into a sanitizing station for bottles. You’ll need a space for bottle storage, drying, and possibly heating as well, depending on your preferences.

Consider your fridge too, as you may need to store breast milk or formula in it. Wipe it down and make room for bottles and other feeding supplies.

2) Freeze meals

You’ll be too focused on your newborn to cook anything substantial in the early days. So plan ahead and prepare food you can freeze and easily heat and eat. Or just buy frozen meals to make it easy.

3) Wash your baby’s clothes

Experts recommend washing clothes before you actually wear them, and newborns wear a lot! So you’ll be better prepared if you wash your baby’s clothes before they arrive, and not trying to keep up with the washing as you need them.

Get them clean, dry, and put away ready to grab and dress once your baby’s home, and just worry about laundry once garments are dirty.

4) Crawl around your home

Okay, you don’t really need crawl around while you’re pregnant (unless you feel like it). But getting a baby’s eye view of your home can be illuminating.

Look for things like lower cabinets with cleaning chemicals, medication, and other items that should be out of reach. Get them locked down or, even better, move them out of reach. Also keep an eye out for breakables and sharp edges that should be covered.

(This may feel a little premature, but you’ll be surprised how fast time flies and it’s worth doing now.)

5) Check your detectors

You probably already have smoke and carbon monoxide detectors installed, but are they ready to protect you and your family? They should be less than 10 years old with a full battery. Look for the date and do a battery check to ensure they’re working.

6) Disinfect germy areas

When you bring your baby home, they’re leaving a relatively sterile birth environment and thrust into your home, where people actually live and spread germs around.

So wipe down areas where germs tend to accumulate, such as your kitchen sink and countertop, refrigerator, even light switches and doorknobs.

7) Secure furniture

It will be a while before your baby is ready to crawl and pull on furniture, but those days come quickly and this step is easy to forget. Before they have a chance to get hurt, make sure any tipping hazards are secure, electric sockets are covered, and cabinets have safety latches.

8) Get visitor ready

Once you bring your new baby home, you can expect plenty of requests to drop in and say hello from family, friends and co-workers, even if you’re not in the mood for entertaining, or have had little sleep.

The last thing you want to do with a newborn is to have to make emergency trips to the corner shops for supplies. So make sure you have plenty of tea, coffee and biscuits in your cupboards ready.

And if you’ll have overnight guests coming to help, make sure you have a place prepared for them to sleep, along with a clean bathroom and towels.

9) Manage clutter

Clutter on the floor can lead to trips and falls, especially if your view of the floor is obstructed by holding a baby. Put a basket in or near your living room or other areas where clutter tends to accumulate, and drop items in there that need to be moved elsewhere later.

10) Prepare a healthy sleep environment

Your baby’s nursery should be quiet, dark, cool, and comfortable. Choose an appropriate crib, and consider blackout curtains and a white noise machine to manage distractions.

Bringing home baby can feel like an endless list of to dos. And it’s true, there’s a lot of prep work involved in housing a newborn. But give yourself time to prepare and plan ahead so you can be ready to welcome your baby home.

Susan Austin is a family research specialist with Family Living Today. A mother of three and small business owner in Texas, Austin spends her days juggling work and family life – sometimes expertly, sometimes not.

Photo by Sharon McCutcheon