Preparing Your Home for Baby
The countdown has began and you’re only a few short weeks away from holding your precious baby in your arms. While you’re ready to see his or her face for the first time, you still may have a lot to do in order to get ready for sweetpea’s arrival. No worries, though; these tips will guide you in preparing your home for a new baby, and if you’re a new parent, they may even help ease you into parenthood too.
Organizing the Nursery
Your baby’s room will be the center of your household for months to come, so top priority is picking the ideal spot. “Give careful thought to whether you prefer the baby’s room near your bedroom for feeding convenience, or a little further away so dad is more likely to be well-rested for work the next day,” says Nina Spitzer of SheKnows.
If you select a spare bedroom for your nursery, it may mean you have furniture to move. If space in your home is limited, a storage unit is ideal for housing extra pieces of furniture until you determine a better place for them.
Once you have a clear pallet to work with, bring in the essential baby items. You’ll hear many suggestions on the things you “need” for baby. However, you can get by with some basics and a few less of the extras. You’ll certainly want the following in your nursery space:
- Crib – You’ll want a full-size crib that has an adjustable height on the mattress, so you can lower it as baby grows.
- Changing table – As a new parent, diaper changes are unavoidable. Before buying any diaper changing table, look carefully at the construction and shake it to see if it’s wobbly or otherwise unsafe for baby. If there’s a rail to help keep baby on the changing table, make sure it’s securely attached.
- Diaper pail – An odor eliminating mechanism of some sort is ideal.
- Laundry hamper – You may want a lid for this as well.
- Open floor shelves – These are great for storing toys, books and other everyday items that you don’t mind baby having access to as he or she grows. Use baskets to keep books from falling or to separate similar toys. Secure the shelving unit to the wall so the baby doesn’t accidentally pull it over.
- Closet organization –Utilize storage bins or vertical storage options. Organize and label clothes by size so you can easily switch what is hanging as baby grows. An over-the-door towel rack on the closet doors gives you quick access to bulky blankets.
- Rocking chair or glider – The gliding motion of a glider or rocking chair will help soothe your baby while he or she is being held. Additionally, a comfy chair will make 3 AM feedings a lot easier on both baby and mother.
Baby Stuff in the Kitchen
When tackling the kitchen, keep in mind that quick access to essentials wins the day. Start by setting up a bottle washing station right next to the kitchen sink, complete with bottle brushes and a bottle drying rack. Even if you plan to breastfeed your baby, getting him or her used to a bottle will be important, and an area to accommodate the bottles will be important.
If your baby will be formula fed, consider clearing out the bottom shelf of a cabinet near the sink as well. Then, once bottles are dry, prefill them with the amount of filtered water you will need for the day or night, seal them, and store them in the cabinet. That way all you have to do is add the powder and stir. Store the bottle warmer close by, such as in the same cabinet, to streamline the process.
As your baby grows and starts to eat baby food, consider buying a baby food pantry organizer. This turn-table style device makes the choices easier to find without taking up a lot of pantry space.
As your baby graduates from sink bathing to the bathtub, you’ll quickly find that toys and other bathing items can crowd the tub. For added storage, Success Manual recommends that you “purchase a chair or storage box that can double up as a seat to make bathing your baby easier as well as providing somewhere for your child to sit whilst you help them to clean their teeth and get ready for bed.”
Additionally, a bathroom toy hammock is a great way to keep toys accessible and allow them to dry afterward. Equipped with suction cups, these nifty storage solutions attach directly to the bathtub wall. And, if shelving in the tub area is limited, consider adding a corner caddy so you have space to accommodate bottles of baby shampoo alongside your products.
“Your organization needs will change over time, so be flexible with your space and how you organize it,” says Apartment Therapy. So don’t stress. If there is just too much for you to deal with, organize the extra stuff in bins and put it in a storage unit. This will allow you to focus on your new baby and figure out all the extra “stuff” later.
Nina Spitzer, “12 ways to prepare your home for your new baby,” SheKnows Home & Garden, http://www.sheknows.com/home-and-gardening/articles/807365/ways-to-prepare-your-home-for-your-new-baby
“10 Reader Tips for Nursery Organization,” Apartment Therapy, http://www.apartmenttherapy.com/nursery-organization-tips-from-apartment-therapy-readersnesting-a-nursery-168614
“How to Prepare Your Bathroom for a New Baby,” Success Manual, http://www.successmnual.us/2013/11/how-to-prepare-your-bathroom-for-new.html