There’s a lot to do before your new family member comes home. We know that preparing for your baby can be overwhelming and stressful, so take it one step at a time and enlist help from your spouse, relatives, or friends.
Prioritize Important Tasks
Remember that you don’t need to complete every single step of preparing your home before the baby arrives. It’s ok if you didn’t have time to find that perfect lighting fixture for your newborn’s room. As long as you have the basic necessities, you can take care of the little details later on.
Make a List
Get that long to-do list out of your head and onto paper. Put more important tasks at the top (crib, safety, supplies) and cosmetic items (decor) at the end. Share the list with your spouse to divide and conquer. Show it to a close friend to see where they can help out as well.
A crib/bassinet and bedding are the most important purchases you’ll need to make or add to your baby registry.
There are so many options from standard to modern when it comes to crib designs. There are plenty of choices within whatever your budget is, so explore your options. You could purchase a basic one, then head to Pinterest for some DIY inspiration.
In addition to a crib, you’ll need some additional Baby Sleep Essentials. A crib mattress, waterproof mattress pad, fitted sheets, swaddles or sleep sacks, and a monitor should be added to your list. Also, consider a rocking chair or swing to help put your baby to sleep.
This should be a last step. Most decorative items will end up being gifts, especially if you have a baby shower. Choose a theme or color story for your newborn’s room so that you can provide relatives with some direction when they shop for gifts.
Wait till after your baby shower or after your baby is born to purchase any non-essential items. This way, you’ll avoid duplicate items and just accumulating too much stuff. However, if you find something that you absolutely love, go ahead and buy it!
Consult a New Baby Checklist and create one of your own to keep track of what you need. Start with essentials like a car seat and crib, then move on from there.
Safety Around the Home
Babyproofing your home is another important preparation that should be on your list. You should start thinking about safety before your baby comes home. Babies start to crawl around six months, so you’ll want to start anchoring furniture and making more significant changes a few months later.
Think About Choking Hazards
Choking is a serious concern for newborns. Go around your house and put away anything that contains small pieces. Don’t leave your purse lying around as it probably has candy, mints, and a number of other things that your baby could get their hands on.
Prevent furniture tip-overs by purchasing and installing anchors (also called restraints or tethers). They’re pretty inexpensive and you can find them at stores like Target or Bed Bath & Beyond. You’ll need at least two per each piece of furniture. After installation, check them regularly in case they need to be tightened.
Cover Sharp Edges
You’ll want to pad up anything that your baby could bump into. Even before they’re able to walk, you don’t want grandma to accidently knock your infant against the corner of a dresser while carrying them. Cover all edges of cabinets, dressers, mirrors, and anything else below chest level. You’ll also want to purchase a bath faucet cover to protect your baby’s head. You can cover sharp corners on the cheap by purchasing foam pipe insulation from a hardware store.
Cover Electrical Outlets
For obvious reasons, you don’t want a curious little one to stick their fingers into an outlet. Get a 48-pack of outlet covers from Bed Bath & Beyond for $4.99.
Check out a Childproofing Checklist to cover all your bases, then invite another mom over to go around your house and point out anything you may have missed.
Next, check out our post on Everything You Need to Know About Car Seats Before the Baby Comes.