Here are my 15 action tips to get your home ready for your newborn
- 1. Chat with your partner
- 2. Talk to your doctor
- 3. Spend time with your older children
- 4. Arrange for extra help
- 5. What about pets?
- 6. Shop for essentials
- 7. Shop for baby
- 8. Stock up on nappies
- 9. Meal prep
- 10. Clean up
- 11. Baby-proof your home
- 12. Decide where your baby will sleep
- 13. Wash your baby’s clothes and bedding
- 14. Pack your hospital bag
- 15. Charge your phone
Some major decluttering inspired me to write this post about how to get your home ready for your newborn. Hope these help you if you are expecting a baby or know someone who is!
We have been clearing out our garage for the past couple of weeks. Oh, the nostalgia of going through boxes of our son’s stuff! I dusted off the “What to Expect When You Are Expecting” volume from one of the boxes and couldn’t help thinking back to when I was pregnant. I had gone nuts with information overload.
In the months preceding our son’s birth, we worked overtime getting our house ready for the newborn. We sewed, we cleaned, we decluttered and did just about everything we thought would make our lives pleasanter and easier when he arrived.
We talked to our friends who were parents. Some of them were generous and donated baby stuff – a bath tub, a bamboo bassinet (I still have it), and many other things. A kind neighbor gifted my son a pack of clothes and bonnets she had sewn. Still have one of those as a keepsake.
We were anxious to get everything as perfect as we could. We made lots of lists. I was lucky my Mom moved in with us—and what a life support she was!
All these memories inspired me to write this post – how to get your home ready for your newborn.
I was secretly nervous about what we would do once we brought our baby home – I mean, I was super excited to be a Mom but also entirely unsure how well I would manage. Things worked out fine, I am glad to say and we have nothing but wonderful memories.
Here are my 15 action tips to get your home ready for your newborn
1. Chat with your partner
Now is a good time to spend time talking to your partner and discuss what chores you will share. Being new parents can be challenging as there hardly seems any time between baby and housework, so decide who will do what. And believe me, when you do that, it is fun and not so tiring.
We made it a ritual to go on a walk together on our campus and carried a little notebook with us to write down everything we came up with to get our home ready for our newborn. The one thing we firmly agreed on was to share every chore, and to never yell at each other in our son’s presence. Also, never go to bed angry or upset. It is the foundation of our happiness today.
2. Talk to your doctor
No question is too trivial when it comes to pregnancy and parenting. And the questions always come as soon as you are back home after a visit to the doc. Waiting at the clinic can blank out your mind, so keep a little notebook where you can jot down things to ask and for noting down tips. Ask questions about do’s and don’ts in your diet, tips to tackle common health issues, and just about anything you can think of. I remember totally panicking when my baby developed a rash one morning and calling the doctor – who assured me a cool bath was all it took to soothe and soon, the rash disappeared.
3. Spend time with your older children
If you already have kids, do spend time with them as things can get really busy when you bring your baby home. Take this opportunity to bond with them, talk to them about what to expect when baby is home and remind them how much you love them. If they are old enough to help, they’ll be happy to help get your home ready for your newborn.
4. Arrange for extra help
Initially, the weeks following the arrival of your baby can be hectic and overwhelming as you try to figure out a routine and manage everything you need to do. Don’t hesitate to reach out to friends and family who are ready to help out.
When our son was born, my uncle and aunt, who lived in the same city visited often, and took care of our shopping needs. You may also consider getting paid help for cleaning or for babysitting your older child.
5. What about pets?
Your pet needs attention too, to get used to the new arrival. You may also want to pet-proof your house. Preferably let them not sleep in your baby’s room. Consider installing a stair gate to keep your dog out. You may also want to place a net over your baby’s cot or pram to keep your cat off.
If your neighbor offers to help with your pet care, say yes.
6. Shop for essentials
Making a shopping list for essentials and buying them is a good idea before baby arrives so that you need not worry about trips to the grocer right away. This includes pantry staples, frozen foods, toiletries medicine, shampoo, underwear, etc. And for you, nursing bras, breast pads, lotions for sore nipples, loose t-shirts and comfy pants and your favorite tea/coffee.
7. Shop for baby
Yes, baby supplies. Some essentials are blankets, bibs, burp cloths, wipes, baby ointments, onesies, pants, undershirts, hats, booties, socks, mittens, jackets to keep them warm, non-toxic laundry detergents, infant tub, baby soap/cleanser, baby hairbrush, towels, mattress, nail clippers, baby thermometer, medicine spoon, diaper bag, baby mobiles, rattles, baby toys, car seat, baby carrier bags, etc. If you have generous friends whose kids have outgrown some of these, that’s great.
8. Stock up on nappies
I cannot emphasize this enough – babies seem to go through nappies like there is no tomorrow—and oh yes, there are many, many tomorrows! So stock up now. If you plan to use disposable nappies, you will probably need at least ten per day. Going for reusable ones? How many you will need will depend on what kind of nappy you choose. Go for trial packs to pick what is best for your baby.
We had decided that we would use cloth nappies during the first few months and that meant doing laundry all the time. Also, our city had heavy monsoons and nothing seemed to dry in time. So we were either washing or drying or ironing for the better part of the day or sewing new nappies. We did switch to disposable diapers when he was six months old.
9. Meal prep
It can be tough to cook and handle your baby once you are back home, so why not make it easier to meal prep and freeze them? It can be a life-saver at least during the first couple of weeks as you get used to the new routine. Make sure to label and date your containers to stay on track about what is in the freezer.
Together with my Mom, I made big batches of the masalas and other mixes we use regularly in our cooking. This also included healthy breakfast mixes that could be mixed with hot water or milk to make a filling snack or meal.
10. Clean up
Housework can be a burden when baby is home so now is the time to team up with your family to vacuum, dust and clean to get your home ready for your newborn. Organize baby’s supplies. In fact, every little thing you can do to prepare can make life easier so you can enjoy life with your baby. And yes, when your friend/family asks if you need help, don’t hesitate to hand them a duster.
11. Baby-proof your home
While your baby won’t be crawling for some time, you can still take steps to keep her safe well in advance. This means taking care of doors that slam shut, sharp corners, tripping hazards, installing safety locks on cabinets, keeping medicines out of reach, getting rid of harmful cleaning supplies, putting child-safe covers on electrical sockets, etc. Put all breakable and fragile décor items away. This does not guarantee any surprises your baby can pull when she does crawl, but yes, it will help.
12. Decide where your baby will sleep
Will your baby sleep in her own room, in her own cot? Or co-sleep in your room? Do you have space for a baby cot in your room?
I breastfed my son and it was convenient for me to have him co-sleep with us. I also had a nice seat by the window where I could gaze at the sea as I sang to my son.
Also, we made space in every room for our baby’s things – it is amazing how that grows and grows!
If you are planning your baby’s own room here are some pointers:
A nursery must have three must-own items for your baby: furniture, décor, and amenities.
Baby crib? Check. Rocking chair/cozy chair? Check. Armoire? Check.
What about the quality? Safety? Comfort? These matter far more than aesthetics and affordability. It’s easy to find a cheap crib or make one yourself if you are handy, but safety is crucial for babies. Are the walls high enough? Are the legs sturdy enough? Make sure the furniture is placed away from the baby’s crib.
The rocking chair is of course for you—to rock your baby to sleep and for feeding and maybe even to catch a nap as your baby sleeps. There’s nothing more soothing than to watch your baby sleep! Invest in a chair/seat that is comfortable to sit in for long periods.
The décor is an important aspect of your baby’s first year. Babies, of all species, are at their most impressionable stage. They are learning constantly as their brain develops and begins to make sense of things. Could it be possible that your baby’s personality type is determined by its daily surroundings? Absolutely.
So put some thought into the color and your baby’s surroundings. By the way, blue does not denote gender but is a color for calmness.
Depending on where you live, you may need to think of heaters, air-conditioners or fans, humidifiers and night lights. Night lights are especially nice and comforting when baby wakes up in her sleep—and also help you avoid tripping over things on the way to your baby’s crib.
13. Wash your baby’s clothes and bedding
Super-sensitive is what your newborn’s skin will be, so make sure to wash all their clothes and bedding in advance to get rid of dust and other allergens that are likely to irritate baby’s skin.
Our neighbors were kind enough to donate their babies’ things to us and we thoroughly disinfected and washed them before storing them for our baby.
14. Pack your hospital bag
I remember packing my hospital bag a month before my due date. Total peace of mind. The hospital we registered in had given us a checklist that made it easier to gather what we needed: nappies, baby clothes, change of clothes for you, cloth to swaddle the baby and so on. You’ll be relieved you packed your bag ahead of time. Add a list of contact numbers to this, besides saving it on your phone: your GP, your hospital, your friends, family, transport, babysitter – you know.
We did do a trial run to the hospital to see how long it would take.
When my water broke unexpectedly, all we had to do was finish our evening snack, grab our bag and call a taxi. Sure, we panicked on the way to the hospital.
15. Charge your phone
Ensure that your phone is fully charged and don’t forget to pack your charger.
I hope this list helps you to get your home ready for your newborn baby! Come to think of it, most of these are logical, aren’t they? I’d say that babies don’t really need much to be happy – they need to be loved, fed and cleaned. And while bringing a newborn home can transform your life, the transition can be really smooth and joyous when you are prepared.
As you get your home ready for the newborn don’t forget to enjoy being a Mom! ♥