A home’s beauty is only meant to be enhanced when the prospect of a newborn is on the horizon. It is natural to be excited and a bit nervous about this new phase of life. After all, welcoming home a tiny human comes with its fair share of responsibilities.
However, numerous (first-time) parents make the tragic error of not preparing their home in advance. Your baby may not occupy a huge space in the property but they will surely demand constant attention.
As you adjust to parenthood, the last thing you want is to scramble around in search of crucial baby items. The time of pregnancy itself may involve ups and downs, so the earlier you start prepping, the better. In this article, we will discuss five useful tips that will help you create a cozy and welcoming baby-friendly home for a newborn.
It may be true that your baby will not start trotting around as soon as they arrive but babyproofing sooner than later always pays in the long run. Amid sleepless nights and burnout, you may never find the time to think about these things.
Plus, this aspect of creating a baby-friendly home often requires going down on all fours in search of items that may hurt your baby. Listed below are a few ways to prepare in advance, way before your newborn becomes mobile –
- Keep all medication and cleaning products (like laundry detergent and dishwasher pods) out of sight.
- Install magnetic locks on cabinets that may be within a baby’s reach.
- Cover electrical outlets with child-safe covers.
- Introduce a soft landing area with a rug or carpet.
- Unhang any heavy items from the walls nearest to your baby’s play area.
- Ensure all furniture in the nursery is anchored to the wall.
- Install safety gates to restrict your baby’s movement around certain areas (especially near stairs).
This is perhaps the most obvious on this list, but we will focus on one common mistake many new parents make – designing their nursery for a baby only. An ideal nursery meets the needs of both the baby and the mother.
Let’s look at some ways to make it happen –
- The nursery should be spacious and free of any hazards. This means do not have electrical cords or wall décor near the baby’s cot or changing station.
- The nursery should be close to your bedroom so that you are readily able to meet your baby’s needs. If you cannot dedicate an entire room for a nursery, create some designated space within your bedroom.
- Keep the nursery well-organized at all times. This means having necessary baby kits, furniture, and storage solutions for convenience. Proper chests, drawers, bins, baskets, etc., will make it easier to locate items and dispose of waste.
- A crib is. a must-have, but ideally, one made of wood. Metal cribs are not recommended as they can become a hazard. For versatility, invest in three-in-one cribs – they can be converted into a daybed or toddler’s bed when needed.
For at least six months, your newborn will solely rely on a liquid diet for their survival. Hence, there are things you must do to prepare for their nutritional needs. For instance – stock up on supplies like breast pumps, feeding bottles, pacifiers, high chairs, bibs, and baby food.
Even if some items may seem unnecessary at the moment, you will be shocked at how time flies! Furthermore, get the refrigerator thoroughly cleaned to store extra breastmilk or some delicious casseroles for family and friends.
Cleaning the fridge also allows you to toss out expired items. Here, it’s important to mention that a huge part of considering your baby’s nutritional needs is choosing between infant formula and human milk. This is especially crucial if your newborn is underweight or a preemie.
In recent years, most commercial baby formulas have gained a reputation for precarious (even dangerous) manufacturing practices. Babies (mainly those who are premature and with low birth weight) are developing a deadly gastrointestinal condition called necrotizing enterocolitis (NEC).
According to TorHoerman Law, parents have sued formula manufacturers for their newborns’ severe injuries (or death in some cases). All of this started amidst the infamous baby formula fiasco of 2022. Until now, around 97 cases are awaiting settlements across Federal courts.
The latest NEC lawsuit update is that four critical cases have been chosen for the upcoming Bellwether trials. The trials’ outcome will impact individual case payouts. Stay prepared in advance with a firm decision. Even if you choose not to breastfeed, consider researching other options, like a human milk bank.
Many first-time parents neglect a dedicated changing station and place their babies on the bed for a diaper change. Beds do not have the height needed for comfort which becomes a real problem when the baby requires frequent nappy changes.
Eventually, you will end up with a strained neck or back (not worth it!). A dedicated changing station that is high enough and easy to reach will make things more streamlined. You can have such stations in all or multiple rooms if possible (at least the nursery and your bedroom).
Besides the changing station, organize each room to accommodate baby items for feeding, sleeping, and rocking your bub.
In most cases, the early days of parenting become a blur, marked by sleep deprivation and a swarm of visitors. In case you’re planning to have visitors (family or friends) overnight, you must remember them also amidst your baby-friendly preparations.
In other words, have a stock of guest requirements ready to use, including toilet paper, toothbrushes, bath essentials, etc. Also, change the sheets and ensure all guest rooms have optimally functioning furniture like lights and fans.
That being said, you must never feel pressured to host guests, especially when there are valid reasons like a NICU discharge in the picture. Gradually, as your baby’s health stabilizes and you have adjusted to parenting, you can have guests over.
As we close, let’s touch upon the upward graph of the US baby furniture market. The use of furniture like advanced cribs, bassinets, etc. is on the rise. Parents are realizing the degree of comfort and convenience these products offer.
Some even go as far as rearranging their homes to accommodate their little one’s needs. After all, tot-sized furniture and scattered toys are the tip of the iceberg when there’s a baby in the house.