Welcoming a newborn into your life is a joyous occasion, and it also requires some preparation, especially when it comes to your home. This article provides a comprehensive guide on making your home ready for a newborn, focusing on everything from the importance of early planning to creating a safe environment for your baby.
If you’ve been considering moving home, it’s advisable to plan this before the baby arrives. A bigger home or one in a more family-friendly neighbourhood can provide a better environment for your growing family. However, moving house can be stressful and time-consuming, and it’s easier to manage without a newborn in tow.
Settling into your new home before the baby’s arrival gives you ample time to arrange and baby-proof your space. It allows for a smoother transition and ensures your home is calm, ready, and welcoming for your newborn.
Staying Put? Time to Declutter
If you’re staying in your existing home, preparing for a baby often means making room amidst your current setup. Babies might be tiny, but the gear they come with isn’t, From prams to high chairs and cots, baby equipment can take up a surprising amount of space.
The best way to create this space is by decluttering and organising your rooms. Go through each room and remove items that are no longer needed or used. You’d be surprised how much space you can free up by doing this simple task.
Making Your Home Safe for a Baby
Baby-proofing is another critical aspect of making your home ready for a newborn. Babies are curious and, once they start crawling, will explore every nook and cranny they can reach. Here are some key areas to focus on:
Secure Furniture and Appliances
Ensure all heavy furniture and appliances are secure and won’t tip over. Install safety gates at the top and bottom of stairs and use cord wind-ups for blind cords to keep them out of your child’s reach.
Lock Away Hazardous Substances
Store all cleaning products, medicines, and other hazardous substances in locked cabinets out of your baby’s reach.
Install Safety Plugs
Electricity is a fundamental aspect of our homes, powering everything from lights to kitchen appliances. However, electrical outlets can pose a risk for curious little ones starting to explore their surroundings. Hence, one critical aspect of baby-proofing your home is ensuring that all unused electrical outlets are safe.
Babies and toddlers are naturally curious and love to explore their environment by touching and probing. An uncovered electrical outlet can seem like an intriguing target for those tiny hands. Unfortunately, this can lead to accidental shocks or even serious injury.
Outlet covers or safety plugs act as a physical barrier, preventing your child from inserting objects or fingers into the socket. By using these safety devices, you eliminate a significant risk, ensuring your child can explore their world more safely.
There are various types of outlet covers available on the market, and choosing the right one depends on your needs and the design of your outlets. Here are some options:
Plastic Plug-in Caps
These are simple plastic caps that plug into the outlet just like a regular plug. They are inexpensive and easy to use. However, they can be a choking hazard if a child manages to remove them, so they’re best used in outlets that are out of your child’s reach.
Sliding Outlet Covers
Sliding outlet covers replace the existing faceplate of your outlet. They have a sliding mechanism that covers the socket when it’s not in use but slides away when you plug something in. These are more difficult for a child to tamper with and don’t pose a choking hazard.
Box Outlet Covers
These covers are ideal for outlets that are always in use, such as those for lamps or appliances. The cover encloses both the outlet and the plugs, keeping cords out of your child’s reach.
Most outlet covers are simple to install. Plug-in caps just push into the outlet, while sliding covers and box covers usually only require a screwdriver to replace the existing faceplate. Always follow the manufacturer’s instructions to ensure the covers are installed correctly and securely.
Soften Sharp Corners
Use corner protectors on furniture with sharp edges.
Using Self-Storage for Temporarily Unneeded Furniture
If you have furniture that’s currently unneeded or unsuitable for a baby-friendly home, consider using a self-storage unit. This solution keeps your furniture safe and intact without cluttering your space. When you’re ready or need these items again, you can easily retrieve them.
Preparing for Visitors
A new baby often means a stream of visitors, from family members to friends excited to meet the newest addition. Preparing for these visits in advance can help minimise stress. Consider setting up a comfortable guest room if space allows. Stock up on essentials like toiletries, towels, and spare bedding.
Also, don’t hesitate to set boundaries for your visitors. It’s okay to specify visiting hours or request quiet during the baby’s nap time. Remember, people are there to support you during this exciting time, and they’ll understand your needs.
The Importance of a Calm Environment
A calm, peaceful environment is beneficial for both the baby and the new parents. Try to keep your home as serene as possible. Soft lighting, comfortable furniture, and a soothing colour scheme can all contribute to a calm atmosphere. Remember to create a comfortable, quiet space for yourself too. Parenting a newborn can be overwhelming, and you’ll need a place to relax and recharge.