Getting your home ready for a new baby is a challenge, but an exciting one!
Don't think of all the cleaning, baby proofing and nursery prepping as a chore — think of it as an adventure.
Here are five tips to get a newborn-ready home in no time.
1. Clear out clutter.
Everyone feels better in an environment free of clutter, but you'll want to do this for more than purely aesthetic reasons.
You'll want to give your house a deep clean before your baby settles in, and it is far easier and more efficient to do this when piles of paperwork and closets stuffed with clothes you hardly wear are dealt with ahead of time.
Make four boxes or baskets: trash, stuff to keep, stuff to sell and stuff to donate.
Once you've set up your categories, your goal should be to have more items in the three piles representing things leaving the house than in the “keep” pile.
Once you have the clutter sorted out, get rid of these items as soon as possible. Don't procrastinate! You'll be tempted to second guess yourself and keep more.
Visit consignment shops, have a yard sale or list items online for sale.
Bring the items for donation a charity immediately, or at least get them in the trunk of your car.
Then, simply sort what you've kept back into their proper places.
Don't worry, you won't miss your unused stuff, and all of your baby's toys and gear will soon take up all of the now-clear space you have in your home.
2. Deep clean.
This is a great time to scrub the fridge, get those dust bunnies out from behind big furniture, shampoo carpets and change the vent filters for your air conditioner registers.
Anything you can do to reduce dust in the air and remove any grime that has built up will give your baby a healthier environment.
Once your baby is born, your time will be very limited, and you'll be happy you're starting parenthood with a clean, comfortable home.
Just make sure to protect your baby by keeping windows open when you're using cleaning chemicals.
3. Stock up.
Babies are susceptible to all kinds of illnesses, especially in the wintertime.
Stock your house up with hand sanitizer so when visitors come, they won't be bringing germs from the outside world into your home.
4. Baby proof.
Your budget, lifestyle and personal “worry level” will guide you in terms of what specific items you feel are important when baby proofing your home, but there are some basics every parent should consider.
Outlet covers that allow parents easy access but protect little ones from accidental shocks are highly recommended, and there are many styles to choose from.
The same goes for cabinet locks — at least for cabinets where anything potentially harmful is stored.
You can purchase devices that lock your toilet, disable stove knobs when not in use and keep cords to window blinds from becoming a strangling hazard.
Basically, get on the floor and wander through your home. Anything at floor level is a temptation, so be sure to address any danger zones.
Secure furniture and heavy items to the walls with furniture anchors.
5. Set up the nursery.
Plush pillows, decorative crib bumpers, cozy blankets and stuffed animals look absolutely adorable in cribs on display in department stores — and that's where they should stay… in the display models.
While a bare crib may not look inviting to you, it could save your baby's life. Nothing should be in the crib with baby except a snug fitting sheet over the mattress.
Leave the stuffed animals for supervised playtime, the thick, soft blankets for snuggles with mom or dad and the cute décor for the room itself.
The crib has one job and one job only: to keep your baby safe and contained while sleeping.