Steps to Getting Your Home and Family Prepped for a New Baby

While preparing for a new-born can be overwhelming, it’s important to remember the small things. It can be easy to forget about so many moving parts, especially as you get closer to the due date. Here are a few things to keep in mind as you and your family prepare for a new baby.

Master Bedroom Essentials Postpartum

Your doctor will recommend room sharing after bringing the baby home for at least the first six months postpartum. This is to avoid the risk of SIDS, or Sudden Infant Death Syndrome, which can be very common amongst new-borns. Consider purchasing a crib you can keep by your bedside, giving your baby a safe place to sleep at night. Transitional cribs are a great way to avoid extra costs later on, and will “grow up” with your infant.

If you haven’t already invested in black-out curtains, now might be the time to do so. When your baby starts sleeping odd hours, you will too. These curtains will keep light out in the middle of the day, so the transition to sleep mode comes more naturally. Sleep habits will change a lot throughout the first year, making this a great investment before transitioning your baby into their own room.

Seeing Double: Specifics for Twins/Multiples

As children age, twins (or “multiples,” if more than two) might develop anti-sharing attitudes. This won’t start for a few months, so while you have time, take a pause on buying double.

Sharing things like clothes while they are the same size and even sharing a room can be beneficial early on. If you have the budget and the space, two dressers will be helpful down the road, but not necessarily a need right away. In the meantime, they can share playpens, play gyms, and other nursery items.  

baby lying down playing with a play gym

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While you may put a rocking chair in the master bedroom for now, make sure to invest in one that has gliders; you’ll be able to move it around to eventually sit in the nursery. A double rocker is a great option for aligned feeding times, or even just to give you some extra room. The glider is also more design-forward, and can become a permanent fixture in your home!

Bathroom and Nursery Updates

If you haven’t taken the time to make room updates, it’s best to do so before the baby comes to avoid feeling rushed. Hopefully, you haven’t just moved into a new home, but given potential obstacles (Covid-19, renovations, selling your home, etc.) it’s possible you may only have a little bit of time left. Make sure these updates are done beforehand to save you stress. 

The bathroom is an important place for mothers when bringing a baby home. Before updating the bathtub or shower, a bathroom vanity with storage for baby items is a must. If your bathroom doesn’t have a linen closet, the storage space in the vanity will be a great place to store diapers, bathtime supplies, and extra items that you’ll need as your child grows.  

Functionality is just as important as design; invest in a dresser with a detachable topper as a diaper changing table that will evolve to fit your child’s needs as they get older. You’ll spend a lot of time changing diapers, so this is a great place to store all the necessities for changing such as clean diapers, wipes, and extra clothes.

Nitty Gritty Details: Insurance and Healthcare

After having a baby, you’ll most likely qualify for a special enrolment period. This means that you can apply for insurance outside of the normal open enrolment. If you haven’t started the pregnancy process yet, consider changing your plan early on. Your health plan will then include additional services over the course of your pregnancy. Note that becoming pregnant isn’t a life change, having a baby is. So if you plan on trying to conceive, use this November 15th enrolment to add in those services. 

While you won’t be able to take your baby to a healthcare provider until after they’re born, you should have one at the ready. The American Academy of Pediatrics has a Find a Pediatrician tool if finding one in your area seems difficult. 

Think Small: Baby Proof the Home

While these aren’t things you’ll have to think about right away, it’s important to keep in mind as your baby grows.  If your house was built before 1978, you’ll have to check for lead paint. Exposure to lead paint can diminish motor skills in children, along with dizziness and nausea. Also, make sure your carbon monoxide and fire detectors are up to date.

Some smaller, yet forgettable items include a potty training seat for the toilet and thick rugs in rooms with hardwood floors. Consider moving items normally on tub ledges to a shelf to avoid a potential poison risk if ingested. Make sure the plants in your new baby’s reach are also non-toxic, as there are some that are harmful if ingested at such a young age.

While the process can seem scary, these steps will help you feel more at ease when bringing your new-born home. The early stages may seem long while you’re in it, but time flies by and soon you’ll be onto first words and first steps.

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