Spending time deep cleaning and preparing your home for a new baby ensures your family is ready for the newest family member.
In the last few weeks, you might experience an overwhelming urge that is called the nesting instinct. It might make you feel like you need to clean your entire house deep or stay up late, scrubbing walls or flooring. Nesting is a common experience for most pregnant women, and it can be tiring and exciting at the same time.
To help you prepare your home for the new baby’s arrival, here are some things that I think are essential to do beforehand.
When Should I Start Preparing My Home for My Baby?
I suggest that you start preparing your home when you reach your third trimester. You don’t want to wait until the last minute, and some things take longer than others.
If you’re starting a nursery from scratch, then you’ll need several weeks to be able to paint, lay flooring, put together furniture, and decorate. It takes time to gather everything that you want, and if you’re working full time, you don’t want to rush in the final weeks before your baby arrives.
10 Ways to Prepare Your Home for Your Baby
Ditch or Lock Away Chemicals
Your new baby won’t be searching the house for dangerous chemicals directly after birth, but these are one of those things that I think you should do sooner rather than later. Starting valid habits is an essential task for parents.
This is important:
You need to either lock away dangerous chemicals or switch to natural choices. For example, bleach is hazardous in the hands of a child. It can lead to a serious hospital trip, so it needs to be either locked behind closed cabinet doors or stop purchasing it entirely.
For our family, we switched to homemade products. We prefer to avoid chemicals entirely, but that’s a choice for each family. If you want to stick with conventional cleaning products, such as Lysol, be sure to keep it behind locked doors.
I have these locks on my kitchen cabinets to prevent my kids from accessing cleaning supplies (even though they’re safe), along with our trash bags, pet supplies, and things that kids shouldn’t touch. You don’t need to use screws for these locks, which is appealing.
Make Freezer Meals
When your baby arrives, you might not have a lot of time to cook, so having freezer meals stockpiled is a huge help. Instead of ordering food out for weeks, cooking frozen meals is cheaper and provides your family with healthier meals.
It’s so convenient. I could tell my husband to put frozen lasagna in the oven or cook breaded chicken breasts, making it easy and delicious. In the last few weeks, before I had my children, I spent time preparing a multitude of dinners, lunches, snacks, and muffins for my freezer.
Gather Snacks for Breastfeeding
Something else that I do to prepare for baby is creating a snack basket for breastfeeding. You’ll spend a lot of time breastfeeding, and it’s going to cause you to be hungry. I made sure that I had plenty of snacks that are non-perishable that I could keep in a basket near my recliner, where I breastfed my baby most days.
Here are my favorite snacks for breastfeeding:
- Peanut Butter Crackers
- Granola Bars
- Protein Bars
- Other Nuts
- Apples & Bananas
Here is a good read on all lactogenic foods that helps to increase the milk supply.
Do Some Basic Baby Proofing
Baby proofing takes time, and you don’t need to do it all right now before your baby arrives. You have several months to prepare for a mobile baby, but there are some things that I suggest you do now before your baby arrives.
The most important is anchoring furniture to the wall. You’re already creating a nursery, so as you put together the dressers and such, be sure to anchor them to the wall. Most furniture now comes with anchors, but if yours does not, you can purchase anchor kits online.
I also suggest using outlet covers immediately. They’re cheap, so getting a pack or two isn’t expensive.
Stockpile Basic Home Essentials
When I was pregnant and close to birth with my first child, I was so sure that I wouldn’t be able to get out of the house often. So, I stockpiled bath supplies that lasted me for six months.
Now, that was a bit of crazy nesting, but stockpiling basic home essentials is a smart idea. You do want to have a full refrigerator and cabinets. It’s also smart to have your cleaning supplies and paper supplies stocked up.
You’ll want to have plenty of toilet paper and paper towels on hand. 🙂
Unlike my worries, I can promise that you will be able to leave the house. If you can’t, grocery stores deliver to your home nowadays, but they didn’t ten years ago. However, it’s still a good idea to have everything you need for the first 2-3 weeks on hand. You won’t want to leave the house for the first few weeks after you have a baby.
Get Some Deep Cleaning Done
When you feel the nesting need, focus on deep cleaning. That’s not something you’re going to do whenever the baby arrives, so take care of it now.
I love deep cleaning; it’s a favorite of mine when I’m nearing the end of pregnancy. My baseboards are never as clean as they are then!
Some things you might want to complete before your baby arrives are: 😀
- Washing the windows
- Deep clean the refrigerator
- Reorganize kitchen cabinets
- Wash the curtains
- Wash all of your bedding
- Clean under the couch
Scrub the Carpet
You can either buy a carpet scrubber, rent one, or hire a professional company to scrub all of your carpets. It’s best to get all of the toxins and gross things that accumulate in your carpet out before your new baby arrives.
While it seems like a trivial task, when your baby arrives, you’ll find that you don’t have a lot of time to clean carpets. Newborn babies tend to keep their parents busy, and your carpets will be the last thing on your mind.
Finish the Nursery
You’ll want to finish the nursery before your baby arrives. What you do with your baby’s nursery is up to you, but if you wait to finish the nursery when your baby comes, chances are you won’t get it done. You’ll be too tired and too busy with a newborn to finish putting together a room.
Make sure that you set up the crib, the dresser, and wash some of the clothes. You don’t want to wash all of your baby’s clothes. You can do that when your baby arrives. It’s best to save back some of the clothes in case your baby is too big for the sizes. Not all babies wear newborn size; mine never used that size.
Prepare Room-In Bedding
The American Academy for Pediatrics tells parents that they should consider room sharing with their baby for the first six months of their life. Sharing a room with your child decreases the risk of SIDS for kids up to a year old.
If you decide that this is the route you want to take, you’ll want to set up whatever you choose to use. That could be a side-car for your bed, a crib in your room, or a bassinet.
You’ll also want to keep a basket of diapers, wipes, diaper cream, and some extra clothing in your bedroom. Babies don’t care if it’s 3 AM; they’ll have a diaper blowout and need a change of clothing.
Set Up Your Baby Gear
Last, make sure that all of the baby gear you need is set up. In your family or living room, you’ll want a baby swing or a bouncer seat, somewhere that you can put your baby so that you can have some hands-free time.
You don’t need to set up a highchair at birth, but some parents like to set things up to get that task finished. That might be you, and that’s okay!
Baby gear is notoriously bad for setup. The directions make it seem so easy to put together those sleepers or baby swings, but they never turn out to be so easy. Don’t make it, so you need to rush; set things up early.
In my experience, setting up early is also beneficial because it helps your pets and other children adjust to the changes. I tend to set things up a few weeks beforehand to give my toddlers time to adapt to the new objects in their homes.
Preparing your home for your new baby is a big deal and one of the most critical tasks for you to complete before the arrival of your child. It takes time, but having a child is a momentous event in your life.
That means you should take all of the time needed to prepare your home. You want everything ready when you come home with your baby in your arms.
Hey, this is Linda. My biggest accomplishment in life is being a mother of four children. Their current ages range from almost ten years old down to 20 months old.
I’m passionate about writing parenting articles because I understand so well all of the problems and trials you face as a parent. From breastfeeding woes to budgeting problems and behavior problems, along with everything in between, chances are I’ve faced it over the last ten years. Read more about Linda here.