Preparing Your Home for Baby
Of course, we're willing to bet you don't have time to do everything you want. So, to prepare for baby, focus on taking care of tasks that will make life easier after she arrives. Here are some great ways to get organized now.
- Prepare for baby by staying on top of the laundry during your final weeks of pregnancy.
Get in the habit of tossing a load in the washing machine first thing in the morning and last thing before you go to bed. This will help to ensure that you have a huge pile waiting for you when you get home from the hospital—Baby will create enough of her own dirty laundry piles in her first few days!. And since you're going to be trekking to and from the laundry room on a regular basis anyway, you might as well get a head start on all the baby laundry. You don't have to tackle all of the baby clothes at once, of course. But if you launder all of the linens plus some key baby clothes you know you'll use in the first weeks, you'll make your life that much easier.
- Keep the kitchen and bathroom reasonably clean.
While you shouldn't expect either room to pass the white glove test, some basic hygiene is definitely in order when preparing for baby. There are few things more depressing than discovering that you can't even make yourself a sandwich or a cup of tea because there's not a single clean dish in the house, or being unable to enjoy a long, leisurely soak in the tub because you can't remember when you last cleaned the bathroom! If you're too pooped to tackle these cleaning jobs yourself in your mega-pregnant state (and, frankly, that's likely to be the case at this stage of the game), hire someone to give your house a thorough cleaning the week before your baby is due.
- Move the cordless phone into your family room.
Place it on the coffee table along with the TV remote, a box of tissues, and other items you're likely to need while you're curled up on the sofa feeding baby.
If your sofa is light colored or otherwise likely to stain, consider purchasing some sort of throw, sofa cover or other sofa protection. The acid in baby spit-ups could bleach the color out of certain fabrics almost instantly—whoa! The same goes for carpets that could easily be damaged by a cascade of upchucked milk. You might want to purchase an inexpensive area rug and plunk it down in front of your sofa in an attempt to give the Persian rug underneath at least a fighting chance of surviving baby's first year.
- Drag your glider rocker or rocking chair out of the spare bedroom and place it in either your bedroom or your baby's nursery.
You're likely to clock countless hours in this chair, particularly if your baby ends up being they fussy type, so you might as well ensure that it's as handy as possible for those middle-of-the-night feedings.
- Set up baby change stations on each floor of your house.
You don't have to spring for a changing table on each floor when youre preparing for baby. All you really need is a waterproof changing pad and a stash of diapering essentials—diapers, wipes, petroleum jelly or diaper rash cream.
- Get organized and arrange your kitchen cupboards so that the items that you need most often are all within easy reach.
You don't want to have to climb on a stool, lean over a hot stove, or do other risky gymnastic maneuvers while you're making your way around the kitchen with a baby in your arms. The same goes for the deep freeze in your basement, by the way—it's almost impossible to reach a pot roast in the bottom of the freezer when you have a baby strapped to your chest.