If you’re preparing for baby to come home and wondering how to prepare your home for a baby, then read on! You’ll discover the essentials of preparing your home for a baby from a seasoned mom.
This post is sponsored by Parent’s Choice brand and Walmart. All opinions are my own.
I’m Preparing for Baby Number 5
I’m in the final weeks of my pregnancy with my fifth child. And I figure it’s probably time to start preparing for baby to come home!
We live in a 1300 square feet townhome. It’s already crowded in here, especially when you factor in the fact we homeschool and I work from home too.
Fitting in the additional supplies and everything for baby #5 is a logistics challenge. Add in the fact that I am very sore this pregnancy (more than I’ve been with the others) and I’m not really in a nesting mood at this point, unless that “nesting” looks more like “roosting” and simply means sitting big and fat on the couch, doing nothing, incubating this large baby in my belly.
But, this week we went to our storage unit and pulled out all the items we (hopefully) need to prepare your home for a baby. We’ve done this a time or three before, so we know a little bit of what is actually needed to get done before you bring home a baby.
While there are like 100 things to do to prepare for a baby and to get ready for a baby from packing hospital bags and picking out a pediatrician, I wanted to talk specifically about the home-front in terms of preparation, and from a laid-back, frugal, realistic standpoint. Because, I assure you, you don’t have to have everything picture-perfect before the babe arrives and enters your home and there are far less must-have baby items than you’re often led to believe there are.
Preparing for Baby – 6 Essential Ways To Plan Ahead
This will cover everything you need to know to prepare your home for the new baby. There are 6 main ways you need to prepare.
1. Prepare Home for Baby by Cleaning It
This wouldn’t be “What’s up Fagans?” without me mentioning cleaning, would it?
When it comes to preparing your home for a baby, making sure it is clean, organized, decluttered, and sanitized is definitely on the to-do list.
While it would be great to have your entire home pass a white glove inspection exam, I understand that, well, sometimes you’re super busy right up to delivery, or delivery happens sooner than you’d like, or you really feel like doing nothing because your body is too sore to move adequately around your home, let alone get in all those nooks and crannies for a true deep clean.
Tackle what you can in this regard.
The Most Important Things to Clean When Preparing for Baby to Come Home
I would argue though that the following really should be cleaned before baby arrives home.
- Flooring, Carpets & Rugs: Hire a service, rent a machine, or remove carpet stains yourself. You’ll put the baby down for tummy time, so make sure they’re clean!
- Air Filters and Vents: Change them out and clean all air vents.
- Car: Clean your car as you move things around and install the car seat and otherwise prep your vehicle for a baby!
- Bathtubs: If you intend to wash your baby in the bathtub, it better be clean! Here’s my favorite way to clean a bathtub.
- Sinks: If you intend to bathe a baby in a kitchen or bathroom sink, they better be clean! Plus, you’ll be washing your hands loads with all the diaper changes. Here’s how to clean porcelain sinks and even how to clean globe sink handles.
- Microwave: You want to be able to use a microwave to warm bottles, leftovers, and anything else without nasty smells. Here’s how to clean a microwave with vinegar.
- Oven: It’s a pain to clean so use the self-cleaning oven feature if you like now, before baby comes, when it’s easy to get out of the house for a few hours to let the smell and fumes dissipate. Or use baking soda to clean the oven.
- Refrigerator: Throw out old food, clean and deodorize your fridge, stock up on good food.
- Bedding: Wash yours and the baby’s mattress protectors, pillows, pillowcases, sheets, quilts, all of it.
- Ceiling Fans: Dust them and make sure they work
- Curtains: Dust them, wash them, hang them up. Make sure to install blackout curtains for the baby’s room!
- Baby Gear: Make sure any used or old baby gear items you’ll use, like cribs, playards, bottles, swings, breast pumps, bouncers, car seats and so on, are wiped down on all sides and sanitized properly.
And of course, just general cleanliness of your home is important. You should have a picked-up and clean kitchen and living spaces.
2. Prepare Home for Baby by Setting Up Sleeping Arrangements
Make sure the baby’s crib, bassinet, pack n’ play, or co-sleeper is set up properly and ready to for a baby to sleep in them (now that you’ve cleaned them)!
We will be using a pack n’ play with the bassinet insert for awhile at first, keeping the baby in our bedroom, and then eventually move her over to our crib (which our 2-year-old is still currently sleeping in).
In order to prepare for baby, we went to Walmart and picked up some new mattress protectors, bed sheets, and even a new special baby blanket from the Parent’s Choice Mix n’ Match bedding line. Our previous selection of sheets and mattress protectors were old, stained, ripped, holey, or ill-fitting. It was time to splurge a little on some new bedding for our newest addition.
However, it wasn’t much of a splurge as the Parent’s Choice from Walmart Mix and Match Bedding is an affordable way to protect your beds and keep things cute in the nursery as all items are under $40, most less than $13. The mix and match bedding options let you coordinate chevron, arrows, and owl bedding in nine different colors and includes blankets, crib sheets, changing pads, and nursery sets.
The entire Parent’s Choice line of over 275 products at Walmart has everything you need from bedding to diapers, wipes, and more and at quality as good as if not better than top brands for less money!
Be sure to get the bed and bedding in place, as well as set up the nursery however you want it, including decorating it or painting if before baby comes as you so desire. But, know the bare minimum is to have a safe (and preferably adorable) place for your little one to sleep.
3. Prepare Home for Baby by Organizing Baby Clothes
We have boxes of girls clothes in our storage from our twin girls (who are now seven) to hand down to future kids. I guess it’s a good thing we’ve had two daughters since having twins as these clothes will definitely get their use!
Buy or get baby clothes for your newest addition, wash them, and then put them away. You’ll want to have sizes Newborn – 6 months on hand from the start. Keep the bigger sizes you may have packed up for the time being just to keep things more organized and decluttered in the closet.
Pick up Parent’s Choice baby hangers from Walmart (you can get a 10-pack for about $1) and hang up the shirts, dresses, and bodysuits in the closet by size.
Put little things like pants, skirts, shorts, socks and shoes (though shoes are not really necessary for babies… just saying!), bloomers, tights, headbands, and other little accessories into some dresser drawers or simple storage drawers.
4. Prepare Home for Baby by Setting Up Stations
Chances are you won’t leave your home much after having a new baby. It’s totally normal, especially during the winter cold and flu season.
To make life easier for you around your home, try to set up “stations” with various supplies that you’ll need frequently, like a nursing station, a bottle station, and a diaper changing station.
These do not have to be elaborate by any means. But, if you have a two-story or more home, it’s worth doing!
If you plan on breastfeeding your baby, make sure you have a comfortable chair or designated area of the living room or couch to do so. You may want to pick up a rocking chair or glider as they are pretty handy!
Around your seat(s) of choice, you may want to have some or all of the following:
- Nipple Cream
- Nursing Pads
- Nursing Pillow
- Nursing Cover
- Breast Pump and Pumping Supplies
- Books (or an ereader)
- Phone Charger
If you plan on bottle-feeding your baby, make sure you have formula and bottles in handy locations. This may even mean keeping some outside of the kitchen for those middle of the night feedings. Have a bottle washing station and all of those supplies handy as well. Make sure to find some kitchen cabinet space for all the bottles and formula. You’ll likely want the following:
- Bottle inserts
- Bottlenecks and nipples
- Nipple brushes
- Bottle Warmers
- Bottle Drying Rack
Diaper Changing Station
While you don’t need a changing table or changing pad, they are super nice and very convenient! Regardless, you need to have diapers and wipes stashed in convenient locations so you don’t have to go all the way upstairs to the baby’s room to change their diapers.
We keep a stash of diapers and wipes in our entertainment center downstairs, and some in the bottom drawer in my bedroom nightstand. Our pack n’ play also comes with built-in shelves that allow me to store diapering supplies under the bassinet insert.
Maybe you’ll keep some in a drawer in your kitchen, or in the closet. Whatever or wherever you decide to keep diapers supplies, it’ll be helpful to have them in multiple places! Be sure you’ve stocked up on diapering supplies like the following:
- Soft portable changing pad (to protect floor, bedding, couch)
- Diaper rash cream
- Hand sanitizer
- Trash can or diaper pail and liners
5. Prepare Home for Baby by Installing the Baby Stuff
Newborns are little but they often come with a lot of stuff. Make sure you have the following assembled, installed correctly, and ready for your baby:
- Bed – crib, bassinet, playard, cosleeper
- Car Seat
- Baby Monitors
You can also install baby proofing items before baby comes too, though many of these items can wait a little while as babies don’t roll over, let alone full-on crawl, until, at the earliest, four months old.
You’ll want to make sure to lock all cleaning supplies away, plug up the exposed outlets, put medicine up and away in high cabinets, and set up baby gates in front of stairs. And if you are a gun owner, make sure guns are locked up and safely out of reach.
6. Prepare Home for Baby by Stocking Up on Food
This is probably the area I am worst at because I hate cooking, but stocking up not only on diaper and baby essentials but also food is smart.
Several families prep multiple freezer meals so they can simply grab, thaw, heat, and eat without having to prep much if anything for dinner.
Others try to line up some hot meals to be brought in from friends from work or church for at least a little while after the baby comes home.
Of course, taking advantage of meal delivery services as well as grocery pickup services like Walmart Grocery are also great ways to prepare your home for baby.
Preparing for Baby – It’s Simple
Complete the above items (and more if I forgot something you think needed) and you’ll find preparing for baby to come home is not such a big deal and much easier than you thought! But, just make sure you start preparing home for baby at least a few weeks before your due date to give yourself plenty of time to get it all set up and ready!