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12 Ways to prepare your home for your new baby

Nina Spitzer is a SheKnows.com columnist and a freelance writer living in sunny Cave Creek, Arizona.

First baby advice

The birth of your first-born is only a few months away and you're totally new at this baby thing. You realize there will be a million and one things to do once the baby is born. What you want to know is what you can do to prepare for your new baby now. Here are 12 suggestions of what you can do now to help prepare for your new baby's arrival.

Pregnant Belly in Nusery

 

Preparing your home for new baby

LOCATION OF THE BABY'S ROOM

Get used to it. The beginning months will have you getting up for feedings during the night. Give careful thought to whether you prefer the baby's room near your bedroom for feeding convenience or a little further away so dad is more likely to be well-rested for work the next day.

DECORATING BABY'S ROOM

How exciting it is to prepare the nursery for your first baby! You want it to look oh, so cute, but safety must be a priority. It also needs to be organized in a way that's convenient for you. As excited as you may be, try not to overcrowd the room with baby stuff before your little one has arrived. Start with the basics like a crib, changing table, dresser, and rocking chair. There's plenty of time to add in other items later.

SCREEN DOOR

Consider replacing the nursery door with a wooden screen door. This will let you to keep the door closed so pets and/or guests won't go in, yet still allow you to see in and hear the baby. The screen door can be painted or stained to match the room, and a decorative window shade can be added on the inside of the door in order to shut out light.

ROCKING CHAIR

A comfortable rocking chair will be relaxing for you and create a soothing motion for your baby at feeding time. Find a design that works for now, but will also be a useful and memorable piece of furniture in your home for years to come.

BABY PROOFING

Baby proofing your home will seem like a huge, continual undertaking. Make it easy on yourself and start now. You'll be too overwhelmed with your new arrival and visitors to think about it when you come home from the hospital. Prepare for your new baby now by baby-proofing for the newborn stage. You will be re-evaluating safety needs at the crawling and walking stages, as well.

BABY MONITOR

Look into purchasing a good, dependable baby monitor. You can't be in all places at all times, so this little piece of technology will help alert you to problems that might arise. It will be especially comforting to you during baby's first days at home.

GOOD BABY CARE BOOK

A good baby care book covering stages from newborn to early childhood is essential. You'll find yourself referring to it with every little sniffle and rash. Ask friends for recommendations and then spend time at the bookstore browsing over the many available choices. You'll find this book will become your dog-eared best friend.

BREAST & BOTTLE FEEDING ESSENTAILS

Your baby will want meals on time just like you and Daddy. Bottle-feeding moms will need feeding equipment and formula before baby arrives. For breastfeeding, have a breast pump and bottles available for times when someone else will be feeding baby. You'll also want to have nipple cream on hand for when you're sore. Keep the phone number of a local breastfeeding support group member on hand, just in case you need some advice or a shoulder to lean on.

DIGITAL CAMERA

If you don't already own a digital camera, now's the time to buy one. There will be more photo ops than you ever dreamed of once your baby is born. Don't go in for a fancy, hard to operate camera. Find one that's simple, dependable and will give you quality photos. Be sure to pack it into your delivery bag for pictures of your child only minutes old.

FREEZER MEALS

Your first days home from the hospital will be busy for both you and your hubby. There will be times when neither of you will want to cook. Take-out food is an option, but gets costly for a new family on a budget. Plan ahead. Make some easy meals like casseroles, spaghetti sauce, and stew in the months before your delivery and stash them in the freezer. You can also make larger portions of upcoming meals, since frozen leftovers will also be a welcome sight once the baby is born.

IMPORTANT PHONE NUMBERS

Prepare for your new baby's arrival now by compiling a list of important phone numbers and post them near your phone. Include poison control, your baby's pediatrician, your doctor, the breastfeeding support group contact and your favorite pizza joint.

YOUR BEDROOM

Sure, you'll soon have a new little visitor in your bed from time to time, but that doesn't mean your bedroom should become Babyland. Your bedroom should still be a romantic sanctuary for you and your husband (even if "romance" may only be cuddles for a couple of months.) Be careful not to clutter up your bedroom with baby gear. Your hubby is still your special guy and you both still need your private, escape place. This is one of the most exciting times of your life. Preparing for your new baby now will mean you'll have that much more time to play with and enjoy your baby later. Babies grow up quickly, so you won't want to lose a precious moment!

More advice on preparing your home for baby:

30 Ways to baby proof your home
Childproofing your home before baby crawls

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