Bringing Home Your Baby | How To Prepare For Your First Week Home
Before you know it, your little bundle of joy will make their debut in your home. Are you ready? While no one is ever truly “ready” to become a parent, they can make their home more welcoming, organized, and efficient for a new baby and their very demanding (but adorable) needs. Here are a few ways you can ensure that all your i’s are dotted and t’s are crossed when you walk out your door as partners, and re enter your home a few days later as parents!
1. Set up a Bassinet in Your Bedroom
You can never plan how your delivery will go - you may end up with a C-section and have a difficult time getting out of bed and up and down steps. In this case, it’s wise to set up a bassinet in your bedroom, close to your bed. This makes night time feedings a cinch, and it also helps to limit your movements until you heal. When your baby is a bit older and you’re healed from delivery, you can move them into their nursery crib.
2. Set up Soothing Sounds
Your baby is used to feeling safe, snug, and secure in a warm and cozy place full of constant muffled sounds. When they get removed from this environment after 9 months, their new world can be a loud, cold, confusing, scary place! You can make sure you’re prepared for this phenomenon by having a few soothing sounds ready for them. For example, a Riff Raff Sleep Toy contains a noise box which can be placed near their sleeping area that gives off white noise. You can also utilize a traditional plug in, white noise machine at nap times to help them nod off easier (tired new moms enjoy dozing off to white noise too!).
3. Create a Diaper Station
Ready, set, diaper! Get ready to go through tons of diapers and accessories. Setting up a diaper station is a wonderful way to be prepared for your new baby and their bodily needs. Consider setting up a diaper station on each floor of your home. All you need is a changing pad, a caddy to hold all your diapering necessities, and you can even keep a change of clothes (or two) nearby. This is a great idea because it allows you to ensure you have everything you need at arm’s length and eliminates the need for making multiple trips to and from the diaper changing area.
4. Set up Bottles or Nursing Supplies
Designate a small area on your kitchen countertop to place all of your nursing and feeding goodies. Take everything out of the box first, such as bottles, nipples, and breast pump gear. Be sure to sanitize it or wash it thoroughly (one less thing to worry about), and organize everything in a way that works for you. You may also want to place a bottle brush here, as well as a drying rack. When everything's out in the open, it’s easy for anyone to access, so all hands are on deck for feeding time!
5. Wash, Rinse, Repeat!
You’ve probably gotten many articles of clothing at your baby shower. Time to break them out and get ready to be worn. Clip all the tags and stickers off your new items, wash them with hypoallergenic detergent, and gently tumble them dry. Again, one less thing to do when you bring home the baby. Fold and tuck your items away in a drawer or closet. Develop a method to your madness and be sure to keep all bottoms together, all tops together, and have specific spots for everything in between, like onesies and jammies. The more you organize your nursery and familiarize yourself with it, the more efficient you can be with finding things.
6. Pre Pack Your Diaper Bag
Believe it or not, your diaper bag will get used sooner than you think. Most pediatricians want to see an infant within the first couple weeks of them being home. This means, you’ll have to have diapers, wipes, a change of clothes (and more) in your bag. Why not pre pack your diaper bag so all you’ll have to do is pick it up and go?
7. Cook up a Storm
Before you leave for the hospital, dedicate a full day as a cooking day. Make plenty of meals that freeze well so you can have a delicious and nutritious meal that heats up in a jiffy! Many infants don’t have their days and nights figured out right away, so the last thing you’ll want to do is cook, when you should be sleeping!
8. Have Necessities on Standby
You can never have too many burp blankets or teethers on hand. While your baby won’t be old enough to really grasp a teether (or need to effectively use one) at this point, it still serves as a focal point for them, that can district their diaper changes or while waiting to be fed. Consider keeping a blanket and teether in all places you spend most of your time together-the family room, kitchen, nursery, and also in your car or diaper bag.
The last thing you want to fumble around with is an infant car seat base and carrier. Many couples leave these large items in a box and don’t break them out until the day they bring the baby home-big mistake! Nearly all car seats should be tested out prior to use. Some just aren’t compatible with a car’s seat style, or they aren’t easy to get in and out of the back. When you install bases and test out infant carriers ahead of time, you can ensure you have something safe to transport your baby in, or make a fast exchange at the baby store.
In conclusion, while there may be some other things you want to have ready for your baby’s big debut, these are among the most crucial for the safety of your baby, and the sanity of yourself. When you’re prepared and ready to bring your baby home, you can focus on enjoying your time as a new parent, and not stress about getting (or staying) organized.