I remember preparing for parenthood, looking at my living space, and feeling overwhelmed by it all. Caring for a child was huge. How would I ever be ready? As I researched baby-proofing techniques, I felt even more out of my depth. So, what did I do? I over prepared. In hindsight, I realize I burned up a lot of time and resources by doing so. Four years later, I can tell what worked and what wasn’t necessary for our situation. So, here are my suggestions that will hopefully reduce your stress as you make your home baby ready.
Most of these steps can be done before your baby arrives, but some can happen later. It’s simpler to do these ahead of time, but don’t stress over the safety of your newborn if you can’t make all of these happen right away.
Not all chemicals are evil. Glass of water, anyone? However, many household cleaners contain chemicals that absorb into your skin and have dangerous long-term effects. According to this study, if you are a stay-at-home mom, you have a 54 percent higher death rate from cancer due to the increased exposure to household cleaning products.
Some ways I’ve reduced the use of dangerous chemicals in my home are:
Ditching Windex and all-purpose sprays for microfiber cloths (i.e. Norwex). Soak your cloth in water and use it to clean surfaces like countertops, tubs, and sinks. The microfibers lift and trap the bacteria using nothing but water.
Replace stronger cleaners with natural substitutes. Some examples include dye-free laundry detergent, Thieves oil surface cleaner, or natural baby shampoo (i.e. Honest Co.)
Diffusing essential oils into the air versus lighting chemical-laden candles. I’ve just begun diffusing lavender into the air and love how fresh it smells.
The most important thing you can do with any of these options is to educate yourself on what will work best for your family (and I promise, I am NOT a vendor for any of these companies).
Newborns can eat eight to 10 times a day. Whether you’re breastfeeding or using a bottle, that’s a lot of time sitting in one place. Your baby and your back will thank you if you already have a few designated places ready for the two of you to settle in.
For example, in our nursery, we placed a glider with a small pillow to support my lower back. In the living room, we had a boppy pillow always within reach.
Don’t forget to include a space for when it’s dad’s turn!
This will come with experience, but you’ll discover a thousand ways to make your home baby ready. In our experience, they weren’t all necessary.
Here are a few ways you can baby-proof your home that made sense to us:
Cover electrical sockets. Covers are so inexpensive, easy to insert, and could save your child’s life.
Baby-proof kitchen cabinets that contain dangerous items. You can secure all your cabinets if you’d like, but we only secured those that contained potentially harmful objects like dishwasher detergent. We opted to let our children learn boundaries through trial and error, like getting into the pots and pans while I was present or understanding my instructions when I asked them not to open something.
Purchase one easily adjustable baby gate. One quality baby gate can endure years of blocking stairs, separating babies from pets, blocking your toddler’s door while training her to do “quiet time”, etc.
Breakables go up. Browse each room and find items that could be within the baby’s reach when she learns to crawl and climb.
Secure your heavy furniture. The heart-dropping possibility of a TV or dresser toppling onto your toddler can be prevented if you secure them to the wall.
If you have a coffee table with square edges, swap it for something round or soft. We have fabric ottomans of various sizes from Home Reserve that are so versatile. They can hold a plate of hors d'oeuvres or can act as end tables next to a sofa. Little ones like them for playtime, whether it’s fort building or playing leapfrog.
They’re great for storage, too. Just pop the lid off and store toys or blankets inside.
Got any tips to make your home baby ready that we missed? Share one with us below!
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