Preparing Your Home for a New Family Member

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Whether you’re a new parent or an old pro by now, bringing home a new family member means you need to do a little prep and if you’re the former, you could probably use all the tips you can get.

Being first-time parents can be as scary as Sleepy Hollow but even those with two or three children can overlook things. With that in mind, we wanted to help you be as prepared as possible and put together a few things that may help.

Stock Up

While saving for your little one’s road to college and overall future is crucial, equally important is ensuring you have a well-stocked home to handle their immediate needs and keep your living environment in order. As you nurture your newborn, remember to care for your own needs and maintain your household. Start by building up a supply of necessities such as toilet paper, paper towels, and laundry detergent – these items are as essential as diapers, eco-friendly baby wipes, formula, and infant attire. This will not only cater to your baby’s needs but also contribute positively to the environment. If you’re compiling a baby registry, think about adding these household items as well—it’s a practical way to diversify your list.

Start Baby-proofing Early

When baby-proofing your home, it’s crucial to prioritize areas that pose the most risk to your child, such as wall outlets, shelves, tables, chairs, and any sharp objects. These elements can lead to accidents, and the optimal way to avoid these incidents is to establish child-safe zones at an early stage.

Begin the baby-proofing process room by room, with the kitchen being the first point of call. Given its high usage, ensure all kitchen cabinets are equipped with childproof locks to prevent your child from accessing potentially hazardous items, such as cleaning supplies or cooking utensils. An invaluable addition to your childproofing effort is an auto-closing baby gate, which can be installed at the top and bottom of each staircase for added safety. If your living room features rugs, consider placing non-slip pads beneath each one for extra stability. For external security, install locks on all entry doors – front, back, and side. Lastly, consider replacing long curtains and blinds that have cords with cordless alternatives to prevent any risk of strangulation.

Make Cleaning a Habit

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Maintaining a spotless home is of utmost importance, especially when a new baby is in the picture. Practicing regular house cleaning rituals and using your ultimate cleaning kit can have a profound impact on the overall health of your family, much like the adage that an apple a day keeps the doctor away. Increasing the frequency of your cleaning sessions also offers the added benefit of significantly reducing stress levels. Messes are an inevitable part of life, especially when everyone is home for the holidays or visiting the new baby, but allowing clutter to accumulate can lead to a chaotic environment, which isn’t conducive for a newborn. Implement a structured cleaning routine by utilizing a dry-erase board to schedule and delegate tasks, ensuring your household remains clean and organized.

Older Siblings

Helping your older children adapt to a new family member is integral to maintaining their happiness and sense of importance. Despite the anticipation of a new child, older siblings should still feel the warmth of your affection in abundance. Open conversations with your older children about their incoming siblings welcome any questions they may have, and you may want to consider using books like “How to Be a Big Brother.”

It’s also key to be observant of any signs of regression in children, like sudden bedwetting or bottle-asking. These behaviors often become more common in children who are trying to confirm their parents’ affection. If your children fall within the age range of two to five, it might be beneficial to reach milestones like potty training to enhance their sense of independence before the baby arrives. Alongside this, establish a new routine that balances time between tending to older children and caring for the new baby, ensuring no one feels neglected.

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About the Author: Brian Novak