You can never be too prepared for the arrival of your little one emotionally or physically, but this should help you have all the things you need in place and ready when your little one comes home for the first time!
1. Choose the baby room. You may have only one place to put your baby, or you may have a selection of 3 rooms. Whichever is your case, choose the space for your baby. Clean the room out, and wipe down the walls and clean the carpet before you put anything in the room.
If you decide to decorate, have someone paint the room for you (dad, friends, or hired help) and air it out appropriately before you bring your new baby items into the room.
2. Choose your baby furniture. If you choose a crib, a bassinet, a changing table, a rocking chair, or any other furniture items, have them picked out and delivered before baby comes.
Assemble them and wipe clean. Place them as you would like in the baby room, remembering that you want the crib to be free from any dangling cords from windows, and away from any electrical outlets.
3. Accessorize. If you have a shower you will have baby clothes, toys, and accessories to store.
Put the clothes wherever you plan on having them, if it is in the closet or dresser. Wash and put the sheets on the bed, wahs and have blankets ready to use.
Place extra items such as diapers and wipers in “storage” in the closet or out of your way. When baby comes home you want to be able to dig to find the right package, the wipes and then start changing. Put yo baby room together, as if the baby were already there
4. Clean and prepare a bath room or bath space. You will need to bathe your baby soon after coming home. Have your bathroom counter clean, or your sink free from obstructions for your baby tub.
You would want to rinse out the tub with hot water to ensure that it is free from debris and ready for baby.
Have all of your bathing products together, ready for use. This would be bath, wash cloths, hooded towels, and lotion.
5. Wash baby clothes and organize. Wash those items that you are sure you will be using in the first couple of days. Items that I recommend are baby gowns, baby socks, and a couple of hats and mitts.
The cute outfits can be washed for use if you want, however are not necessary in the first few days of life. Don’t forget to wash your clothes as well
6. Have baby gates ready if you are using them for pets. If you want to keep pets in or out of a certain room, buy the baby gate and have it ready to go.
You may want to install it now and let the pets become accustomed to being in a certain room, or not being in the room now, before the baby comes
7. Assemble. Put together toys, rockers, chairs and the like. You will find that you get frustrated when trying to put a toy together while baby is crying or with lack of sleep.
Put it together now and save the trouble later. Put batteries in those items that require them that will be used, do not leave batteries in toys or furniture that will not be used for long periods of time.
8. Lighting. Something most parents don’t think of. Set up lighting in your room, baby’s room, or even your living room that can be dimmed or even just a reading light.
You will cringe the first time you stub your toe getting up to a crying baby in the dark. You can even keep a flash light handy by the bed for those times that you don’t want to turn on the “big” light and blind both you and your little one.
Think about it now, and make adjustments as needed. You will also want lights in your living room (or wherever you will spend the most time with baby) that you can adjust, dim, or turn off when baby is sleeping.
Last but not least prepare older children and pets. Let older children help with the arrival of the little one, and let pets get comfortable with a new schedule.
Once you have the baby, bring a blanket home or in the house first for the pets to sniff. If you will change either a pet or child’s schedule due to the new arrival, slowly adjust to that now, rather than later. It doesn’t hurt to get used to a new schedule yourself.
These should get you started on your preparation for a new baby in your home. There are many more things that will need to be done in the months to come, such as baby proofing your home (installing outlet covers, moving breakables and cords out of reach), loads of laundry and folding, transition from bassinet to crib and the like. To make your first few days home more enjoyable, do whatever you can to prepare your home and baby’s items ahead of time.