Getting Your House Ready for Baby – A Daddy’s View
One of the first things expectant parents think about is how to prepare for their new baby. In some cases this means getting a nursery together and in other cases it means organizing an area of their house or bedroom. Regardless, there are a few essentials that every new baby needs:
- A Place to Sleep. My wife and I prefer the co-sleeper for the first 2-3 months. This is a small crib-type bed that can be placed close to our bed in our bedroom (usually on the wife’s side so that it’s easier for breast feeding). There are other benefits, as well, such as breathing and heart rate appear to coordinate better for the baby when sleeping in the same room as the parents. It’s also easier for mom and dad to hear the baby and make sure all is OK.
- Diaper Changing Stations. I am a true believer in “Diaper Changing Stations.” We live in a three story house, and I insist on a changing table on every floor. It is important to always have the table in a ready position. This means, having an inventory control system in place for; baby wipes, diapers, diaper cream, nasal aspirator, baby Q-Tips, burp cloths, fresh changing covers for the changing pad, onesies, and sleepers. This is really important during the first 3 months as you are often up in the middle of the night, lacking in sleep, and tempers can get short when the baby is on the changing table. Ideally, you want everything in place and ready to go.
- Blankets & Burp Cloths. Always maintain a good supply of swaddling blankets and burp cloths. Most new babies love the security of being swaddled to sleep and since they sleep a good portion of each day it’s great to keep plenty on hand. Burp cloths are also a must have. They protect your cloths when burping baby but are also essential for cleaning up spilled milk or spit-up.
- Diaper Disposal. I love the Dekor Diaper Pail. I have tried most every diaper pail on the market since I do have 7 kids, and the Dekor is the easiest to load, empty, and dispose of dirty diapers. The smell is also kept to a bare minimum (you’ll find this important!).
- The Milk Inventory. Find a good place for formula storage and formula making if mommy is breast feeding and supplementing with bottles or if baby is solely bottle fed. Once again, have a good handle on inventory as bottles need to be cleaned, assembled, and be ready for either thawing frozen breast milk or setting up formula for the next feeding.
Although it is nice to have a beautiful nursery, with beautiful colors, book shelves, and fun pictures on the wall, it is really just for the parents. The baby does not even discover that world of their nursery until they are over 6 months, so you do not have to rush to set it up. For us, even though we live in a large house, our babies usually spend the first year in our room. It is easier for hearing them, getting up in the night, and I believe it helps to improve the silent bonding that exists between children and their parents.
Good luck with your new baby!
Daddy Nickell, father of 7, founder of Daddyscrubs.com and the Daddyscrubs parenting blog.