Preparing Your Home
Getting ready for a baby can be a big logistical adjustment. Your home will now need to accommodate a baby, a whole new person who comes with a whole lot of stuff. Your baby will impact almost all your living space at some point in the future. You can begin to prepare things before the baby is born, but you will also find that you have to be ready to make changes as your child grows.
The big secret about nurseries is that they're not for babies. Instead, their main purpose is to fulfill parents' fantasies. A baby is happy with a bed and somewhere to be changed. Parents are the ones who desire fancy furniture, murals, and accessories. Having a separate room for a baby isn't even strictly necessary. However, having a baby is a big event in your life, and it probably is the fulfillment of your dreams, so making a big to-do out of the nursery is absolutely your right.
When setting up an area for the baby, choose a warm space with natural lighting. Keep the baby's sleeping area away from a window. Child safety experts recommend that you do not use bumper pads, quilts, or heavy blankets in a crib. Hardwood or laminate floors are considered optimal because they don't trap dust and allergens, but many parents prefer carpeting, feeling it is safer should the baby climb out of the crib. If you have an overhead light in the room, install a dimmer switch to make those nighttime diaper changes less startling.
You can find a virtual nursery design tool online to help you design your room at
When planning a baby's room, it is helpful to draw out the room to scale on graph paper. Then you can move around cut-outs of the furniture pieces you'll be using to see where they will best fit.
Like planning a nursery, baby-proofing is something that parents like to do before a baby is born, but it isn't truly necessary, at least not yet. Baby-proofing becomes important once your little one is mobile, but until then most of these steps are not essential. You'll need to add even more safety measures as your child grows and becomes a toddler. If you want to get started with baby-proofing, consider these steps:
Install outlet covers and hide or shorten electrical cords.
Cover hard coffee- and end-table corners.
Install gates on stairs.
Remove breakable and small items that are within three feet of the floor.
Adjust your hot-water tank thermostat to below 120 degrees.
Purchase locks for toilet seat covers.
Install cabinet door latches.
Install safety controls on stoves.
Secure bookcases and tall furniture to the walls.
Tie up or remove all cords on mini blinds.
Install bars on windows if you are in a tall building.
Place child locator decals in the nursery window for firefighters.
Motherhood means juggling lots of things, and the best way to do that is to simplify. There are many things you can do now that will make life easier when the baby arrives:
Set up a changing area on every floor of your home.
Start a file to keep warranty information for all your new baby equipment.
Set up automatic online bill paying and automatic deposit of paychecks if possible.
Stash basic beauty items (lip gloss, comb, eyeliner, toothbrush, facial wipes) in the room in which you plan on receiving visitors.
Double every main dish you make from now on and freeze half, so you'll have some meals at the ready.
Stock up your pantry with nonperishables and create a stockpile of toilet paper, tissues, and other essentials.
Create a folder of takeout menus and a stash of cash.
Learn how to use your camera and video recorder before the baby arrives.
Create a list on which to record baby gifts so you can send thank-you notes.