Full discolure: I didn’t actually do all of these things before III came home… some of them I did and some I just wished I had done. There are tons of “preparing for baby” posts out there and I found that they mostly say all the same things… and to be honest, they’re kind of obvious. You don’t want to bring baby home to a messy or dirty house. So yes, put things away and wipe down, vaccuum and disinfect your little pregnant hearts out.
But there were a few really unique tips I got and things I realized would have been better to tackle before I got home. For example, I was going to totally purge, sort and organize my master closet as my “maternity leave project.” LOLZ, right? You know what your maternity leave project is? Tending to a newborn’s every need…. and just about nothing else. Maybe a few naps…. a shower here and there. Unless someone has the world’s chillest baby, there will be no massive organizational undertakings happening in what little time a working mom gets to stay home with their super cute tiny human. Which leads me to my first and probably most obvious tip…
- Closets: You will quickly find that baby’s come with more stuff than you can possibly imagine someone that tiny could need. Unless you plan on running 2-3 loads of laundry a day, you’re going to need multiple of everything… like 8-10 sets of PJs in each size, at least 4-5 baby bath towels, 8 million bibs and burp cloths, and the list goes on…. We put III in the bedroom closest to ours which also happens to be the smallest bedroom with the smallest closet. Luckily it has its own bathroom with a linen closet where I can store bath-related items, massive boxes of diapers and wipes, blankets, etc. But with all the things that come along with baby (and the need to declutter and put things away for the time being – ESPECIALLY when they become mobile and obsessed with putting things in their mouth), I found a need for organized space where I could put things away for short and long periods of time. So, the one thing I didn’t do before coming home with III that I wished I had was organization all of our closets. Having mine and G’s personal closets tidy would have just been one less thing to stress about but especially things like the downstairs general throw things in/coat closet and guest bedroom closets that keep out of season clothes or a tub of decorative items that have now become “hazardous.” Now after 7 months, I’ve gotten them almost to where I’d like them but my time to handle them comes in 1.5 hour nap increments… handling it before delivery would have been much easier and efficient (although I’m not sure I would have been able to bend over at that point.)
- Rugs: This was a really helpful tip we got from a single Dad friend of ours… and I would have NEVER thought of it until it became a problem. Our downstairs den/keeping room is where spend 80+% of our free time at home. I’ve always had jute, seagrass or natural fiber rugs in rooms like these because – first of all – I love them and – secondly – they hold up really well in high-traffic areas. When he and his little one were staying with us for a weekend, he pointed out that we’d probably want to change it out for something softer; that it would definitely tear up the baby’s knees and hands when he started crawling or even rolling/scooting around. Well, duh! Why didn’t I think of that? We had a huge Persian rug in our master that was perfect so we just switched them out and now at 7.5 months, I’m so glad we did! Note: Some natural fiber rugs are softer and this may not be necessary or you can always go with a puzzle floor mat in some areas to be a little more gentle on the baby (we just ordered this to cover the hardwoods in his little play corner of the room).
- Kitchen Cabinets or Pantry: Babies eat… often.Your newborn may be taking anywhere from 9-12 bottles a day. If you’re not breastfeeding, that means A LOT of bottles and A LOT of formula – whether it comes in jugs, pouches or canisters. Flash foward 6 months and now you’re adding baby food into the mix. It only makes sense to go ahead and clear some space either in your pantry or in a kitchen cabinet that can be dedicated to all things feeding-related. Unless you want to be constantly hand-washing or running the dishwasher for only a top shelf’s worth of a load, you’ll want plenty of bottles to get you through the day. And even when the babe starts daycare, you don’t want to be in a panicked rush in the morning because you forgot to turn on last night’s dishes. I’d suggest no less than 12 bottles. That way, if half of them are in the dishwasher or dirty, you’ve still got plenty to get you through. Personally, we keep bottles in a cabinet close to the sink and dishwaser, and III has basically an entire shelf of baskets in the pantry dedicated to his baby food pouches and formula jugs. Again, just not something you think too much about until your kitchen counters are a disaster and nothing is in the right place. I was lucky enough to get and follow this advice ahead of time.
For those first time moms who have been spoken to for months like you don’t know anything..I won’t bore you with the obvious things like general cleaning (maybe even hiring someone to come in and do a deep clean for you the week before delivery), pet hair eliminating , etc. I think you’re all probably smart enough to figure that stuff out. Hope this was helpful!! I’ll leave you with a pic of III’s nursery (the last time it was clean…. before he was born.)