Preparing House For New Baby

Prepare your home for the arrival of a new baby by planning ahead to save some steps following the hospital delivery.

Having a baby is a tremendously exciting experience that will impact an entire family. Not only that, bringing home a new little one from the hospital will mean some household changes as well. Instead of being inundated by so many things after the birth, plan ahead to get some things done before your bundle of joy's arrival.

1. Arrange the baby's room. You may want to wait for the baby shower to see what kinds of furnishings you receive as gifts. Since the shower is usually given during the seventh or eighth month of pregnancy, you should still have enough time to plan the infant's room and buy whatever you still need that wasn't given as a shower gift. But don't wait too long. Some babies are born early, and you could get caught off guard. Get some decorating ideas early on and be ready to put the crib and chest of drawers in place as soon as they arrive.

2. Do a thorough housecleaning. Don't wait until you can't see your feet anymore to start washing windows and moving furniture. Though some pregnant women do get a sudden burst of energy shortly before they go into labor, that is not the best time to take on large-scale cleaning projects. Start before you even become pregnant, if possible, to protect your health from heavy-duty housework and scrubbing, though these shouldn't be harmful if you do them cautiously. If you are already pregnant, wait for the preliminary fatigue and nausea of the first trimester to pass before tackling carpet cleaning and attic reorganization. Better yet, enlist help from your spouse and friends to get the house sparkling clean in time for baby's appearance.

3. Cook and freeze meals ahead. During the month before the scheduled birth, cook double portions of your family's meals and freeze one for later. You can do this with breakfast items like pancakes and sausage, too, so Dad can pop entrees into the microwave for a quick meal while you're in the hospital or busy with the baby. Buy freezer bags or freezer-safe containers for easy storage, and arrange your freezer space in advance. Mark each plastic freezer bag or tape a label on the containers so things can be identified and located quickly.

4. Line up help for afterward. If you belong to a social organization or a church, a group of friends or family members may offer to come over when the baby is born to help out with cooking, errands, or housework. If someone offers to help coordinate these offers, look over the family's schedule for the next several months for birthdays, doctor appointments, or family events that might conflict with friends' stopping by with meals or a pair of helping hands. Then type or write a list of open dates that can be circulated among those who want to do something to help.

5. Put extracurricular commitments on hold. If you host a bridge club or home Bible study, give plenty of advance notice of your new schedule after baby's arrival that will probably force you to cut back or give up assisting with these activities. Early notice will provide enough time for a substitute or replacement to be found so that no one will be inconvenienced.

Taking time to manage the small stuff before the little one arrives can take some weight off your shoulders when that times comes and make life a little easier for others, too.

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