Even if you have been planning for a while, having a baby means that you will be going through a lot of life changes. The most important thing you can do to get your home — and family — ready for a new baby is by updating your living space.
There’s no magical formula about how to prepare for a baby. Between the countless texts and videos trying to tell you what to do, at the end of the day, you will simply be figuring it out as you go along. Regardless, here are a few essential things that you should do in your home and for yourself when you’re wondering about the first steps for how to prepare for a baby.
Take care of your health
Your baby’s first home is actually your womb. As your stomach grows, visiting the OB/GYN is a vital first step to ensuring your baby’s health is well cared for from the start. As soon as you discover that you’re pregnant, you should be looking up practicing medical professionals in your area. For some, this might be an easy pick since they vetted their preferred OB/GYN months ago. For others, however, it can be a harrowing decision.
The best way to pick a top OB/GYN is by reading reviews online. If you can get a recommendation from a friend, that’s all the better. Relying on first-hand accounts is the fastest way to determine if your needs will be met throughout your pregnancy. After all, you’re going through a major life change: you deserve to have the best healthcare services on your side as you begin this new journey.
Your preferred OB/GYN is your number one resource when it comes to maintaining your health throughout your pregnancy. As your pregnancy develops, you’ll become more prone to experiencing an athletic injury as your body shifts its weight toward the front. Pregnant people should also steer clear of roller coasters and any other activities that could pose a threat to your pregnancy. If you want, you can always ask your OB/GYN to outline which activities are okay. This is just one way you can start learning how to prepare for a baby.
You might also have to avoid certain foods and drinks, like coffee, depending on how far along you are. Keep in mind that alcohol and smoking are two obviously barred activities during pregnancy, but it bears repeating that pregnant people should not be engaging in these habits. Additionally, pregnant folks should also avoid CBD oil. While there’s no scientific evidence that supports it might have an adverse effect on a pregnant person and their child, the lack of study on this subject means that avoiding it is the best advice. Save the CBD oil for the stressed-out partner that’s busy building a crib in the other room.
While lesser-known foods and drinks won’t have serious adverse effects like smoking and drinking, getting a list of pro-pregnancy foods can help keep you on the right track. This list will also contain a slew of great foods that can provide more nutrients to your baby.
Make improvements to your home
Welcoming a new baby into your home demands more than a few changes. Along with investing in childproof locks and padding sharp corners, this is the perfect opportunity to make sure all your ducks are in a row. And this means more than just investing in residential painting services for your baby’s new nursery.
After all, older homes might come with a range of small problems that are easily swept under the rug for adults. But when a baby comes into the picture, these small problems in your home might turn into big issues that need to be dealt with. Here are some of the top home changes you will need to make when you’re learning how to prepare for a baby:
- Check your water quality: Few parents think to check their water quality before they have a baby, but this is an important step if you’re living in an older home. Older pipes are prone to deteriorate over time, resulting in higher levels of metal and calcium in your water. While babies don’t drink water, this can become an issue when you’re bathing your baby in the sink. Their sensitive skin won’t like the drying properties associated with hard water. It’s best to call your local plumber to ensure that your water standards are up to par before welcoming a new baby into your home.
- Refinish your floors: Once your baby starts to crawl, you’ll want to ensure that splinters are a thing of the past. Ideally, babies should have access to plenty of carpets to prevent bruising, but the hard floors that you do have need to be baby-friendly. Refinishing your floors will also make it easier to clean up any accidents, spills, and messes that a playful baby will cause.
- Get locks for unsafe areas: If you’re a stickler about cleaning your home, you need to ensure that your baby stays safe from any harsh chemicals. Invest in baby-friendly cleaning alternatives and be sure to lock the cabinets where these cleaning chemicals are stored. You should do the same for any sharp objects or potentially dangerous home goods, like extension cords, batteries, and paints.
- Improve your lawn: Spring is finally here and summer is fast on its heels. If you want to bring your baby outside to enjoy the sunshine, you need to make sure your lawn is comfortable for a baby’s delicate skin. Invest in revegetation services to give your lawn an easy face-lift. It might be in your best interest to call a landscaping company to help improve other areas of your backyard, too.
- Improve your kitchen: When you welcome a new baby into your home, kitchen prep is essential. You will have to make room for breast pumps, formula holders, bottle racks, high chairs, and more. Rehaul your kitchen so that you can fit these new items in without causing a headache. You might also want to change up your kitchen’s layout to avoid hidden corners and sharp edges. Young families really do benefit from an open floor plan. After all, you need to keep track of your baby at all times. Making these changes sooner (even though your baby can’t walk for a while yet) will save you time and money later on.
- Update your home heating and cooling: Did you know that babies are particularly sensitive to household dust and particulates in the air? Investing in new heating and cooling services is key when you’re learning how to prepare for a baby. Replacing filters, ditching old ductwork, and investing in repairs will set you on the right path. Keep in mind that you don’t need to invest in the best of the best: it’s not like you need data center cooling-level goods. Just a simple cleaning and repair visit from an HVAC specialist should be enough as long as you follow up with the proper maintenance.
There are countless ways to improve your home before a baby arrives. Determine which factors are most important for you and be sure to keep the needs of your infant in mind. These home fixes can get expensive, so starting with the easiest fixes first might be in your best interest.
Get a list of great health professionals
Your OB/GYN might give you some advice on how to prepare for a baby, but they shouldn’t be the only medical professional you rely on. These medical professionals are best for during and immediately following your pregnancy. Once your baby arrives, you will need to have a number of health professionals already in your list of contacts.
Firstly, you will need the help of the best pediatrician in your area. These experts specialize in child development, making them different from specialists or general family practitioners. You will have to bring your child to this person a lot as they grow up, whether it be for common check-ups or vaccinations when they reach a certain age.
If you plan on staying in your town for a long time, it’s vital to find a pediatrician that you trust. This is because most pediatricians will continue to support your child’s growth and development until they turn 18, though some young adults continue to see their pediatrician through college. Get recommendations from your friends and family, and don’t be afraid to ask your pediatrician the hard questions when you meet. If you get a weird vibe from a pediatrician, always trust your gut. There will be plenty of other options out there.
Luckily, there are plenty of nurses to help you when your pediatrician is out. The best travel nursing companies will employ a range of diverse people in hospitals throughout the country. Even if you’re not used to seeing the same nurse more than once, you can rely on adept nurses if your preferred medical practice has partnered with a travel nursing company.
Finally, you might also want to look into a great dentist or orthodontist for your child. Your baby won’t be growing teeth any time soon, but having an experienced dentist on speed dial is key for when your baby starts teething. Orthodontists can monitor their oral health to track any abnormalities as your baby grows. This is especially important for babies that are prone to sucking since palate issues might develop. A good dentist or orthodontist will be able to notice these issues and offer suggestions to prevent the problem from getting worse. Keep in mind that most children don’t need to have invasive surgery done before they turn seven years old. Regardless, it’s always better to be safe than sorry when it comes to the health of your child.
How to prepare for a baby
At the end of the day, learning how to prepare for a baby will differ depending on who you ask. There isn’t a magical formula that will make raising your child easy. However, relying on these tips will certainly help steer you in a healthier direction. When you’re preparing for a new bundle of joy, try to focus on these important points to lead a happy, healthy life.