You are having a baby! The excitement and months of anticipation are so overwhelming that you almost lose sight of how much your life is going to change. The great news is indeed larger than life that even a daily trip to the baby store to prepare does not seem to be enough.
Then you look around the condo and realize it is not ready for the baby yet. All sorts of baby stuff are lying around, you have not figured out where to put the crib and you know for sure you don’t have space in the closet to share with the newest member of the family. Not to mention baby-proofing your condo for a longer term.
Keep your sanity and save all your energy for your baby by following a simple checklist for your baby’s arrival:
Relax and Make a Checklist
Breathe, take in all the “congratulations,” and plan. Make a list of things you need to do from the time you give birth to the time you take home the baby. Prepare all the things you will need and keep a hospital checklist for your baby. But remember, the baby is not the only one who will stay in the hospital so prepare two bags for you and your baby with all the newborn and new mom essentials. The several books you’ve read on expecting a baby will come in handy. The endless discussions you’ve had with your mom and friends who have kids should help you sort things out.
Stick with the Necessities
It is easy to understand why first-time parents easily get carried away with everything pink and blue and cute. There’s so much stuff for babies these days and the truth is you won’t be needing most of them. Before going shopping, make a list of all the newborn essentials and what should go into the baby bag first. Do not overspend with cute baby clothes that your baby can’t wear in the next six months. Do not buy too many toys yet either.
Consider your budget and the space as well. Will a huge crib fit anywhere in your condo? Where will you place all the baby supplies?
Clean and Declutter
Cleaning should always be in the home checklist when you have a new baby. Of course, a pregnant woman should not strain herself so help from the husband, house help, family, and friends should do the trick. Dust, vacuum, and disinfect your home to make sure the place is safe for the baby. Besides getting rid of germs and bacteria, this is also a good time to toss the clutter and make some more room for the baby.
“Babyland” in the Bedroom
Finally, the baby’s home. First question: Where will the baby stay? You have to decide whether you want the baby’s crib near your bed or a little further away. You will be nursing and getting up often so ask yourself which set up you will be most comfortable with.
If you stay in a one-bedroom condo and have no choice but to set up a baby corner in your room, try not to turn it into a “babyland.” That is still a couple’s room and you will need that to keep your sanity and maintain a sense of order. Make sure you have a cabinet for baby clothes, diapers, and other baby supplies. Baby’s formula, bottle sterilizer, and the like should have a separate place in the kitchen to avoid clutter.
Crib and Caddy
The crib will serve as your baby’s home for the first few years. Make sure the mattress and sheets are comfortable and that the crib is placed at a strategic, comfortable, and safe part of the condo. Set it up near a blank wall and not the part lined with window blinds and cords.
If you have limited space, do not bother putting up a changing table in addition to the baby dresser. Use a diaper caddy instead. It is a handy container that can store all baby essentials like diapers and wipes that you can move from room to room. It also includes a foldable changing pad that you can lay out on the bed or couch to change your baby’s diaper.
Baby-Proofing the Home
Start baby-proofing early because this seems to be a continuing process as the baby grows up. Re-evaluate the safety needs from the newborn, crawling, and walking stages.
Start with the crib. Keep pillows and stuffed toys away from your child as a safety precaution. Crib bumpers and extra beddings are also discouraged because of suffocation risks.
Baby-proof your condo by installing child-proof sockets. Tie up or tape down long electrical wires and other appliance cords. Make sure that all potential hazards are inaccessible to the child.
The Baby CCTV
Setting up baby monitors is very popular these days. This is more for the parents than the child really. Parents want to keep tabs of everything happening in the nursery for their sanity and peace of mind. You can’t be in all places at one time so this technology will be comforting especially during the baby’s first days at home. Choose a good baby monitor and test the transmitter to make sure it works without regular interference.
This piece of technology is a good investment especially for working parents. And since you can’t get enough of your baby anyway, watching him at all times should not be a problem.
You can also consider replacing the nursery door with a screen door. This will allow you to close the door and still hear and see the baby. Don’t worry, you can paint it to match your condo’s theme and add a window shade to shut the light out.
Decorating the Nursery
First-time parents, especially moms, like this little project. When decorating the nursery, don’t just settle with what looks good but consider comfort and functionality. Aside from the cute stuff, you may want to add a rocking chair. This is a good investment for both the child and parent. The rocking motion relaxes and puts the baby to sleep and mommy does not have to stand and sway all night.
Try putting up a “baby board” too. This will help you track the baby’s development through notes and pictures.
A baby is a bundle of joy. Don’t take out the joy just because you failed to prepare yourself and your home for your baby’s arrival. Babies do not need much to survive and grow up anyway. Just like us, they just need food, sleep, a place to stay, clothes to wear, and your affection. Parenthood is exciting as it is daunting, but no one can argue that it is worth everything.