How To Prepare Your Home For A New Baby
Preparing for a new baby may seem stressful, and many people don't know where to start. The good news is that this feeling of confusion is entirely normal, and everyone experiences it when wondering how on earth to get ready for a new bundle of joy.
Plan a move well in advance
If you're considering moving house before your baby is born, it's best to plan this move well before your new arrival. Anyone who has bought a home knows the process can be long, and it's always unpredictable and stressful – the last thing you need if you're pregnant or supporting a pregnant partner.
Moving during the earlier stages of your pregnancy should be much easier than lugging boxes and frantically scrubbing cupboards while heavily pregnant – then you can save the cupboard scrubbing antics for your nesting period when you want to do it!
However, if you have no choice but to move house during the later stages of your pregnancy, there are a few things you can do to alleviate some of the stress. Plan your move carefully, get as much help as possible and take it easy on the day to make sure the move doesn't have a detrimental effect on you or the baby.
Taking out storage can prove helpful if you're moving house while pregnant, as you can stash baby equipment in your storage unit for safekeeping until you need it. This can be handy if you're upsizing and don't have the space for it in your current home, or if you need to redecorate before moving into a new home. You can also use a storage centre if you find yourself staying with relatives between selling your existing house and moving into your new one, to avoid taking up space in your parents' already-cramped garage!
Prepare for your future needs
Most people focus heavily on creating a room for a baby, despite the fact the baby will usually sleep in your room for the first few months and even after that, they won't notice or care about their surroundings.
Think ahead with a five-year plan for the baby's room, and you can hopefully avoid redecorating it a couple of years in because they feel like the room is too "babyish".
Pinterest and Houzz are great places to create mood boards and search for ideas on creating the perfect children's bedroom to see your little one from the newborn stage right through to school. And don't worry if you don't know the gender of your baby yet, as there's plenty of inspiration for gender-neutral children's bedroom design ideas to set your imagination into overdrive.
Batch cook before the birth
One of the best trips we've ever heard about preparing your home for a baby is to batch cook and freeze some meals to see you through those crazy newborn days. If you're feeling up to it, plan a few easy recipes you can cook in bulk and then stick in the freezer – most will keep for a few months. This way, you can quickly grab a delicious and nutritious meal that will fuel you for the tough job of early parenthood without the expense of takeaways or the hassle of shopping and preparing food.
Easy foods to batch cook and freeze in individual portions include pasta sauces, chilli, curry, stews and soups. Stock up on microwave pouches of rice and grains, and you'll have enough tasty and healthy meals to keep you going for weeks!
Similarly, you can ask friends and family if they would kindly bring meals or other handy supplies rather than gifts – as the likelihood is, you will be drowning in babygrows but lacking in time to do a food shop - don't go overboard with your requests!
Put together a downstairs basket
Did you know newborn babies get through around 12 nappies a day?
Unless you live in a one-storey flat or a bungalow, that could mean many trips up and down the stairs when you're at your most weak, tired and achy post-childbirth.
To avoid spending your entire day trekking up and down stairs, make sure a downstairs basket features on your list of things to prepare for the baby.
In it, you can stash all the essentials you'll need during the day to keep your baby (and yourself!) clean, dry and happy.
Your basket should include muslin cloths, nappies, wipes, cotton wool, spare baby clothes and a spare top for yourself (because you never know when you could end up covered in milk – or worse - in the first few days as a parent). Don't forget to keep it well-stocked and within easy reach in case of emergencies! Make sure you also have a changing mat downstairs – this should be able to slip neatly behind or under the sofa or down the side of a cupboard for easy access without cluttering up the room.
Clear away the clutter
For such tiny people, newborn babies come with a lot of stuff. So even the smallest of homes can soon seem cluttered when you factor in the pram, Moses basket, changing mat, bouncer, baby gym, toys, bottles and whatever else you have quickly accumulated in the first few weeks.
Take advantage of the earlier days of your pregnancy before you're too big to bend over by decluttering your home to prepare for the new baby. You may find that you won't need things you used pre-baby as often once your bundle of joy comes along, like bicycles, hobby equipment, CDs, records or books.
Many new parents take out a storage unit when decluttering their home for a baby, as they find many items will be in the way or unused once the new arrival has taken over their home. This can be a convenient way to make space and adapt your home for your new lifestyle.
Invest in smart storage
Think ahead and plan the new storage you will need once the baby becomes part of your life. Toys and baby equipment can take over your home, but if you find a storage space for everything, you can stay on top of the mess and keep your home pleasingly clutter-free. After all, it's a great feeling to tidy away all the baby paraphernalia at the end of the day once your baby is (hopefully!) sleeping, so you can switch off and relax in your zone. Investing in clever storage solutions will help you house all the new toys and baby equipment you will soon be surrounded by.
Rethink your spaces
It's a wise move to start visualising the everyday challenges you will face once you have a new baby and whether your home is optimised to ease you through them. With this in mind, planning your home for a baby could involve reorganising your bedroom for the new arrival and your new nocturnal habits. If your baby will be in a Moses basket in your room, think about your route from your bed to the basket, as you'll be making this trip countless times in the first few nights. Is there anything you can trip or stub your toe on when you're dashing to the crib, half-asleep in the dark? Move obstacles like rugs, storage solutions or awkwardly positioned furniture to give you easy, fool-proof access.
Where to store your clutter when preparing for a baby
If you opt to store your stuff safely when preparing for a baby, we can help lighten the load. Our self-storage centres offer secure storage units which you can take out on a short or long-term basis, with no deposit and no notice period to vacate. Find your nearest location or get an online price.