How to prepare your home for baby
Whether this is your first, second or third baby preparing for your new bundle is so exciting! I was completely under prepared with my first born mostly because my focus was getting ahead in my college classes but I adapted and had that go with the flow mentality.
Fast forward to my second time around and you could say I was definitely tapping into my type A personality and pretty much had a checklist for everything. I knew what I needed from prior experience but I also did my research to hear from other moms out there. I wanted to make sure I had everything to make my life a little easier.
So if you are wondering what you should be doing to get your home ready for new baby then you’ve come to the right place!
Here is my Ultimate Guide to preparing your house for baby:
This post contains affiliate links which means if you purchase a product through my link I will receive a small commission at no extra cost to you. For more information you can read my disclosure here.
1. Set up stations
The biggest preparation for your home will be setting up the essential stations. Not only will these areas around the house ensure you have everything you need but they will also make your life so much easier.
This will differ slightly between households but it is likely you will need at least two changing stations. One in the living room or where you spend most of the time during the day and then one where your baby sleeps.
For the living room, the best option is to set up a pack n’ play that includes a bassinet & changing pad, like this one. This makes changing during the day so much easier and it is a great place for storage and napping.
Here is what I have in my pack n’ play:
- Diapers – pampers swaddlers have always been my favorite
- Wipes – have always stuck with pampers sensitive
- Wipe Dispenser – I initially reused one of the plastic containers wipes came in and the latch for the lid would always break. Then I discovered this dispenser which was a game changer!
- Receiving Blankets – mainly used these to cover the changing pad so I wouldn’t be setting baby on the cold surface
- Swaddle Blankets – for nap time and staying warm.
- Diaper Rash Cream – definitely a must have for both prevention and healing diaper rash.
- Vaseline – a NICU nurse I know told me they lather this on babies and I have always used it ever since. It is also great for baby’s dry skin
- Pacifiers – can never have enough of these
- Diaper Pail (next to the pack n’ play)
Now for where baby sleeps.
It’s likely that your newborn will be in the same room as you for awhile so it is easiest to change your baby on your bed. Here is what you will need:
- Changing Pad – they are very easy to store and wash as well.
- Diapers, Wipes & Diaper Rash Cream – the basics.
- Caddy or Storage Bin – to stay organized!
Using a caddy makes for easy transfer between rooms if needed as well!
When your baby gets older and transitions into their nursery. I recommend using one of these pads on top of a dresser. This changing pad is also highly recommended because of its easy cleanup! For my first I used an actual changing table but found it just takes up space.
Like the changing stations you will likely be nursing or bottle feeding in at least two different areas of your home. Once again this probably will be your living room and bedroom/nursery.
Here what to include to prepare for baby:
- Nursing Pillow – a must have in my book!
- Nursing Pads – it’s likely you will leak quite a bit until your supply regulates so nursing pads always come in handy.
- Nipple Cream – one of the hardest parts of breastfeeding those first few weeks is the pain due to cracked and/or bleeding nipples. Nipple cream will help provide some relief.
- Nursing Cover – I like to have one handy for when I have visitors
- Burp Cloths – handy for just about anything!
- Hair Ties – cannot tell you how annoying it is to have your hair in the way when breastfeeding so I always make sure to have a hair tie nearby.
- Water Bottle – no one ever told me how thirsty you get while nursing. I’ve never drank so much water before I started breastfeeding so do yourself a favor an get a quality water bottle.
I also recommend having some snacks nearby. I found myself always hungry while breastfeeding especially in those first few weeks.
Again I recommend putting these items in a caddy or storage bin like this one to stay organized. Or even better you can combine the changing essentials and nursing items into one caddy that you transport to make life easier.
#3 Medicine Cabinet & Bath
Next up, stocking the medicine cabinet and bathroom.
Hopefully you won’t need these items right away but each product has been a life saver in my household. Here are my top used products:
- Tylenol – for fevers, teething, before shots, etc.
- Nasal Saline Spray – to loosen mucus.
- Bulb Syringe – to suck out the loosened mucus (You will get one of these at the hospital – seriously they are the best). However I have heard this one is the best.
- Gas Drops – to relieve any gas pains
- Gripe Water – helps with colic
- Thermometer – for the first 3 months it is recommended to use a rectal thermometer such as this one. Then you can switch to one like this.
- Vaseline – you will need this to put on the end of the rectal thermometer but like I mentioned above it is great for dry skin and preventing diaper rash or other skin irritations.
Now onto bath time:
You really only need a baby bathtub, this one is my favorite, shampoo and a few towels and wash cloths.
I have been loving the lavender shampoo’s lately. So far I have liked this the best. In terms of towels and wash cloths, I always get Burt’s Bees because they are the softest. You can check them out here.
Alright now for the last of the stations, the postpartum kit. I kept one in my upstairs bathroom and one in the downstairs.
If you haven’t already looked into postpartum recovery you can check out my detailed list of must haves here.
For the sake of this post I will keep it short and sweet so you can use it as more of a checklist. Here is what I recommend to include in your postpartum basket:
- Large Pads – for the first few weeks.
- Small Pads – for the remaining weeks.
- Peri Bottle – needed until you can wipe again.
- Tucks – relief from burning and itching.
- Dermoplast – pain relieving spray.
- Underwear – always good to have an extra pair.
Postpartum preparation is the biggest change I made from my first to my second baby. I did not really think about me the first time I was preparing for baby so this made a huge difference. Don’t forget about you mama!
2. Put together baby gear
Now for the fun part, setting up the baby gear! Before baby arrives you will want to have everything set up that you will use right away such as the swing, bassinet, pack n’ play (as mentioned earlier), play gym, stroller and car seat.
You can wait on certain items such as the high chair, jumperoo or other toys that will not be needed until baby is older.
Here are my favorite products:
- Fisher price moonlight meadow cradle ‘n swing
- Halo Swivel Bassinet
- Lovevery Play Gym
- Baby Jogger City Select Lux (Full Review to come)
- Maxi Cosi Mico Max 30 Car Seat
You can read my full list of baby must haves here.
The Ultimate Guide to Preparing your house for baby
This is probably the most exciting part well at least I think so. The nursery does not have to be extravagant because in the end that probably is not functional. Also keep in mind that your baby likely will be sleeping in your room for their first 4-6 months so the nursey does not have to be “finished” until then. However, if you are like me and like to be prepared then you too will be finishing the nursery well before baby’s arrival.
So here is what you really need:
- Crib – I do NOT recommend a crib that converts to a full bed for a few reasons (1) you have to buy extra parts which gets pricey and (2) it is likely the crib will not last that long anyway. There are so many different crib designs out there and for a good price too so go with one that fits your nursery design!
- Dresser – find one that you can also use a changing table.
- Rocker or Glider – great for night time feeds or reading a book before bed!
- Storage – I highly recommend adding a closet organizer or purchasing a cube shelf for some extra storage. As you can tell from my post babies use a lot and I mean A LOT of things so it is always good to ample storage.
4. Wash & Sanitize
Now that you have the Nursery and all of your gear set up it is time to wash and sanitize. Keep in mind you do not want to do this too early because things do collect dust if they sit to long (this was hard for me because I like to get things done right away).
Sanitize these items:
*Designate a space in your kitchen for bottle storage & set up a drying rack*
Wash these items:
- Towels & Wash Cloths
- Any baby gear that has fabric
5. Food & Caffeine
My first was born right before Easter which worked out great because we had so many family members bring their leftovers for us to eat. I did not do any food preparation so this was a life saver.
When I had my second I stocked up on Starbucks Refreshers but I did not make any freezer meals. I honestly thought family and friends would bring us food just like last time….well I was wrong. We did get food but not real food that you can eat for dinner instead we got a lot of sweets. It was nice and all but I really was hoping for that home cooked meal. I highly recommend making a couple freezer meals or at least talking to some family and friends and coordinating a meal with them!
This is definitely one of those items you forget about when preparing for baby.
6. Deep Clean
Last but not least, deep clean.
If you can afford a company to do it for you then DO IT! Give yourself a break because cooking a baby is not easy. However, if you are like me and cannot make that work then pick a week to do your deep cleaning and do a different room each day.
This worked best for me because I was exhausted after barely lifting a finger. I felt so good once this one done but I about drove my husband crazy because I had to be induced at 40 weeks 6 days so for the two weeks prior I was crazy about keeping the house nice and tidy.
Well there you have it! This is my ultimate guide to preparing your house for baby.
A good rule of thumb is to have the majority of preparation done by week 37 (I’d say number 4, 5 and 6 can wait a little longer).
Other additional tips:
- Purchase doubles of most used items
- Get travel size products for the diaper bag
- Stock up on size 1-3 diapers & wipes
- Buy hand sanitizer such as these and place throughout your home
I hope this post has you feeling more confident in preparing your house for baby. I would love to hear your thoughts in the comments below!
You may also like “What you ACTUALLY need in your hospital bag.“
Did you find my tips helpful? If so you can support my blog by buying me a coffee!