The big day is around the corner. You’ve waited almost 9 months for this special moment, and quite frankly, you really can’t wait much longer – your belly is huge, you’re tired, the peanut butter cravings are driving you insane and you just want to hug your little human. But then it dawns on you. Your house. How can you keep your baby safe in your home?
Here’s the ABC for preparing your home for the arrival of your baby:
A clean house
When you come home from the hospital, you can count on two things: your entire family is going to want to come for a visit, and you’re not going to want to clean the house. Use the time before the birth of your baby to give your home a thorough spring clean – not only for the visitors, but also for your comfort during your first weeks as new parents.
Babies have very sensitive skin, so we recommend that you wash all of the bedding and the clothing intended for your baby with hypoallergenic detergent, which is free of dye and perfume and clearly marked for safe use for infants. On that note – sterilizing baby bottles, dummies, toys and pump parts is important for your baby’s health. Studies have shown that hot, soapy water kills germs just as much as the good, old-fashioned boiling method.
Let’s face it – once your baby is at home, elaborately cooked dinners and your five-a-day meal plans will become obsolete. A quiet meal will only take place in the few precious minutes when your little one is sleeping, and you wouldn’t want to risk waking the baby by loudly chopping onions, grinding spices or sizzling a steak. Cooking and freezing easy-to-heat meals such as soups, stews and casseroles will simplify your life significantly.
Daily dirt management
Get ready for life in the disaster zone once your baby comes home! Albeit loveable disaster, some simple tips might make the disaster zone less frustrating! If you have multiple play areas planned for your baby, pre-empt clutter, mess and toys everywhere by keeping storage baskets handy. If you’re planning to stock up on paper towels for spilled food, tipped over milk bottles and throw-up, we’d recommend microfiber cleaning cloths instead.
Not only are they reusable and thus more economical, they are also more absorbent and dry quickly. And if you already have an older child, why not spend time with your eldest whilst you’re cleaning? Give him or her a spray bottle filled with water and mild cleaning solution and a cloth and bond over some chores.
Electricity and edges
Nothing is quite as tempting as the three holes of a plug socket. And because you can’t always keep an eye on everything that happens around you, we suggest baby-proofing plugs around the house by covering any unused socket with plug protectors. In addition to this, sharp edges such as the edges of a staircase or low coffee tables should be covered or enveloped with something that could dampen the force of a baby crawling head-first into the edge. Bubble wrap, pillows or blankets could be used as dampeners.
From baby’s eyes
Have you ever lain down on the kitchen floor and just looked up at the cupboards filled with plates, funny-looking cups or ever so enticing, colourful cleaning chemicals? To a baby, everything is a toy – even better, a chew-toy. Everything needs to be tasted, licked and closely inspected. So, avoid all temptation around the house: lock your cupboards or install magnetic locks, they’re easy to open for an adult, but can’t be pried open by curious babies. Keep anything toxic and dangerous out of sight and out of reach.
Sleeping is a luxury for new parents, so we recommend taking ample afternoon naps, snoozing the alarm and just enjoying the ability to rest. Becoming a zombie-parent can also be avoided by taking turns and sharing the night watch fairly. Our suggestion: nap rotation – one parent takes the baby out for a walk, plays and bonds while the other parent gets an hour of shut-eye. After all, sleep is very important for your wellbeing – both emotional and physical!