Planning for your imminent arrival? We've rounded up some essential tips to help you prepare your home ahead of the big day.
Fill your freezer with meals
Clear out your freezer and fill it with prepared meals. Whether it’s ready meals, homemade recipes or ordered in from Cook, a good supply of pre-portioned meals that you can chuck in the microwave or oven and eat one-handed will be a lifesaver. And don’t forget about the sides! Either cook and freeze portions of rice and pasta or buy enough store-bought pouches.
Re-think your laundry basket
Your laundry basket is about to get a lot of use, so make sure they system you've set up will work well for you once your baby arrives. You might want to swap your current basket for one with different compartments; either for separating whites and colours to simplify washing, or to separate your clothes from your baby's - those tiny socks have a habit of disappearing!
Clear away the clutter
For such tiny people, newborns accumulate a lot of stuff! Use the weeks before their arrival as an excuse to have a really good declutter of your home. Your house might seem fairly orderly but factor in the buggy, car seat, changing mats, play gym, bath seat, bottles, steriliser and toys and all that room you thought you had might suddenly vanish!
Invest in some handy gadgets
We're not suggesting you go out and buy every gadget under the sun (there seems to be something for everything these days) but think about what will make your life easier or give you peace of mind. If that means monitoring your baby's health and wellness, consider the Bluebell 7-in-1 Baby Monitor, designed to send you real-time alerts on your baby's breathing, temperature, movements and more.
Assemble and learn how to use any equipment before the birth
The pram, car seat and bedside crib are things you’ve probably already set up but don’t forget about the smaller pieces of equipment ahead of your baby’s birth. Try and think beyond the immediate couple of days after your baby arrives too – often the need for something arises unexpectedly. Whether it’s a formula maker, ear thermometer or baby carrier, it’s a good idea to familiarise yourself with any essentials and check everything is in good working order. The last thing you’ll need is to be fumbling around for the instructions at 3am.
Set up a couple of nappy changing stations around your home
You’ll be changing your baby’s nappy 8-10 times a day so save yourself the hassle of trudging upstairs to the nursery for each change. Instead, invest in a couple of caddies (or even just use a couple of shoeboxes) and fill each of them with nappies, wipes, nappy cream and any other nappy-changing essentials you need. Place one in each of the areas of your home where you’ll be spending most of your time (e.g. your bedroom and living room). Include a muslin too and use it as an impromptu changing mat.
Prepare any overnight guests
If you're expecting overnight visits from your mum, best friend or anyone else who's planning on helping you out during those first weeks, try and prepare for their stay before your baby arrives. Check you have enough towels, spare toothbrushes and extra bedding ahead of time, and stock up if you're running low.
Stock up your bedside table with night-time essentials
Sadly, there’s no avoiding the broken sleep in the early days but there are things you can do to make the experience a little easier and almost something to look forward to. Keep your creature comforts close to hand – be it earphones to listen to your favourite podcast with or a tasty snack to keep you going until breakfast. Chocolate at 4am is completely acceptable right now!
Don’t pre-wash every single piece of baby clothing
It’s a good idea to wash a load of vests and sleepsuits ahead of your baby’s arrival but resist the temptation to wash everything in your baby’s wardrobe. If you’ve splurged on lots of adorable little outfits, you might find a lot of them will be left unused thanks to the rapid rate at which babies grow! So keep the tags on and only pre-wash what you need when it comes to non-essential items – you can exchange them later for larger sizes or even repurpose them as gifts for friends and family.
Prepare for stains
There's no avoiding the poo explosions in the early days, but don't let them ruin those tiny, carefully chosen outfits. Arm yourself with stain removers that will be tough on stains, or stock up on natural alternatives like white vinegar and baking soda to help tackle the stains.