How to Prepare Your Home for a Baby
Welcome to our companion piece to our earlier article, How to Set Up a Nursery. That one covered in detail how to set up a nursery for your baby.
This can be either a full room or a section of your bedroom, but it requires certain things like a crib, changing table, and diaper disposal.
Check that article for the details.
It’s also important for the entire home to be baby-friendly. As your child grows over the first year, they’ll spend more time outside the nursery and begin crawling around your home, so make sure it’s clean and safe for them.
One term for this is babyproofing, but we like to think of it as making your home baby-friendly.
We encourage you to prepare your entire home before your baby is born. Trust us, you’re going to be exhausted taking care of your child and if your home is already prepared, you’ll just have to maintain it.
You’ll definitely want to declutter the nursery area in advance of your baby’s birth, but really, you need to declutter your entire home. Go through everything one section of a room at a time. Decide what to keep, what to donate, what to recycle, what to throw away, and what to put in storage, then follow through. This will clear a lot out of your home and allow you to organize with less clutter than before.
Get Down Low
Once you’ve decluttered and cleaned up your home, get down to a baby’s level. You can sit in the middle of each room and look around, or even crawl on your hands and knees to see what it will look like to your child. As an adult, you’ll be more likely to see potential risks from this angle. We’re about to cover the safety measures you need to take, but by doing this, you may spot other things that need to be made safer.
Safety Locks for Cabinets
Get safety locks for your bathroom and kitchen cabinets. There are a variety of styles, so check on various sites and stores, and figure out what will work best for you. These help keep your baby or toddler from getting into cabinets. This will protect them from things like cleaning chemicals, but will also keep them from getting into toilet paper, ingredients, and other things that could turn into a big mess.
Secure Electrical Outlets
Babies have small fingers. Yes, they can even push them into electrical outlets and get a nasty shock. Use child safe outlet covers to cover all your unused electrical outlets.
If you live in a multi-story home, get baby gates for the stairs. One should go at the bottom of each flight, one at the top. That way, whether your child is on a higher or lower floor with you, they can’t get onto the staircase.
We also recommend placing a baby gate at the doorway to the kitchen.
When childproofing a home, it’s easy to overlook childproof window guards. However, if your windows can be open enough that a child could climb out, we recommend these. These are basically bars for your windows that you can install and then uninstall when your child is old enough. They’re similar to the gates we recommend for the top and base of stairs, but for your windows instead.
With this all in place, also make sure your home stays clean. Straighten up for a few minutes every time your child goes down for a nap, then get some rest yourself. Or, switch off on the cleaning and baby-watching tasks with your partner. Declutter your home again every three to six months. When done frequently enough, this becomes an easy task.
If you need a self storage unit for things like your off-season wardrobe, sports equipment, or things you need but that you don’t want in your home with your baby, check our listings. They cover the U.S. and Canada.