Organizing The Nursery To Bring Baby Home
There’s a lot to do before you bring baby home from the hospital: assembling the crib, installing the car seat and folding lots of tiny clothes. Here are a few organizing to-dos before you bring your baby home for the first time.
Preparing Your Nursery
Not everyone has the luxury of an extra room just for baby. Many parents in apartments or small homes create a “nursery” in their living room, bedroom or home office. Wherever you choose to designate space for baby, make sure to organize it so it works for you and your family. Here are a few of the essential furnishings.
- Crib: Ensure the slats or bars are spaced no more than 23/8 inches apart. The crib should be kept away from radiators and heaters as well as any long cords from blinds or curtains.
- Crib mattress: Firmer mattresses may reduce the risk for SIDS (Sudden Infant Death Syndrome).
- Changing table: To save on space and create additional storage, consider placing a changing pad on top of a dresser and forgo the changing table.
- Storage: Baby’s have a lot of stuff and you’ll want an easy way to organize it. Consider open shelves, baskets, and bins to hold items from pacifiers to clothing.
- Stroller: Choose a stroller that’s light, easy to fold, has brakes and is well balanced. If you live in a city and travel on the subway or bus, be sure your stroller collapses.
You’ll want to have a few essentials for baby and mom waiting at home. In the weeks and months leading up to your due date, gather all the supplies you’ll need for the first few weeks.
- Diapers…lots and lots of diapers
- Baby soap and shampoo
- A thermometer
- An ear bulb
- Nail scissors
- A first-aid kit
- A stroller
- Fitted crib sheets
- Baby outfits, onesies, undershirts and nightgowns
- Baby blankets
- A hooded bath towel
Taking Care Of Business
Before you bring home baby, there are a few important documents to update or create. Write or update your will, purchase life insurance and update the beneficiary information on your 401K and retirement accounts. Keep all your important documentation organized in a filing cabinet in your home office.
Preparing Your Home
Stock up on household items like paper towels, toilet paper and cleaning supplies so you won’t have to run out for trash bags during your baby’s first week home. When cooking, double the recipes and freeze half. It will cut down on grocery shopping and keep you fed during the first few weeks with very little effort. Nothing’s easier than just popping a homemade frozen casserole in the oven.
Create A Baby Station
Choose a corner of your nursery or living room and create a nook for you and baby. For the first few weeks, you’ll want a designated space to spend time — especially one that has all the items you’ll need close at hand. As soon as you get home, you’ll be able to head over to your nook and relax.
Here are a few items to keep in your Baby Station during the first few weeks:
- Water bottles
- Snacks for mom
- Swaddling blankets
- Burp rags
- Extra diapers and onesies
- Breastfeeding supplies or bottles and formula
- Magazines and books (or the TV remote!)
- A camera so you never miss a special moment
Before You Leave The Hospital
You’ll want a seasonally appropriate outfit for you and your baby when you leave the hospital. Choose comfort over style. Your clothing should be loose and non-constricting. For baby, make sure you have at least one outfit. If your baby is born in winter, pack a warm hat and an extra blanket or two.
Be sure to ask the doctors and nurses any questions you may have. Especially if this is your first baby, it’s perfectly normal to be a little anxious and have lots of questions. Notify your pediatrician of your baby’s birth and schedule your first appointment before you leave the hospital.
The Car Ride Home
The baby’s first car ride can be incredibly nerve-wracking for new parents. Be sure to have your car seat installed and inspected before you head to the hospital. Many hospitals will inspect the car seat before you leave to ensure it’s safe for your baby. Whether you opt for an infant-only car seat or a convertible car seat, consider purchasing head support so your newborn’s head is cradled during his or her early car rides.
Finally, be realistic with your expectations. You can plan, and plan, and plan, but you can’t prepare for everything. Good enough is better than perfect. There will be moments when you feel frustrated, anxious and stressed…amongst other emotions. Accept help from your family and friends. Enjoy each moment. The years pass by so fast!