Make way – baby on the way
Getting your home ready for baby’s arrival
Tiny as they are, any parent knows that babies take up a lot of room in a home – and even more in your heart. From cots and toys to clothes and diapers, babies these days have a lot of stuff. They’re also rather more vulnerable than adults, so their home needs to be a safe place for them. Here are a few aspects to look at before baby gets here.
Tiny babies aren’t quite as tolerant of things like dust, germs and toxins as their parents. It’s a good idea to give your home a spring clean before your little bundle of joy arrives. This way their developing airways won’t be irritated unnecessarily.
You shouldn’t need to worry in most modern homes, it’s not a concern, but if your house was built before 1978, you should check that none of the paint is lead based. Peeling paint is an attractive snack for little ones and even lead contaminated dust can be harmful if a tiny tot breaths in too much.
This isn’t a major issue for the first few months, because baby isn’t mobile yet, but once they are, there are far more dangers than you might have though. The major hazards are stairs and swimming pools. A gate at the top and bottom of the stairs is enough to stop a curious crawler. For the pool, a net will help, but if it’s not tight, a child’s face can still become submerged through the net, a fence around the pool is the safest option.
Those are the biggies, but even fish ponds and buckets can be dangerous. An unconscious child can drown in as little as 2 inches of water.
Other concerns are securing tall or unsteady furniture that toddlers might pull onto themselves and latching cupboards and drawers that they shouldn’t get into.
In the early days, many moms like to have their newborn in mommy and daddy’s room. But baby’s things will still need to be kept somewhere and they will eventually need their own room.
When you clear out the spare room to replace the bed with a cot and the bookshelf with a changing table, consider hanging onto the furniture for when your child is older. You can put it in storage until you need it again. Look online for a storage facility near you (i.e. storage units Montreal) if you don’t have space for it at home.
If you have pets, they will have to get used to a new baby, especially if they’re used to being the baby of the house. Introduce them to baby as soon as possible, if they seem disinterested, don’t worry. Make sure you give your pets as much attention as before baby came along.
Don’t leave them with baby unsupervised, little ones don’t know not to pull doggy’s ears and they could react badly. Don’t let them sleep in the same room unattended either. Unlikely though it may seem, it’s not worth risking the cat curling up over baby’s face.
For the most part, trust your instincts and ask for advice when you feel you need it. From your parents, your pediatrician, or anyone you think has done ok raising their own kids.