If you’re expecting a little bundle of joy (congratulations, by the way), you’re probably up to your ears in lifestyle changes. Some you were expecting, like no more wine with dinner. But others changes may take you by surprise, like the household renovations you need to keep your new baby safe.
That’s right, preparing your home for a baby is a bit more involved than setting up a crib in the old guest bedroom. There are several specific upgrades you can make to make sure your house is a safe environment — and here are a few of the essentials.
Install Ceiling Fans
One of the scariest and most tragic things that can happen to a family is losing a child to sudden infant death syndrome, or SIDS. The causes behind this horrible event aren’t completely clear, but some doctors believe that “rebreathing” (the accidental inhalation of carbon dioxide) is a very likely culprit.
Studies have shown that regular air circulation can reduce a baby’s risk of SIDS by up to 72 percent. The best way to ensure air circulation is to make sure there are ceiling fans in any room where the baby sleeps — particularly in his or her nursery. If your baby’s room doesn’t have a ceiling fan, we strongly encourage getting one before your due date!
Maximize Your Storage Space
Your baby is just a tiny little thing, but they tend to have a lot of stuff. Bottles, diapers, toys, adorable clothes that grandma and grandpa bought..it all adds up in a big way! This is why it’s important to upgrade your storage space before the new family member arrives.
If you have a handyman in your family, building extra shelves and hanging rods into the baby’s closet can be a great way to maximize your existing space. Stackable bins work too. These can help you get organized and stay that way, so you don’t end up tearing apart the nursery at three in the morning, looking for a fresh diaper.
Add Safety Solutions EVERYWHERE
When your baby first comes home, baby proofing may not seem like a top-priority issue. You have other, more pressing issues: learning how to breastfeed, perfecting your swaddle skills, bonding with your little one, that sort of thing. And besides, your newborn can’t even hold up their head; they’re not going to be getting into your cabinets anytime soon, right?
Just you wait, mama. Trust us, you will barely blink and suddenly your toddler is crawling around faster than you can catch up, grabbing everything in sight and stuffing it into their mouths! Baby-proofing is much easier if you do it proactively, so start installing those child safety locks ASAP.
Lock up your cabinets, set up those baby gates, put a safety fence around your swimming pool. By the time your baby needs the protection, you’ll be grateful you were on top of things.
Get a Diaper Sprayer
A diaper sprayer hooks up to your toilet (like you would a bidet), and it makes cleaning cloth diapers easier than ever. Simply bring the diaper to the toilet, spray the waste into the bowl, and flush! If you are planning to use cloth diapers with your baby, this particular renovation will change your life.
Of course, these are not all the possible renovations you can make before welcoming baby (for example, if your child has any form of disability, you may need to make other accommodations). However, these little changes will help you create a safer home for your little one — all that’s left is for you to fill it with love!
Katie Tejada is a writer, editor, former HR professional, and mom of five. She enjoys writing about events, decorating trends, travel, and issues important to parents and families, but also covers developments in HR, business communication, recruiting, and CRM solutions.