Being pregnant is possibly the most rewarding thing a woman can experience. While some people hate the experience when it is happening, the moment your precious baby is born, everything seems brighter.
Stress during pregnancy is caused by numerous factors. While the biggest contributor is hormones, another factor is concern that you haven’t prepared enough. You’ve painted the crib in lead-free paint. You’ve bought toys and clothes. You’ve even gone so far as to buy a new tent big enough for three. What else can you do?
Simple: baby proof your house. Here are four tips to help protect your baby from indoor dangers.
1. Examine Your House for Safety
Look around your house and truly examine whether or not a baby can move safely around without hurting themselves. You want to do this before the baby gets here because before you know it, they’ll be mobile, and you’ll still be sleep deprived.
According to experts, cleaning products (including dishwasher pods and laundry detergent) and your medication should always be kept out of the reach and sight of babies, preferably in cabinets that are securely locked. You can easily lock your cabinets using magnetic locks, which are easy to install and that don’t pinch your fingers. If you can, you might also want to consider switching to natural cleaning solutions and household products, such as organic herbicides for the garden.
If you own any weapons such as knives or guns, you need to take precautions to ensure that your baby cannot harm themselves with them. For firearms, this means removing the ammunition and putting it somewhere far away from the gun. Store the keys of the lockboxes in separate areas.
You’ll also want to install carbon monoxide detectors and smoke detectors if you don’t already have them. Make sure your home has a fire extinguisher as well. Disinfect areas that carry the most germs in your house. These places include door knobs and light switches as well as toothbrush holders, cutting boards, refrigerator handles, countertops,
faucet handles, sponges, dish rags, and stove knobs. While your baby might not be touching these areas, you are, and you could possibly pick up your baby without properly cleaning your hands. For a truly deep clean, you may also want to hire a professional home cleaning service in the weeks leading up to your delivery date.
The outdoors is also a part of your home to consider. Even though your baby won’t be crawling outside right away, in what will seem like no time at all, they’ll be scrambling around outside. To ensure the outdoors are safe for them, consider laying rubber mulch in the playground area in your yard or other alternatives that won’t be painful for your baby to move around on.
If your house isn’t large enough for a baby who will eventually grow into a child who needs their own room, then now is also the time to think about finding a home large enough for a family. And if this is something you are considering, you’ll also want to research the best mortgage lenders for this year.
2. Prep for Visitors
While you are going to want to spend as much time as possible with your baby when they come home, you are going to have to let people see your child eventually. Since you are going to be sleep deprived and are not going to feel like cleaning the house when you take your precious angel home, you want to make sure that the house is prepped for visitors before you give birth.
Let’s face it—your mom, sister, and friends are going to want to help with the baby as much as possible. It makes it easier for them to stay overnight when you have a room ready to go. Does your guest room have a comfortable mattress? If not, then it’s likely time to find a mattress for the guest room. Have spare sheets ready as well as towels, toilet paper, toothpaste, and extra toothbrushes ready for when your guests come to visit.
3. Protect Your Kitchen
The more specific part of making sure your house is safe is making sure your kitchen is safe. You are going to have to reimagine the place you cook in. With a critical eye, you need to determine what you need to put in storage and what is safe enough to stay.
A coffee maker, for instance, is a must. You’re going to need it for all the sleepless nights you’ll be getting. The meat dehydrator that you have never even opened can probably be stored away though. You are going to need to make space for a baby food maker and a bottle rack. You’re also going to have to clean out your pantry and make room for the baby food you’re going of the stock up.
You’re also going to need to leave room in your refrigerator. Your baby is going to be on an all-liquid diet for a long time. Whether you choose to breastfeed, use formula, or a mixture of both, you are going to need a place to store all that liquid. Plus, you are going to need extra room in the fridge for all the food that your visitors are going to bring to make sure you are still being fed.
The best way to clean out the fridge before the baby comes is to completely empty it. Once it is completely emptied, be sure to clean it from top to bottom with a warm sponge and scrub away the sticky spots. After the baby arrives, you are going to need to make sure that you keep up with this cleaning process.
You are going to need to do a lot of sterilizing when you become a mother. You can save time by doing it before the baby arrives. The list of things to sterilize may seem daunting, including pacifiers, teething toys, nipples, bottles, and pump parts.
But the good news is you don’t have to boil them. Give them a good clean with some hot soapy water, and you will have killed the most common germs.
4. Deal with the Dirt
Buy all the cleaning supplies you may think you need. Buy smart though. Instead of paper towels, get a bunch of microfiber cleaning clothes. They’re reusable, quick-drying, and extremely absorbent. A baby is extremely messy, so you want to make sure you’re prepared. To further protect from germs, stick to a cleaning schedule.