Katie Hilton (Bsc, Msc) – Registered Midwife & Health Visitor
Congratulations, you have a baby on the way! You’ve probably already thought about the big stuff; nappies, car seat, pushchair. But what else should you do to get your home ready for your baby? Katie Hilton, iCandy Expert Midwife & Health Visitor has shared her top tips on things to consider before bringing your little one home.
- Decorating the Nursery – its super exciting to prepare the nursery for your new baby! You want it look perfect, however safety must be your first priority. It needs to be well organized to ensure everything is in a convenient location. Try not to overcrowd the room with baby stuff before your little one arrives, you’re bound to receive lots of extra gifts after the birth! Start with the basics such as a cot, changing table, drawers and rocking chair. There’s plenty of time to add other items later.
- Rocking Chair – A comfortable rocking chair will be relaxing for you and help to create a soothing motion for your baby at feeding time. Find a design which works for now, but will also be a useful piece of furniture in your home in the years to come.
- Baby Proofing - Baby proofing your home will seem like a huge, continual undertaking. Make it easy on yourself and start now. You'll be too overwhelmed with your new arrival and visitors to think about it when you come home from the hospital. Prepare for your new baby now by baby proofing for the newborn stage. Consider such things as fire protection, carbon monoxide monitors, purchase a first aid kit. You will be re-evaluating safety needs at the crawling and walking stages as well.
- Baby Monitor – Purchase a good quality, dependable baby monitor. You won’t be able to be in all places at all times, so a reliable baby monitor will help alert you when your baby needs you. It will be especially comforting during those first few days at home.
- Baby Book - A good baby care book covering stages from newborn to early childhood is essential. You'll find yourself referring to it with every little sniffle and rash. Ask friends for recommendations and then spend time at the bookstore browsing over the many available choices. You'll find this book will become your new best friend.
- Feeding Essentials - Your baby will want meals on time just like you and your partner. Bottle-feeding mums will need feeding equipment and formula before baby arrives. For breastfeeding mums, have a breast pump, feeding cushion and bottles available for times when someone else will be feeding baby. You'll also want to have nipple cream on hand for when you're sore. Keep the phone number of a local breastfeeding support group on hand, just in case you need some advice or a shoulder to lean on.
- Camera - If you don't already own a camera, now's the time to buy one. There will be more photo ops than you ever dreamed of once your baby arrives. Don't go for a fancy, hard to operate camera. Find one that's simple, dependable and will give you quality photos. Be sure to pack it into your delivery bag for pictures of your child only minutes old.
- Freezer Meals - Your first day’s home from the hospital will be busy. There will be times when neither of you will want to cook. Takeaway food is an option, but gets costly for a new family on a budget. Plan ahead. Make some easy meals like casseroles, bolognese, and stew in the months before your delivery and stash them in the freezer. You can also make larger portions of upcoming meals, since frozen leftovers will also be a welcome sight once the baby is born.
- Phone Numbers - Prepare for your new baby's arrival now by compiling a list of important phone numbers and put them near your phone. Include your GP, midwife, health visitor, breastfeeding support group contact and your favourite takeaway.