Thursday, October 6, 2011

Preparing Your Home for Baby's Arrival

It can be challenging when preparing for a new baby. Although some of you may like to call me a veteran, let me assure you that since I haven't had a newborn around in a little over three years now, i've definitely had to freshen up on what to expect. As a mom who has diapered for 9 years straight since the birth of my first child though, I know the importance of having plenty of diapers on hand. This is especially important if you're awaiting the arrival of a new little one. I mean, the hospital gives you a little bit of a start with the small pack of diapers they have, but you'll find that they very soon run out. And if you're like me, you'll likely be out of circuit with the outside world until your body gets at least some kind of recovery.

Whether you're having your first or you've done this a few times, you've probably heard that a new baby's skin can be really sensitive. If you've heard of Seventh Generation, then you know that they make products that are designed to be environmentally safe and also better for you and your family. Well did you know that they make diapers for babies ranging from newborn sizes up to stage 6? Their diapers are free of components that could otherwise irritate your baby's sensitive skin. Free of chlorine processing, free of latex and perfumes and free of petroleum based lotions.

They also make wipes that are designed to be gentle on your baby's skin. The ingredients in their wipes are plant derived. They're also free of fragrances, alcohol, synthetic cleaners and free of dyes. The wipes are also free of chlorine processing.

Some other tips when preparing for baby that i'd like to share with you follow:

Preparing Your Home for Your Newborn

1. Make sure your crib meets current safety regulations. I'm an Illinois resident, and the sale of crib bumpers was recently banned because of the suffocation risk. You can find more on crib safety at the CPSC site.

2. Although it's tempting to splurge on newborn clothing, try not to overdo it. You'll find that baby doesn't need a whole lot. I find that onesies, jumpsuits, socks and hats are pretty much all that I use.  An outfit or two that are more on the dressy side should do if you want to have pictures taken. Your baby will outgrow those newborn clothes before you know it, so invest in a few 3-6 and 6-9 month size clothing instead of spending your baby budget on newborn items.

3. Prepare any younger siblings for the new baby. Consider watching shows together that focus on siblings and reading books to help your other child/ren know what to expect and how they'll be able to help out.

Preparing for the Ride Home

1. Make sure you have a good car seat. A new one is preferable, as an older one or a used one may not meet current safety standards and may have even possibly been in an accident, which may render it less safe.  A great site to check out is NHTSA, which will give you more details as far as car seat safety and even car seat laws for your particular state.

2. Be sure to place the baby in the rear seat, facing back. I know it's sad to not be able to look back and see baby's face, but it's just safer for him.

Arriving Home With Your Newborn

1. Take it easy. Your baby won't have an established schedule and therefore you'll lose yours as you give in to his demands. Rest when he's resting as much as you can and avoid the urge to try to resume life as you knew it too soon. Things will begin to balance as baby gets a little older and you'll find your way.

2. Accept help if it's offered to you and know who you can talk to if you begin to feel overwhelmed.

As Baby is Growing

1. As baby gets older, and the time for solid foods begins, know what's safe for baby to eat. I was a bit angry when I happened to find out babies under the age of 1 couldn't have honey. Not because I was dying to give it to my baby, but the way I happened to stumble on this information that could have meant life or death. I couldn't believe no one thought to tell me that. A good read for more information can be found here.

2. Consider making at least some of your baby foods from scratch and fresh produce. This way you know exactly what's going into these foods and nourishing your baby.

3. Baby-proof your home. Before you know it, baby will be crawling and then walking, all while getting into everything. Make sure that anything that can pose a hazard is out of reach. A good way to do this is to get down to baby's level so that you can see things from his point of view. Secure your cabinets where harmful items may be, try to make any sharp corners safe with the use of bumpers and plug those unused outlets with outlet covers.

I wrote this blog post while participating in the SocialMoms and Seventh Generation blogging program, for a gift card worth $50. For more information on how you can participate, click here.