Are you pregnant and wondering what you need to do to get your home ready for your newborn baby?
It’s easy to get overwhelmed as the due date looms. You feel not only worried about what you’ll do with the baby, but also wondering what you should be doing right now to get ready for when they come home from the hospital.
Fear not though, I’ve got a handy checklist you can print off and go through one thing at a time.
It’s included in the ultimate Baby Planner, which features LOADS of other really useful checklists and baby routines to help you in the early weeks.
Get your Baby Planner here.
This checklist isn’t supposed to make you panic about ALL the things you need to do. If you break it down room-by-room it should hopefully seem less daunting.
This list of things to do to prepare for your baby shouldn’t take you hours and hours, it’s really to help you see what items you need to buy and where you should keep them so that they’re in the most useful spot for you.
If you’re in your final month of pregnancy, you may also want to check out my handy list of things to do in the final trimester.
I’ve included a cleaning list as well, which should give you some ideas of where to deep clean so that your home is tidy, clean and germ-free for a newborn.
Don’t forget to check out my post about what you need to buy for a newborn baby. If you have any questions at all, let me know in the comments!
And if you’re close to your due date, you may also want to check out tips on drug-free ways to cope with labour pains.
Now, on to your room-by-room baby prep tips and checklist!
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Health professionals advise that your baby should sleep in the same room as you for the first six months. This has been shown to reduce the risk of SIDs (you can see my post about SIDs advice for more on reducing the risk of sudden infant death).
This means you’ll want your bedroom to be geared up for your baby to sleep in, and have items you might need to help with your postpartum recovery too.
Moses basket or side sleeper
I suggest getting a cot for your baby’s nursery so that it’s ready, but a Moses basket or side sleeper to go in your bedroom is a good idea too.
A side sleeper is great as your baby is right there next to you for breastfeeding, or to comfort, if they struggle to settle.
A Moses basket can be a good option as it’s easy to move from room to room. Have a look at different options and think about what would work best for you.
Whether you’re breastfeeding or bottlefeeding, your baby may spit up milk or vomit. You may also find a muslin useful to protect your bedsheets if your baby’s nappy leaks (which can happen quite frequently as their poo is so runny).
Giant muslins can be used to swaddle your baby. They’re light, which means your baby won’t overheat, and swaddling can help yo settle your baby down easier.
When you’re feeding you may find it tough to find a comfy position so some extra pillows can help to prop you up nicely.
Your child may not be sleeping in the nursery for the first six months, but you may find you play in there with them quite a bit. You may also use the nursery for nappy changes.
I moved my kids into their own bedroom after just a few weeks, which does go against the official advice. I think it’s a personal choice and totally depends on the health of your baby and how you feel about it. Whatever you decide, getting the nursery ready while you’re pregnant is a good idea because your hands will be full when the baby arrives.
Somewhere to sleep ranks up there with the most important thing you need to buy!
Have the cot ready before the baby arrives. They may not sleep in there immediately if you have a Moses basket or side sleeper, but it’s much better to have it built and ready before the baby is born.
You can use the cot as a safe place to put your baby down when you need to do something such as cleaning or using the toilet.
Try not to have the main light on when you’re doing the night feeds, as keeping the room darker will help your baby realise the difference between day and night.
Have a night light that keeps the room dim but lets you see everything so you don’t stub your toe in the middle of the night.
You can get a cot top changer to save space, or a separate changing unit which includes storage for nappies, changes of clothes and other toiletries. It depends on the size of your nursery, and your budget.
Within arm’s reach of your changing station, you will need nappies, cream, wipes and a toy to distract your baby because they get very wriggly after a few weeks!
There’s a complete guide full of tips for setting up a changing station here.
Baby clothes are tiny, so I recommend drawer units rather than a wardrobe where you hang the clothes as this isn’t the best use of space.
The Marie Kondo method of storing baby clothes is the best, as it means you can see all of the clothes. Check out this video showing how to fold baby clothes, but if you don’t like this folding method, just adapt it for yourself. The key is to store the clothes horizontally rather than vertically.
Try a large basket for soft toys, and a unit with separate boxes for other toys as this means you can organise them by category.
Your child’s book collection will grow quickly so get some shelves up on the walls to keep them tidy.
You could also try cute little boxes and baskets on the floor. Once your baby is crawling, they will be able to pick out their favourite books to read.
The bathroom is where you will wash your new baby but it’s also where they’ll have a lot of fun once they get used to bath time.
One of my biggest recommendations is that you do not buy a baby bath. Your baby will grow out of it within weeks and then you’ll just have a big plastic bucket that you don’t know what to do with.
Baby support seat
Instead of a baby bath, get a baby support seat. These are fantastic as babies get seriously slippery in the bath. Putting them in the support seat keeps their head out of water and leaves you with your hands free to wash them.
It’s also fantastic when you have a second child, as you can bathe both kids together.
Baby bath time toiletries
For bathing your newborn, you won’t need any soap to wash their skin, just some water will be fine for those first few baths. You can add a little baby bubble bath, go for a newborn or sensitive skin specific product. Get a bath emollient product as well. This can be really useful if your baby has very dry skin after birth as it stops their skin drying out in the water
Your toiletries kit should also include baby shampoo, baby lotion or moisturiser, a sponge or flannel, a hooded baby towel and a bath thermometer.
Trimming those teeny tiny nails is quite daunting at first. Get some clippers that are specifically for babies to make it a little easier. I suggest doing this task when they’re asleep or distracted so they aren’t moving around too much.
I changed my nursing pads in the bathroom so that’s where I kept them, but you may prefer them in your bedside table.
Make sure you have a decent stash and use this brand of nursing pad as it sticks well to the bra and is really absorbent.
This is another product for you, but have a good stash of them so that you don’t have to keep running out to the shops to stock up.
Keep a stash of maternity pads in every single bathroom in your home. You never know when you’ll suddenly realise it needs changing and it’s much easier if they are right there ready for you.
You may find that you spend a lot of time in the living room as it’s somewhere you can get comfortable, watch TV if you’re bored and have a little space for your baby to kick about on the floor.
As it’s a place where your baby may play a lot as they grow up, don’t forget to think about baby-proofing too.
Get rid of sharp edges with covers and make sure cables aren’t easily accessible. You don’t need to worry about plug sockets. Check out my post on baby-proofing for more advice.
Have a small changing mat that you can stash underneath the sofa with wipes, cream and nappies. This way you don’t have to keep going up and down the stairs every time you need to change their nappy.
This is a great way to occupy your baby if you need to get things done, or if you just want a break from holding them for a little while.
A comfy play mat can be great for encouraging your baby to enjoy tummy time. Look for ones with mirrors and other features to catch their attention.
Baby feeding kit
Whether you are breast or bottle feeding, you may want a selection of bottles to feed your baby either with formula or expressed milk as well as a bottle brush for cleaning.
If you’re bottle feeding, you may also want a bottle prep machine, and don’t forget a steriliser.
Stock up the freezer
You’ll want some meals that are easy to prepare, so stock up on frozen meals. Try things like lasagne, casseroles and shepherd’s pie.
There’s a list of 30 make-ahead freezer meals you can make while still pregnant so that you have hearty and nutritious dinners for after the baby comes.
You’ll want a shelf for your baby’s things as once they hit the weaning stage you’ll need bowls, cups and plates.
Do some decluttering now so that the space is ready when you need it.
You could try the Marie Kondo method of decluttering, which is fantastic for sorting every inch of your home, not just the kitchen!
Cleaning may be the last thing you want to do when you’re pregnant, so you could always hand this list over to someone else to get done!
Remember to be careful if you do clean yourself about lifting heavy vacuum cleaners or bending down into awkward positions. Don’t do anything that feels uncomfortable or is straining you too much.
Carpets and upholstery
Hire a carpet cleaner if you don’t have one and give all carpets and sofas a thorough clean.
Use this as a good excuse to take them all down and put them through the washing machine. Double check the label to make sure they aren’t dry clean only before you do so.
Get all of the spots you usually miss, such as the top of door frames, light fixtures and skirting boards.
Try to get ahead on the laundry. You’ll find when the baby arrives this chore becomes a bit of a nightmare to keep on top of!
You could hire someone to clean the oven, or opt to do it yourself.
If your oven is particularly grimy I recommend this oven cleaner, which you simply paint onto the oven and then wipe off after a few hours. It’s strong stuff so make sure you wear gloves when using it.
This is a great time to clear out the out of date food in your fridge and freezer, and wipe down all of the shelves.
Bedding and mattress
If your duvet and pillows are machine washable, give them a wash. Also sprinkle some bicarbonate of soda on your mattress, leave for an hour or so then vacuum it off. This can help to remove stains as well as get rid of any smells lingering in the mattress.
Give it a good vacuum, or if it can be machine washed then pop it into the washing machine. Finish this by squirting some Zoflora mixed with water onto the rug to disinfect it and leave it smelling fresh.
Hopefully these tips have given you some inspiration and focus for getting your home ready for your baby!
There’s more helpful advice on what you need to buy before baby arrives in this handy baby registry post.