Preparing the Home for Baby (Tips from American Hovel Magazine)

As someone in the final throes of the third trimester, I have spent a lot of time recently sitting in an ob/gyn waiting room. Usually I go equipped with some sort of reading material.

On occasion, though, I have felt compelled to pick up one of the various maternity magazines that litter the waiting area. These magazines give all sorts of largely redundant advice about how not to kill your baby, and what host of $80 products you will absolutely need to give your baby a bath.

Since it’s been a while since I have contributed to American Hovel Magazine (The Magazine dedicated to lowering acceptable neatness standards in the home), I felt inspired to submit a few tips of my own for getting ready for baby.

AHM’s tips for Preparing the Home for Baby

Decorating the Nursery:
Other magazines will advise you about sets of exquisite crib bedding, with coordinating sheets, bumpers, window valences and diaper pail cozies. Not only are these items expensive, but they will lead to your child setting high expectations for style and organization in the future. It is best, then, to make sure the nursery fits in with the decor of the rest of your home. As it is, the room you intend to use as nursery is probably already functioning as a storage area for various piles of clothing and dirty dishes, boxes of bills and junkmail, as well as broken electronics and half-completed craft projects. Many of these items are quite colorful, and will be attractive additions to the baby’s room.

Be advised, though, that it is best to keep power tools, sharp knives, and hazardous materials out of reach of baby, and these should not be stored in the crib or sleeping area itself.

Where the baby will sleep:
While you may opt for a piece of furniture, such as a crib or cradle, it is also possible place your baby in a mobile storage container for temporary storage. Such an item is often called a Moses basket, befrilled versions of which can cost upwards of $200. A laundry basket works just fine. Don’t worry if the laundry basket has dirty laundry in it: the baby would get it dirty soon anyhow. Those buggers spit up like crazy, and diapers leak all the freakin’ time.

Caution should be used when adding dirty laundry to the laundry basket: covering the baby in piles of clothing may cause the little tyke to struggle for air, and may also make it harder for you to find the baby when relatives come to visit.

Laundry hints:
AHM typically advises you to avoid doing laundry. However, with a baby in the house, you may need to do a load of laundry or two over the course the first month.

You may remember the advice to separate light from dark clothing. Also make sure to separate the baby from the clothing. While running the baby through the washing machine may be tempting as a time-saving shortcut, this method is not recommended. Even on delicate cycle.

Home Safety:
With a newborn in the house, safety is always of the highest priority. Make sure that your smoke detectors and fire extinguishers are functional, and that your home is moderately free of the squirrels, raccoons, and other potentially plague-bearing animals that typically inhabit your living area and furnishings.

Congratulations, and best of luck to you as you prepare for the arrival of your little one!