SORT OUT THE REST OF YOUR HOUSE
Now, seeing as you are sorting out your nursery, you might as well pay a bit of attention to the rest of the house. I’m not talking about full decoration here, but there are things that will make your life so much easier and it is worth getting sorted now.
This is where you will do most of your feeding. Most mums like to feed in an area of the house where there are people to talk to and where they can still feel like they are part of everyday life. (Feeding in the nursery isn’t much fun so tends to be only at bedtime.) Bearing this in mind, get your lounge ready. Set up the comfiest corner and add a selection of cushions, throws and V pillows. Empty out the closest cupboard and make space for baby stuff. Make sure the TV remote control is handy, as well as phone chargers, books and plenty of snacks and water.
While you are pregnant, and have the time…trust me, you won’t have much when your baby arrives…start planning your walls. You’re going to have stunning newborn photos, but how are you going to use them? What size photo will look good above the sofa? What size photo will grandma want? It doesn’t seem like that big of a deal now but planning while you have the head space will guarantee a beautiful result. My job as your photographer is to guide you, make recommendations based on the style of your house and to offer you ideas that are unique and beautiful. The best thing to do is give me a call as soon as you are pregnant (book your session early in your pregnancy and get a free maternity session at 35 weeks– don’t leave it until the baby is born!).
Firstly, make sure you have a microwave. You’ll need it if you plan to sterilize bottles using the microwave method, and it will also be handy when you need to heat up food, milk, and cups of coffee that you didn’t have chance to drink. You will need to accept that from now on there will be baby stuff all over the counter tops so purchase some storage that looks lovely where you can store formula, bottles etc.
Also, if you haven’t got a tumble drier, get one! Even if you don’t use one now, you will definitely need it when your baby arrives. Babies often go through 2-3 outfits a day! Welcome to the never-ending washing pile.
Here’s one of my favourite tips: get organised by purchasing a blackboard/message board for the kitchen. This is brilliant for communication, reminders and emergency details.
Divide it up into sections that include: baby’s routine, emergency numbers, messages for Dad and messages for Mum.
You might find, for a time, that this is the best form of communication you’ll have. It’s easy to forget things when you are sleep deprived so use this to keep everything in check. Don't forget to tell your partner that things written on this board is not a nag (OK it might be) but it is simple the freeing up of headspace...because that is a rare commodity.
It’s always a good idea to have important numbers and details to hand so make a clear note of both parents’ phone numbers, the doctors details and grandparents/best friends/neighbours numbers – anyone who might be able to come and help should you ever need it. Baby’s routine is the next thing to put up on the board. Again, it’s easy to forget what you’ve done when your brain has turned to mush! Keeping a note of when feeds should happen, or when it’s your baby’s sleep time will be invaluable.
You should assume that your baby will be in your bedroom in a moses basket for the first few months (NHS guidelines recommend that your baby sleeps next to your bed for six months before going into their own room). So, set up your bedroom with this in mind. You might need to move some furniture around ie. move the bedside table so there is room for the cot. Make it practical as well as beautiful – as always, plenty of cushions and throws to make it as comfortable as possible.
If you plan to bottle feed your baby, make sure the Perfect Prep Machine is ready and waiting in the room where he will be sleeping, and if you are breastfeeding make sure your massive 2 litre water bottle has a spot next to your bed!
We’ve recommended black out blinds/curtains for the nursery. And this applies to your bedroom too. If your baby is going to be in your room, you need to get into good sleep habits as early as possible and black out curtains are a fundamental part of this. Don’t wait until the baby is home to organise this as it is a bit of a faff so definitely something to consider early on.
Your bathroom will no longer be a place of serenity and relaxation. Brace yourself… it will soon be full of lotions and potions, bubbles, bath toys, towels etc.
The best thing you can do in preparation is think about storage. Buy a movable container that you can put all your baby kit in and hide it out of the way. Ensure you have a non-slip mat for the bottom of the bath.
Pamela (here in the studio) gave us a recommendation for an alternative to a baby bath; baby baths are a bit of a waste of money as you use them for such a short amount of time and they are back breakingly heavy when full. Pamela used a Angelcare Soft Touch Bath Support for her three kids and swears by it.
If you are going to use washable nappies, have 2 large buckets ready for different stages of soaking. Get ready with your cleaning products. I’m sure you have never used napisan, or Milton fluids until now but you will certainly be using them in the future so be prepared.
Get an ironing/laundry service. I know I sound like a 1950’s domestic goddess, but trust me! Ironing will be very low on your, or your husbands, list of things to do so get someone else to do it for you. There are heaps of local services that will pick up and drop off from your home.