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6 Steps to Prepare Your House For Your Newborn(s) – A First Time Parent Guide

A Baby Cot is a must-have when preparing for any newborn arrival at home

Dear proud parent or parent-to-be, have you prepared your house for your newborn?

Stop now. Did you fall for the trick question?

Because, preparing the house for a newborn is not as straightforward as just preparing “for your newborn” ALONE.

With any newborn, comes a recuperating mother in confinement period, as well as other potential new house occupants. Think nannies, babysitters, confinement nannies, maids, helpers, visitors, and even family members like newly minted grandparents insisting to stay a night or two!

Thus, you actually need to prepare your house for not just your newborn, but for everyone and everything else too! So, where exactly do you start from?

First Things First

Congratulations on your baby – whether on the way, or already delivered!

We hope that you are all prepared for this bundle of joy, but fret not if you are not. Staying calm is the key first step before preparing baby and mummy/daddy stuff.

Here is a list of steps to follow to best prepare your house for a newborn!

1) Consider Space Constraints

Consider space constraints but never put your newborn in the same bed as adults when sleeping
Consider space constraints but never put your newborn in the same bed as adults when sleeping!

Yes, space is limited, especially in Singapore!

Many households stay in HDB or condominium units. Even those who are residing in landed properties but have large families may face this constraint. Hence, it is important to re-think the space within your abode.

How to do so?

Start by considering the NUMBER OF PAX that will stay in your house!

To be safe, we recommend catering for the maximum possible number of persons. For instance, a pregnant couple could stay in a shoebox unit as they are just 2 adults. However, with a newborn on the way, they should consider not just the addition of a baby, but also the space required for their confinement nanny, maid, and grandparents who may want to stay in for a certain period of time. This easily adds up to be 6 adults and 1 baby (from just 2 adults).

At this point, you need to plan carefully. To begin, you should communicate clearly and explain your rationale to whoever it is that are potential future residents of your living space. Obviously, a young and fit stay-in helper may not mind sleeping on the floor next to your newborn. However, a more elderly confinement nanny would function safer with a proper resting bed. He or she may also require mattresses with sufficient back support. And, bunk beds may be a huge no-no, especially with aged grandparents staying to help nurture your little baby.

2) Plan the Timeline of Visitations

Have you prepared the room for your stay in babysitter or confinement nanny at home
Have you prepared the room for your stay in babysitter or confinement nanny at home?

If you have successfully planned for your house to accommodate 6 adults and 1 baby (from just 2 adults), congratulations!

However, chances are, it may not be practically possible for many regular folks. Financially, a larger living space requires much higher costs. Moreover, with a normal pregnancy duration of 9 months (or possibly less), time is tight to arrange for living space adjustments.

As such, MEIDE Singapore recommends you plan the timeline for visitations. For instance, you could have the confinement nanny stay for 1 or 2 months, and then have the newborn’s grandparents come in only after the confinement nanny has left.

In the meantime, you can cater for a small helper’s room for the stay-in foreign domestic worker. Indeed, it is important to have someone to do the domestic chores separately. It will make the lives of first time parents much more manageable. Remember, the amount of laundry and mess in the house increases exponentially with the addition of new family members, a newborn and a mummy in confinement!

3) Cater for Increased Laundry, Washing and Cooking

Have you prepared the milk bottles and teats of correct sizes for the newborn arrival
Have you prepared the milk bottles and teats of correct sizes for the newborn arrival?

Now, this is something that may come as a real awakening.

If you have barely done laundry in your life, or never turned on a stove, it is time to either get help quickly, or sign up for a crash course!

Preparing for Baby Laundry

The amount of laundry will increase dramatically because babies need more than just a pair of pants and t-shirt. On top of onesies, they require swaddles, new bedsheets, bibs, and fresh towels for cleaning them up after a shower.

Oh, and did we mention mitten, booties, and baby beanies/hoodies? Wait, we also need to highlight that a huge proportion of parents prefer to hand wash baby laundry too. And, your cutie-pie can vomit out, spit out, or simply drool all over the newly fitted set of linen any time, for multiple times a day (or night). If you intend to bring your baby outdoors, or want to use cloth diapers, expect even more laundry.

That is not all the good stuff yet. We saved the best for the last – be prepared for poop and urine to be all over when “accidents” happen during diaper changing! Well, what can we say but take it all in your stride, and enjoy those hair-pulling yet precious life-changing moments with your spouse?

So yes, you need to prepare your house and spaces for newborn laundry – from gathering the dirty laundry, to washing, hanging, drying, folding, and storing the clean laundry. And the cycle repeats.

Book your #1 babysitting / cleaning services today, or join our team!

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Preparing for Cooking and Dining

Honestly, you can no longer simply depend on instant noodles and takeouts. Or pizza deliveries.

Your dear wife in confinement will definitely need lots of nutritious and fresh foods to recover fast, breastfeed and nurture her young one!

Your helper, confinement nanny, and possibly other relatives, will also want more home-cooked meals to save the inconvenience of eating out and reducing unhealthy salt and oil intake.

Then, remember that your hands might be so full, such as tending to diapers changing every 2 to 3 hours, complete with milk-feeding and other errands, that you have no time to go out and buy takeaways.

As such, eating home-cooked meals, usually prepared by an experienced maid or the nanny herself, is the best and optimal option. Thus, prepare sufficient cooking utensils, cutlery and a dining area sufficient for the number of pax present!

4) Prepare Mummy’s Room and Space

Do you have your post-delivery clothings and baby bassinet ready yet too
Do you have your post-delivery clothing and baby bassinet ready yet too?

The lifestyles of a mummy-to-be and an actual mummy can be starkly different!

Especially during the first 1 or 2 months, when mummy is in confinement and recovering from childbirth, she will need a lot of physical and psychological support.

Bed rest is particularly important for wound healing. Furthermore, some moms will be advised to do sitz baths, and maintain a certain routine of wound cleaning. These come on top of commonly encountered breasts engorgement episodes and possible breastfeeding obstacles.

Although some moms get by with no to minimal space changes, it will definitely improve mom’s (and by logic dad and babies’) quality of lives with these possible additions:

  • Space for breastfeeding such as a (really) comfortable armchair or sofa;
  • Breastfeeding cushions and support pillow, and heat pads for any possible engorgement;
  • Huge and comfortable bed with good pocketed spring supports;
  • More cupboard space for towels, breast pads, bras, panties, and other post-delivery wear;
  • Spacious washrooms for all that tedious hygiene works;
  • Some more cushions or floats or lifebuoys for mummy to sit on;
  • Even more bonus items like “mini tables” for eating, reading or using laptop on bed;
  • Soothing lighting, ventilation, and music available within the mummy’s room.
  • Cater for sufficient space if you intend to let the newborn “room in” with mummy and daddy (i.e. place baby cot near or next to the master bedroom bed)

Last but not least, do not forget about all that precious breast milk!

Cater for storage space for breast milk – from preparing the items, to pumping out milk, to storing the milk in milk storage bags or special containers (and buying an extra fridge or freezer).

5) Prepare Daddy’s Room and Space

Create daddy spaces for dads to bond with babies yet still be able to work productively
Create daddy spaces for dads to bond with babies yet still be able to work productively!

You may not realize, but separating spaces for “work””and “family” time will become increasingly pertinent.

There will be areas of the house where you want to be able to hear and see your baby. However, there will also be areas of the house where you need to be free from distractions, whilst someone else is juggling the newborn care.

In this day and age, many people can work from home, or may need to concentrate on studies or other affairs. And in today’s Singapore, the majority of daddies will want a room and space to be able to focus and be productive working. After all, bills and utilities still need to be paid, right?

In fact, this chapter could and probably ought to be renamed “Create a Working Space Free of Distractions”. Thus, this created space can be used by not just daddy, but also mummy and any others (eg. elder siblings).

Caring for a newborn can be stressful at times, and having a place to offload and reset is vital. Thus, creating such a specific spot is critical when preparing your house for your newborn too!

6) Prepare Your Baby Room (or Space)

A Baby Cot is a must-have when preparing for any newborn arrival at home
A Baby Cot is a must-have when preparing for any newborn arrival at home.

Again, we saved the best for the last!

Yes finally we get to the prime topic – what excited parents can’t wait to do:

  • Decorate or paint the baby room, walls and ceilings even!
  • Put in your baby cot(s), crib(s), changing station(s) and even mat(s)
  • Remember to have extra storage space for all the baby diapers, extra clothes, mattresses, toys, as well as loose small items like baby nail clippers and thermometers.
  • Introduce bonus items like baby monitoring cameras, music players, musical toys, and photo-frames, paintings, art and greenery to stimulate your baby’s senses!
  • Prepare a fan if you do not already have one, because some babies might find air-conditioning too dry or cold.
  • Prepare the right ventilation and lightings for the room – it will help your baby accustom easier to night versus day and help their sleep routine eventually;
  • Do not forget to cater for space for your baby’s feeding items such as syringes, milk bottles, teats, pacifiers, drying racks for the bottles, sterilizing equipment, as well as breastfeeding apparel like the Haakaa, pump(s), heat/cold pads, and so on. (*Hint check out our full list of stuff from A to Z here to prepare for your newborn)

Final Step To Prepare Your House For Your Newborn

Now, if you have completed all 6 steps above, kudos to you.

You are probably already more ready than most parents or first time daddies and mummies!

Just know that nothing can fully prepare your house for your newborn actually. We always do what we can, to our best of abilities, but expect the unexpected when dealing with newborns!

Remember that every household and family are unique and will experience varying types of hurdles as they journey through parenthood. For instance, we may have missed this out, but remember to prepare your cleaning tools and disinfection wipes to keep your place hygienic too!

Oh, and you may want to babyproof your house in advance (though only more applicable when your little one starts crawling and cruising).

We hope all these tips have come in handy. Keep reading, learning, and never miss out on your little one’s precious growing moments!

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