Having a baby really does change everything! Your daily schedule, your sleep patterns, your social life, your eating habits, your mode of transportation, even your personal hygiene routines are all subject to being thrown out the window once your little bundle of joy arrives. One of the biggest areas (both literally and figuratively) to get a baby makeover is going to be the place you call home -- and I'm not talking about just decorating a nursery and installing some safety latches. When you look at your home through new-mama eyes, what was once a place of refuge, your kingdom, your castle, now becomes a haven for infection, diseases and accidents, with germs and sharp corners just waiting to attack your beloved child.
Fortunately, there's a lot you can do to prepare your home for your baby's arrival -- and you can do a lot of it even before the baby arrives, which means one less thing to worry about (and believe me, when you're getting next to no sleep, the less you have to worry about the better). Here are some tips for new moms who want to prepare their home for their new baby:
1) Wash all bedclothes, blankets and baby clothes separately from your other laundry. Use the hottest wash setting you're comfortable with to kill as many germs and bedbugs as possible.
2) Put an air purifier in the baby's room.
3) Wipe down all surfaces with disinfectant. If you're worried about harsh chemicals, there are plenty of safe, effective alternatives. You can even use a mixture of vinegar and baking soda!
4) Keep pets out of the nursery, at least until your little one has had a couple of months to develop his immune system.
5) Consider breastfeeding your baby for at least 6 months -- it's one of the best things you can do to build and strengthen his immune system.
Once the your baby has arrived, he or she is going to have lots of visitors, all eager to hold and touch and kiss the new arrival. Here are some suggestions to help keep your baby germ-free:
1) Ask visitors to wipe their hands before they hold the baby. If you're hesitant to do this, have sanitary wipes or disinfecting gel prominently on display, and make a big show out of wiping your own hands before holding your baby.
2) If a visitor has a cough or cold, ask them if they'd mind not holding the baby. Most people understand why you're asking them and are more than happy to oblige.
3) Ask children to kiss the baby's feet, not the baby's hands or face.
4) Swaddle your baby in a blanket when visitors arrive, to limit skin-to-skin contact.
5) You can have visitors tiptoe in to see the baby when he's sleeping. It's not likely to bother the baby, and it's a good excuse not ask them not to touch!
It's true that bringing a baby home means instituting some new tasks and precautions -- but as soon as you meet your new baby, you'll realize it's all worth it.
Disclosure: I wrote this blog post while participating in the TwitterMoms and Lysol® Wee Wisdom blogging program, making me eligible to get a $50 gift card. For more information on how you can participate, click here . The views and opinions expressed here are my own.