Every parent wants to enjoy their baby as much as possible when it finally arrives, but they are usually afraid they'll forget to prepare some important things before the baby comes. If you're also expecting your little bundle of joy, no need to stress out - here are a couple of tips on how to prepare your home for the new family member:

1. Make your home safe

Be sure of this - time when your baby starts crawling around will come much sooner than you think. Put away all the cleaning products out of baby's reach in locked cabinets. Put magnetic locks on the cabinets that the baby can reach. Check the smoke and carbon monoxide detectors, or install them if you don't have them in your home. All open electrical outlets should have outlet protectors. And lastly, deal with hard edges around your home that could hurt the toddler, such as sharp coffee table corners.

2. Sanitize the red zones

Even though parents make an effort to clean the home before the baby's arrival, there are certain areas that get frequently forgotten, such as door frames, ceiling fans, coffee makers and other appliances and curtains. Make sure you include them in the deep cleaning. Also, pay special attention to the spots such as kitchen sinks, dishes, cutting boards and countertops, as they are usually full of germs. It's a good idea to keep sanitizing wipes near these spots so you can easily wipe them down once a day.

3. Prepare the pet for the baby

Most parents concentrate on preparing their older children for the new baby and forget about the pet. This is also a big change for pets, so you need to make sure they are ok with that. First, start with bringing in new furniture into your home to introduce the changes step by step. Once the baby is born, bring home a blanket with the baby's scent, so that the pet can smell it get used to it. Pay attention to any signs of jealousy or aggression.

4. Good night sleep for you and the baby

Some parents choose to have their baby sleep in their bedroom, keeping the crib next to the bed, while others decorate the baby's room from the start, where the baby can sleep on its own. Many sites offer suggestions for room decorations and practical cribs, no matter which choice you make, but the important thing is that it serves one purpose - it helps your baby have a good night sleep (which means you'll get one, too!). If the baby will sleep in your room, consider getting a co-sleeper, so you can easily feed the baby during the night and put it back in the crib. If there's a separate room for the baby, buy blackout curtains so the light doesn't get in easily and a white noise machine and a stuffed animal for soothing the noise from the outside.

5. Fill up your fridge

You'll be really tired when the baby comes, so buy a lot of frozen food and stuff your fridge with it. Frozen food will come in handy whenever you feel too exhausted or out of time to cook something. Try to locate places where you can find formula and tasty casseroles. Before you start filling up the fridge, give it a proper cleaning - toss out expired food, clean the shelves with a warm sponge, using white vinegar. Put some paper towels around spots where something usually gets spilled and change them frequently.

All in all

When you know you have prepared your home for the baby, you'll be much more relaxed and enjoy every minute of it. Of course, there are always little things to be forgotten along the way, but as any other parent who enjoys parenthood - you'll manage just fine.

Published by Helen Bradford