In order to safeguard family wellbeing expectant parents place a high value on creating an ideal home environment to bring children into.
But in pursuit of this domestic ideology many families are unwittingly setting themselves up for failure…
Preparing for the homecoming of a child is a wonderful time but the instinct to prepare or nest - if not reined in, can place undue stress on new families.
I pondered this thought after discovering a surprising statistic.
In a survey of 1,562 of its readers, Practical Parenting magazine found that during the expectant or nesting phase 64% of (female) respondents said they undertook home improvements and one in four claimed they either renovated or moved house - hardly tranquility-inspired changes!
But I get this new parent mindset.
I was in the middle of a major home renovation in the lead up and directly after the birth of my second child. Was it ideal timing? No. Did I learn from the experience? Yes!
So, from someone who has executed an almost faultless (child number one) and then far from perfect (child number 2) baby homecoming here is a list of nesting dos and don’ts:
- Organise baby essentials like a basic baby clothes, cot, car seat and pram in the month or two prior to your due date
- Get the car seat fitted in advance of baby’s arrival
- Speak to friends with kids about how much you’ll really need in the first few months of a baby’s life
- Avoid the temptation to go wild in baby stores - you’ll get lots of gifts and babies grow quickly
- Spring clean your home in the month or weeks leading up to a birth – you won’t get time afterwards
- Decide on a safe, easy to access space where a baby’s crib or cot will be placed upon homecoming – bedroom décor and nursery set up comes next
- Finish major home improvements or renovations prior to a baby’s due date - wherever possible
- Organise lots of help if moving house is unavoidable
- Go to places like baby stores for checklist of what to buy - they have a vested interest in parents over spending
- Listen to the opinions of too many people on what you will and won’t need - pick a few trusted friends or relatives
- Plan to start a major home improvement within the first six months of baby’s arrival - bringing a child home amidst builders, noise and general chaos is not ideal for anyone
- Try to lift heavy boxes or attempt to do too much in the midst of a home relocation – it’s not worth the risk to expectant or new mums
- Finally, don’t worry if you don’t have the latest must-have baby gadgets or the ideal home set up. It’s much more important a child receives nourishment and lives in a hygienic, calm environment with nurturing, loving parents.