Pregnant woman with paint swatches in nursery

Next month my husband, Scott, and I will welcome a baby into our lives. To say that we are thrilled would be an understatement. We have seen my belly grow, and have both felt the kicks increase in frequency and strength — although I can feel them a bit more than Scott.

We are in the home stretch now, and nesting mode is in full swing. Although we will be first-time parents, I still feel that we have a good grasp on how to get our home ready for a newborn. Scott and I have read countless books and articles and spoken to countless parents and healthcare providers. Here are the top tips we have gotten so far:

Wait it out. Don’t jump into buying everything. Many items work for some and not for others. Consider purchasing items second-hand. Often, these are items that are barely used or never used at all, and you can get them for a fraction of the cost.

Decide on a space for the nursery. When picking a room, remember that the baby does not need a lot of space. Instead, choose a room that stays cool, quiet and dark. Pick a space close to your bedroom. If there isn’t one, consider switching rooms around so you can be closer. If the room has windows, add blackout curtains.

Designate a changing area. Here’s a tip I got from an associate at Babies R Us: The changing topper that goes on top of dressers, the ones that require you put a changing pad inside, are unnecessary. A changing pad alone is all you need. In fact, many moms claim you do not need a dedicated changing furniture item at all. Instead, they say the most important thing is that you have a changing area. This is a dedicated space with a changing pad, diapers, wipes, creams and a trash bin.


Dr. Lynne Romero, a pediatrician with University Hospitals in Cleveland, recommends using the floor. “The safest spot to change a diaper is the floor,” she said. “Any other place, and there is a chance the baby can roll or fall off.”

Arrange items chronologically. We have been lucky enough to have many of our friends and family shower us with presents for baby. These range from items we can use right away, to things we won’t use until baby is almost a year old. When deciding how to arrange baby’s closet, we put the things we will use last in the back, and the newborn items up front.

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