Getting ready for baby
Being a new mum brings so many questions. Find easy ways to prepare yourself, your family and your home for your new baby. We have taken the thinking and worrying out of making sure your home is clean and ready for your new addition.
Preparing Your Home
Your last few weeks of pregnancy are an exciting yet somewhat scary time, with so many changes underway. Naturally, you will have many questions. Do not hesitate to ask your midwife or GP about anything that concerns you.
Baby Proofing: Removing Safety Hazards
It is wise to take some initial baby proofing steps before your new baby arrives. Since you will probably have more free time in pregnancy than you will have over the next few months, it is also a good time to stock up on the supplies that you will need later on.
- Cover electric sockets.
- Cut or tie-up any curtain cords that your baby could reach.
- If you are going to get a highchair, make sure it has a five-point safety harness.
- Fit thermostatic mixing valves to hot water taps.
- Fit guards to all fires and heaters.
- Fit smoke detectors on each level of your home and check they work every week.
- Fit carbon monoxide alarms if you have a flame-burning appliance (e.g. gas boiler) or open fires
- Get gas appliances serviced regularly and check ventilation outlets are not blocked.
- Store any medicines, chemicals (including cleaning products), plastic bags and lighters out of sight and reach, or lock them away somewhere safe.
- Get into the habit of switching off electrical items (wherever possible) and closing doors before going to bed.
Choosing Safe Toys
Toys are an important part of any child's development... but safety is critical. Keep these tips in mind when choosing toys for your new baby.
- Choose toys with a British Standard kitemark, European Community (CE) symbol or the British Toy Manufacturer’s Lion Mark that indicate that the toy meets safety standards.
- Check age guidance instructions. The age-appropriate level for a toy is determined by safety factors.
- Check that toys are durable, non-toxic, have no sharp edges, or small parts that your child could swallow or choke on.
- Look for toys that are sturdy and well constructed. Check that parts are securely attached.
- Choose toys that are easy to clean. You will need to clean them regularly.
- Ideally, soft toys should be able to withstand hot machine-washing.
- Make sure second-hand toys meet current safety standards.
- Carefully inspect and then clean and disinfect any second-hand toys before use.
- Avoid toys that make excessively loud noises. These may damage hearing.
- Avoid toys with long cords or strings. These can be a strangulation hazard.
First Aid Kits
It is a good idea to have a well-stocked first aid kit in your home, and one in your car too. Once baby arrives, you will need to take the first aid kit with you on any trips you might take.
You can buy first aid boxes from a pharmacy, but a plastic art supply or tackle box will do just as well.
If you have any spare time during your pregnancy, learn some basic first aid skills; read a first aid manual, or better still, go on a first aid training course and learn how to use the contents of your first aid kit properly.
Storing and Maintaining First Aid Kits
Store your kit somewhere that is out of children's reach.
- Make sure babysitters and other caregivers know where you keep your kit.
- Check your kit regularly. Replace used or missing items, and items that have passed their expiry date, promptly.
First Aid Kit Checklist:
Minimum contents should include;
- Twenty individually wrapped sterile adhesive dressings (assorted sizes)
- Two sterile eye pads
- Four individually wrapped triangular bandages (preferably sterile)
- Six safety pins
- Six medium-sized individually wrapped sterile wound dressings
- Two large individually wrapped sterile wound dressings
- One pair of disposable gloves.
You may also want to keep the following handy:
- Emergency phone numbers (e.g. for your partner, midwife and GP)
- Torch and spare batteries
- An antiseptic wound spray
- Antiseptic solution or cream
- A hand sanitiser
- Surface disinfecting wipes
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- A safety restraint (car seat) that is suitable for your baby’s height and age (if your baby will travel by car)
- Crib, carry cot or Moses basket (so that you can keep your baby nearby)
- Baby carrier, pushchair or pram to take baby out and about
- A safe sturdy cot with a firm, snugly-fitting mattress
- Sheets and light blankets
- Waterproof nappy changing mat
- Nappy changing bag (to carry your nappy changing supplies when you go out)
- Disposable or washable nappies
- Cotton wool or baby wipes
- Nappy disposal bin (for disposable nappies) or a nappy bucket (for washable nappies)
- Baby bath or other suitable container to bathe your baby
- Two soft towels
- Nursing bras that open at the front (so that you can breastfeed easily)
- Breast pads to stop milk leaking onto your clothes
- Baby clothes and a blanket that you can machine wash
- Disinfectant products, such as Dettol Surface Cleaning Wipes or Dettol Surface Cleanser Trigger, to help destroy harmful germs on surfaces such as nappy changing mats and high chairs that your baby will come into contact with.