Few things are more exciting than preparing to welcome your newborn baby home. However, wrapped up in the excitement is the constant worry that you’re forgetting something or that parenthood won’t be your strong suit. Instead of stressing yourself out, focus on thing you can control: preparing your home for your new baby.

Add these items to your pre-baby to-do list, so when that little bundle of joy arrives, you can focus on being a parent and loving the newest addition to your family.

Invest in the Right Technology

One of the most popular items for new parents to buy is a baby monitor, and for good reason. The security experts at The Home Security Superstore state, “Baby monitors are especially vital for new parents. You may be afraid to leave the room or leave your child unattended. With a wireless baby monitor, you take the guesswork out. You never have to question what your child is doing, and with recordable playback, you will never miss an important moment or milestone.”

Today’s monitors include standard video monitoring in addition to being Wi-Fi enabled, allowing you to access the video stream from your mobile phone or a device with internet. Many even have the option of recording and playing back footage, so you can see the first steps your baby took with the babysitter.

Start Babyproofing Now

It may seem premature to start babyproofing before the baby comes home. However, you’ll quickly learn that they grow faster than you anticipate. It will only be a short time before they start crawling, and you’ll have no time to focus on babyproofing between feeding, cleaning, and taking care of the baby while trying to maintain some sort of social life.

“Baby proofing your home will seem like a huge, continual undertaking. You’ll be too overwhelmed with your new arrival and visitors to think about it when you come home from the hospital. Prepare for your new baby now by babyproofing for the newborn stage. You will be re-evaluating safety needs at the crawling and walking stages, as well,” says Nina Spitzer from SheKnows.com.

All cleaning products, laundry and dishwasher pods, and any items small enough to be choked on should be stored out of sight and in a locked cabinet. Electrical outlet protectors should be put in all open electrical outlets. Be sure to check your smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors, as well.

To protect crawlers and toddlers from hurting themselves on sharp corners of furniture or fireplace hearths, buy corner guards that will provide a soft cushion to the hard edges.

Don’t Splurge on the Baby Room

Giving birth alone can cost upwards of $20K, so as a new parent, saving money is key to reducing stress and making expenses manageable. The baby room or nursery is one area where many people don’t realize they can find great savings.

“As online shoppers, we often don’t think to search for coupons before we check out. Not many people know that they can save thousands of dollars a year with a quick online coupon search,” says Marco Piu, General Manager of Couponbox.com.

How do you find the coupons you need? Piu suggests, “Search in Google for a specific coupon, or head to your favorite coupon site and do a brand search to find potential savings.”

These are some other easy ways to save:

  • You can plan to shop during big annual or seasonal sales.
  • You can decorate with items given from family members instead of buying new. They’ll have more sentimental value and be cost-effective.
  • You should focus on function, not decoration. Your baby won’t care if the room isn’t Pinterest-perfect—focus on what you need now and decorate later.

Clean and Sanitize

A general deep cleaning will suffice, but don’t forget areas you may overlook in your regular cleaning routine. U.S. News states that some of the most common areas and items we forget to clean include washing machines, curtains, doorframes, coffee makers, appliances, baseboards, and ceiling fans, so be sure to include them in your deep clean.

Also, don’t forget some spots and items in the home tend to harbor more germs than you may realize. You don’t want to miss the following places and items, which  The National Sanitation Foundation found to be the germiest:

  • Dishes/rags
  • Kitchen sinks
  • Counter tops
  • Cutting boards

Prepare Your Pets

If you have older kids, you’ve likely begun the process of preparing them for a new baby sister or brother. However, you may not have considered what you should do to prepare your pets for the new addition.

Set up all new furniture well ahead of the baby’s arrival to help animals get used to changes in the home in stages. Experts at HealthyChildren.org suggest once the baby is born, have a family member take a piece of clothing or a blanket with the scent of your newborn on it and let the animal smell it. Watch for signs of aggression or jealousy, which can mean the animal is feeling neglected

If you notice signs of neglect, Sylvie Esmundo, expert at Momtastic, recommends trying to bring the family pet back into the picture by including them in big milestones, planning pet-friendly adventures, spending one-on-one time together, and making them feel special with surprises.

Meal Prep

The last thing to do before you bring home your baby is to make and stow several freezer-friendly meals. You’ll be amazed at how happy you’ll be when you don’t have to cook for the first few weeks that you’re home, especially since you’ll be running on minimal sleep and even less patience.

Prepare Now and Save Time Later

If you add these tasks to your pre-birth to-do list, your home will be ready for your baby in no time. They will help save you time and stress when the baby arrives, so you can focus entirely on the little one.

Jessica Thiefels

Jessica Thiefels has been writing for more than ten years and is currently a professional blogger. She’s written for sites like Reader’s Digest, Lifehack, and Retale, sharing tips for saving money every day and becoming more resourceful. 

Posted by Brittany Foster

Brittany is a writer, editor, and content manager interested in law, marketing, and technology. She's been writing for LawDepot since 2014.