Q: My wife is about 6 months pregnant, and I think we need to start preparing our house for our first baby. I'm wondering if you could recommend must-do's vs. nice-to-haves vs. not-necessary-at-all-but-people-usually-pay-too-much-for types of things that I can do to prepare for the little guy?
A: Congratulations on your new addition to the family! If you want to minimal in your prep, by all means, you certainly can.
Babies don't do much of anything for the first few months of life other than eat, pee, and poop. Because he can't walk yet and probably won't until at least 9 months, the actual baby-proofing of the house can wait for a while until he at least learns to crawl.
Of course safety is going to be your #1 concern. You don't even need to have a nursery set up for him, as a lot of new moms keep the baby in a bassinet next to the bed they are in for a while as well. It really depends on what you want to do; as you said, some people go way overboard.
Make sure the baby has enough clothing, diapers and formula (if formula fed), bottles, etc. -- all of those are absolute must-haves. Depending how close you live to a pediatrician or hospital, some emergency items such as a suction bulb and a thermometer are must haves. You can really get away with doing very little at the onset of the baby's arrival. They just need to have comfort and love above all else.
Honestly, I think you need to prep the house more for your wife and her homecoming. Making her life a lot easier would go a lot further for both of you. I don't know how much outside help is available for her, but prepping some meals which can be frozen is probably the best advice I personally got as a new mom myself. The last thing your wife feels like doing is cooking!
If she ends up having a C-Section, her recovery will be painful and lengthy. Her comfort will be of the utmost importance. Make sure she has a comfortable chair, couch she can get out of easily, etc. The hospital will provide some sanitary pads and some other items for her to go home with as well.
If you have a family member who can help with laundry and house cleaning, (assuming you are working), there is no better help for a new mom than to have those things taken care of! Good luck!
-- Answer from Dr. Paige, a psychologist on JustAnswer.
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