Thursday, December 22, 2005

Space for Baby

By Christina VanGinkel

New parents often have some vary basic fears when it comes to bringing home baby for the first time. Some will arise when they first learn that they are pregnant, such as where will the new baby live when it is born. Even if baby was planned, that does not mean that the house has a whole room open just for baby. Before baby arrives, baby accessories will start to accumulate too, so space can become an issue quite some time before their actual arrival. In addition, if you like the average person, moving to a bigger house will not be a choice; you will have to make do with what you have.

Until you tackle the issue of where baby is going to reside, make a pact with yourself and significant other. That nothing for baby can come into the house. No onesies, not a single stuffed bear, nothing. This will be your inspiration to get things organized and ready. Once you agree to this, you will find the inspiration needed to tackle the big issue of where to find the space you need.

If you have a room that will be dedicated to baby, you may still have to redo the room from its current state. If it is currently being used, as a spare bedroom for guests, and you only plan to keep baby in there until they are old enough to join a sibling in another room, the changes may not be so drastic to ready the room for baby's arrival. If the room is currently being used for another purpose completely, such as an office, and you intend to have baby take over the room completely, then the transformation will be a much more dramatic makeover.

To lessen the upheaval within your home, it is best to tackle either scenario as early as possible into the pregnancy, to get the ball rolling so to speak. If the baby will only be using the room in a transitional state, say until they are sleeping through the night and then will be moving in with the family's other kids, consider the use of the room now, and what can be packed away, what must be packed away, and what will have to stay. If the room has other furniture in it, such as a dresser for when guests come to visit, can any of these be used temporarily as storage space for all the things that come with a newborn? IS the closet in the room currently filled with items that do not have any other spot in the home to go? If so, maybe it is time to purge your life and home of things that you have been hanging onto with no real plan for.

When we ended up moving our daughter home for the last few months of her pregnancy due to a husband that was traveling for work and an unexpected premature labor scare, I was quickly reminded that shelf upon shelf of paperbacks that I had already read were not necessary to my life and were nothing more than clutter. Being realistic at what you need to keep and what can be tossed, given away, or sold can really bring new light to your possessions.

If the room is already in use for something else, as an office for example, and baby will be taking over the room permanently, you will really need to take a look at your whole house, not just the room itself. The easiest way to accomplish this is to walk through your home and take a realistic look at how you live in each room now. Consider everything from floor lamps to boxes in the backs of closets. If organization is something that has been a negative word in your life, it is now time to make peace with it and invite it in to stay. Keep telling yourself that for everything you remove from your home now, or take the time to reorganize into a more efficient place, is time that will be spent cuddling and at peace with baby in just a few months. Once the room has been emptied, follow it with a thorough cleaning, maybe a bit of decorating, and then you will be all set for bringing baby home.

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