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Before Baby Arrives: a To-Do List for first time parents

Andrea Meadows, M.D., Lexington Clinic Pediatrics           

There are so many things to do when you’re expecting a new arrival. All new parents focus on getting the nursery ready and all the supplies a newborn will need. Sometimes, preparing the rest of your home for the new addition takes a back seat. Here are some things to do before you go into labor: 

    - Turn hot water heater thermostat down <120 degrees

    - Make sure all smoke detectors are working properly

    - Install a smoke detector in the nursery if one isn’t already there

    - Store all cleaning products, medications and car-care products 

    -up high – out of reach

    - Install cabinet latches on all low cabinets in kitchen and


    - Cover up any un-used electrical outlets

    - If you own firearms, make sure they are securely stored

      (locked safe preferred) and unloaded. Ammunition should

      be stored in a separate secured location

    - Buy an infant safety seat and install it. Be sure to have it

      checked by a professional to make sure it is installed properly.

    - If you smoke, try to quit!  Newborns should not be exposed to

      any second hand smoke. If you can’t quit smoking, make sure

      you smoke outside the home and NEVER smoke in the car

      with a baby.

    - The baby’s crib should have a fitted sheet over the mattress and

      nothing else in it.

    - Make sure to buy a FIRM mattress for the crib that does not

      leave any gaps.

    - Wash all new clothes and receiving blankets in a gentle


    - Put together a basic care kit:

              - Digital thermometer

              - Baby soaps and lotions – no fragrances or dyes please!

              - Fingernail clippers

              - Bulb suction

              - Nasal saline drops

              - Diaper cream

              - Vaseline (for boys)

              - Triple antibiotic ointment

    - Find a pediatrician

    - Take infant CPR and/or a prenatal class

Get a flu shot: mom, dad, grandparents and anyone else who

       is going to be around


Accidents, injuries and poisonings are the number one cause of death in children, so it’s important to make sure your home is as safe as possible.