If you're expecting a baby, there are many things you'll need to do to prepare. From the time you confirm you're expecting, your mind will probably be full of those things you need to do. Here's a list of the important things you will need to get yourself and your home ready to welcome your new child. Prepare the Nursery Preparing the nursery for the baby is not just about bringing furniture and other necessary items into your home, but it will also help prepare your heart to create space for another family member. Place the baby's crib away from safety hazards like cords for the blinds. You'll also need a changing table with a nearby diaper pail, and a comfortable chair for you to sit in while you feed and rock the baby. The nursery will be the baby's room, but you'll also be spending time there. Decorating that room can be done in a way that's appropriate for a nursery, but also reflects your preferences. Be sure the lighting in the room is adjustable, and the room temperature is comfortable. For example, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, almost 90% of American homes have air conditioning. Ensure the room isn't too hot or too cold. Prepare the Rest of the Home Your baby won't come out ready to crawl, but you can research steps to baby-proof your home. Buy outlet covers, cabinet locks, and baby gates. When going to the store for baby supplies, you might not know which bottles, pacifiers, or skin products to choose. Asking family or friends for advice will make these decisions easier. In addition to having diapers and baby supplies in the nursery, set up "stations" for caring for the baby in other rooms of your home. Stash a plastic bin in each room, filled with diapers, wipes, toys, etc. Anything that will touch the baby should be washed and sanitized. Prepare Others in Your Life Letting other family members know about your new baby is usually a joyful occasion, but telling your other children might be met with mixed results. Your words should be based on their level of comprehension, and you should be ready to listen and answer questions. Give your children a role to play in the planning phase such as picking linen colors, choosing books for the nursery, etc. As for your parents or siblings, if they're planning to stay a few days when the baby first comes home, be sure your guest room is ready for them. If you're expecting this baby via a surrogate, keep in touch with the surrogate mom. Surrogacy is a common experience, as thousands of women annually make themselves available to become surrogate mothers. Prepare Yourself Becoming a parent is a life-changing experience, and it's okay for you to have a multitude of feelings and concerns as you prepare. When you bring home the baby, you'll be tired, so help yourself by making and freezing a few meals for the first week you'll be home. Establishing a routine with a new baby will take most of your energy, so those meals will be a godsend. The next time you call your doctor's office, ask if they provide telemedicine services. According to the CDC, almost 40% of American adults used telemedicine services during 2021. You should also ask your primary doctor about getting a flu shot and whooping cough booster during your second or third trimester. If you're planning to have a natural childbirth, sign up for a Lamaze class. The day of your baby's birth will be here soon, and preparing your home and family will take time. Take advantage of these next few months to get everything done. Use the above suggestions, or ask other new moms what most helped them. Best wishes to you, your family and your expected little one!