Prepare Your Home For Kids: 7 Upgrades That Make Parenting A Little Easier
Having kids changes everything — just ask anyone who’s done it. From your priorities to your sleep habits, deciding to have a family is a major adjustment. Other than mentally preparing yourself for what’s ahead, you will also need to consider some updates to your living situation.
Whether you live in a studio apartment or a five bedroom home, having children undoubtedly changes the way you organize and decorate. If you are in a position to, or you’re interested in beginning to “nest,” which is to prepare your home for the arrival of a little one, you’re probably wondering what you need to do to get ready for a child.
You can divide up your tasks into non-renovation updates, and renovation updates. Let’s start with the ones that don’t require you to break out the power tools.
Preparing Your Home For A Baby
The best way to prepare your home for a baby, and then a toddler, is to imagine the home from their perspective. By the time they are walking and crawling, anything within eye’s view and arm’s reach will probably be seen as an object of interest. Until then, it’s about your own comfort and streamlining your space so that the challenging first few months of infancy go as easily as possible.
Of course, the main addition you’ll need in your home is a nursery. If you do not have space for a nursery, you will need room for a crib and changing table, as well as your new little one’s clothing and toys, at minimum.
The typical nursery includes a crib, changing table, dresser, drawers, a disposable system for dirty diapers, and organizational bins for toys and other items. You might also want a rocking chair for feedings. Many families like to paint and redecorate the room to be personalized for the new baby to come. If this is the case, you’ll want to choose a theme — nature, water, or a statement color are common ones — and then tailor your choices to match it.
Other than the furniture and decorations, you will also want to stock the room with diapers, as well as clothing, spit cloths, blankets, diaper cream, baby wash, wipes, and pacifiers. In addition, you’ll need bottles, and other accessories.
Get a bassinet
For the first few weeks of life, your baby may not be ready to sleep in a crib yet. As this is the case, you might want to invest in a bassinet, which is a smaller cradle-like crib that can fit next to your bed.
In either case, you will want to make sure that there is nothing else in the crib other than your baby. If your baby requires extra comfort, try swaddling them before they go to sleep. This is to reduce the potential for SIDS, or sudden infant death syndrome, that sometimes occurs due to suffocation. Remember that at this age, your baby cannot move their head easily on their own, and so if they roll over or get caught on some kind of fabric or pillow, SIDS becomes a risk.
Around the home
In preparing for an infant, you don’t need to baby-proof the home as much as you just need to prepare your space for your own comfort. A newborn takes up a lot of time, so you want to be as prepared as possible. Get a comfortable section of the couch set up for recovery, freeze meals, and have blankets, wipes and other necessities stocked.
Later in your baby’s life — when they start crawling and walking — you’ll need to put covers on outlets, remove any fragile items from their reach, and develop an organizational system for their toys and other items. But for now, it’s about getting your space as clean and comfortable as you’d like.
7 Renovations For A Baby
If you’re really looking to take your home to the next level — or you simply do not have all of the features you will need to adequately care for a child — here are some renovations that you can do in order to better prepare. More than one full-bathroom
One of the best additions you can add to your home is an additional bathroom. Not only will this make it easier on parents splitting baby duties, feedings and baths, but as the child gets older, it becomes easier to get ready in the morning or unwind in the evening when the family has multiple bathrooms.
Making accessible bathtubs
If you only have a standing shower, you might find bathing a little one difficult. Fortunately, infants are typically bathed in their own, smaller basins that fit into the tub. However, later on in life, wrangling a toddler in the shower may be difficult, as opposed to being able to sit them in the bathtub. If you’re updating your bathroom, consider a tub. It will absolutely come in handy.
Changing toilet heights
As your child starts potty training, they will probably require an easily accessible toilet. You might want to take this into consideration if you are upgrading yours, as you’ll likely need one suitable for a toddler.
Changing to a hand shower
One of the most useful showering tools you can get is a faucet set that includes a detachable shower head. This can either come where the main shower head is mobile, or there is a second, smaller shower head.
Organizing the laundry room
A new baby will undoubtedly bring a whole lot of laundry. In preparation for this, you might want to update your laundry room methods. Consider organizing bins to separate clothes, freestanding drying racks, or anything else that makes cleaning easier.
Changing the laundry room sink
Kids are messy. Between bodily fluids, stained household items, dirt and grime, there’s a lot of cleaning that comes with parenthood. As this is the case, a laundry sink can really come in handy. Large enough to fit bigger items (or even a particularly dirty toddler) the sink can more easily clean items that don’t quite fit into the standard sized sink, but would be too clumsy to clean in the bathtub.
Welcoming a baby into the home is a very exciting time. It certainly requires updates and adjustments, as does any life change, but ultimately, it is truly all for the better.