There’s a lot to do when you’re expecting a baby — research the best doctors, buy a crib, car seat, clothes and diapers, consider child care and just mentally prepare for how your life is about to change! While you’re extremely busy now, your hands will be even more full when you have an infant or toddler in your home. It may seem strange to start child-proofing your house when your newborn won’t even be able to roll over for a few months, but this is the best time to make necessary home renovations. Here’s a look at changes you can make to each room before your family grows:
Preparing milk and food for another human means a lot more time in the kitchen, so make sure it’s a place you’re happy — both with the look and feel, and the safety. Consider replacing your appliances if they are old. At the very least, make an effort to clean the dust out of vents and check that all wires are in good condition, as these are fire hazards. If you decide to switch your appliances and cabinets, be sure to put child safety locks in place on every door from the beginning (and go for the rounded edges on those countertops!). While your child won’t be grabbing things just yet, you’ll be thanking yourself for having everything ready a year down the road. Kitchen remodeling is some of the most difficult and expensive work, so be sure to compare costs and have an idea in your head of how much your kitchen remodel should cost.
If you live in an older home, the bathroom is a part of your house that deserves a lot of attention before your baby arrives. Bathrooms are commonly home to mold, which can be dangerous to you and your children. Get the room inspected carefully, and then do your research about how to safely remove the mold. This may require completely new walls or cabinetry, but it is worth it for the safety of your family. Bathroom cabinets and the toilet should also have safety locks, and you should also consider adding anti-scald devices to your faucets and shower heads. These set your maximum water temperature to 120 degrees Fahrenheit, reducing the risk of dangerous burns and easing your worries.
Electronics are likely the biggest safety threat in your living room. Be sure that all wires are covered and out of reach of children. This may require purchasing cord covers or rearranging how your furniture is positioned. Open outlets are another obvious threat to children, as they have proved irresistible to tiny fingers. Homes built prior to 2008 probably already have tamper-resistant receptacles, or TRRs, which have closed shutters that only open when both are pressed simultaneously. This means a competent adult has to be plugging in something for it to work. If you do not have TRRs, you can replace your current outlets with TRRs, or simply buy traditional outlet covers. Your living room will also likely be the central area where your family gathers, so take time to make it comfortable and enjoyable. Your new family will have a lot of new memories made in this space, so make it special.
Preparing for a baby is a lot of hard work, but it is also incredibly exciting! Once your child joins the household, you will want to devote all your time to making sure he or she is happy and healthy. Get a head start on those goals by doing some home renovations and changes now.