Expecting a baby is an exciting time, filled with hope and planning for the future. For many, it's a time to feather their nests, so to speak, as they wait to meet the new addition to their family. Here are some home projects to consider that can contribute to your new baby's safety, as well as your growing family's overall comfort.
- Apply a fresh coat of paint. Revisit your paint job, especially in older homes. You may also want to consider adding finishes that accommodate "artistic" expression, such as a chalkboard or white board, as well as washable paint.
- Reconsider your flooring options. It's a good idea to have carpets steam cleaned to remove the dust, pet dander, and other allergens that can accumulate even with regular vacuuming. For new carpet, install it before the baby arrives, since it needs to be aired out due to its manufacturing process. Conversely, hardwood floors tend to be preferred by many young families, because they are easier to keep clean.
- Have alert systems in place. Check any smoke, gas and motion detectors you already have in place to make sure they are working. While a security system is intended to keep intruders out, they have the added benefit of alerting you if you have a child experimenting with doors or windows.
- Rethink, and possibly add, storage. Babies require equipment, from strollers and carriages to toys, clothes and diaper bags. Consider where you will keep it all. Many families prize extra storage areas. Whether this means converting an entryway into a mudroom, adding closets, or creating built-in storage areas, having options helps keep your home organized.
- Open up to different window treatments. Cordless blinds tend to offer greater safety in homes with children. Drapes on metal rods will need to be well secured in a way that makes them resistant to tugs.
- Secure your furniture. As soon as they can, childred will start pulling themselves up using anything within reach. Securing bookshelves, TVs, and dressers to walls so that they can't be tipped is advisable. Similarly, smart lighting solutions that reduce the use of electrical cords may also be worth looking into.
- Relocate breakables and small objects. From the rubber tips on doorstops and houseplants to cleaning supplies left in bathrooms, these items should be kept in out-of-reach places. Even then, you'll still want to use baby-proof latches for kitchen and bathroom cabinets, doorknob covers, and toilet seat locks, along with baby gates for staircases.
- Guard against hot water. Reset water heater to 120 degrees or less and consider verifying that your faucets have antiscalding devices. Many fixtures come with these mechanisms, so be sure to replace them if they've been removed.
- Improve sightlines. A kitchen remodel should include window and sink placements that will improve your sightlines then it comes to play areas, both outside and inside your home.
Many of these fixes will help you while your child is young, but they can also become attractive sales features that another young family would appreciate when you are ready to sell your home.