Buying a house is a huge milestone in any person’s life–having a baby, an even bigger. What about doing both of those things at the same time? Whether you’re a first-time parent with a newborn or you’re expecting the arrival of your baby soon, there is a lot to consider when moving into your first home with your new family. Here are three important things you should know.
Choosing the Right Home
As a new parent searching for your family’s first home, there are a few things you need to consider. First, with each house you view, you should ask yourself whether or not the floor plan makes sense for you and your family. For example, you’ll want to be as close to your new baby as possible, so consider single-story homes with a master bedroom that’s close to a bedroom that you could use as a nursery. It helps to look a little into the future as well. Your baby won’t be a baby forever. Eventually, he or she will be old enough to walk around on his or her own. At that point, you’ll need as much visibility as possible, so opt for an open floor plan that will allow you to see your child at all times.
Something else you should contemplate is how well you know the neighborhood and whether or not you feel comfortable with your child growing up there. Visit each prospective neighborhood at night to see how well-lit the streets are and during rush hour to see how busy the roads can get. You should also try to find out if there are other new parents with young children in the area if the neighborhood is filled with older parents whose children have already left home.
Finally, you’ll need to do some research into the schools around the area. These are the schools your baby will eventually attend and grow up in, so it’s important that you’re satisfied with them.
Building Your Home
On the other hand, if you’re building your first home from scratch, then you have complete control and can design it with your family’s needs in mind. More and more people are choosing to build their homes over buying simply because finding a home can be difficult, considering the average amount of time a home stays on the market is a short 30 days. Remember when coming up with the floor plan to look ahead. You might be a first-time now, but someday that might change and you’ll be a parent two or three times over. Design your home so that it can “grow” with you. If you can fit it into your budget, include two or three bedrooms in addition to the master. It may feel like too many at first, especially if it’s just you, your partner and your newborn, but when you have several children running around instead of one, you’ll be grateful for the additional rooms and won’t have to move out and into a bigger space.
As a new parent, one room in particular that you’ll want to pay special attention to is the baby nursery. You may not realize it, but a lot goes into designing a nursery, from the floor plan to the decor. Ceiling fans are essential for your baby’s nursery, as they have been found to reduce the risk of SIDS by 72 percent.
As you design your new home, don’t be afraid to splurge a little on something that you really want. For example, if you enjoy cooking and want to create an outdoor kitchen and dining space for your family and friends, consider investing in a gas barbecue grill. If you do plan on selling your home in the future, this could be viewed as a perk by many buyers and may even increase your home’s value.
Whether you bought your first home or built it from the ground up, your next step as a new parent is to thoroughly babyproof your home. Go through each room in your new home and take the necessary steps to make sure it’s safe for your baby. For example, if you have a fireplace in your living room, make sure you install a fireplace door. Fireplaces are extremely dangerous for babies and toddlers, and when your baby starts crawling, you’ll want to make sure he or she is protected from its intense heat.
When choosing window treatments, opt for cordless blinds to prevent the risk of your baby getting his or her neck caught in the loop and choking.
Kitchens are a hazardous place for babies, so make sure it’s completely off limits when you’re not around. Place a baby gate at every entrance to the kitchen, keep the bottom cabinets (which often contain toxic cleaning products) and your dishwasher locked and remove the knobs from your stove when you’re not cooking.
In the bathroom, you’ll want to make sure your toiletries and medicine are kept out of reach. You should also consider installing a baby-proof toilet seat with a latch so that your baby can’t stick his or her head in.
Other ways to keep your baby safe inside your new home include: securing the refrigerator so that it can’t be accidentally opened; installing a device that keeps your door open so it doesn’t close on your baby’s fingers; and adding window guards to your windows, especially if they’re low to the ground and within your baby’s reach.
Moving into your first home and becoming a first-time parent are major life events that you should be proud of. As you take this next big step, consider whether your new home will work for you and be prepared to turn it into a safe space for your new family to grow.
Author bio: With over 28 years in the ceiling fan, lighting, and fireplace business, Greg possesses a unique blend of hands-on experience, product knowledge, and creativity unlike any Webmaster in this industry. Greg is also a musician who taught himself to play the piano and composes. He is the Director of eCommerce at www.hansenwholesale.com.