You’ve been to the Christmas Market, you’ve had a few wheat beers you’ve made the decision.
You’re going to have a baby (what do you mean that’s not how everyone does it?)
So sit a while, take a good look around your Instagram perfect house with light sofa and white walls. Now say goodbye, it’s time to think about changing your interior design. Family life is so very different to living on your own, or as a couple.
When we live as a couple, our priorities at home are very different to the ones we have when we become parents. In the BC years, home is somewhere to socialise, to enjoy spending romantic time with each other, to cook, drink wine, and binge watch Netflix.
It’s your space full of beautiful things that fit in with your own personal style. When you become a parent, beauty makes way for safety, practicality, durability and convenience. It’s the move from killer heels to walking shoes.
Here are my top tips for turning your house into the perfect family home ahead of baby’s arrival:
Once you have children cleaning is like raking leaves in a hurricane. Babies may be small but they make a lot of mess. Snot, sick, poo, if it’s not on you it’s all over your house. Toddlers bring additional ‘foodie’ delights to the mix, or more specifically the walls. You make as well make your house as easy clean as possible now.
Invest in easy clean non-slip non-trip rugs – you can literally chuck them in the wash if there is a spillage, protecting your flooring underneath.
Have laminate flooring wherever you can – it is so much easier to clean after all little *ahem* accidents – make life wipe clean wherever possible.
Use wipe-able paint, it’s a God send once weaning starts.
Move your ornaments – Once baby starts moving anything and everything is fair game, you may as well cut back the
Have lots of baby wipes on hand, everywhere. They clean a lot more than a babies bum, trust me.
Storage suddenly becomes the world’s most important thing when you have a baby. They may be small but they come with a whole host of STUFF. Before you drown beneath a sea of nappies and baby clothes, start suggesting weekend trips to IKEA be innovative and literally look at every space as a potential way to store things. You can never, ever go overboard with storage when it comes to having a baby.
Safety is key once you’ve got a newborn, you really don’t realise what a death trap your house is until you look through the eyes of a parent and wonder how you ever survived never mind how you’re going to keep a small human alive amidst all this danger. Baby proofing is generally common sense and you’ll be fine as long as you ensure that…
Anything that a baby might grab and put in its mouth is well locked away and secure, or out of reach
Anything that a baby might kick or move that could fall on him, is well locked away and secure, or out of reach
Nappy bags, plastic bags and anything plastic is out of reach of the child
Banisters with gaps wider than 2.5 inches are boarded or netted
Cords, rope or string are well away from a child’s grasp
Cleaning products and chemicals are well out of a child’s reach
Locks are fitted on all cupboards and fold down appliances, especially in the kitchen
Lighting is so important when it comes to nap time (I’ve heard that’s what other children do) and summer days. You need to be able to turn a bright, beautiful room into a shaded, peaceful room at a moment’s notice. It is worth investing in black out blinds or curtains, to make the rooms as dark as possible at bedtimes and early mornings. No one wants to be up with the larks, the sparrows or any other early rising bird!
Hopefully, these tips will help you turn your home into a practical, family home before baby arrives. You can start having beautiful things again in 18 years.