With a Baby Inbound, Some Projects Just Can’t Wait
When there’s a baby on the way, some home improvement projects might go on the back burner. Painting the garage floor, refinishing the basement, or installing a closet organizer system in the master bedroom probably can wait. But in some cases, there are several home renovations to complete before the baby arrives.
Whether it be convenience, noise, or general health and safety of the baby, the following 11 projects should come to a close before a newborn steps on the scene. That’s not to say that parents need to complete all of these projects. But if they’re on the docket, it’s better to get to them sooner rather than later.
Prepping the Nursery or Bedroom
Babies often spend the first 6 months of their lives in a bassinet in their parents’ bedroom to promote safe sleep, but that doesn’t mean it’s OK to put off their nursery or bedroom renovation. Patching and painting walls, hanging trim, assembling furniture, and other first-time-parent fun activities can be loud and create dust—neither of which is good for an infant. Also, putting the project off means delaying organization, which is a critical component of infant management.
Related: Child Safety During Home Renovations
Refinishing the Floors
A surface that’s both safe and easy to clean is critical, and it needs to be ready to go before Junior starts crawling. The problem is that waiting until the baby arrives to start the project isn’t safe. Most flooring refinishing products (particularly hardwood) need days to cure, and they off-gas almost the entire time. Babies can be very sensitive to these fumes, so parents should get the job out of the way before their bundles of joy arrive.
Bathroom renovations are loud, long, and full of hiccups. And, for homes that have just one bathroom, babies can’t wait for the project to finish to take a bath. Even though infants typically bathe in small, baby-friendly tubs, filling and dumping them in the kitchen sink isn’t fun for anyone.
Basements, bathrooms, and kitchens can be ripe for mold growth, and putting mold remediation off until after the baby arrives is a bad idea. While experts do their best to contain the spores, there’s no reason to take the risk. Spores can cause allergic reactions and breathing difficulties, particularly for sensitive baby systems. Keep in mind that the same is true for pregnant women (anyone, really), so staying in a hotel room during the remediation is probably best.
There are several reasons to handle roofing repairs as soon as possible, not the least of which is a baby en route. Roofing repairs, no matter how careful or professional the crew might be, are incredibly loud. In most cases, they only take a day or two, but even the heaviest of sleepers aren’t likely to rest during the workday.
Building Fido His Own Digs
Some family dogs fall in love with babies so much that they never leave them alone. Between the barks and wet noses, it’s hard for babies to get the sleep they need with canine cajolers at large. Having a space designed and built specifically for Fido before the baby arrives gives the pup time to acclimate while providing the baby (and parents) a bit of reprieve.
Don’t wait until after the baby comes to take care of those old appliances. Between the messes that come from both ends, babies go through a lot of clothes. Washing baby bottles by hand also gets old in a hurry. If the washer, dryer, or dishwasher goes down while new parents are battling sleep deprivation, panic might ensue. Be sure to take care of these projects before it’s too late.
Adding safety latches to cabinets and appliances only keeps the baby safe if the actual cabinets and appliances are in good working order. Broken cabinet doors, rusty hinges, and other baby safety hazards should be tackled before the baby arrives, even though an infant won’t be crawling for several months.
New parents carry a lot of baby care gear with them, which means they’re often heading to the car with an armful (including the baby). Loose steps that could cause you to trip, or sticking doors that become hard to open without two hands, should be repaired sooner rather than later. Otherwise, before you know it some of these tiny issues can be hazardous to crawling infants or teetering toddlers. Put other similar repairs, like loose walkway pavers, on the list as well.
Renovating the Outdoor Space
With fewer folks taking their families to playgrounds and parks, it’s a good idea to get any outdoor renovations taken care of before the baby is born. Replacing a deck or patio, or adding some shade to a sitting area are solid moves. Some babies fuss less when they’re outdoors, and ensuring that the deck or patio is safe now means fewer concerns later. Babies’ eyes are incredibly sensitive to sunlight, so a bit of shade will do them well.
Related: Pool Fencing for Improved Safety
Any and All Paint and Stain Projects
Be sure to get any painting or staining projects out of the way before the baby comes. Even low-VOC paints and stains could potentially cause a newborn (or an expecting mother) respiratory issues. Expecting mothers who want to be involved in the painting process should don a respirator and make sure the room has plenty of ventilation.
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