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Home Improvement & Renovating
Anticipating the arrival of your new baby is such an exciting time for you and your family. Knowles Building Centre has put together some DIY projects that will make your home more comfortable and safer for you and your little one.
Some DIY projects are best done far in advance of your due date so that you can fully devote your time and energy to your little one. You won’t want construction noise and dust to disturb you or your baby!
Take a walk around your home to check the safety of each room from your baby’s perspective. Decide now where you will need safety gates so that you’ll be prepared when your baby starts crawling, usually around six months. Choose gates that can be safely used near stairs to prevent falls. Pressure-mounted gates and pet gates are not recommended.
Test your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors to make sure they are in good working order. Install them outside bedrooms and on every level of your home.
Remove any tables or chairs that are taking up space that you’ll need for your baby’s gear. Invest in some attractive baskets to store toys and supplies to avoid a cluttered look. Put plants and pet bowls out of reach once your baby starts crawling.
Top of the list is your baby’s room! A fresh coat of paint is an easy, low-cost way to rejuvenate any room. Decide on a colour palette that will be soothing to your baby – warm cream, soft grey, light green or blue are popular shades for a nursery.
Choose an environmentally friendly, low-VOC paint to minimize fumes. If your home is older, you can test for lead in old paint on walls and trim with a lead testing kit. Left alone, old paint is usually safe if not chipped or flaking, and can be safely painted.
Always paint in a well-ventilated room and wear protective equipment.
Choose your crib carefully to ensure that it meets safety standards. The simpler the design the better, to avoid your baby’s clothing from getting caught. Use sheets that fit properly on the mattress.
You’ll also want a comfortable chair, change table, dresser, ground-level shelving safely secured to the wall, and a toy box.
Make sure all furniture meets safety standards.
Safety Standards in Canada: https://www.canada.ca/en/health-canada/services/safe-sleep/cribs-cradles-bassinets.html
Safety Standards in the USA: https://www.cpsc.gov/SafeSleep
Top choices for window coverings for a baby’s room are blackout-lined cordless Roman blinds or drapery.
Always keep window coverings out of reach of your baby’s crib and off the floor to prevent your baby from pulling them down.
Think ahead a few months to when your baby will be spending more time playing on the floor and exploring your home. Do your floors need refinishing or a new surface that is safe for your baby, and easy to clean?
This needs to be done as soon as possible before your new baby arrives as installation can involve fumes. Hardwood and durable vinyl plank flooring are ideal as they are easier to keep clean and less likely to collect dust than carpets.
Always store your cleaning products and medication safely out of the reach of your children. Once your baby is mobile, you will need safety latches on cupboard doors and drawers. You’ll also need outlet covers to keep your baby from sticking their fingers or toys into electrical outlets.
Do you have a spare room for those special house guests? You can quickly transform an office or your baby’s nursery into a guest room or combination guest room/nursery with a pullout couch or space-saving Murphy bed. When your family comes to lend a helping hand in the early days, your baby will likely still be in a bassinet in your room, so your nursery can double as a guest room.
You’ll want to keep your stroller handy without blocking access in your hallway.
If space is tight, a good option is to purchase a fold-up stroller. Buy a protective waterproof cover for your stroller if you’ll be keeping it outside. Now is a good time to clear out your hall closet to make extra space for your baby’s gear.
Some ideas for extra storage inside your home:
Outdoor storage space ideas for your stroller:
Safety comes first at bath time. If you are planning to make a few improvements or upgrades to your bathroom, there are child-safe options that will become even more valuable as your baby grows into a toddler.
Lower the temperature of your hot water heater to 49°C (120°F) to prevent scalding.
Decorate with whimsical themes and bright colours to make bath time fun for your baby.
Is your washing machine ready for extra duty? Make sure your kitchen appliances, furnace, air conditioner, water heater, and water softener are working well. Arrange inspections and repairs as needed and replace appliances if they are on their last legs.
A healthy home is of importance at all times, but even more so during pregnancy and when your baby is born. Avoid allergies and breathing problems by preventing and removing mould, usually found in the basement, bathroom and kitchen.
Have a good look at your home’s outside entrance to see how you can make it safer for carrying your baby inside and out. Your walkway and steps should be even to prevent tripping. Install good lighting and a motion light for added safety and security.
A shaded backyard deck will give you a pleasant place to sit with your baby. Repair your deck and steps, and if you were thinking of building a new deck, give yourself lots of time before the baby arrives. Check the wood for splinters and loose boards, protruding screws or nails.
Keeping on top of your roof’s condition will help you save money in the long run, and keep you and your family dry and warm. If your roof is not too steep and you feel safe working on it, you can repair it yourself. Otherwise, it’s best to hire a roofer.
Monitor your roof for missing shingles and replace them to prevent leaks, water damage and mould. Repair cracked or curled shingles by applying roofing sealant.
When your roof is over 20 years old and the shingles are worn, it’s time for a new roof.
Make sure you have enough basic supplies for the first few weeks. Gradually stock up on toilet paper, laundry detergent and other cleaning supplies, as well as groceries.
Prepare and freeze meals for the weeks ahead with your new baby, when you will have less time or energy to cook.
If you have any questions or need more information, feel free to visit Knowles Building Centre for assistance. We would be happy to help you in any way we can.
Disclaimer: The information and resources in these articles and on this website are available for informational and educational purposes only. The articles provided on this website are created with every reasonable effort to ensure completeness and accuracy. In doing so, the article writers, publishers, and the business that this website represents assume no responsibility for errors, omissions, or opposed interpretation of the articles and under no circumstance will these parties be held liable for any direct, indirect and/or consequential damages of any kind incurred from undertaking tasks outlined in the articles or on this website. In addition, it is suggested that readers check by-laws, zoning laws and building codes of your local area and country.
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