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Finding out that you’ll soon have a tiny new addition to the family is a thrill but, it may also bring with it a whirlwind of questions and concerns. You have to share the news, buy clothes and prep the nursery all before the baby is born.
Before you panic, take a deep breath. The “nesting” process of getting ready for a baby should be a fun and rewarding experience. Here are 10 home improvement tips that will help you prepare for when your little one arrives.
1. Choose A Location For the Nursery
A baby’s room is about location more than space. You’re going to be up at odd hours for the first few months, so you should pick an area that’s easy to get to. If you don’t have a room that will easily convert into a nursery or if you want the nursery to easily convert into a bedroom as the child grows, you may want to consider expanding with a home remodel
2. Test for Lead
Before you get too excited about painting the nursery, have a professional come and test your home for lead paint. Most homes built before 1940 used lead paint and several residences built up through the 1960s might still have it too. Cover all your bases by getting the room tested.
3. Choose Your Paint
Once you know your home is free of lead, it’s time to choose your colors and calculate how much paint you’ll need. Picking the right paint type is important because different paints, including latex, natural or oil have different fumes. You want to do this project well ahead of time, too, to allow the paint adequate drying time. As for the painting project itself, it’s best to call a pro, as paint fumes and ladders are not a pregnant woman’s best friends.
4. Check the Air Quality
Lead isn’t the only thing to test for. You’ll also want to have your home checked for dust and mold. For this project, you’ll need a trained professional. While you can find some home testing kits at home improvement stores, the tests are limited and only assess specific pollutants and their levels. A pro will be able to perform a comprehensive air quality test, ensuring you don’t miss anything.
5. Treat the Carpets & Floors
After you’ve taken care of the walls and air, it’s time to look at the floors. Have a professional deep clean the carpets or treat the flooring to take care of any lingering allergens. If the carpet has seen better days, have no fear, carpet repair costs are about the same as cleaning.
6. Take Control Of the Temperature
Most parenting experts recommend keeping the temperature of a baby’s room between 68 and 72 degrees. To fine-tune the temperature of your home, invest in a smart thermostat, like a Nest. Not only will the device keep you and your baby comfortable, but it will also decrease your monthly heating and cooling bills.
7. Invest in Smart Video Monitoring
Why stop with a baby sound monitor when you can have a video monitor instead? Nest also offers a camera you can use to keep an eye on your baby and the mobile app provides secure streaming access, so you can check in whenever you wish.
8. Upgrade Your Carbon Monoxide & Smoke Detectors
If you’re purchasing Nest products, you might as well consider the Nest Protect, a smoke and carbon monoxide alarm that sends alerts to your phone when something is wrong. It also lights up whenever someone walks beneath it, providing a comforting light when you head toward the nursery in the dead of night.
9. Purchase a Security System
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This project can be approached in a couple of ways. The first is with a traditional security system, complete with professional monitoring to provide constant security and peace of mind. The second is with a self-monitored smart system, like the SmartThings Home Monitoring Kit, which comes with sensors to send mobile alerts to your phone when someone accesses certain areas in the home.
10. Decorate to Your Heart’s Content
Once you’ve taken care of the safety and security concerns, have fun picking out furniture and décor to match the nursery theme. As you do so, don’t forget to think about the arrangement and the amount of “stuff” one room can contain. You’ll be in the space frequently and you need to be able to get to your baby as quickly as possible when it’s time for a 3 A.M. feeding.
This is going to be a busy time, but with a little planning, you’ll have no trouble getting ready for your bundle of joy. Take care to follow the above tips and brush up on basic baby-proofing techniques and gadgets and you’ll be all set to welcome your baby into the world.