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Renovating—with a Baby

November 13, 2012 by  
Filed under J.Reich

by Mommy MD Guides cofounder Jennifer Bright Reich

Before I had kids, I didn’t give a whole lot of thought to what types of paints, window coverings, and flooring we had in our home. If they matched, I was happy.

But when I was pregnant with my first son, I really started to think more about what was on our walls, covering our windows, and protecting our floors.

If you have the time—and budget—to replace these items, here are a few things to keep in mind.

Walls: Choose paint with care. Washable is a great choice for family areas, and non-toxic, environmentally safe paint is a must throughout the house.

When choosing a color, consider that darker colors will make a room look smaller, while lighter tones will make it appear more spacious. I painted all of the rooms in my home either a coffee color or off-white, and all of the trim and doors in the house is the same white color. This helps to make my home feel unified and peaceful. It also makes it easier to move furniture and decorations from one room to another because everything pretty much matches everything else.

Floors: If you have the opportunity to redo your carpet or floors, consider washable surfaces, such as laminate flooring, linoleum, tiles, and wood.  At first, you might think about a slip-resistant surface, but check what chemicals the manufacturers use to provide a robust finish and avoid any additives that might be hazardous.

A local expert might be able to give advice about surfaces, including stain-protective finishes for carpeting, which can help when deciding whether wall-to-wall carpeting is better in a living room or den than a hearth rug, for example.  Medium to dark tones will be easier to maintain than very light wooden flooring or pale carpets. Believe me, I’m rethinking my decision to buy light beige wall-to-wall carpeting!

Windows: Window coverings can be dangerous for babies and small children. Be sure to keep all furniture far from windows and window coverings. Keep all strings and cords far out of your baby or child’s reach.

If your budget permits,  companies make “child-friendly blinds,” which include cordless blinds, shutters, vertical blinds or motorized blinds, or those that have a single wand operator. Our windows have “regular” mini-blinds, and so I loop the cords out of my child’s reach over a hook I fastened to the inside of the window trim.

With these tips, your home can be beautiful and babyproofed—in one!

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The information on MommyMDGuides.com is not intended to replace the diagnosis, treatment, and services of a physician. Always consult your physician or child care expert if you have any questions concerning your family's health. For severe or life-threatening conditions, seek immediate medical attention.