Becoming a great parent starts with preparing for kids to come into your life. Studies indicate that preparing for kids can help to make you a better parent. Mapping out what your life will be like with kids, is an important part of the process.
Preparing for kids is not only something you should do mentally, but there are a lot of physical changes you will make to your home that you need to consider. Many people make the mistake of not preparing completely and wind up struggling. Preparing for kids whether you plan on starting a family or you will be hosting them for a while does take some work, but it is well worth the effort.
Kids and Furniture
It can be a worthy investment to look into furniture financing to get the kid-friendly furniture you will need. It is usually best to put away those expensive antiques until the kids are older. You can fill your house with kid-friendly furniture with the right financing plan for less than you think.
Of course, if you are preparing for kids because you plan on having one of your own, then you should also be considering child-sized furniture for their bedroom. Financing can help to make furniture changes more affordable.
Some kid-friendly furniture tips include:
- Avoid glass tables for obvious reasons.
- Stain resistance is a must. It is a lot easier to live with furniture and kids when the furniture has been treated for stain resistance. High-quality furniture that includes kid-friendly materials that can stand up to wear and tear is a good option.
- Look for reasonably priced furniture. The average couch lasts about 10 years, and with a busy household, longevity can be affected. Don’t overspend on furniture when you are preparing for kids.
Look for durable furniture that you will not have to spend hours a week cleaning to get the fingerprints off. Kids love to touch things. They are messy, and it can be frustrating when you have furnishings that are not kid-friendly. Preparing for kids can mean changing your home décor a bit so that everyone can live in harmony.
Safety In the Home
Children are naturally curious which means that they get into everything, and unfortunately, some of the things that they get into can be a danger to them. Setting up your home to ensure that it is a safe space for kids should be high on your list of things to do when preparing for kids. With a little effort, you can easily make your home into a safe one for kids.
If you are preparing for kids because you plan on expanding your family, and are lucky enough to be able to build a home, custom home design can be a great option. You can design your home to be a kid-friendly space right from the start.
Of course, there are plenty of retrofit options that you can do to your existing home to make your home safer for children. Simple changes like using child safety guards on cabinets and doors can make a big difference. You’ll also want to repair your garage door to ensure your child is safe. Using electrical outlet plugins to ensure little fingers do not stick things into the outlets can also be an easy safety enhancement.
Child safety gates at the top of the stairs will help to put a barrier between the little one and the potential for a tumble down the steps. Small adjustments and changes can help to improve the safety of your home when preparing for kids.
You can contact a home building contractor to make larger adjustments to your home if they are needed when preparing for kids to come and stay in your home. Homeowners usually invest around 1%-4% of the value of their homes on upgrading their homes each year. Preparing for kids is a great excuse to enclose the porch, add a new bedroom, and more.
Get the Big Fixes Out of the Way First
One of the best things to do when preparing for kids is to get all the big repairs to your home out of the way. Why? The answer is simple: when you are preparing for kids, you should be preparing yourself mentally. If you are worried about a plumbing maintenance issue or another home repair need, you cannot give the energy to mentally preparing for kids.
Before you start preparing for kids make sure your house is in order. Consider contacting a roofing contractor to do a roof inspection and to make any necessary repairs, and move down the list from there. Start at the top of your house with the roof than work your way down.
Make all the repairs and changes that you want to make to your home, and look at it as an investment in preparing for kids. It is far easier for you to get those home siding services that you need before the kids come along.
Getting all the work out of the way before the kids come along makes it easier to get the work done, and will help you to have the peace of mind you need when preparing for kids. For example, it is important that the kids are comfortable in the home, affordable heating options will keep them warm in the winter.
Likewise, a new AC installation will ensure that the kids are comfortable all summer long. Anyone that has lived with kids knows that when the kids are comfortable life is better. You do not have to go overboard with the improvements and repairs, but you should address the things that bother you about your home the most, and of course, the things that present safety issues.
Do you absolutely have to call in an expert in residential asphalt paving to repave the driveway? Not necessarily, unless the driveway is rutted and dangerous to a toddler or your vehicle. On the other hand, if you really want to get every single thing out of the way so you can fully focus on preparing for kids, then you should go ahead and do it.
You want to be able to focus on preparing for kids and how that will affect your lifestyle, and how you navigate life. Having worries about the house will interfere with your ability to get fully prepared for kids.
What Else Do You Need to Do When Preparing for Kids?
When you are preparing for kids you need to consider how you will care for them. Will you and your partner return to work full time? Will you need to pay for childcare? What about health insurance? It is important that you have a child health plan plus all the other financial needs covered.
Health insurance is vital for kids. When kids are little, they are exposed to many different viruses and bacteria that their immature immune system is not quite ready to handle yet. There is a litany of “childhood” diseases that can make them sick. While in most cases, children will bounce back quickly, you do want them to get medical care when it is needed. Another important reason to have child health insurance is for preventive care. Vaccinations, well-child check-ups, and more are all an important part of ensuring the child’s good health. Health insurance can make getting healthcare affordable.
What about childcare? The best childcare centers typically have waiting lists. That means the best time to get your child on that list is when you are preparing for kids. It is not unusual to register for childcare before the baby is even born.
Preparing for kids by crossing all your tee’s and dotting all your I’s will help to reduce the stress of preparing for kids. Knowing that everything has been arranged before the kids come along can help you to stay focused on preparing for kids and the joy it can bring.
Financially Preparing for Kids
You have the house ready, you have your plans ready, now you have to figure out how to pay for it all. Kids are not cheap. Preparing for kids has to include a financial plan. The best way you can be ready is to start saving right now.
Make a budget and include:
- The cost of the basics. How much will diapers cost? How much will wipes, clothing, food cost? Start budgeting now for the added basic expenses.
- Daycare, school, and other instruction. What does the cost of daycare look like? Are you planning on private school? How much will tuition be? Five years may seem a little too far down the road to worry about right now, but it will come fast and you want to be prepared to pay tuition if you have decided on private school.
- Preparing for the far ahead future. Preparing for kids does not mean only preparing for the hear and now financially, it means preparing for the far off future as well. How much can you contribute each month to a college plan?
Preparing for kids in advance gives you the advantage of starting to live like you are already paying the added costs. Sock the money away that you will be paying down the road and you will have a nice little nest egg.
Kids are not cheap, the more preparing for kids you do financially, the better off you will be. It can be difficult to get used to having the added expenses but by preparing for kids and considering the financial impact, it can make the transition easier.
Preparing for Kids and Your Lifestyle
The final things you need to be doing for preparing for kids is all centered around your lifestyle. You will have to make some adjustments. Kids are physically and emotionally challenging but if you make some lifestyle adjustments now while preparing for kids it will help to reduce the challenges.
Most experts agree that kids thrive when there is a routine in place. One of the easiest things you can do when preparing for kids is to get yourself in a routine. That means hitting the hay at the same time or around the same time every night, getting up around the same time, get your body used to a routine before the kids show up so they can jump on your routine bandwagon.
The routine does not have to be completely rigid, but it should hover around the same structure a big part of the time. Eat dinner at the same time every day, and make other little changes that are easy to stick to.
Developing a routine and sticking to it is not only good for the kids it is good for you as well. Your body will get used to doing certain things at certain times and it can help everything from your sleep patterns to your diet.
You should also consider other lifestyle changes when preparing for kids including:
- Exercising regularly. Regular exercise can help reduce stress. Preparing for kids can be very stressful, regular exercise can help keep those stress levels in check.
- Getting healthy. This is a great time to ensure you are in top physical health and ready to deal with the rigors of parenting. Make an appointment for a check-up, make adjustments to your diet, add some exercise into your daily routine, and get healthy. It will help you to be better prepared.
- Learning to meditate and other positive ways to process stress. Learn some deep relaxation techniques to help keep stress under control, so you can lead by example.
Anything that you do not want your kids doing, you should not be doing yourself. Making lifestyle changes can help you to live by example. Children learn what they live. If they see their parents or parent figures doing it, they too, will want to do it. Be the person you want your child to be even if it means changing some of your lifestyle habits now.
Getting ready for kids the right way is not easy, but with a little effort you will be fully prepared for kids, and most importantly really enjoy having them around. Follow a few simple guidelines and prepare for kids the right way and the rewards will be tremendous.