REAL ESTATE TIPS: Consider making room before moving on
It is so much fun helping a young couple find their first house. They get so excited with the vision they are casting for their future kids. They can picture this room in the basement as a toy room, the corner bedroom as the nursery, this part of the yard would be great for a swing set. They have a plan. The size of the house is perfect for what they envision for their future family.
Then one day, after settling into their home, they get the great news that they are expecting! A few baby showers later and it looks like Babies R Us vomited all over their house. All of a sudden, this house that they felt like they could grow into feels like it is getting smaller and smaller. Then the couple starts to have conversations along the lines of “this house is too small, we need to move” or “we have no space for company because Junior’s stuff is everywhere.”
I get it. We all want the best for our kids. We want everything that will help our infant be comfortable and help us be able to sleep. And the stuff they have for parents with babies is ever changing. Our kids are eight years apart and I am amazed at how many more products were available by the time our youngest was born that didn’t even exist when our oldest was born. My friends having babies now, almost nine years after I had my last son, have even more fun gadgets to pick from. I was at a friend’s house recently and she was telling me about a “baby Keurig” so to speak that easily warmed her formula and baby food. Pretty cool.
But sometimes experience is the best teacher. If I want to take a vacation to Europe, my husband will do research on the best places to go from people who have actually been there. So this week, I am going to give my opinion on the baby gadgets that are necessary and the baby gadgets that are not, at least in my opinion. Why? While myself or any other Realtor would love to help new parents move into a bigger home, I want you to decide if you really need to upgrade that house that you love so much or if you can stay where you are and maybe rethink how much this new bundle of joy really needs. So, for no reason other than to get you thinking, here are the opinions of this experienced mom.
n Swing and seat vibrator. While I realize that the marketing companies can easily convince you that you need both, you really don’t. The ultimate goal of these machines is to either put baby to sleep or relax him and keep him safe and secure so that you can have a 10-minute shower. Either item will work exclusively for that purpose so pick your favorite. And free up some living room space.
n Bassinet, crib, pack-n-play. Pick one or two. Personally, I would not pick a bassinet. They outgrow them quickly. We did use a borrowed bassinet for our youngest son for a short time. He wouldn’t sleep and we needed something that would fit in a tight space between our bed and the wall. Prior to the bassinet, we were taking shifts sleeping with him on our chest in a recliner. The bassinet helped us transition out of that. So if you find yourself in need of one for a specific reason, I’d suggest that you borrow and return. When Austin was born, we only had a pack n play until Andy finished making his crib and it worked out fine. I love the pack n play because it is so portable for grandma’s house, a hotel, etc.
n Limit strollers. I get it. There are so many and they all seem to serve a purpose. You have your umbrella stroller for a quick option, the infant stroller that your car seat snaps into can make life easier, the jogging stroller can help you get your exercise better. These are just the basic options! They are all awesome and helpful, very helpful. But they also all have one thing in common- they take up a lot of space. Before you know it, your garage doesn’t fit your car anymore due to strollers or your sun porch is now a stroller storing zone. So what strollers do you really need? This is a tough one. I would say anything beyond these basics is probably overkill unless you have the space to store them. If you see that you need one that you can just pop your baby’s car seat into, then get it. Otherwise my favorite is the jogging stroller just because they maneuver around so well when doing everything from a taking a walk to a trip to the zoo.
n Limit toys. And by toys, I mean stuffed animals, teething toys, etc. Anything made for baby’s entertainment. I remember Austin having a lot of teething toys and he used probably half of them. Stuffed animals take up space and for the most part, kids tend to have one or two favorites. Toys are another item that take up more space than you realize and can make an otherwise good-sized house feel small.
Keep in mind that there are a lot of variances in the “how much space should my baby’s stuff take up” conversation. For example, if your house was truly purchased as a starter house and you had plans to upgrade anyway between baby one and two, then buy whatever you want. If you have a house so big you need to buy a lot of baby stuff to fill it up, then buy to your heart’s content. If you are planning on two kids two years apart so baby stuff won’t be in your house too long, then you have no worries. With our boys eight years apart, we had two-wheeled bikes, training wheels, trikes and strollers all at the same time. For years, our garage felt like a showroom for the Toys R Us bike aisle. We had boys with football cards, Thomas Trains and teething toys all at the same time. At any given point, our house was full of kid stuff. So just consider this a guide or food for thought as you navigate your personal space and situation.
Esta Ryder, Realtor
Ryder Realty, LLC