The average American moves 11.7 times throughout their lives. Families end up moving for a variety of reasons, whether it’s to change school districts, switch careers, be closer to family, or just for a change of scenery.
But, looking for a new house or apartment with young children can come with unique challenges. The first five years of a child’s life are so crucial for physical and cognitive development. So, choosing the right place to live means finding a place that you can call home where your child will be safe and will have the opportunity to learn and grow.
With that in mind, let’s take a look at a few things you should consider for your family when you’re choosing a new home, including how to keep your little ones safe.
Choosing the Right Type of Housing
From apartments to rental homes and from traditional houses to mobile homes, there are plenty of options when it comes to different types of housing. But which is the right one for you and your family?
First, consider where you live. In a bigger city like New York, apartments are a popular option because they’re often central to schools, events, extracurricular activities, and other amenities. Apartments are also low-maintenance, which can be a big help if you’re trying to take care of small children and don’t have time for home repairs!
But, apartments may not allow things like family pets, and if you eventually want to grow your family, you might want to consider a larger space.
Choosing a single-family home gives you ownership of the land, so you can enjoy watching your kids play in the yard. You’ll also likely have more room and no restrictions on what to do with the house itself. But, you’ll have to deal with your own home repairs, pay taxes, and commit yourself to a long-term mortgage, unless you’re able to find a rental property.
There are pros and cons to all different types of housing. Deciding what fits your family’s needs right now will make it easier to narrow down those options.
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Keeping Your Home Safe
No matter which type of housing you choose, the most important thing to keep in mind is safety. Obviously, choosing an apartment with a high balcony may not be as safe as a ground-level house. Unfortunately, no matter which type of housing you decide upon, there can be hidden home dangers. The more aware you are of these potential risks, the sooner you can put child safety gadgets in place and take proper precautions.
Some of the most common hidden home dangers, especially in old houses or apartments include:
- Lead paint
- Lead pipes (can contaminate drinking water)
- Carbon monoxide
- No window guards (required in NYC for homes with children under the age of 10)
- Faulty electrical wiring
These are all concerns that should be brought up before you commit any type of home. Don’t be afraid to work with an independent home inspector to get their professional opinion on potential risks and hazards. If the risks are something you can’t fix on your own or that a landlord won’t take care of, it may not be the right option for your family.
Encouraging Healthy Development at Home
Your home environment can be a big part of your child’s overall mental and physical development. Daily living tasks and chores present unique learning opportunities for little ones that you can encourage on a regular basis.
Some of the most common activities of daily living that can help your child’s development include:
- Dressing themselves
- Finding ingredients for meals
- Washing dishes
- Saving money
- Following a routine
Children will learn how to perform these daily activities both by watching you and through verbal instructions and communication. They help to boost your child’s cognitive, motor, and perceptual skills, all while teaching them things they will need to do daily for the rest of their lives.
It’s essential to be comfortable in your new home, no matter which type of environment you choose. Establishing a home that is safe and consistent and encouraging your child’s development within the home can make the moving experience easier for everyone. It can foster a loving home environment for you to watch your child grow for years to come.
Sam Bowman writes about families, wellness, and how the two merge. He enjoys getting to utilize the internet for the community without actually having to leave his house. In his spare time, he likes running, reading, and combining the two in a run to his local bookstore.
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