One of the most exciting experiences in a couple's life is the addition of a child. Many couples when they find out they are expecting a baby know they have as much as nine months to prepare for the new addition. Other couples opt to adopt a child and may have years to ready their home for a new member. Even in cases when you have decided to become a foster family and welcome numerous foster children into your home, you have time to get things ready for the change in your home. If you will soon be welcoming a new member to your family, there are a number of things to consider. While you may never feel fully prepared to become a parent, you can behave responsibly in preparation. Understand that once you are responsible for another person's life, you need to make sure they will be provided for even if you are no longer around. Speak with someone about making changes in your California life insurance policy and your mortgage life insurance policy if you are expecting or adopting.
In addition to updating important policies, you may need to make actual changes in your home. If you will be adding a baby or toddler to your household, you need to ensure the space is safe for little explorers. If you are adopting or fostering, someone may work with you to child-proof your home. Those who are expecting will be on their own, but there are plenty of books with tips and tricks for keeping your space safe. Things to remember are locking cabinet doors so kids do not get into cleaning products or medications, blocking stairways so nobody takes an unexpected tumble and securing the water supply so the temperature never gets too hot.
The exterior of your home is also going to need some upgrading to make it child safe. If you have a pool in your yard, there will need to be a barrier around it to protect kids from falling in. Be sure to enroll your child in swimming lessons as soon as possible so they can safely maneuver in the pool. Section off a safe place outside for your child to play that is far from traffic and within your line of sight indoors.
Pets may be affected by the new addition as much as you and your spouse. You may find your pets acting out soon after a child comes into the home because they are not getting the attention they once did. Teach your child to handle the pet gently and be sure you offer your pet plenty of affection even though you are busy with your new child.
Finally, if this is not your first child, consider how the addition of a sibling will affect your other children. Being a big brother or sister is an exciting responsibility, but it may be tough getting used to the idea so plan special days alone with your older child so they do not feel left out while adjusting to the new baby in the house.