If you're apartment hunting with companies like Norquay Property Management Ltd. and have a baby on the way or thoughts of future pregnancy, it's essential to find a place that will suit your future needs as a parent to an infant, and later, a toddler. The most obvious quality you'll need to look for in a townhouse our apartment is a spare bedroom for your future child. However, there are many other features that a townhouse should have if you're planning on it housing your future offspring:
Stairs that can be blocked with a baby gate.
Open staircases are pretty stunning in terms of looks, and they are becoming more popular in townhouses and apartments since open floor plans have become so popular. However, they're simply not a safe choice with a toddler or baby in the home, since there is no way to block them off. If there are stairs in a home you're considering renting, make sure they can be blocked by a baby gate. This means there must be a wall on both sides of the upper landing of the stairs. Of course, stairs with a separate door to them are okay, too.
A large sink or laundry tub.
Sure, you can bathe an infant in a bathtub, but doing so is awkward since it requires you to sit on the floor and bend over. It's much easier to bathe a baby in a large sink -- especially during the first few weeks before the baby can hold his or her own head up. This sink can be in the kitchen, the bathroom, or the laundry room; you can sterilize it before using it to bathe your child.
Most babies start trying to walk when they are between 9 and 12 month old, so you can probably count on your child taking his or her first steps in this home. Toddlers fall a lot when they are first learning to walk. You'll want to make sure those falls are not too painful by letting your child first experiment with walking in a carpeted room. Every room does not have to be carpeted, but make sure that enough areas are carpeted so that you do not have to isolate your child in one area of the home once he or she starts trying to walk.
Forced air heating (not radiators or baseboard heating).
Some older apartments base baseboard or radiator heating. Boiler-style heating systems with radiators are making somewhat of comeback, since they are so energy-efficient. Unfortunately, because their surfaces become hot enough to burn sensitive skin, they are just not safe for young children. If you plan to have a baby in this home, you'll want to make sure it has forced air heating, since there are no hot radiators associated with this type of heating system.
If an apartment does have forced air heating, still take a look at the heating vents. Make sure there are no sharp surfaces that could cut a child. Sometimes, the metal pieces of the vents can get a little sharp, so you may need to have it filed down or have the vent replaced to keep a toddler safe.
A large entryway.
You're likely going to take your new baby for walks in the stroller, and that stroller will need somewhere to sit when you're not using it -- or at least when you first come in the door and have not had time to fold it up, yet. A large entryway ensures you have space for the baby stroller. Preferably, it should not be carpeted, so you don't have to worry about dirty stroller wheels staining the floor.
Finding an apartment or townhome that will accommodate your future baby takes a little more attention to detail than finding one just for adults. As long as you look for the elements above, you should be all set when your little bundle of joy arrives.