I know, I know. At two years old my daughter is technically no longer a baby. But this is a post I’ve longed to put together forever now and just haven’t gotten around to it (see: the aforementioned baby). I like to think that I’ve always been well versed in designing with kids in mind since the vast majority of my clients consist of young families. But when we brought our daughter into the world I knew I’d forever approach family-friendly design in an entirely different way. Following are the changes we’ve made in our home since bringing our daughter home.
One of my greatest tips when it comes to designing with kids in mind is to regularly rotate their toys. Research has shown that having access to fewer toys reduces overwhelm and encourages kids to play longer and deeper with each individual item (a parents ultimate goal, let’s be honest). As a bonus, having fewer things on deck means that there’s significantly less visual clutter, which makes cleaning up at the end of the day a cinch. Plus, bringing out an old favourite that has been tucked away helps breathe new life into it. She gets excited about it all over again, which is great.
I promise you I’m not a monster when it comes to our daughter’s toys, but whenever I have my say I opt for the most aesthetically pleasing option. We absolutely own our fair share of plastic, don’t get me wrong, but the vast majority of her toys are quite visually appealing. As someone who gets overstimulated by messes (a childhood inevitability), this has significantly helped. Tripping over adorable stacking bunnies for the fifteenth time that day somehow doesn’t hurt quite as much.
STREAMLINE WHERE POSSIBLE
In an effort to save time, we’ve streamlined as many processes as possible in order to maintain our home. Our most recent addition, however, has been the biggest game changer of them all and I wish we had implemented it on day one (in fact: I’m now convinced this thing should be on everyone’s baby registry). And that’s a robot vacuum. But not just any robot vacuum. We got our hands on the Narwal T10 and it vacuums and mops – completely eliminating two of the household tasks that I least like (arguably the most important ones when bringing a baby home). Do you know how many times a day I used to bust out my broom? Any parent will tell you that the limit does not exist – those crumbs somehow breed crumbs, I swear. The best part is it has a self-cleaning feature, and it dries it’s own mops to prevent bacteria from growing.
As a technological dolt (I am 80 years old at heart) it was ridiculously easy to set up, and the app makes it so simple to use (and use it we do). I love that it comes with magnetic strips you can place around a “no-go” zone and it will avoid that area for that clean. It’s something that I’ve been doing regularly when our daughter has been deep in play and I don’t want to disturb her zone (but feel like those surrounding crumbs need to BE GONE already). It has a child lock, which you can set via the intelligent control panel. Plus it’s ridiculously quiet, so I can even run it during nap time.
Not only is it one of the best robot vacuums on the market – a truly top of the line piece complete with all the bells and whistles, but it’s also just so pretty. I mean, as far as vacuums go of course. I love spotting him make his way around our home; it legitimately sparks joy.
I always say that we aren’t meant to parent alone, and I’m fully convinced that our Narwal is a part of our modern day village. I’ve named him Todd and he’s officially family.
I tend to land on the more minimalist side of the spectrum; fewer better things is always my jam. And we took that approach into traditional baby proofing as well. Similar to how we address toys, we were pretty selective with the baby proofing gear we brought into our home as well, always opting for the more aesthetic version whenever possible. The gate at the bottom of our stairs, for example, is retractable, as minimal as possible, and we picked it up in white so it would blend into our newel post. Similarly, we used clear corner guards on all of our furniture. Unless you’re specifically looking for it, you almost wouldn’t know that we had done any baby proofing at all (exactly the way I like it. Safe & pretty. Form & function).
If you have kids, I’d love to hear what changes you made, if any, when you brought your little one home.
Thank you to Narwal for sponsoring this post. And thank YOU for supporting my sponsors. It means the world and helps allow me to put out free design content <3