Finding a place for a new arrival

BUYING a baby-friendly property is just one of hundreds of things soon-to-be mums have to consider before they give birth. It’s no easy task considering you haven’t yet met your bundle of joy and you’re not exactly feeling top notch carrying them around. If you’re looking to buy a home for your new family to expand into, here are five things to bear in mind.

1. NO STAIRS
Struggling up and down stairs with a buggy is nobody’s idea of fun. New mum Harriet Apple, who recently signed a lease on a new flat, says it’s a total nightmare if the baby has fallen asleep: “I assure you you will not get a sleeping child in to the top of a flight of stairs in a buggy without waking them up. If you live in a flat, a lift is essential.”

2. A BATH
“Babies do not like showers,” says Katie Trenchard of Strutt & Parker. She recently bought a home before giving birth. “A bath is a must.”

3. A QUIET NURSERY
Trenchard also warns against road-facing nurseries. You really don’t want traffic to wake a baby that has taken hours to put to sleep.

4. OPEN PLAN
“Open plan living is the way forward,” says Trenchard. “If you have an open plan space it gives you the chance to do other things like cooking while watching the baby.”

5. A GARDEN
Apple says she doesn’t have a garden, but would love one. “We’re actually moving so we can have one. I think it’s nice for toddlers to have somewhere to run around.” Trenchard agrees: “They’re key. I was stuck in the house for a week with boiling hot weather when my daughter had chicken poxs aged eight months.”

6.. WIDE HALLWAY
Buggies are monster-sized these days, with big industrial-looking wheels. While these are great for taking the little one over cobbled streets and down country roads, they take up a lot of space. Make sure you think about where it will be stored. Trenchard says: “Buy somewhere with a wide hallway. I have to keep my Bugaboo in my bedroom because we have narrow corridors – it’s not ideal.”