As any parent can attest, having kids changes evvverythinggg. From the big things like where you live and which friends you hang out with, to the smaller details like what you cook for dinner and the type of window treatments you hang in your house. If you have a new baby on the way (congrats!!) you're probably busy researching every little thing you need to get ready. Near the top of that list should be safe and kid-friendly window treatments. Before you know it, your tiny newborn will be crawling and grabbing anything within reach...and then he'll be a toddler running around, playing hide-and-seek behind the curtains. Dangling window cords or improperly installed curtain rods can pose a real danger, so it's important to make sure your house is child-proofed. Here are the top four criteria to consider when choosing the best window treatments for young kids.
This is obviously the most important point. Window cords are a strangulation risk to babies and young children, who can accidentally become entangled in the loops. Dealing with these deadly hazards should be a top priority before your baby arrives. If your window treatments have cords, there are several things you can do (right away!) to mitigate the risk.
- Move cribs, beds, furniture, and toys away from windows and window cords, preferably to another wall.
- Install cord cleats (hook-like devices that you screw into your wall or window frame) and wrap cords tightly around them so they don't dangle. Bali Customer Service will send you cord cleats for free—no matter where your blinds or shades came from!
- Get a free retrofit kit from the Window Coverings Safety Council if your blinds or shades were made before 2001. The kit includes cord stops, end tassels, hold down devices, and rings to make your cords less dangerous.
However, the best way to baby-proof your window treatments is to install new child safe window blinds with cordless or motorized lift. Bali's cordless shades are all certified Best for Kids, meaning they have been tested by a third-party laboratory and are safe for young kids. If you were thinking of updating your window treatments at some point, now is the perfect time to make that investment in your family's safety. Having cordless window shades in place before your baby arrives will give you so much peace of mind.
For more information about child safe window treatments, go here.
After making sure that your little darling is safe, the next biggest priority in a new parent's life is getting as much sleep as possible. I won't sugarcoat it, having a new baby is exhausting. Not only will you be awakened for multiple feedings and diaper changes at night, but you also won't get the luxury of leisurely sleeping in until you feel rested. Every minute of sleep will be precious, and anything that secures you some extra zzz's will be so worth it.
Enter blackout window treatments. They effectively block sunlight from entering through your windows, turning your nursery or bedroom into a cozy cocoon any time of day. Since a dark environment naturally signals the body that it's time to sleep, blackout shades are a game-changer for getting your baby to sleep while it's still light out. That includes naps, bedtime in the spring and summer, and maybe (dare we hope?!) sleeping in a little longer in the morning. Blackout shades aren't just for nurseries either. They will continue to serve you well as your kids become toddlers and older kids. The nursery above (from a couple years ago) is the same room as my kids’ current bedroom below.
Bali offers blackout fabric for most products, as well as blackout liners that allow you match other light-filtering window treatments in the house.
Nurseries, playrooms, and kids rooms are great spaces to have a little fun with design. You can personalize the room with youthful touches, bring in some brighter colors, or try out a whimsical pattern that you wouldn't use elsewhere in the house. But when it comes to the window treatments, be careful not to choose anything that's too specific to your child's current age. In the blink of an eye, your tiny little baby will be a toddler who wants a big kid room, then an older kid, then a teenager. As he grows, you won't want to keep changing the big (expensive) items like furniture and window treatments. So leave the dinosaurs and Disney characters for accessories that are easier to switch out, like art prints and bedding.
Window treatments are an investment, so make sure the ones you choose will stand the test of time. Think about how the room will be used long-term and expect that a kid's room will go through lots of changes (and a wide range of color schemes). As your family's needs change, the little girl’s nursery you're now designing may end up as a guest room, an office, or the room of your ten-year-old boy. So bubblegum pink, while it’s sweet, may not be the most universal choice. When in doubt, your best bet is to go with neutrals like grey, white, and wood tones. If you have older kids who want to be involved with the design of their rooms, choose a few pre-approved swatches and let them have the final say.
By creating a timeless base that can grow up with your kid, you'll save yourself a lot of money and hassle in the long run. Don't worry about neutrals being too grown-up and boring for a little kid. Once you add in all the colorful toys, books, and accessories, the room will still be totally playful and age-appropriate.
It's no secret, kids are rough on things. Curious toddlers love to explore their world, and they can't be counted on to wipe their faces and wash their hands first. That's why you'll want to look for window treatments that are durable, low-maintenance, and easy-to-clean. These criteria are especially important for the nursery and playroom, but you'll never regret installing kid-friendly window treatments in every room of the house.
Some of our recommendations (in no particular order):
- Faux wood blinds: Resistant to moisture, highly durable, stylish and economical...faux wood blinds are a great choice for families with young kids. Faux wood blinds have strong, rigid slats that come in two different widths and a variety of solid and woodgrain colors. Unlike real hardwood, they can be cleaned with water on a damp rag, making them extremely worry-free and easy to maintain. For those on a tight budget, our Value Faux Wood Blinds are very affordable, and automatically come with kid safe cordless lift.
- Roller shades: These modern shades offer clean lines that are always in style. They're available in a breadth of colors, textures, and patterns, including a wide range of blackout options. Best of all, since they are just a simple, smooth panel of fabric, they can be easily dusted or cleaned with a sweep of your vacuum cleaner's upholstery attachment. There are plenty of blackout fabrics and cordless/motorized lift options.
- Cellular shades: With honeycomb cells that trap air and reduce heat loss, cellular shades are the most energy-efficient choice you can make. Luckily, they're also stylish and kid-friendly! Our cellular shades are made from high-quality, crush-resistant spunlace fabrics that are soft yet durable (including a wide array of blackout fabrics). They are easy to operate with cordless/motorized lift, and surprisingly easy to spot clean if your kids get food or dirt on them.
- Vertical blinds: Long-lasting, easy-gliding vertical blinds are a great choice if durability is one of your top priorities. The vertical orientation of the blinds resists the buildup of dust and grime and the vanes are easy to dust and wipe clean. If you opt for vinyl vertical blinds, they can even be immersed in water for deep cleaning.
- Roman shades: Roman shades are my personal favorite type of window treatment. They're stylish and elegant, yet simple to care for (vacuum with the upholstery attachment, spot clean any stains). Classic Roman shades are available in several blackout fabrics, and Tailored Roman shades can be customized with a blackout liner. With both styles, you can choose cordless shades or motorized lift for peace of mind and easy use.
Durability isn't just about the type of window treatment you choose...it's even more important to buy from a trusted company that produces quality products. Window treatments are an investment, and you want to make sure they can stand up to daily use. At Bali, we believe so strongly in the reliability of our products that we back them with an industry-leading lifetime warranty.