When we bought our house, we had no children, so two stories didn't bother us at all. In fact, we loved all the space and thought how great it would be to fill it up with children. However, once we had that child, soon to be children, we realized a two story house was kind of a pain. But, we've adjusted. Here are some tips I've learned to make living in a two story house easier when you've got a baby and/or toddler.
1) Keep Socks And Shoes Downstairs
I keep most my son's socks in my sock drawer, so I'm not continually running up and down the stairs for socks. I also keep his shoes in the laundry room, so we're not always looking for them. I keep his "church" shoes in his room since he only wears those once or twice a week.
2) Keep One Or Two Outfits Downstairs
This way, when my son spills his drink down his shirt or pours the dog's water bowl in his lap, I don't have to run upstairs to get a change of clothes.
3) Keep Diapers & Wipes Upstairs and Downstairs
Just like with the shoes, I keep most of the diapers and wipes downstairs, even though he sleeps upstairs, so I'm not running back and forth all day.
4) Keep Infants In The Room With You Until They Sleep Through The Night
At least, it's what we did. I just did not want to be going up and down the stairs at all hours of the night. Not only is it a pain, but I think it could literally be dangerous. I know that I was so sleep-deprived and worn down that I was really scared of missing a step and falling.
5) Have An Upstairs Set Of Toys And A Downstairs Set Of Toys
We have toys that stay downstairs in the family room and toys that stay upstairs in the playroom. For awhile, we kept most of them downstairs since that is where we are most of the time, but they started taking over. When I could no longer see my floor, I decided enough was enough and moved most of them upstairs to the playroom. Now that he's doesn't have so many choices, my son actually plays longer and is more engaged with his toys.
6) Invest In A Good Set Of Baby Gates
This way your child can roam freely and safely. I can take a shower and not have to worry about him crashing down the stairs. Remember to put them at the top and bottom. The one time my son did fall down the stairs (and I was right there with him, about 2 feet away) he was actually climbing up the stairs. He was fine, he really just kind of slid. (But my heart will never be the same and I have noticed some gray hairs.) Anyway, my point is, they can fall while climbing up the stairs, it's not only descending the stairs you have to worry about.
7) Teach Them How To Go Up And Down The Stairs
Actually teach them how to crawl up the stairs on their hands and knees and how to sit on their bottoms and scoot down the stairs. This is good for them to know because you never know when the baby gate might be accidentally left open or they might be at a friend's house with stairs. (When they're really little, you might have to teach them how to crawl backwards if their legs are too short to scoot, I had to do this with my son. Just be right there, with you hands on their backs, ready to catch them if they fall.)
8) Think About All That Extra Exercise You're Getting
Even with all the little tips and tricks I've learned to make living in a two-story house easier, it's still a pain and I still go up and down the stairs numerous times daily. I really am kind of jealous of my friends that live in one-story houses. But, I do love my house and we're not moving so I've learned to make the best of it. One way I do this is to think about all the extra exercise I'm getting that I wouldn't be getting without climbing those stairs several times a day! Ha!
For more great tips, head back on over to WFMW!