*collaborative guest post
With a baby on the way, it’s suddenly necessary to reassess all the furniture in your house. You find yourself rearranging every room during your nesting phase and flinging out hundreds of objects that don’t seem baby-safe. Whilst it’s true they won’t be on the move for a few months yet, it makes sense to be prepared whilst you have time.
Here are some simple tips to take you from a house-of-two to room-for-three; ensuring everything is fit for your precious arrival.
Rugs & Carpets
Babies aren’t known for being steady on their feet. When they start toddling, there will be falls, bangs and scrapes. Having carpeted flooring (especially stairs) helps to cushion those falls and makes everything less slippery for those who haven’t mastered the art of standing upright yet.
As your little person starts wobbling around, you’ll find they tend to topple head-first into everything. Without suggesting you turn your rooms into padded cells, it’s useful to cover any sharp edges on tables and other furniture with spongy padding to minimise bruises. Don’t get those stick on rubber corners, they come off easily, especially with inquisitive toddler fingers.
One of the most important choices you make as a new parent is regarding your baby’s sleeping situation. But, here’s a secret – it doesn’t often end up how you planned.
We are all strictly warned of the dangers of co-sleeping, yet so often we fall asleep with the baby on our chests or next to us in bed, because it seems silly to wake them. There is a way to bridge the gap between having your baby sleep with you as close as possible while minimising all safety risks, and that’s the co-sleeper cot.
It’s a three-walled cot that attaches to the side of your bed, so that baby sleeps directly next to you while essentially in their own bed, out of reach of dangerous adult bed-clothes and your squishy mattress. Baby sleeps on his or her own baby-safe surface and everyone gets a much better night’s sleep. It’s the perfect solution, and much less stressful for everyone than putting your baby to sleep where she can’t see or hear you, which negatively affects her sleep.
For more information on baby sleep safety, see this guide here. There’s a difference between co-sleeper cots and sleep positioners. See what you need to know about sleep positioners in my article here.
Latches & Locks
When your baby starts climbing, pulling him or herself up and opening doors, it’s time to find your window keys. Babies all have a hint of Houdini in them. You best believe that turning your back for 2 minutes is enough time for him to stack up all his toys underneath the window and make a run for it.
Keep all lesser used doors, windows and cupboards locked; and add latches to any accessible drawers that contain dangerous objects. Baby will attempt to climb in the bottom drawers of any chests, so keep them closed! Here’s what happened when I turned my back in the garden, he was climbing the fence!
There’s no way around this one: your stairs are going to need baby gates at the top and bottom. You may even want to put them in your kitchen and bathroom doorways to block baby from entering when you’re not looking and having an accident. Similarly, if you have an open fireplace, get a physical barrier to cover it completely.
Blind Cords & Loops
Anything in the house that is looped should be cut – curtains, drapery, decorative fringing, and blind cords. These have caused terrible accidents in the past and should be shortened way out of baby’s reach or simply cut with scissors.
More Top Tips
- Avoid toy boxes or chests with heavy lids which could snap shut on your child when he reaches in for a toy
- Secure heavy objects to their stands or to the wall (TVs, lamps, microwaves, bookcases, drawers etc.)
- Lock away cleaning products and medicines in cupboards above baby’s reach
- Hide anything with removable pieces that could become choking hazards
- Get outlet covers for unused electrical outlets
- Consider installing a child safety lock for your toilet seat, so they can’t open it when you’re not around
- Prevent doors from slamming on little fingers by using door stoppers, devices that stop doors from closing all the way, or just hanging a towel over the top
- Consider a fridge lock, so they can’t help themselves to the contents, or leave it hanging open
Have you started baby proofing yet? What are your top tips?