So your baby’s growing up and becoming less of a baby and more of a little devil…I mean toddler. The days of them sitting quietly and playing with toys are over and all of a sudden they’re tearing up the house, getting into everything and you’ve found your hairdryer in the toilet….. it’s time to child proof the house!
I get it, this has been my dilemma for the past few months and it’s not an easy task. Knowing where to start can be overwhelming and keeping it stylish is near impossible.
This is a tricky topic as everyone’s home is different so needs will differ but here are a few tips and ideas I thought i’d share to help alleviate some of the stress.
Baby gates – it seems these products are the mother of all headaches. You think it would be easy, as the name implies it’s just a gate and that’s all….wrong! If you’re not sure what you’re looking for or what you need, baby gates can be enough to drive you to drink…. excessively!!!
So to break it down I have done some research and included some ideas and information to consider when buying one.
- Measure the space before you buy because despite what’s said one size doesn’t fit all!
- Decide whether you want a screw in baby gate, one that sticks to the wall or one that has a clamp so you can adjust it to suit the width of the space you want to install it into. A great option for an adjustable gate is the Kiddy Cots Door Barrier. It has great user reviews, is inexpensive and comes in a natural pine finish making it perfect for interiors with a Scandinavian look or it can easily be painted to suit any colour scheme.
Image by: Kiddy Cots via Pinterest
- Think about whether you want it to self lock when closed or to have a locking system at the top.
- Consider a canvas baby gate – If the thought of having a gate installed on your staircase makes you feel like your home is turning into a jail, consider a softer look. The beautiful handmade example below is from sewamelie and comes in a variety of cool patterns, colours and prints; so instead of a baby gate being an eye sore it could be a feature piece.
- If you need an extension for a gate or are not sure how high a gate should be a helpful tool a savvy mum gave me was the Dream Baby safety gate calculator.
This useful device can help you work out the size of the gate you need, what type of extension you may need and can generally save you loads of time that let’s be honest you probably don’t have a lot of 🙂
Fireplaces – for those of you that have inactive fireplaces that you don’t want little ones getting into, a creative idea I have seen that is inexpensive and not permanent is to turn the space into a chalk and magnetic board. Not only is this a safe option but it also acts as a sensory board which your child will love playing with.
The plywood can then be fitted either in front of or inside the fireplace.
Image by pinkgreenandzebra: featured on apartmenttherapy.com blog via Pinterest
Image by Leela Cyd: featured on apartmenttherapy.com blog via Pinterest
Power points and TV – If your child is like mine they love to touch everything they shouldn’t and pull themselves up on anything regardless of whether it’s stable or not.
As my son is a tenacious bugger I have realised that the normal power point covers you can buy in any baby or hardware store aren’t enough as he insists on not only pulling off the child proof insert but the entire cover as well! To combat this I have found an ingenious product that is effective and surprisingly sleek.
The Excel Life child safe double power point has a rotated plug so little fingers are unable to pull the cover off and you don’t have to worry about them getting an electric shock. They also come in a few modern colours to suit different decors.
Anti tip TV straps – for anyone who has a TV at toddler height TV straps are a must. They’re great because they’re easily attached to the back of your TV and can also be strapped to any large piece of furniture to provide extra anchor but best of all – you can’t see them.
Image by parent.guide: via Pinterest
Door locks – Unfortunately when it comes to door locks I’m sorry to say they’re not very stylish, but for most of us they’re a necessity. There are many products on the market so my suggestion would be to compare what is out there and think about what suits your needs.
Sometimes the simplest option is the best, it may not look amazing but it doesn’t have to be permanent. Avoid going for anything that is too complicated as you’ll find you won’t be able to get into a cabinet yourself, which will send you to another level of crazy!
Image by parent.guide: via Pinterest
When I was originally asked to write this post, I was racking my brains thinking of where to start. There are so many child proofing options out there, I could have written a thesis on the topic!
So I decided to narrow it down to some of the most common problems and queries people have. Because everyone’s needs are different and there are no set rules that everyone must follow my goal is to provide you with ideas and advice on what’s possible.
The best advice I can give any first time parent is to be pragmatic, consider the possibilities that could cause major harm and address those first. You don’t need to go mad and cover the house in child proof locks and bubble wrap! For example think about where dangerous items are housed and move them out of reach or re-arrange your cupboards with items that aren’t harmful so that if kids get into them it doesn’t matter.
I heard a saying that no matter how much you child proof your home, it is not a substitute for parenting as kids of any age can always find creative ways to hurt themselves.
Whilst this is true I also believe that you need to allow them to explore and discover things. Yes this may mean they get a little hurt along the way but this is all part of their growth and learning process and like the old saying goes, “ what doesn’t kill you only makes you stronger.” 🙂
IMAGES & BRAND CREDITS: Kiddy Cots, sewamelie, pinkgreenandzebra, apartmenttherapy.com, Leela Cyd, Cetnaj, parent.guide VIA PINTEREST & Bunnings.
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