How to Babyproof Your Home: 5 Tips for a Safe and Stylish Space
By Erin Loechner, Design for Mankind. Erin Loechner is a paid spokesperson for HEALTHY ESSENTIALS®
It happens just like they say it will: You’re rocking a wailing newborn to sleep at 3 a.m., and the next morning, he’s a full-grown toddler demanding access to your cupboards.
'In the blink of an eye' has never felt truer than in matters of a mother’s heart.
When I was a brand-new mother, I obsessed over babyproofing. I researched baby gates and furniture guards, sanitizers and choking hazards. Fueled by fear, I installed cabinet locks and door stops before my firstborn could even walk, let alone rummage through a kitchen pantry.
In the blink of an eye, after all. So many things could go wrong.
But now, a bit more seasoned and well past those bleary-eyed newborn days, my mindset has simplified. There’s no one-sized approach to childproofing, just as there’s no one-sized approach to child rearing. Here, then, are five ideas to keep in mind when creating a safe and happy space for your little ones:
1. Have Patience.
Babyproofing is a progress, not a weekend endeavor. After all, your kid’s interests grow and change quickly. Instead of pre-planning for every scenario imaginable or bubble-wrapping your home, pay attention to your child’s personality and what they’re naturally drawn to today. Watch them explore; study their habits. You’ll notice what’s hazardous to them and what isn’t, and you can act accordingly.
2. Subtract > Add.
The simplest way to babyproof your house? Subtract. Remove extra tchotchkes that tempt little climbers. Purge your medicine cabinet to what you truly need and what can be locked away. Whittle down your cleaning supplies for top shelf access. When it comes to babyproofing, sometimes less is far, far more.
3. Think Beyond Safety.
Many parents tend to think of babyproofing in terms of safety-only, but I far prefer the bigger picture: making space for kids (and adults!) to feel happy and healthy in every room, for years to come. Consider replacing the hard-edged coffee table with a knitted ottoman that suits your favorite color palette. Upholster your well-loved sofa in a stain-proof fabric to ward off future spills. Display your toddler’s favorite blocks as decor. Babyproofing needn’t mean forgoing your style or stripping a room of personality. Substance and style can certainly coexist.
4. Baby Proof On-the-Go.
Of all the babyproofing products (safety plugs and edge guards and door stops, oh my!) on the market today, my No. 1, never-do-without product? Baby wipes. Designed to gently and effectively remove 95 percent of germs, Johnson’s® Hand and Face Wipes can be used anywhere, anytime. And when it comes to removing hazards from the front lines of these littles, germs are some of the worst offenders in my book. I stash these everywhere.
5. Get Creative.
When all else fails, some of the wisest solutions can be found with items you already own. A few rubber bands can be used to babyproof cabinet handles together in lieu of safety locks. A swath of electrical tape doubles as a quick-and-easy outlet cover. When the toddler's favorite place to explore is the toilet? Install the bathroom’s door lever upside down. The truth is this: nine times out of 10, successful babyproofing needn't require a new purchase. A bit of ingenuity goes a long, long way.
Onward, babyproofers! Here’s wishing you happy, healthy spaces and happy, healthy faces – from my home to yours.
Erin Loechner is a paid spokesperson for HEALTHY ESSENTIALS®