I love this house but it isn’t very child friendly. It’s three floors, up two sets of stairs. We knew it would be a nightmare but it wasn’t until Tobias started crawling that we figured it was a death trap. So when it came to child proofing the house we were conscious to do some, but not too much so Tobias would be able to learn about danger and consequences.
We have two types of gates on all our stairs and I’m wanting to get some new ones when the new baby starts to move. The first we tried were the travel gates, Gavin hates them and to be fair they aren’t ideal to use on a daily basis so I wouldn’t recommend. We also have the standard stair gate that is pressurised onto the wall, instead of using nails or screws into the wall. This gate is fine, but has a bar at the bottom and Tobias struggles to get over it when he’s climbing the stairs by himself (with me behind him). I have seen some perfect gates that don’t have the bar and would fit with our old home which Iwant to get in time for the next baby.
Plug Socket Covers
When doing my research I found out that it was better to not have anything in the plug sockets as the plastic covers are potentially dangerous. My research found that as long as the electrics had been completed in the last five years we were safe. When we had the kitchen put in, in March 2014 we had the electrics throughout the house updated so we were ok to not use anything.
I chose the magnetic door catches to go on our kitchen cupboards. I haven’t put them on all the lower cupboards. The cupboards that Tobias can still open don’t have anything breakable in them and he loves to pull the items out which helps while I’m cooking to keep him busy.
Keeping Things High
Not so much something you can buy but a piece of advice. Make sure you keep anything dangerous, out of harm’s way such as cleaning supplies or sharp objects.
We have an open fire in our living room and from Tobias starting to move he has always shown a great interest in this area. I think he just likes to get covered in soot! Gavin’s parents gave us a wrought iron fire guard, it isn’t aesthetically pleasing but it’s not worth the risk that comes with burning so Isco compulsory. I’m also still apprehensive of when the fire spits, so when we are using the fire Tobias certainly hears the word ‘No’ a lot, when he gets too close.
Door Finger Guards & Stoppers
These are handy to avoid fingers being slammed in doors or drawers and causing serious damage. You can also buy these for main doors to stop fingers getting stuck. I didn’t get anything like this and haven’t had any trouble to date.
If you have a house with copious amounts of sharp corners you might want to consider getting something for the edges. I didn’t bother with these and haven’t experienced any major problems.
Once they get a bit bigger make sure you keep windows locked or secured with a catch. Our whole house has wooden windows with only one pane of glass so I do fear he could fall through them at any time. I removed all furniture from near windows so he couldn’t climb up and by the time he learns to climb up to that level he will be too big to fit! We do have one window in the main bedroom that is at floor level (as the room is in the attic) and Gavin has put a latch that I can’t even open now!
All of our ground floor is either wood or tiled. There’s no way of getting around this but I did remove all the rugs etc so Tobias couldn’t trip over them. You can also buy anti slip mats to go underneath your rugs to stop them moving around.
More for you than baby but make sure you put anything valuable or breakable up high or out of reach. I removed most ornaments, trinkets and vases from our home and put them in storage. What I’m dealing with now is Tobias usually wants my gadgets, phone or iPad to play with, which could prove costly if he drops them.
Make sure any blind cords comply with regulations and are tied up, out of your baby’s reach. We don’t have blinds anywhere in the house which is a great relief. I have heard of remote controlled blinds which sound perfect for any home and very safe.
Most little ones like to pull themselves up on furniture. Make sure anything unstable is attached to a wall to avoid it toppling onto them. Luckily we haven’t got furniture that falls into this category so we’re very lucky.
So, that’s how we baby-proofed our grade one, listed home. I wish I could have written a ‘How You Should Baby-Proof Your Home’ article but I don’t really have the answer and it’s a personal decision that each parent has to make. Finally, remember that accidents do happen and usually your little ones will learn from them.