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There is SO much information out there, and it’s really overwhelming – Amazon currently has 3,953 results for “baby gates” in the Baby category. Almost 4,000 options?! Who has time to search through all of those?! Certainly not a parent with a crazy / mobile little one. I can barely make it through one page without Hulk bebe attempting to climb the bookshelf, so 165 pages aint happening.
Rather than trying to tackle the entire house in one fell swoop, I’ve discovered taking it room-by-room is far less daunting, and makes my brain melt a little less. I also am prioritizing by where we spend most of our time, to make sure I hit the high-traffic areas first, and for us that means the family room.
First and foremost with a mobile toddler – baby proofing the TV.
I hate to break it to ya, but generally speaking, you should never place your television on top of anything with drawers or most tables. The drawers are like tinfoil to a magpie – and your toddler will inevitably attempt to pull them out and climb up the unit, and theres a highly likely chance of it tipping over. A console / entertainment center is fine, but the entire unit needs to be anchored to the wall with a furniture safety bracket or anti-tip furniture strap. The biggest thing is to make sure that your TV can’t and won’t tip. Don’t underestimate the strength of a determined toddler!
Be concious of edges and corners:
Stairs, tables, etc – your child’s head will most likely find the sharpest of corners at some point or another. In order to keep the bruises and scabs at bay, I picked up this Multi Purpose Edge and Corner Guard. Out of all of my options, this one from bow-tiger seemed the most versatile, and I really liked that I got more (17 feet versus about 15 feet on average) of the protective edging and that the cushioning was not only thicker than others, but was also made from non-toxic, eco friendly and child-safe material. I really really liked that this particular one comes in multiple colors so I could match it to my furniture and not have to look at an eyesore all day, and best of all, it fits almost any shaped table whether its a coffee or dinner table, but I can also use all over the house: on our countertops, TV cabinet, chest of drawers, desks, book and closet shelving, stairways, fireplaces / hearths and I’m sure many other options I haven’t even thought of yet. As Hulk bebé is still getting the hang of pulling to stand, this has already saved him from a few bruises and goose eggs!
Babyproofing wires and electrical sockets:
What is it about TV power cords and iPhone charging cords that are so appealing to kids? And outlets? Dont even get me started – H’s first ‘tantrum’ was over me removing him from a situation where he had successfully ripped his sound machine’s plug out of the wall and had started exploring the wondrous three little holes that he had unearthed. Electricity plus babies is not a good mix, and wires are usually attached to objects that can leave a serious ouch when they come crashing down. Use those obnoxious but necessary little outlet plugs (or these awesome new outlet plate covers for way less hassle and swearing) for single outlets, or a power strip cover to keep your child away from them and prevent shock.
Other things to keep in mind when babyproofing:
- Unprotected tablecloths are not always a great idea. Once your tasmanian devil gets out of your grasp and pulls down on said tablecloth like an amateur magician, things will tumble and it will be messy.
- Chairs and stools are like Mount Everest to your child, except for the harsh temperatures, and they will attempt to climb them because danger is their middle name. Be careful, as well, of sitting your little dude or dudette on a stool as they are easier to tip over than chairs.
- If you have blinds, consider getting cord wraps. To prevent strangulation from the looped cords on blinds, there are a few options. You can always keep them out of reach (honestly, unlikely), cut the loops to shorten and tie the loose ends, or you can pick up a Cord Wrap – just screw the pieces into your window moldings and wrap the excess cord around them and you’re done.
Here’s a link to the National Safety Council’s quick, 3-page Babyproofing PDF and a link to Consumer Product Safety Commision’s “Childproofing Your Home” webpage for more info!
Do you have any tips for baby proofing a living room?