There are certain things you should do when it comes to baby-proofing your living room. Click here to learn how to baby proof furniture.
We like to think that our homes are the safest place possible for our children, but the reality is that about 8,000 children are taken to the emergency room every day for fall-related injuries.
And while some of these injuries happen during sports and other outdoor activities, many of them occur inside the home. Thankfully, however, most of these injuries are totally preventable. One of the best ways to do so is with proper baby-proofing!
Taking the time to baby proof furniture throughout your home can be the difference between safety and injury. To help you in this endeavor, we’ve compiled a complete guide to babyproofing your living room.
Because your child likely spends a large portion of their time in this room, it’s a great place to start. Keep reading to learn more!
Step 1: Test Your Furniture
Your living room is probably full of furniture that you’ve never consider hazardous before, but bringing a baby into the house is a whole new ballgame. Suddenly, every desk, shelf, and coffee table is a potential scrape or bump.
This is why it’s a good idea to take a look at your living room with new eyes, putting each piece of furniture to the test.
Check for Edges
The first thing to do is to survey all of your furniture and take note of any edges or corners. Think of any time you’ve stubbed your toe or bumped your shoulder on something.
You might need to get lower to get the best perspective. Sit down and look around the room again, you may find new problem areas from the height of a toddler.
Shake Your Furniture
Once you’ve noted all corners and edges that need to be addressed, go around the room and shake your furniture. This may sound odd, but babies and toddlers often use furniture to pull themselves up. If anything, from a bookshelf to a potted plant, wobbles easily when shaken, it needs to be secured.
A quick google search on how to secure furniture to a wall can help you prevent your baby from accidentally pulling a shelf on top of themselves.
Step 2: Test Your Television
Though your television likely isn’t within arm’s reach of a baby or toddler, the cords, outlets, surge protectors, and other devices are. And the buttons and lights associated with these things are sure to attract your child’s attention.
Be sure to move your router, gaming systems, and media players out of reach of small hands. Then, just like you did with the other furniture, shake your television and other devices gently to determine if it would be possible for them to fall and hurt your child.
Secure Your TV
Whether your TV seems wobbly or not, it’s a good idea to secure it anyway. There are a couple of options when doing so. You can purchase tension straps that will prevent it from falling forward and hitting your child, or you can mount it on the wall out of reach.
Straps are the easier option but can be a bit unsightly if the back of your TV isn’t hidden within an entertainment system.
If you do decide to go with wall mounting, check with your local electronics store, they may offer mounting services. Don’t worry if they don’t, there are plenty of resources available online that can walk you through the process, as long as you have the necessary tools.
Hide Cords and Devices
The most efficient way to get a baby proof TV and entertainment system is simply to hide as much of your equipment as possible. Pin your cords out of arm’s reach or purchase a cord management system that can store them away safely.
If at all possible, buy an entertainment system with closeable cabinets rather than open shelving. Hiding your electronics will prevent your baby from discovering them, keeping them out of harm’s way.
Step 3: Pay Attention to the Fireplace
For those who have fireplaces in the living room, pay particularly close attention to this area. From the fire itself to the sharp hearth, fireplaces are one of the biggest hazards when it comes to small children.
If you have a fireplace, consider blocking it off with a baby gate or using the gate to create a baby play area in the living room. You’ll also need to cover your hearth somehow, whether that be with cushions or hearth guards that you remove when using the fireplace.
Don’t forget to move any fire pokers or other tools out of reach of children. It’s best to keep them in a closet when you’re not using them.
Step 4: Purchase the Essentials
Now that you’ve taken note of all the potential hazards in your living room, including the furniture, television, and fireplace, it’s time to go shopping. Remember that babies and toddlers will get into absolutely anything they can reach, meaning you need to address outlets, doorknobs, cabinets, etc.
Purchase outlet covers for every outlet in the room, as well as doorknob covers for any closets, exterior doors, or other rooms you don’t want your little one exploring alone.
Baby gates will be your best friend during this process. Considering picking up a few to have handy when you need to block a doorway or create a playpen.
If you have any cabinets or drawers in your living room, get some safety locks to prevent baby from pinching their fingers or getting into things they shouldn’t.
Step 5: Begin Babyproofing
You know the dangers, you have at least some of your tools, start babyproofing! This can be a time-consuming task, but being thorough is key to your baby’s safety. If you’re concerned about ruining the aesthetic of your home, don’t worry, we have tips for you below!
Soften the Edges
Consult your list to ensure that you aren’t missing anything and get to work softening any edges or corners. You can invest in corner protectors or edge guards, but there are more budget-friendly options available as well. These include using foam pipe or pool noodles to cover any sharp edges.
Read here to learn more about the importance of corner protectors and how to use them.
Remove Hazards and Clear Clutter
Any wobbly furniture items that you weren’t able to secure should be removed. You don’t have to get rid of them completely, as your little one won’t be little forever! But any potted plants, floor lamps, and breakables should be moved out of the living room or at least out of the designated baby area.
You should also clear away any clutter on flat surfaces. Small decorative items will draw the attention of your baby and should be stored out of sight or out of reach.
Add a Rug
If you have hard floorings, such as hardwood or tile, consider laying down a rug to prevent injury with the inevitable slips and falls. Non-slip rugs are preferable, but if you already have a rug or fall in love with one that isn’t, get a rug pad to lay beneath it.
With particularly large rugs, it may be more cost-effective to get rug grips for the corners rather than a full-size pad.
Bonus Step: Babyproof in Style
While babyproofing is necessary, the devices sold to do so aren’t exactly chic. On the contrary, many of them are clunky and stick out like a sore thumb in your beautifully decorated home. With the use of a few tricks, however, you can make babyproofing a little more fashionable.
Go with Soft and Stylish Items
Soft doesn’t mean unattractive! Fill your living room with throw pillows to cover cords and draw your baby’s attention away from plants and other hazards. Although houseplants offer many benefits to your home, they should be kept away from your baby.
If you can fit it into your budget, replace your coffee table with a cloth ottoman. Instead of a piece of wood with harsh edges, you’ll have a giant cushion in the middle of your living room!
Use Baskets to Your Benefit
Baskets are a fantastic tool. They can be used for storing baby toys and hiding electronics while adding a pop of color or a bit of texture to your decor.
These are especially useful if you have open shelves or an open entertainment center. Instead of purchasing new furniture, just buy some baskets to store any hazards out of sight!
Baby Proof Furniture to Keep Your Little One Safe
Ensuring you have baby proof furniture will take some time and effort, but will be well worth it when you can rest assured that your baby is safe in your home.
Before you ever hit the store, take thorough notes on everything in your living room that could pose a threat to your baby. Then decide which things you will relocate, which you will replace with a different piece, and to which you will add guards. Once you have that down, it’s time to get started babyproofing.
Looking for more tips on creating the ideal environment for your children? Be sure to check out our blog!