One of the biggest worries that my wife and I faced leading up to the birth of our punk rock princess was the house… We had no idea how we could baby-proof or child-proof it to make it safe. After all, I’m sure you can guess that we have a lot of technology in the house, which means a lot of cables. We also have a few bookshelves full of games, books and DVDs. It didn’t really feel like a child-friendly house (this is the old house, by the way).
So we started looking around and finding what we could, but even after my daughter was born, we were still learning. After all, each kid will behave slightly differently, so there really is no catch-all method to make your house safe. However, today’s post is going to look at the most important things that we did, both in the old house and the new one, to make our house child-proof.
Cable Ties Are Your New Best Friend
You’d be surprised how many cable ties we have now. Since we have 6 different consoles in the house, as well as 2 TVs, a NowTV box, computer, Digi-Sat box and more, there are so many cables around here. Add to this the fact that we use Powerline adaptors for the internet, rather than running off Wi-Fi, and you have even more. So, we needed a way to store them safely out of the way.
To do this, we have a wealth of cable ties holding them all neatly together. This means that we can have them bunched up and out of the way, some even nailed into the wall using wall-ties.
The other thing that we have done, specifically in my office/game room, is to modify the furniture to allow the cables to be stowed away. For example, the bookcase that holds my games, as well as the PlayStation and PlayStation 2, sites right next to my computer desk. The computer desk has a hole for cables at the back of the shelves, which is great – the bookcase does not. Or at least, it didn’t. I arranged the bottom two shelves so that they are exactly the right size for both consoles to be used, without giving easy access to the back of the consoles. Then I cut holes in the back of the bookcase for the cables to go through. This means that the cables from everything in my office are stored behind furniture, safely out of the way from my daughter.
So, my biggest tip here would be to stock up on cable ties, even if you don’t have as much technology as we do, and also to not be afraid of altering furniture to improve safety.
Get Those Corners Covered
So much furniture out there has sharp corners… Everything from side tables to bookcases and even some seats and sofas have sharp points on them. So whilst it might seem obvious, it is really important to get them covered up. You can buy soft corner covers from almost anywhere, but we’ve found that Poundstretcher’s ones are really good and very cheap. This is great when you have a lot of furniture, as you’ll need a lot of the covers.
The reason this is important is that, as your child starts to walk and then learns to run, they may not learn to look where they are going very quickly. Our daughter didn’t. So she would often come barreling through the living room whilst looking sideways. This then, more often than not, leads to her tripping over her own feet (even if there isn’t anything on the floor).
That’s why you need to have these corners covered. Your child could fall at almost any time, and these corners can cut them or hurt them in some other way. The covers are really cheap, so I would definitely recommend investing in them.
Secure Your Furniture
Have you ever bought flatpack furniture from IKEA and, when you’re putting it together, notice the anchoring tabs that need to be screwed into the wall? If you’re like we used to be, you probably just laugh it off and ignore those pieces, maybe even throwing them away.
Well, it is time to take not of them. It means that putting up furniture becomes more difficult, but they are there to stop the furniture from falling over if your child climbs on it.
Our daughter loves to try and climb the bookcases (which we don’t allow), but like most children, she moves very fast. As such, these anchor systems have been a life-saver. If you put them into the wall far enough, they can take a lot of weight, meaning that your child becomes instantly safer!
And That’s All Folks
There are, of course, many more things you can do. For example, you shouldn’t trust that turning off a plug socket is enough. Instead, cover them all. And, of course, invest in a few child gates for the kitchen, stairs (top and bottom) and any other areas that need to be closed off. However, these are all pretty obvious ones. I would definitely recommend doing all three of the tips I have mentioned as well, though. Safety for kids, especially babies and toddlers, is really important!
Do you have any other tips for child-proofing your house? Let me know in the comments below!