What you once called home is now a baby booby trap. What seem like inconspicuous piece of your furniture and fittings like bookshelves, windows and cords are potential death traps and have baby experts ducking for cover. Babies are curious little creatures and they will find new uses for every gadget in your home – like using your DVD player as a sandwich maker. So for the next 5 – 8 years of your life you’ll be commando crawling around the obstacle course of safety you have embarked on to keep your baby safe.
If you own your own home, you have the liberty of nailing everything down, but in a rental property, landlords generally don’t take too kindly to holes in the walls. Even if you’re not renting, do you really want holes in your walls after your kids are past the younger (more destructive) years?
Here are the top 7 tips for child proofing your home without using a drill or hammer:
1. Avoiding “burnies” from the stove… Ouch!
Unless your child is going to be the next Jamie Oliver or Nigella Lawson, you don’t want them getting near the stove. There are products on the market that don’t require permanent mounting or adhesive tape, yet protect your child from danger. A product called Totshield stove guard is installed and removed instantly, but protects your curious toddler and your stove.
2. No more window ‘pane’.
The once humble window and blinds is now a strangling device for your toddler, or worse, a ledge used as their super hero launching pad. Windows should only be able to open 3 inches, about the height of an adult fist, or they should be fitted with a window guard.
Blind cord winders are terrific gadgets – they wind up excess cord and help to keep dangling cords out of your child’s reach and they don’t interfere with use of blinds. They are simple to use; open them up, insert the cord through the centre slot, snap closed and rotate to the top to wind up excess length.
3. Old mother Hubbard, closed her cupboards…for good!
Every woman wants more cupboard space, but for babies these efficiency savers harbour danger.
There are products on the market that don’t require drilling, adhesive or complicated installation. Products such as cord locks – which are nothing more than a cord you wrap around side by side knobs that is fastened by a push button to release.
4. Falling is never hys-STAIR-rical.
All babies are mountaineers which is why expandable gates were invented. They require nothing more than two flat surfaces to press against, such as the stair banister or wall and they are expandable to a certain length. Pretty simple for adults to manoeuvre, but not so much for the little ones.
5. Anchors down, (baby) bottoms up.
Your baby first steps are one of the greatest moments in your life. Generally babies will leverage off something heavy in your house for balance. Make sure all your furniture is stable and sturdy unfortunately that means getting rid of flimsy items. Alternatively, you will need to use screws to secure items, which means holes in walls, or for renters, getting your landlords permission.
6. ZAP! ZAP!
Plastic outlet plug covers are maybe the best bit of plastic you’ll ever buy. They plug straight into your power point and are entirely flat, making it difficult for your child to grip and pull out. Afro averted!
7. Slide to unlock
Kids work out pretty quickly how to get into smartphones, cupboards and toilets but there are some places that could be so dangerous for any little one. Keep cleaning products and sharp objects behind locked cupboards is such a simple fix but most cupboards don’t have a lock. There are many great products in the market that are simple to install and can help keep little fingers out of naughty places.
Having children is a life-changing event, even if it means you won’t get any sleep for the next 20 years or able to get into the fridge or cupboards to eat, because navigating the baby proofing is harder than it looks! But safety is number one priority so with a few simple gadgets put around the home, you can spend time worrying less about their safety and more time watching Peppa Pig.