6 Helpful and Stylish Ways to Baby Proof Your Home
Once upon a time, you decorated your home just for you — and the rest of the grown-ups in your life. There was no need to think about sharp corners, steep steps or unused plugs. Instead, it was all about style.
Now, of course, everything has changed.
With all the joy that comes with a baby on the way — or, with a squidgy newborn in your midst — you know there are elements to your home design that will no longer work for your growing family. You may think this means you have to say goodbye to that style with which you once enthusiastically decorated your place, but think again: there are ways to baby proof that are just as effective as they are aesthetically pleasing.
Here are six of them:
1. Upholstered Furniture
The ultra-sleek coffee table that was once the centerpiece of your living room is no longer a safe option with a wobbly infant or toddler around. Rather than covering its corners with unsightly plastic bumpers, put it into storage until the kids are a bit older. In the meantime, rest your legs on an upholstered ottoman that doubles as a coffee table. Its soft corners won’t hurt anyone, but it’s still sturdy enough to support your baby as they learn to stand on their little legs.
2. Camouflaged Cords
It doesn’t matter if a cord is running along the floor or dangling from the wall: your baby will want to grab hold of it. This curiosity is a big reason why electrical accouterments are one of the most significant home-based hazards for your little one. So, camouflaging your cords is an excellent solution to your baby’s wandering eyes and, as an added bonus, it will make your room look more put-together, too.
Wire flat-screen TVs and other wall-based appliances behind the drywall to remove any dangling temptations. Use large furniture pieces to your advantage by running long cords behind them so that baby cannot physically access them. You can even purchase classy fabric cord covers to prevent chewing.
3. Flameless Candles
You’re a votive addict, and no one can blame you: candles create a glowing ambiance and waft a soft fragrance into the air, to boot. You don’t want to have an open flame burning in front of a a baby, though, so make the switch to flameless ones that still flicker and create an aroma without the chance of anyone getting hurt.
4. Carpet Tiles or Area Rugs
Those gorgeous hardwoods or stone tiles throughout your home aren’t a soft place to land for a baby learning to crawl or walk. You don’t have to rip them out completely, but you may need to cover them up temporarily with carpet tiles or a set of area rugs.
While the former is a one-off solution, placing multiple area rugs in the same space takes a bit of finesse. You can make things simple by purchasing a few carpets in the same color family, or mix things up by placing two completely different palettes and patterns side-by-side. Either way, you’ll still have a stylish space, and your baby will learn to walk in comfort.
5. Unbreakable Accessories
One little hand plus your glass of water could equal a big crash that’s dangerous and difficult to clean up. Before baby arrives — or has the strength to reach and grab — swap your most precious home accessories and accents for their unbreakable counterparts.
You’ll want to start with your kitchenware. Trade glasses for ones made of acrylic, which, by the way, can be equally as stylish as their breakable counterparts. Your dishes should be okay to use, though you should pick up cute-yet-unbreakable ones for the baby. In the rest of your home, put sturdy items like books and wooden accessories on lower surfaces. You can also decorate with pillows, paper accessories and picture frames filled with Plexiglas.
If you have must-display accessories that are delicate, there’s a solution to that, too: put them on the highest shelf, far away from little ones who might accidentally damage or destroy them.
6. Modern Baby Gate(s)
Finally, your vision of a baby gate is probably a creaky piece of white plastic that boldly stretches across the base or top of a staircase. Fortunately, plenty of designers have realized that most parents don’t like this look; instead, they want something that blends into the landscape a little bit more.
You can find plenty of modern baby gate options, so don’t stop your search at the old school plastic ones of yesteryear. Instead, you’ll find everything from swinging door gates made of natural wood, to retractable gates made of mesh. Yes, they’ll make your home feel a little bit less streamlined than it did before, but anything is better than the clunky baby gates of decades past.
Find Your Safe Style
The above isn’t an exhaustive list of baby proofing to-dos, of course, but they’re the biggest offenders when it comes to your style concerns. With just the right planning, you and your baby can both be happy in a home that’s safe, comfortable and still representative of the style that makes you, you.
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Kacey is a lifestyle blogger for The Drifter Collective, an eclectic lifestyle blog that expresses various forms of style through the influence of culture and the world around us. Kacey graduated with a degree in Communications while working for a lifestyle magazine. She has been able to fully embrace herself with the knowledge of nature, the power of exploring other locations, cultures, and styles, while communicating these endeavors through her passion for writing and expression. Her love for the world around her is portrayed through her visually pleasing, culturally embracing and inspiring posts. You can find her on Twitter, Pinterest and Instagram.