Bringing a young child into your home is a big responsibility, whether you’re having the baby yourself or simply hosting the children of a friend or relative. Children are delightful companions but all the things you can trust an adult not to get into or mess with are exactly what seems most interesting to a toddler who spends their life on the floor and crawling under furniture. Once they start crawling, it becomes vital to completely baby-proof the house from gates on the stairwells to covers on the outlets and everything in between. Close supervision is the best way to keep a child safe, but baby-proofing works too. Indeed, the right environmental preparation can ensure that even if your eyes aren’t on the child 100% of the time, they will have a very hard time finding anything dangerous in your living spaces.
Of course, for green moms who highly value doing everything in a practical and sustainable fashion, you may have noticed that almost all the standard baby-proofing equipment is inefficient plastic in bars or small cover pieces and you don’t look forward to throwing all of it out when your child or children pass the baby-proofing ages. The good news is that responsible parenting and a green lifestyle don’t have to be mutually exclusive. With a little planning, forethought, and minimizing your need for plastic, you can baby-proof your home in safe eco-friendly ways.
Areas to Cover
- Electrical Plugs and Outlets
- Door Locks
- Stairs and ‘Off Limits’ Rooms
- Sharp Corners
- Dustbunnies Under Furniture
- Cleaning Supplies
- Pet Supplies
- Safe Toys and Bedding
Eco-Friendly Baby-Proofing Policies
When you’re working on keeping your home green and preparing it for a delicate little explorer, it’s important to keep your priorities in order. Remember that the safety of your baby comes first which means soft corners, secure locks, and no toxins. If you have to use a plastic latch, clip, or container, do your best to use as little plastic as possible and focus on recycled plastic products. Never settle for perfumed or stylized products when you can find something organic or natural and don’t forget that you can often DIY up a better solution than the ones available in stores.
What to Do About Baby Gates?
One of the first big baby-proofing questions is how to handle room confinement. Most parents and caregivers can handle watching the baby in one or two rooms at a time and everything else needs to be safely blocked off to minimize the possible number of risks. This is especially important if your home has stairs as the baby could get into a dangerous situation starting from the top or bottom and should be supervised until they are two or older on the stairs at all times. Most baby gates are not only a hassle, but they’re made of a pointless amount of plastic. In places where you really need a baby gate, consider buying a natural bamboo tension gate instead. For room control, it might even be worth your while to install a split door where the bottom half acts as an emplaced baby gate.
Outlet Covers and Plug Securing
One of the biggest worries of parents in modern homes is that their children will find a way to make a critical connection between the power in the wall and their little fingers. From halfway pulling out plugs to sticking metal objects in the sockets, it’s important that your home be secure. Unfortunately, the vast majority of socket protectors and outlet covers are plastic and most are not recycled. You have two options to stay green. The first is to only buy as many pieces as you need and carefully keep track of them, passing them on to another mom when your children are old enough to know better, or you can make your own. If you’re handy with whittling, it’s actually not out of the question to carve your own outlet protectors out of wood.
One popular trend is to build little doors around the outlets which may delight children, but can also be made to lock for anyone who doesn’t have a key or possibly a small magnetic release for quick adult use and safely thwarted toddlers. Both the sliding doors and the little mouse door are remarkably adorable options. You can also simply put band-aids over unused outlets if your little ones don’t peel those yet.
Sharp Furniture Corners
The next thing you need to worry about is the fact that toddlers are not 100% stable. Even kids as old as six or seven can fall when running around the house or building pillow forts. Thus, it’s important to have any sharp edges in your living room, kitchen, bathroom, and bedrooms protected with baby-proofing. Unfortunately, the vast majority of the commercially available products are little plastic protectors that don’t actually seem that much softer than the edge of a table. However, the creative parent always triumphs
DIY Baby Protector Ideas
- Pool Noodles Split Long-Ways for Edge
- Tennis Balls Cut to Fit Over Sharp Corners
- Fluffy Scarves Wrapped Around Table Edges
- Socks on Doorknobs
- Rubber Bands Holding Paired Cabined Doors Shut
- Tube-Sock Cable Sleeves
Keeping your baby safe is one of the biggest worries of any parent or caregiver. Even if you vacuum everything, clear out dangerous items, and cover the outlets carefully, there’s always the concern that an adventurous toddler will somehow find something dangerous to play with, fall on, or put into their mouth. The more thinking ahead you can do, the safer your home will be without relying on last-minute plastic solutions. Looking for more ways to enjoy your new Denver home? Contact me via phone at 1-(720)-297-0340 or email or check out the #denverdyllan hashtag on Instagram. I’ll be glad to hear from you and we can talk about how to make your Denver house truly feel like home for the whole family.