I’ve been hesitant to share our personal choice not to go “all out” baby proofing our apartment. When we brought River home from the hospital, we felt bombarded with what the books said was right for our child and our home, things we felt like we should be doing, battling against what we felt was right. Did I mention the old-school family members that were against all my new-age parenting plans? It’s a lot to take in; even now as a mother of two.
I think, as parents, what we need to be aware and sensitive of is this: Not everything works for everyone.
September is safety month, and my friends over at Munchkin asked me to share a few tips on how we keep our apartment and our children safe. As we navigate Universal Pre-K, and tons of other families and new friends, and as I am more active with Oak and a new set of babies, I couldn’t think of a more fitting topic to tackle right now. What works for me might not work for you—and that’s okay.
1. Get rid of your coffee table. It’s functional for coffee and books and maybe for dinner too. But we eventually—reluctantly—gave up our coffee table to accommodate a crawling, walking, and climbing baby boy, not only because it seemed like any fall could be a painful one; but also because living in an apartment means limited space.
2. Cover up your outlets. The task seems silly at times; even a pain to some. But truthfully, real danger lies behind every outlet, and it’s not worth risking. We’ve had these plug covers for some time and find them to be the most attractive, plus the least hassle.
3. Introduce your baby to your plants, not your plants to your baby. If you have floor plants prior to your child’s arrival, leave them. Initially, Oak was very interested in the dirt, especially during the crawling stage. Now he doesn’t even notice them! I think this has a lot to do with them being around since he was born. There is nothing new and fascinating about them. Speaking of dirt, we try to use only natural or homemade products for killing dirt bugs if needed. This makes the dirt-play situation that much easier—just keep your vacuum handy. 😉
4. Keep all lower cabinets locked or not stocked at all. This is a no-brainer for most; but just in case, Munchkin has these cabinet door latches.
5. Bolt lightweight dressers to the wall. This is something I actually didn’t know. Then a friend showed me how, if pulled, our Ikea dresser could totally fall over.
6. Consider rug safety. We’ve learned this the hard way. Many trips and falls later, and we are considering an investment in some new flooring, where we won’t need rugs—or at least purchasing a few rug slips.
7. Always use a bed rail. Oak is still in the crib stage. But River was interested in climbing out of her crib early on, so we switched her to a toddler bed and added a bed rail. Bed rails are invaluable when it comes to sleep safety. I’ve heard some parents say their kids sleep well after a few tumbles off the bed; but I personally am not willing to explore that with either of my kids just yet. So a rail it is.
How do you keep your small space safe?
P.S. We used a lot of gates in our old apartment, which was much wider and had more entry ways. It’s literally the best option when dealing with steps as well.
This post was is in partnership with Munchkin, a company I wholeheartedly support.