baby proofing 101

baby proof

over the past few weeks i’ve become increasingly concerned with baby proofing, and by “concerned” i mean obsessed. maybe i’m just tired of chasing my son around the house and saying “don’t touch!” or maybe i am tired of keeping literally everything that i own on the few pieces of furniture that are above hip level or have doors. i have been wishing that i could get into a time machine, go back, and buy completely different furniture than what i have. baby proofing is one of the big “just figure it out” things in parenthood. there are a bunch of plastic thingies on sale on the internet but no real instruction manual on how to wrap up all the valuable and dangerous items. here’s a list for anyone who is pulling their graying hair out, like me.

  1.  don’t kid yourself that this “essentials” kit will cover it, but it does help a little. it has door knob covers for when they are walking, cabinet/drawer locks that you have to screw in (because the adhesive ones pop right off), and some of those electrical outlet plugs.
  2. speaking of outlet plugs, these band-aid shaped ouchlets are adorable. i really like these chord shortening ones that you can wind extra chord inside to keep babies out and off.
  3. for heavier cabinet doors i like these magnetic locks. they are pricey but keep the doors completely closed and hold tight. on the other end are these adhesive latches from ikea that can be put on the outside of drawers or doors to keep from opening. good for when you are on the millionth dresser drawer and don’t want to drill. for side by side cabinet doors i’ve tried them all and i prefer these simple grip n go locks. ikea also makes these cheap, simple finger guards for doors to keep them from slamming shut on babes.
  4. for sharp edges we’ve tried all of the corner bumpers and the adhesive corner covers were a bust. my baby popped them right off and chewed on them. we wound up getting rid of our coffee table because we couldn’t keep anything on it anyway. these foam cushion kits line the entire table, and seem to be the most effective.
  5. you’ll also need furniture straps to keep babies from pulling over shelves, tables, and televisions.
  6. for the bathroom there are a lot of fancy toilet seat locks, but this simple one is fine for me.  there is also the bath spout, which babies can knock their little heads into. this little submarine spout cover is real cute, and cheap too.
  7. back in the kitchen, you’ll need an oven lock to keep baby from pulling down the door, and if your stove knobs are low enough to reach, some knob covers.
  8. baby gates are a mom’s best friend. we happen to live in an old, old house that does not have even door frames, so spring loaded baby gates don’t work for us. we’ve also found that we need flexible gates to use them to block off plants, record and bookshelves. i like this gate because it allows for odd shaping, adjusts to angled doorways, and it is mounted to the wall for sturdiness. if you have stairs, you’ll need a rail guard to keep babies from sliding through railings.

now on to furniture. i see lots of parents “asking the experts” about how to baby proof their furniture. what about my books and records? and my beautiful antique settee? i always hear the same answer: kiss it goodbye. as sick as i am of ikea, it seems to be a necessary evil for parents. so here are some furniture pieces i like, some because of cheapness, but all because of baby proof-ness, and they aren’t even ugly!

  1. this sofa from ikea has rounded arms so baby won’t go boom, the fabric is a very stain friendly dark gray, and the cover can be removed and machine washed.
  2. as you already know, dear reader, i am totally crazy for mid-century sideboards. i’m a huge fan of sideboards for keeping television and stereos on because they are higher up than most media cabinets. ikea has one of their own, for probably the best price you’ll find out there. it’s best feature is those lovely baby proof-able doors to hide all your junk. ikea also has these industrial era influenced cabinets that have locking doors. comes with a key.
  3. keeping up with my mid-century theme, i’m also a huge fan of teak credenzas or bookshelves because of their lovely closed doors at baby level. a couple of investment pieces that will still keep baby at bay are this vintage credenza from dot and bo, and these great shelves from west elm that can build a whole unit. they also have open shelving up top so you can still show off some of your cool knink knacks.
  4. speaking of showing off your knick knacks, i love industrial looking display cases that have locking doors, but are glass so you can still show it off. ikea has two options: a smaller one in a pretty sage green, and this larger one.
  5. wall mounting is kinda your new best friend when you have littles. urban outfitters has some cool wall shelf alternatives, like this geo triangle shelf. of course ikea has lots of wall shelf options, i like these simple shelves that are just $12.99. ikea also has these cool industrial lamps that clamp onto windowsills or can be mounted onto walls, to keep babies from pulling on lamps.
  6. lastly dressers. lord knows babies love to play with drawers. target has this mid-century style dresser that doesn’t have handles for babies to pull out and up on. for only $155, you can’t beat it.

all right, best of luck with all of this madness.

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