The arrival of a new baby is an exciting time in your family’s life, but one that can also be a little daunting! There’s a lot to organise, and one of the things you might not have high on your priority list will be baby-proofing your home. After all, a newborn doesn’t do much more than feed, need changing and sleep, right? But it won’t be long before your baby is, crawling, then cruising and walking – and that’s when the fun really starts. If you follow our simple guide to baby-proofing your home, you’ll be able to enjoy every milestone of your baby’s first year in comfort and safety. We’ll go through each room, step by step.
If you’re asking yourself this question, then the short answer is now! If you have the time, it’s best to get all the baby-proofing out of the way so you can relax and concentrate on the wonderful - if time-consuming - business of bringing up your infant. You may find you have a burst of energy during your second trimester of pregnancy. If your little one is already here, then try to finish before she or he is mobile. You’d be surprised how fast a baby can move even if they’re only rolling around! Once your baby can travel, you’ll need to be extra vigilant and not leave them, even for a second or two.
Before we go through your home room by room, there are some general rules to follow. Our biggest tip is to be at baby’s level, even if it means getting down onto the floor and crawling around the carpet! In that way, you’ll have an infant’s eye-view and hopefully spot any potential hazards.
While we’ll show you what’s important in specific rooms in a moment, there are some general tips. Some of the provisions you may want to make include:
This is sensible advice, not just for the baby, but for you. If you’re half asleep and carrying a wriggling infant, you’ll be glad your floor is in its best and safest condition, so you don’t trip or fall.
There are plenty of products available to cover sharp edges or corners, but if you want to go down the DIY route you could also use:
Once you’ve installed the cot and the changing table, give the room a once-over as if you’re your baby’s eye view. Questions to ask yourself include:
We won’t patronise you by reminding you to hide the knives and keep your baby away from the oven – if you’ve followed our general tips above, you’ve probably got the room mostly secure anyway. However, do think about the following:
The same rules apply. Once you’ve had a good investigation of possible hazard spots, double-check there are no open drawers, sharp edges, or low-down cupboards and of course, never leave your child unattended in the bath, even for a couple of seconds.
You may want to refresh your flooring in this room. It’s often somewhere that needs a little more love, and once the baby is enjoying splashing about in the tub, you won’t regret finding a water, slip and moisture-resistant luxury vinyl in a timeless herringbone pattern that you can wipe and know it’ll stay dry and looking good for years to come.
There isn’t a hard and fast rule about when. You’ll realise as your baby develops what they gravitate towards – some toddlers adore throwing things down the toilet, so you may need to invest in a lockable lid on the loo seat. Other little ones might get obsessed with the dustpan and brush or the sound of the vacuum; so that might mean putting a catch on a specific cupboard. Once your child is confident at toddling, you may need to keep the chain on the front door so they don’t escape! When you need to remove any shop-bought baby-proofing, simply remove it according to the manufacturer’s instructions.
At this exciting stage of your life, perhaps it’s time for a makeover before your new arrival. Pop into your local Tapi store and a friendly, expert floorologist will be glad to talk you through what you need and what’ll work best for your home. Or, if you’re not able to go to the showroom, let us bring our floors to yours with a free home visit. If you have a particular room in mind and what to imagine what a new carpet or laminate will look like, then try our PictureIt Visualiser too. Alternatively, for more home inspiration for your little ones, take a look at our guides on creating a playroom, and tips for creating an animal-themed nursery.