We’ve all heard of baby proofing, but what about toddler proofing your home? With so many nurseries and preschools shut during the pandemic, I’m sure there were changes to homes during lockdown up and down the country. We’d been so used to our babies and toddlers being at nursery, having them around during the day while we tried to work from home was extremely challenging, and our homes weren’t quite as toddler proof as we perhaps once thought.
Toddler proofing your home doesn’t just keep your precious child safe, it keeps your expensive decor and furnishing pristine too. After all, the last thing you want is pen all over your satin sofa or milk stains on your beige carpet. Yuk!
But how to toddler proof? Read on for several ways to undertake toddler proofing in your home, so you can sit back and relax while letting the kids run riot.
1. Anchor your furniture to the walls
So many toddlers are injured every year by trying to climb on furniture which isn’t anchored to the wall. The result is the pieces of furniture toppling on top of your child, leaving them with extremely serious injuries.
All furniture can be anchored to the wall, most importantly storage items like Kallax, drawers, TV stands and bedside tables. It may also be a good idea to anchor your TV to the wall too.
2. Keep pens, paint and other crafts locked away
If you want to protect your walls, carpets and soft furnishings from your little human drawing all over them, be sure to keep pens and all other craft bits locked away, out of reach.
How many times have we seen on Mum Facebook groups that a toddler has managed to get hold of a Sharpie or some other equally dangerous tool that emits ink and proudly drawn all over their Mum’s beloved sofa/carpet/newly painted walls?! Too many times! Lock the pens away!
3. Create a routine and boundaries
One of my favourite tips and perhaps the simplest is all about creating routines and boundaries. My kids love playing with playdoh, but do I want it in my carpets? Heck, no! So, I made a boundary, that playdoh can only be used in the dining room, where we have laminate flooring.
Okay, so the first few times the toddler tried numerous times to take the playdoh into the carpeted living room where the TV is and I had to redirect, but after a couple of weeks, he stopped bothering as he knew the routine: playdoh in the dining room, when he needs to watch TV, he can do, but the playdoh stays.
It’s worked a treat with food, when he can have his dummy, where he can do messier sorts of play and ensuring he wears a coat and hat every time we go out. No shouting or nagging needed!
4. Put a baby gate on the stairs
Simple, but an essential item to the list – get a baby gate on the stairs. Two if possible – one at the top and one at the bottom.
Once your toddler starts walking, they’ll be up and down those stairs like a yo-yo. As our toddler gained confidence, we taught him how to get down the stairs on his bum (which he cutely calls weeeee-butt!) but the gate is still needed at the top in case he goes walkies during the night!
We were able to take the bottom gate off a lot sooner thanks to the boundary setting. Felix has never gone up the stairs without one of us being present as that’s just part of the routine!
5. Put edge guards on all your furniture
Every toddler I know has some sort of scar on their head where they’ve bashed it into furniture. Felix is no exception. In August he tripped in the kitchen and went head first into the corner of the kitchen unit, opening up a huge gash on his forehead, which has thankfully shrunk and healed over time.
Edge guards wouldn’t have helped here, but they’re essential for everything else around your home with a sharp corner to protect their eyes and any sharp knocks to their head.
6. Get doorstops for all your doors
Another huge cause of A&E visits in the UK for toddlers is trapped fingers. Ouch! Luckily, doorstops are cheaply available on Amazon to stop doors shutting fully, protecting your little ones fingers from getting crushed. Phew!
I hope this helps you with your toddler proofing! Let me know in the comments if I’ve forgotten anything.