The Property Brothers Share Their Tips For Baby-Proofing Your Home

Whether you're awaiting a new addition to your family or have moved and need to start from scratch in a new space, baby-proofing your home can be a bit intimidating. There are just so many things to consider, from built-in elements like the cabinets and windows to storage solutions, such as keeping toxic items in locked cupboards and in higher locations that are out of reach for tiny hands. Not to mention potential appliance-related hazards, like finding a way to ensure those stove burners aren't accidentally turned on. The list goes on, and it's so long that many websites such as Mom Loves Best have even created room-by-room guides and checklists to offer direction to parents.

However, while you want your house to be as safe as possible for your tiniest family members, you also want to be able to enjoy your home and maintain an aesthetic that you love. If the thought of balancing safety and style seems almost impossible, you're in luck. Drew and Jonathan Scott, a.k.a. The Property Brothers, have released a quick YouTube guide on some baby-proofing tips that manage to marry the two key considerations. It's by no means an exhaustive list of baby-proofing needs, but it'll help get you started on the right track. Read on to learn a bit more about making your home safe for little ones and beautiful.

Get creative with your baby gates

While you may have put a lot of time and effort into your baby's nursery, that's not the only part of the house they'll be in, especially when they begin to crawl around. One of the most critical baby-proofing elements is baby gates to prevent accidents near stairs or other similar spaces. Whatever baby gate you choose, you'll want to double-check that it ticks all the safety boxes. As the Childproofing Experts recommend, opt for hardware-mounted gates that can be securely installed, and make sure you have enough for all necessary areas, such as the top and bottom of each flight of stairs.

As per their YouTube video, the Property Brothers suggest considering custom baby gates that serve as a design feature as well as a safety element, blending into the home's existing aesthetic. Whether you go for custom gates or not, you can consider that tip. Once you've narrowed down the gates that will work logistically, take some time to consider their appearance, selecting a shade or style that will work with your home. After all, as the Scott brothers reference in the video, those gates will likely be in your home for quite a few years to come — you want to put some time into selecting the right ones for your space.

Make your home a safe and fun place to play

Once your child can move around a bit and play independently, you'll want to ensure you have a good sightline of where they are. In their baby-proofing tips YouTube video, the Scott brothers highlighted a project they worked on in which a relatively open-concept space was configured in a way where the sightlines were totally unobstructed, with the play zones positioned towards the back end of the room, allowing the parents to watch their child play from anywhere. In tricky spaces, you can use mirrors as an alternate tool for safe sightlines.

A related tip, which is present in a few spaces that the Scott brothers use to showcase what their baby-proofing tips look like in real homes, is to set up low, open storage so that your child can easily access whatever they may want to play with, via YouTube. This format could include something like a child-sized table and chairs for creative projects (or even snack time). It also means considering what is easily reachable by tiny hands — in any space renovated. The Property Brothers opted for a few soft baskets for toy storage, as well as a shelving unit that had open cubbies rather than closed drawers or cabinets. This can also help keep the space stylish, as Mom Loves Best explains, since those storage options can also allow you to quickly and easily tuck toys away when tidying up.

Consider the shape of your furnishings — and secure them

Since you're likely not buying new furniture for every room in your home, you'll want to keep an eye out for any sharp edges and corners that could harm your baby when they're old enough to start wandering around. If you're introducing new pieces, try to find soft and rounded ones. For example, The Property Brothers shared a play space on YouTube that featured a couch with smooth edges and a few round, fabric-covered ottomans — all relatively child-friendly pieces. 

For other pieces in your home, you'll want to invest in plenty of corner or edge guards to help to cushion sharp areas, as Parents explains. There are plenty of products on the market you can just buy and apply to whatever pieces of furniture require the update. However, you can also get creative. For example, Instructables Living has a tutorial that uses pool noodles to soften all the edges of an angular coffee table.

And, whether you have baby-proofed furniture with sharp edges or softer, rounded pieces that are a bit more inherently safe for wandering babies, don't skip the step of anchoring, as Lucie's List warns. While you may have left your furniture unanchored or untethered to anything when it was just adults around, children are constantly exploring, grabbing things, and even climbing on them once they're a bit older. Anchors, straps, brackets, whatever you prefer — just ensure everything is secure.