How To Baby-Proof Your Home So It Is Safe And Stylish

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There's a lot of information out there about preparing for a new baby. There are tips and suggestions for everything from formula and baby food to car seats and what pacifiers to use. It can feel overwhelming when the responsibilities begin to add up. The last worry any parent needs is whether their baby is safe in their home.

The good news is that baby-proofing your home is something that you can do ahead of time with a bit of preparation. You can begin the process before bringing your newborn home and reassess when they start walking and reach other milestones. According to Today, baby-proofing is more about your feelings and intuition regarding safety. It's not all about the newest products that target overwhelmed parents and nervous first-timers. A few simple steps can make your home much safer and bring you peace of mind. However, safety doesn't mean you have to sacrifice all your style. It's possible to avoid clunky plastic baby gates and other unattractive child locks and still keep your little ones safe when you prepare.

The hidden dangers in your home will likely reveal themselves when you start looking through the eyes of a curious baby. Everything from window films to stylish baby gates and decorative fireplace covers can keep your baby safe but also be a cohesive extension of your decor. Check out these simple, yet game-changing tips to make your home more kid-friendly safely and stylishly that will exceed all your expectations while checking another task off your to-do list.

The many benefits of baby-proofing

You may be asking yourself if baby-proofing is really necessary. After all, your baby won't be walking or climbing when you first bring them home. When staring down at your carefully swaddled newborn, it may seem like baby-proofing, locking cabinets, and moving your breakables out of sight can wait. However, there are more than a few benefits of baby-proofing early, and one is that you can consider your style.

According to SafetyNook, being proactive and identifying risks will not only put your mind at ease but will eliminate as many dangers as possible. Babies are curious; they will investigate, put things in their mouths, use shelves and chairs to pull themselves up, and inevitably bump into and knock things over. Spending some time to consider the dangers will provide a safe and encouraging environment for little ones that you can still love and enjoy.

Washable rugs, stain-resistant fabrics, no-show locks, and other precautions can help keep your home the stylish sanctuary it has always been and reduce the need to replace items and furniture when spills and accidents happen. Peace of mind when it comes to your loved ones and belongings goes a long way in the midst of stress and exhaustion. There are plenty of things to worry about with a newborn. If you can eliminate a few of those concerns early on, it frees up time and resources to deal with other issues.

Stylish baby gates to match your decor

Baby gates are often used at the top or bottom of stairs to prevent curious babies from venturing where it's not safe. Stylish baby gates can be tempting, but it's important to conduct the proper research and to avoid baby gate-related injuries. According to Nationwide Children's Hospital, it's not uncommon to find yourself in the emergency room when baby gates are climbed, knocked over, or pulled down. Gates secured with hardware are always preferable to ones that can be easily moved in and out of doorways. 

Baby gates can be so much more than clunky plastic and boring colors. They can match or even add to your existing decor. Find a gate that offers prints such as stripes or one in a bold hue that will complement the rest of the room. Or you can keep it simple by choosing a clean, neutral gate that will blend in with quieter aesthetics, such as minimalism and farmhouse. The Wall to Wall Baby Gate from The Stair Barrier is a perfect example of such a gate since it comes in 13 different prints and colors, allowing you to choose the one that best fits your aesthetic.

With the right baby gate, you can keep certain rooms (such as bathrooms and kitchens) off limits, or you can keep your wandering toddler from sneaking outside when you're not looking. Additionally, these gates can be easy for you and other adults to navigate. Climbing over gates and battling confusing locks is not a hassle that new parents must worry about.

Purchase the Wall to Wall Baby Gate from The Stair Barrier starting at $229.99.

No-show, hidden door and cabinet locks

Cabinet doors, outside doors, toilets, stoves, refrigerators, and other areas of your home cannot simply be removed or replaced with a safer item. They cannot be switched out or stowed in the attic, so a few safety locks are necessary to keep your baby's fingers and toes safe. If you've spent time, money, and energy on your home, as most people have, the last thing they want is to add an unattractive hunk of plastic to your decor or even ruin your carefully curated space. According to DIY Playbook, you can instead turn to no-show safety latches, which are easy to install, don't cost a fortune, and won't damage your cabinets or other furniture. These latches are installed inside the cabinet, hiding them from view. You can easily get them anywhere, such as these locks from Amazon.

Kitchen cabinets that are full of heavy cookware, sharp knives, and even electrical appliances are not a safe play area for babies. In addition, bathroom cabinets can contain dangerous chemicals, razors, and other heavy objects, and it's best to keep those inaccessible. Why not keep these areas out of reach with no-show safety locks that do nothing to interfere with your aesthetic?

Purchase Cabinet Locks Child Safety Latches (8 Pack) from Amazon starting at $8.99.

Washable and stain-resistant carpets

Once your baby discovers the excitement of walking on their own, they will undoubtedly be challenging to keep up with. You'll be chasing after them all over the house, which inevitably means more spills, trips, and tumbles. If you're feeling extra ambitious, you may want to plan ahead and invest in stain-resistant or washable rugs. (Don't forget the non-slip pads for underneath areas rugs!) Stains are going to happen with a newborn or toddler. The good news is that there are endless options for stain-resistant carpets and washable rugs that are just as stylish and eye-catching as traditional ones.

According to Flooring Stores, coatings and fibers make certain brands less susceptible to common stains and come in all your favorite colors. But while these rugs handle dirt better than traditional alternatives, that doesn't mean they are invincible. If you don't clean a spill immediately, the stain will settle into the fiber like in other carpets.

If you're looking for a more resilient option with even more designs and patterns, consider investing in washable rugs. Washing a rug can often be a lengthy or expensive job, but not when it comes to washable rugs that are easily tossed in the washing machine. Add a little festivity or style to any room, and don't worry about the hassle of renting a carpet cleaner or hiring a professional to keep them pristine. Washable rugs often come in two pieces, a non-slip rug pad and the washable, changeable cover (via Ruggable). This makes changing your style and cleaning a simple process.

Purchase Jungle Safari Multicolor Rug from Ruggable starting at $319.

Stain-resistant fabrics

Spills, tumbles, accidents, and mishaps are expected with a newborn or toddler. This means that spilled milk, stray finger paints, and forgotten snacks are just about inevitable, and this is where stain-resistant fabrics can save the day. According to New Image Upholstery, stain-resistant fabrics work because stains aren't absorbed immediately, allowing you to wipe away the mess before it rings your pillows, couches, chairs, and other furniture. 

You can either buy new furniture with these fabrics or swap out old upholstery with these new, high-performing options. You can take your couch or chairs to a professional upholsterer, but if you aren't afraid of a DIY challenge, you can buy these fabrics directly in places like Joann and make the change yourself. For example, the Endurepel Fletcher Stain Resistant Fabric comes in three color options — gray, white, and turquoise — and gives furniture a faux-linen look.

Purchase Endurepel Fletcher Stain Resistant Fabrics from Joann starting at $54.99.

Static cling window tint is perfect for nap time

Newborns and toddlers often settle in for naptime while the sun is still high. It can be difficult to get babies to settle down for a rest in the middle of the day, and it only gets harder when the room is too brightly lit. Static cling window films are a stylish and decorative way to tint your windows and keep out wandering eyes without the need for dangerous cords and strings. According to Lowes, the film is an easy DIY project that is rental-friendly since it doesn't damage the window. Static cling films are applied with water and safely pull away when you're ready to remove them. These films can give your space a clean, polished look without limiting your room design. You can still easily open and close your windows or add curtains on top.

The many options for static cling film can satisfy the decorator in you and add a little something to your space. Keep your nursery simple with tinted or foggy film, or be bold and introduce some rainbow designs, colorful florals, or modern geomatics. The possibilities are endless.

Purchase Coavas Window Privacy Film from Amazon starting at $13.99.

Aesthetic fireplace covers

Fire seems like a no-brainer when it comes to baby-proofing, but that doesn't mean you have to abandon style for safety. A fireplace can create a cozy and warm atmosphere, perfect for snuggling up on the couch and keeping everyone toasty. However, a wood-burning or gas fireplace still poses a risk for babies and toddlers.

A fireplace screen is great for a simple, elegant look, but a free-standing screen isn't quite enough when it comes to an open flame. According to Fireplace Universe, the right fireplace cover will protect wandering fingers from open flames and keep hot ash and embers from escaping onto carpets and flooring where they can cause damage or be stepped on.

Fireplace covers secured to the hearth with either brackets, magnets, or screws are a better option, such as this wrought iron one with scrollwork from Amazon. Investing in one that closes firmly and can be locked is also important. However, be careful, as metal covers can get hot enough to the touch to burn. This is why a fireplace gate may also be necessary. These are designed to enclose your fireplace and keep babies, toddlers, and even pets at a safe distance. But again, these do not have to be unattractive. Choose a gate with some style! A nice pattern or neutral color will go nicely with your decor, or see-through options allow you to enjoy the sight of the fire safely.

Purchase Plow & Hearth Scrollwork Small Fireplace Screen with Hinged Doors from Amazon starting at $214.

Add extra shelving and keep items off the floor

Don't stow and hide away your favorite breakables because you are worried they will get knocked over. Getting items off the floor and out of reach can be achieved by adding some extra shelving. You may think you don't have any space for extra shelving, but there are many places to squeeze in a few small ledges. If you can safely move your breakables, art, and other valuable items out of the way, you can still enjoy them and keep your babies safe.

Above-the-door shelving is an often overlooked way to squeeze in some more storage, according to Live Simply. You can really go big here or keep it small. A simple floating shelf like this Bayka one from Amazon above your door and near the ceiling can be a great way to display books and breakables, but don't forget the step ladder you'll need to reach up there.

Consider behind the couch shelves. Whether it's a skinny ledge or a slim table slipped behind the couch, just that little extra space can keep water glasses, remotes, phones, and other knick-knacks out of the way. Use the sides of your bookshelves and furniture. Add a simple hanging or floating shelf to your bookshelf's side for small items you want to keep safe. Even small spaces can offer a safe area for your art and valuables.

Purchase BAYKA Wall Shelves for Bedroom Decor from Amazon starting at $21.98.

Keep plants out of reach with hanging planters

Baby fingers can damage plants, and they can also be dangerous if ingested or flipped over. The best solution is to keep your plants high up and out of baby hands. According to Home Depot, the process of hanging planters from the ceiling isn't complicated and can be achieved with a power drill and ceiling hooks. Just a few steps can create a gorgeous display of planters that will be safe and out of the way.

You can hang a set of ceramic planters like these timeless ones from Target, or play with vintage-inspired macrame planters, which can be inexpensive and aesthetically pleasing. The best part is that most of your planters can securely fit into the woven ropes, and you won't have to do much repotting. Find a hook that simply blends into the background, or choose an embellished style that will add to your decor. This is yet another easy way to baby-proof your home and remain stylish.

Purchase a Set of Four 4" x 4" Hanging Stoneware Planters from Target starting from $58.

Baby-proof the bathtub

Bathtime can be full of giggles and bubbles, but anytime water is involved, precautions are necessary. There are several ways you can revamp the bathtub and create a safe and stylish environment for your baby. If you start baby-proofing early, you can test and try what works and determine as you go what needs adjusting, according to Mom Loves Best.

Squeaky clean tubs can be very slippery, especially for a baby who is just learning to walk or working on balance. Non-slip bath mats and stickers can help prevent dangerous slips while getting in and out of the tub. Bath mats don't have to be clunky and unattractive. Choose a soothing color like this seafoam one from Amazon that will match your existing decor. Or get creative with non-slip bath stickers that can depict flowers, animals, rainbows, and other kid-friendly choices. Next, choose a festive or fun shower curtain that can easily be pulled closed to hide toys and faucet protectors that may not match your decor.

Purchase YINENN Bath Tub Shower Mat 40 x 16 Inch from Amazon starting at $16.99.

TV straps to prevent tipping

A large TV can be much heavier than you expect, but they are still surprisingly easy to tip or knock over, especially when you have a baby who is learning to walk or a rambunctious toddler. According to the Consumer Product Safety Commission, from 2017 to 2019, an estimated 25,500 TV and TV furniture-related injuries were treated in the emergency room.

Wall mounts can be tricky, and can sometimes make furniture even more dangerous when not installed correctly. Television wall straps are an easier alternative. These typically screw into the back of furniture or directly to the wall and then attach brackets to the back of the television, shelves, and other furniture. The straps can then be adjusted and tightened to keep the TV or appliance from tipping. Screws and brackets keep the items from falling over if the furniture is unstable. These prevent injury, and they protect your TVs and appliances from damage. These wall straps are great because they are safe and do not interfere with the look or decor of your home. They are hidden from plain sight behind the TV, furniture, or other appliance.

Purchase WALI Anti-Tip Straps (TAS001), 2 Pack from Amazon starting at $12.99.