How to Baby Proof Your Living Room in Less than a Day
Your perfectly curated living room looks beautiful to adults, but it hides many dangers for your baby. Sharp corners, wobbly furniture, and electrical hazards are just a few of the potential problem areas.
From baby proofing coffee tables to limiting access to certain areas, making your living room safer prevents accidents when your little one becomes mobile.
You have a lot of ground to cover in the living room, but it's possible to handle the baby proofing in a day.
Keep reading to find out how to do it.
Getting Down on a Child's Level
You'll have an easier idea of the potential dangers and temptations if you get down on your child's level.
Sit on the floor in different parts of the living room. Look for things that draw your attention from that level. See what you can reach when you're in that position.
Write down the potential problem areas based on your baby-level assessment.
Baby Proofing Coffee Tables and Sharp Corners
Living rooms often have sharp corners that present a danger. Babies and toddlers who are learning to walk are often unstable. They might fall into those sharp corners, potentially getting seriously injured.
Coffee tables are a major source of sharp corners in living rooms. End tables and other wood furniture are also culprits, as are fireplaces.
Corner guards placed on your tables and other sharp corners can minimize the risk of serious injury. They add cushioning on the corners.
Tables and shelves that you often find in living rooms can tip easily. An average of 12,500 kids went to the emergency room with injuries from furniture tip-overs yearly between 2016 and 2018.
Curious kids might climb or pull on those furniture pieces. Toddlers might use them to pull themselves up to a standing position.
Anchoring furniture pieces to the wall with simple brackets prevents tip-over accidents. Even large pieces that seem stable should be anchored.
Once you have them anchored, consider using baby locks on any cabinet doors. The locks block access to electronics or other items stored in the cabinets.
A quick furniture rearrangement can make the living room safer.
Think about how your child might use furniture to access dangerous areas. A chair positioned by a window could give your child access to push on the screen and fall from the window.
Positioning furniture to cover electrical outlets limits access to prevent your child from sticking things in the outlets.
If you have a floor lamp, consider placing it behind the sofa or other furniture where your child can't reach it. Floor lamps are very unstable and tip easily, so you want to keep your child away from them.
Removing Decorative Items
Candles, bowls, and all the other decorative items you have in your living room add your personal style to the space. But they're also tempting for little kids.
Babies and toddlers will reach for those items to see what they are. Since they're freestanding items, they'll tip easily. They might land on your child's head, foot, or other body parts and cause injury.
Move decorative items well out of your child's reach. Clear up any clutter that's on tables or other low surfaces that are accessible.
Keep in mind how high your child can reach from the sofa or other furniture. Decorative items on a shelf above the sofa might seem safe, but a climbing toddler can easily reach them.
Electronics in the living room also appeal to toddlers. The buttons and lights draw in little fingers.
Just like furniture, TVs can tip over easily. Using a wall bracket to hold the TV in place.
If possible, keep other components locked in cabinets where young kids can't reach them.
Keep cords tucked out of reach of kids. Loose cords can make toddlers trip and can also be a strangulation hazard.
Cover electrical outlets that aren't in use to keep kids from putting things in them.
Changing Window Coverings
If your living room windows have blinds with cords, consider replacing them with cordless varieties. Blind cords post a strangulation risk for young kids with kids between 1 and 4 having the highest risk.
Long curtains can also pose a risk. If your child pulls on the curtains, they might fall down, causing your child to fall. The curtain rod can also fall down and cause injury.
Sometimes you don't want your child to have full access to the living room or to other areas from the living room. If you have a fireplace, you might want to keep your baby away from the area to prevent burns.
A freestanding baby gate can help you block off certain parts of the living room. You might use it around the fireplace or TV to keep your little one at a safe distance.
Installing baby gates on the doors leading into the living room also helps you control access. You can use them to keep your baby in the living room to prevent access to adjoining rooms. They also work to keep your baby out of the living room when you don't want them in that space.
If the living room has a closet or other entryways with doors on them, consider doorknob covers. This allows you to close the door to quickly limit access while preventing your kids from opening the door.
If your living room has hard-surface floors, consider adding rugs to soften the surface. Babies and toddlers fall often when they're learning to walk. The rug offers some cushioning when those falls happen.
Add a skid-proof rug pad underneath the rug to keep it from moving. A rug that slides around can be more of a danger than a help. It could cause your baby to fall down.
Make Your Living Room Safe
After baby proofing coffee tables, electronics, and other potential hazards, your living room is a place where the whole family can gather. Simple changes let you make it a safer place in a day.
Check out all of our baby safety gear to fully baby proof your whole home.