When I enter someone’s home for the first time, I take a brief moment to take it in and admire it and then I go into mum mode. My eyes flash around the room(s) to take in valuable items, white or cream stainable areas and assess how much damage my child could actually do and where I need to keep them in order to keep this adult friend. Luckily, most of my friends, like me are parents and whilst it is obviously not okay for my child to go and trash their house, a little mess is okay and you can pretty much guarantee it will have all valuable items out of reach and that the majority of surfaces will be wipeable. My other half’s parents have the most gorgeous home, but when walking in with Alyssa one day, I was very aware of how white and shiny everything was! So, what is the key to having a child friendly home? Take a look!
Make it Wipeable
It might sound obvious but you’d be really surprised about the number of things in the home that are NOT child friendly. Soft furnishings like armchairs and sofas… I cannot advise enough against getting beautiful cream, suede sofas, no matter how much they match your theme. Either get one that is wipeable like leather, washable like cotton with removable covers OR get a really dark colour and don’t let them eat yogurt on it…or perhaps invest in a rug doctor spot remover!
Having originally thought myself that carpets were the way to go, as the mother of a now 3 year old, I completely retract that statement. If you can afford to do it go for some durable hardwood or actually laminate flooring works really well too. The key thing here is… you can wipe it. Stains don’t leave a permanently etched mark or odour that will linger for weeks on end. For softness, throw in a few rugs and just check before you buy them that they are machine washable!
Walls. You either have to make a conscious decision to never allow your child any form of artistic outlet through the use of pens, pencils or crayons or when decorating use paints and wallpapers available on the market that are wipeable and child proof! Even without the use of pens, there is food, sticky fingers and all manner of things they can come up with.
Out of Reach
During your pre-childhood life, you probably really loved displaying your treasures, ornaments, photo frames, leaving your glass of water on the coffee table for a moment whilst you stepped out to visit the bathroom…alone. Yeah I’m sorry but those ships have all sailed. You’re okay for the first few months, but the second your child begins to move, everything needs to be out of reach.
As a warning, they learn to climb pretty quickly, so lifting things up to a higher shelf won’t cut it for very long!
Safe and Secure
This might sound again really obvious but once children are on the move, they are going to want to explore. They have absolutely NO sense of fear, which you will soon discover so you really need to make sure it is safe for them to wander round. The use of baby gates can really help as it means they can’t get anywhere too dangerous – I still use one on my kitchen now for when I am cooking and she’s nearly 3! I also use it to stop her from raiding the cake cupboard….yup!
If you have big pieces of furniture like chests of drawers and dressers and wardrobes, you might want to consider using all those brackets you probably chucked in a drawer when installing your furniture originally and just bolting them to the wall. The number of horror stories I have seen of children climbing on and pulling over really heavy furniture is ridiculous. It can leave them with serious injuries or worse and it is something that is easily preventable.
So there you have it, my top 3 tips for making your home child-friendly. Do you have any other good tips that I’ve forgotten?
*This is a collaborative post