If you are a true-blue homie, you’d know that I just had a baby. That’s right – I was THAT pregnant host. There’s nothing like hosting live property shows, giving home tours and shooting at new launch condos hauling a giant belly all around Singapore. I apologize for giving all of you a front-row seat to a (very) uncomfortable time of my life! If it makes you feel better, I’m also mortified by the videos.
Now that my precious son is finally here, we are now a family of 4. It’s a happy, exhausting and fulfilling time. Parents know and others have heard: It’s a huge adjustment having a baby – and this isn’t even my first rodeo! We have baby-proofed 3 homes for our first son (we did lots of moving), so thank goodness it isn’t something new we have to deal with.
But if it is something you have to learn from scratch, I know it can be extremely scary. All you want to do is protect your kids from falls, bumps and accidents; who knew your home could be such a hazard?!
So it’s a pleasure for me to share some tips and basic rules of babyproofing I’ve come to find useful, and hopefully, they help you too.
#1: Sharp corners are the enemy
I vividly remember googling those handy rubber corner protectors that every parent should buy to cover up sharp edges of your tabletops. I accidentally clicked on a video showing the aftermath of one poor baby who ran directly into one… I burst into tears and bought about 50.
These handy, cheap, and unassuming little things make corners of your coffee tables, dining tables and countertops way less dangerous. I even put it on the corners of the beds. They’re easy to put on (usually a peel and stick) and can save you the hassle and cost of buying new furniture that’s more child-friendly, like tables that already have rounded corners and edges.
#2: Doors and drawers can be trouble
Isn’t it so exciting when your baby starts being able to crawl, stand up and walk? Wow – what a milestone! Then reality sinks in that something as simple as a door can take your tiny human out. Those fingers are little; we gotta protect them!
Anti-slam door stoppers are on every single door of my home so I don’t have to worry about my kids just slamming the doors on themselves. If you have sliding doors like I do, what I’ve found to be extremely helpful are these cabinet locks that work on other items like drawers and other storage units. So I highly recommend keeping them from being able to get into the (cough) knife drawers and the (shudders) glassware.
If you want something aesthetically less jarring, I love these magnetic cabinet locks that you install on the insides of cabinets, and you just have to hover a magnet over it to open them. Works like a charm! 10/10 recommend.
#3: Stairs beware
I cannot describe to you the sheer FEAR I felt from watching my son charge at the staircase at my parent’s house for the first time. In a matter of 24 hours, we had a full setup of baby gates blocking all the stairways, as well as entrances to the open-concept kitchen.
The wonderful thing now is that these gates come in all lengths and sizes, and you can measure your home and buy what you need. If you move or need to re-adjust anything (like make it into a playpen) you can remove or add more sections to what you already have, so there’s less waste and no need to re-buy anything. Babies cost ENOUGH, am I right?
#4: Balconies and windows don’t have to be super scary
I live on the 18th floor, and the first thing I wondered when I was moving in was, “How could we enjoy the fresh air and al-fresco drinks with a mobile baby?!” After lots of digging, we found that the most economical, flexible option is wire mesh. You can easily install this to cover any gaps, including staircase pillars. Another option is adding these grilles/stainless steel cables that go from top to bottom. These are more expensive and harder to install, though. But hey, is there a price on safety? (Actually, there is. And it’s hefty. But never mind.)
#5: Don’t be afraid to be creative
From one parent to another, it’s stunning how creative you need to be to find ways to protect your kids from themselves. I’ve used yoga mats to wrap my marble table (what if they hit their heads on it!?), bolted lots of stuff to the wall (what if he miraculously has the strength of an adult man and pulls the bookshelf on top of himself?!) and created pillow forts around corners that the playmat doesn’t cover in case they happen to fall in that tiny, uncovered area of the room.
You know what? Do you. DIY whatever you need. Do what makes you think is safest for your child. Do it for peace of mind. Do it even if it looks crazy. Just DO IT.
There’s so much more to cover (literally, doesn’t it seem like EVERYTHING needs to be wrapped in foam?), but you’ll figure out what more needs to be done to your home soon enough. Remember that your HDB flat, condo or landed property is not just any other place – it is the home you and the most precious people in your life grow, play and live. Let’s protect them at all costs.
If you’re looking for a bigger space to accommodate your growing family, let our Super Agents help you find a home in a family-friendly neighbourhood. With schools and daycare centres nearby, and even supermarkets and shopping malls, you can always stay well-stocked with diapers, milk, groceries, and everything you need to keep your tiny human alive.
Or, if you’ve already found a place, you can start planning your home renovation with your kids in mind. And we can help you with that. Let our experienced team of interior designers and contractors design a home that’s perfect for you, your partner, and your kids.
Secure an appointment with any of our Super Agents or Renovation Team by dropping us a message on any of the contact options below or in the chatbox at the bottom, right-hand corner of the screen.
Keep calm, and parent on!
Contributed by Audrey Siek, host and producer at Ohmyhome.