Baby proof: how do we make our flat child-friendly?

October 12, 2012

Eliza and the magnetic attraction of the TV unitHaving spent much of the last week retrieving an increasingly mobile baby from lurching towards the fireplace, TV unit and the underneath of our chairs, Alex and I recently closed ranks and launched operation baby-proof the flat. We had to step it up a pace this week when she learned to crawl forwards – not backwards – and then learned to crawl forwards in double-quick time, all in the space of a day and a half. Our house has become her brand new assault course, where she spies an unsuitable target in the distance and then just will not stop until she gets her hands on it (or until a parent scoops her up and halts her mission).

We live in the top floor of an old building that’s been converted into flats, like a lot of London properties. The potential for baby danger wasn’t really showing up on our radar when we bought it two and a half years ago, back when having babies was still a vague concept that you know, *other people* did.

So while it’s lovely, it’s  not the most child-friendly of places; here’s what would be keeping me awake at night, if I didn’t fall into a sleep coma the minute my head hit the pillow every evening:

  • Our old-school coal fire: this gets a lot of use in winter so a fireguard is essential (but all the ones I’ve seen are so ugly, like a cross between a chicken coop and a dangerous dog cage. I know we need to bite the bullet and get one but surely someone must have designed a slightly stylish one? We’re already living with the Jumperoo…)
  • While we have no internal steps or stairs, there are open bannisters on our external landing, eek. There’s a front door – and a parent – in the way but how do we make it safe for just in case, if there’s ever an off-our-guard moment?
  • At the moment we’re letting her roam around within reason – while I keep a really, really close eye on her – and we have beautiful but rickety floorboards. What if she catches herself on a loose nail or uneven edge we haven’t taped up?

Along with all that, we bought a baby-proofing kit with plug socket covers, drawer and cupboard door clips and so on. We’ve moved everything she could possibly set her sights on up from floor level. The plant from our living room has been banished to the chilly midst of the outside hall, and we have a stair gate barricading the kitchen door.

I’ve written before about parenting worry, and I think from everyone’s response to that blog post says that it will never go away. But this is a worry; is there anything really obvious we’ve forgotten? I guess we’ll find it all out as we go along…although if you have any tips then that would be great.

Also, apologies for the very boring nature of this blog post; parenting, it really is rock and roll.


  • PhotoPuddle

    October 14, 2012 at 7:37 am

    We’re going to have to start baby proofing our house soon as out son is nearly six months. We already have a nearly four year old daughter so you would have thought our house was already pretty safe but actually there’s still lots to do. For example there are so many of my daighter’s little tiny toys lying around. You know the stuff that four year olds have, Lego pieces, barbie accessories and free stuff from Cbeebies magazine. And of course the stair gates are all going back on.

  • Jane

    October 16, 2012 at 9:48 pm

    oh the joy of baby proofing, we have a huge ugly fire gate – still better than alternative! xxxx

    1. gillian

      October 18, 2012 at 8:54 pm

      Ours just arrived! Just in time as she’s picking up speed and becoming really curious 🙂 x

  • Eliza, eight months |

    October 23, 2012 at 1:01 pm

    […] we’ve done a mammoth amount of child-proofing this month, as well as lower the cot after she figured out that she could stand up in it. […]

  • How to child-proof your home |

    November 28, 2012 at 5:51 pm

    […] my previous post, this means we’ve also become masters of moving furniture and making everything safe – so […]

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