Babyproofing your furniture: All you need to know

When learning to crawl or beginning to walk, your baby will tug on anything he can reach and use it for support. And when he learns how to climb, watch out! He isn’t very strong, but clearly, he’s more trouble than you’d think. Large or heavy bookcases, dressers, and appliances can become real hazards. This is the time to consider safe furniture alternative, rearranging furniture strategically, securing furniture to the wall, and softening those corners.

Toddler climbing on a chair to reach an object on a bench
Photo credit: Pexels

1 Find safe alternatives

Some furniture items can’t be fixed up and keeping them will only lead to injury. This is the case for example of glass cabinets with open shelves (Read about it here). Why take the risk? If you have the means to do so, replace the unsafe furniture. If you cannot afford to replace it, put it away. The good news is that your baby won’t be little forever. Once he is old enough, you can have your furniture back.

I remember, growing up, we had a glass coffee table. The worst safety wise, I know! When my brother was a baby and started to crawl around, my mum removed the coffee table altogether. I know many parents who would choose to do the same.  But how about replacing the coffee table for an ottoman? Many ottomans offer extra storage, and you can rest your feet on top. Not only that, you no longer have to worry about the hard edges the coffee tables have. We’re talking win-win for you and your baby.

Living area showing ottoman, big basket and pillows
Photo credit: Unsplah

2 Strategically arrange your furniture

If your baby is insisting on removing the visible outlet cover in the living room, what can you do? Hide that outlet. You can rearrange your furniture strategically for that purpose. Push that sofa to the right. Put a large basket, a decorative pillow, or any other barrier in front of that outlet. Get creative. Shove things back and forth until you find something that works. Some rearranging can go a long way in creating a safe environment for your baby to enjoy. Remember, once your baby starts to climb, it’s time to re-evaluate your layout.

3 Secure furniture to the wall

Child dangerously climbing a dresser  on the verge of tip-over
Photo credit: Shutterstock

The best way to determine if your furniture can withstand the storm, aka your baby, is to try it out yourself. The furniture could be anything, a dresser, a shoe cabinet, a file cabinet, a bookcase …

Shake the furniture using the force your baby has or will develop in the future. Throw your body weight partially at it. Does the furniture tip easily? Can it be pulled over? If yes, then it must be secured. Follow these tips:

  • Bolt whatever you can to the wall.
  • Keep dresser drawers closed when you’re not using them – they make perfect ladders.
  • Always put heavier items on bottom shelves and in bottom drawers to make furniture less top-heavy.

4 Soften corners and edges

Furniture corners and edges are another common hazard. When your baby begins to crawl, stand, or walk, he’s going to be falling and tumbling a lot. This means he could bump his head into corners and sharp edges. To prevent cuts and bruises and protect your baby, it’s time to soften those.

Identify danger zones

First, it’s important to identify the danger zones. Run your hand over every edge and sharp corner and make note of the ones that seem hazardous. Now that first step is completed, it’s time to act. There are lots of options in the market. If you are searching online, try any of those keywords: corner bumper, corner protector, corner padding or edge guard.

Corner and edge guards

How to choose the best corner and edge guards ?

There are two factors to consider mainly, effectiveness and esthetics:

Esthetics

Nowadays, corner and edge guards have come a long way from the hideous ones that were originally available in the market in the early days. If you look around enough, I’m sure you can find something that can blend in with your furniture. I went for something totally transparent but that can protect my baby and is not an eyesore at the same time.

Effectiveness

Ensure the solution you choose is non-toxic, durable and has high-power adhesive, which covers the entire interior. Don’t underestimate the strength and willpower of a child who sets his mind  on removing the corner guards. I know mine tried hard. On the rare occasions where he did succeed in removing the corner guards, all I had to do, is re-apply the extra adhesives that came along with the corner guards.

I put a link down below to the corner guard I installed in my place (not affiliated).

How did you babyproof your furniture? Don’t forget to share your experience in the comments below!

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