Whether you’re moving, upsizing, or preparing your existing home for a new arrival, it’s essential that your property is suitably child-friendly. In order to ensure that your little one is kept safe and happy in your home (and to minimise stress and mess), consider taking these easy steps to ‘child-proof’ your property:
Create a nurturing space – No matter the age of your new house guest, it’s essential that you create a nurturing space for them to rest and play – it’s important that your child feels valued as a family member and by establishing their own space, you can help them to build autonomy and self-esteem. Don’t feel that you have to go with boring blues and pinks when decorating the child’s room and try to go with designs that are related to their hobbies and interests – consider making use of fitted wardrobes and multi-purpose furniture to maximise playing space in smaller rooms.
Stain resistant – From fixtures and fittings to flooring and furniture, no surface is safe from messy hands and stains when you’re dealing with younger (and sometimes older!) children and teens. When sprucing up your home to be more child-friendly, opt for stain-resistant surfaces and materials wherever possible, especially in eating areas – this could include easy-wipe leather, easy-wash fabrics, plastic, lino, and tiling. By opting for stain-resistant fittings and upholstery, you could save money on cleaning bills and replacements further down the line.
Staying safe – Perhaps the most important (and often overlooked) element of preparing a child-friendly home is health and safety. Check your home thoroughly for potential risks and eliminate these from the home wherever necessary; ensure that you keep sharp corners covered (if possible, sand and round these off), keep heavy and fragile objects high and well out of reach, and ensure that you install safety gates on entrances to bathrooms, kitchens, and stairs; keep wires and electrical cables hidden away and install child-proof locks on cupboards and drawers for cutlery, chemical containers, and other hazards.
Maximising space – No matter how big or small your home may be, it can quickly feel as though the walls are closing in underneath the weight of toys, strollers, nappies, books, bibs, balls, and baby bottles when you’re looking after a new arrival. To reduce stress, mess and clutter, try to clean up regularly and invest in multi-purpose furniture to maximise storage space. When you’re designing the layout of your child-friendly home, keep space and light in mind – even the positioning of your furniture and a well-placed mirror can go a long way in creating the illusion of extra room. Ensure that your design is not too rigid and that the rooms in your home can be altered or changed as time goes on and your child grows older.