When our daughter started crawling, it became evident that our space was not exactly child-friendly. Baby-safe, sure! But not so much for little movers. We needed to find a solution that kept baby safe, still looked pretty for my home-based business, and could be easily removed when outgrown.
Other than the obvious of baby gates and plug covers, I didn’t really know what else I needed. I could have crawled around the house myself to find the problems—as if I have time for that while keeping up with my little girl!?—so I brought in the big guns. Yup, the first thing they said was to lower that crib…
Gate Maven To The Rescue!
The Safety Mavens are a wife-husband team that helps people keep their babies safe for a living. They help parents purchase, install, and clean car seats (Car Seat Maven) and help childproof homes (Gate Maven) and offer free advice if you’re looking to babyproof on a budget.
Sharalyn came over for a free home safety consultation and told me all the things I needed to do. Literally ALL of them! I received an email by the next day with a written list of all those things (I definitely didn’t remember them all!) and links to where I could purchase everything. As much as I love to shop local, if it is going to be a big box store anyway, Amazon is my friend. No shame!
As much as possible, she even shared tips on things I could do with items I likely had around the house, and a bunch more ideas a-la-cheap. As much as I whole-heartedly agree in “you get what you pay for” and that safety is a spare-no-dollars priority one kind of task, I won’t go out and buy something fancy if I have a perfectly good one at home. For example, I discovered that carabiners work just great as cabinet locks to keep baby from making a mess (buy the meant-for-it tool for things like chemicals though!) and command strips work great to keep frames and shelves on the wall even if little hands pull at them.
Once all of my items had arrived, Adrian came to install the gates. He came equipped with all the tools required, and all of the mounting hardware as well to ensure an even fit on all of my “what were they thinking” walls. He showed me how to use the gates, how to remove them (yup, those suckers have removable doors so that I can pop them off when clients come over!), and how to safely store the little bits while they are off—super important not to lose that spring! And he even brought his own vacuum to clean up after he was done working. Top-notch service, I’d say. We opted to install all of our own outlet covers, but they totally would have done it if we needed them to. The same goes for pretty much any of the products they recommend.
These gates speak for themselves in terms of the pretty + functional I was referring to, and you can see what a great installation job was done on them. These are hardware-mounted gates, which means there is no floor piece to trip on and no amount of human pushing would knock them out of place (hazard of pressure gates). These KidCo baby gates came highly recommended by the professional safety duo and other moms, mostly because of the angle-mount which means they can be installed on almost any type of opening due to the unique swivels (and the quick-release doors!).
As for the outlets, we got a combination of plates, slide-covers, boxes, and caps (individual plugs) based on where it was and how often we use them. For example, we put a plate cover (no holes) behind her crib, a box over the monitor and sound machine plugs, plug covers on outlets where we use one but not the other all of the time, and slide-covers for outlets that we use often.
Ultimately, we decided to make the kitchen a baby-free zone where we only carry her in to put her in her high-chair for meals, so that we didn’t need to worry about all of the drawers and appliances. The standard pressure gate at the entrance keeps her out.
Reminders For Everyone
Every home is different so make sure you’ve got all your bases covered. Don’t forget the laundry room and the kitchen because they have the most dangers, but also don’t forget the sneaky nursery dresser that can topple onto baby if not tethered to the wall. Simple, but potentially lethal. Overwhelmed like I was? Give the Safety Mavens a call and they will come to your Ottawa home for a free consultation (installations also available in Toronto). Seriously, no catch!
Cheers!Yes, there are a couple affiliate links in the post, but they are to things I would have linked to anyway, but figured this way I could make a few extra cents towards the cost of motherhood—it ain’t cheap! Thank you for any support you can offer.