making sure your home is safe for your climbing baby or toddler

We all know that we have to baby-proof when a baby comes along. It is pretty much common sense. It keeps our homes safe, but more importantly, our children.

But what about when you have a climber?

Yes – that is right. A climber. You might have the next mountaineering legend on your hands. How old they are when they start to discover the joy of climbing up on your couch, the windowsill, the kitchen sides or even scaling the stairs when your back is turned depends entirely on your child. Some will do it as soon as they are crawling or bum-shuffling, others wait until they are confident walkers. Some children are not naturally climbers and this is not anything to worry about either – as long as your child is reaching most of their milestones, such as their 8 month old newborn development milestones – there really is no problem if they do not climb everything in sight. Of course, if you are worried about your child’s physical development at all, reach out to your doctor or child health professional.

If you are blessed with a baby climber though, you may be wondering how on earth you are meant to keep them safe from harm while also allowing them to explore and have fun. Here, we share some tips to help you with making your home safe for your climbing baby or toddler.

Image via Unsplash

Super tall baby gates

If you have a younger climber, investing in a set of tall baby gates can be the difference between them staying downstairs where you left them and finding them at the top of the stairs. Opt for stair gates that have vertical bars and no horizontal footholds for them to get onto.

But you should also consider removing the baby gates

Yes, we know this completely contradicts the previous point, but once your child gets to a height where they are able to even attempt climbing up the gate, it is a good idea to take them off. They are incredibly useful for smaller kids, but once they learn to get up and over those, they can be more dangerous than having them on. It is particularly important to take any off at the top of the stairs, to stop them from climbing over and taking a tumble all the way down.

Secure tall furniture to the wall

In fact, secure any furniture that you can to the wall. Bookcases, media centers, shelving units, drawers, dressers and even wardrobes can seem like great fun to a wannabe mountaineer, but they are also very easy to pull over. A heavy bookcase landing on top of a toddler is not a scenario anyone ever wants to experience. Furniture anchors and straps are easily available online and are relatively easy to fit. It really is not worth the risk of not doing it.

Move the ladders and step stools

Ladders and stools are really useful to have around, especially if you are on the short side. There is no need to be climbing on chairs or tables to reach that mug or plate. However, imagine how much fun they are for kids that love climbing?

In the same vein, take care if you have older children with bunk beds or high cabin beds. Children should be at least five before being up on the top bunk. If you do have younger children around who may be tempted by the ladders, consider buying a ladder guard that slides over them when they are not in use.

Think about drawer handles

This is one you might not have thought about, but drawer handles make excellent footholds for a mini mountaineer. If you have a particularly adventurous child, you might want to consider removing them for a while until they have grown out of the climbing.

Locks on cabinets and cupboards

We all know when we have a baby on the move to secure cupboards that are low down to stop little hands from getting into cupboards that they shouldn’t, but we often forget about this as they get bigger. A toddler could climb on the toilet or the side of the bath and reach for the toiletries, medicine cupboard or cleaning cupboard. They might get into your makeup and redecorate your walls with your favourite lipstick, or empty the DVD cabinet and post them through the letterbox. You do not have to lock away everything, but consider what and where they can reach, and the hazards they may pose to your child.

Locks or catches on kitchen appliances

Serious danger awaits climbers who learn how to open household appliances like the washing machine and dryer, as well as the refrigerator and freezer. Installing locks or at the very least catches that deny them entry will put you one step ahead of them. There is nothing quite like a toddler who has discovered the joy of opening and closing the washing machine or tumble dryer, but you do not want them in danger, so do it as soon as possible.

Put covers on the door knobs and handles

The next best solution is to physically keep your climber out of areas with doors, since baby gates may not be able to restrict him or her.

Every handle should have a knob or handle cover on it, and doors should always be closed while exiting a room. This is particularly important for the bathroom, kitchen and utility room – ad definitely any doors leading to the outside of your home.

Keep tables clear

The truth is that you are going to have a hard time keeping your climber away from your table.

The only way to keep your kids from hopping from chair to table is to remove all of your chairs. However, for the vast majority of families, this would be a drastic and highly inconvenient step.

An alternative is to ensure that there is nothing on the table that could tempt them or increase the risk of their actions when they are up there. Tablecloths, glass dishes, and other decorations should be taken down until your child is no longer in this phase.

Consider how safe your stairs are

Depending on your child’s age and the design of your stairwell, this may take a different form.

Is it possible to teach your climber how to go up and down safely in a way that they can understand? Whether or if your stairs are carpeted is an important question. At the bottom of the stairwell, is there concrete, wood, or carpet? Is it possible to install a baby gate that is tall enough to keep your youngster away from the stairs? Consider all of these elements and devise a strategy. No matter how careful you are, it may be necessary to restrict access if the stairwells are too dangerous to use. However, it is possible to teach certain climbers to utilize stairways, so keep this in mind when weighing the risks and rewards.

Create a safe space for them to climb

You are never going to stop them from climbing, so the next best thing is to create a spce for them to climb. You can buy tri climbs which are safe, indoor climbing frames to encourage safe physical play. Other alternatives are to give them lots of time at play parks or in the garden on climbing frames, which allows them to do it safely.

** This was a contributed post.

Hello, Followers:
Blog // Instagram // Pinterest

covid renovation: farmhouse guest bedroom

Geoffrey and I made a renovation list in 2019, detailing which room we would renovate and when. For instance, this guest bedroom was originally slated to be made-over in the spring of 2021. That was pre-COVID.

At the beginning of our self-isolation, it was still too cold to be outside twice a day. Remy’s preschool and activities were all cancelled, so like the rest of the world, we were expected to be home all 24 hours of the day. With all of this extra time, I knew that I would need a project. One that I could do while being in the basement with the kids while they played. This guest room was the solution.

This is what it looked like before. It wasn’t in that rough of shape. The drywall was exposed in some areas where the paint had been ripped off of the wall. Other than a few blemishes, it seemed like a fairly simple room to spruce up. All it required was some paint, better furniture placement, and for my husband to stop using it as his work closet/filing cabinet.

Because we were supposed to limit the amount of times that we went shopping, we made it our mission to reuse paint, furniture, and decor where we could. Not only did it keep in line with our zero waste mission, but it made it an uniquely Coronavirus renovation. Challenge accepted.

We had over half a can of pale green paint leftover from our children’s bedroom, and half a can of of white. I decided to do two walls and the closet in the green and two walls in the white. Even with two coats we would be needing every last drop of paint. I prayed that it would look good, because there was no room for error.

The green looked much better in the guest bedroom than it did in the upstairs bedroom. That was a huge relief. I painted the rest of the bedroom slowly over a matter of weeks, in between playing with the kids and having to wait for when Geoff had time off. After two coats, many touch-ups, and sealing the edges in silicone, I was finally done! 

In keeping with our farmhouse theme, I chose to use the majority of our antiques in the guest bedroom. The bed, armoire, Hudson Bay blanket, and white crate are all vintage items.

We reused the dresser, cowhide rug, braided rug, plant, planter, bedding, and curtains from our other rooms in our home.

I did have to buy a wall sconce and gold curtain rod from Amazon. We also bought a new register and switch plates from Home Depot. Other than that, it was a successful COVID renovation!

Emory

Hello, Followers:
Blog // Instagram // Pinterest // Twitter

our kitchen: before and after

Welcome to our kitchen renovation! The total time that this project took was approximately 3.5 months. 

During that time, we were also renovating our living room, hence the delay! It felt like a long process, but one that wasn’t as stressful as I had originally thought. Below are the before pictures.

Our goal for the room changed quite a few times. First it was to get new flooring and counter tops, but to leave the sink. Then it was to get all three. By the end, we decided on a new floor and sink, and to leave the preexisting counter tops. Meanwhile, we were always set on refacing the bottom cabinets and replacing the uppers. And that’s what happened!

We began this process by first taking down our upper cabinets. Removing them went fairly smoothly, but what was behind them was a bit of a mess. Where there was drywall, it was bumpy and uneven. In other parts, they had cut away the drywall to install the cabinets. The window casing also decided to come down with the cabinets. Because we were wanting to install floating shelves, the walls needed to be even and smooth. It took a lot of mudding, sanding, puttying, and more sanding, but we finally got them to a usable state!

Meanwhile, we had the same company return to rip out the vinyl flooring in the kitchen, and install the same dark laminate that we used in the spare bedroom. I love a dark floor with white cabinets, and thought that continuing it in this room would be to our advantage. After a day of labour, it was in!

Next we had a contracting company come and reface our bottom cabinets. We had never had this done before and were curious and excited to see how it would play out. We chose to reface instead of install new cabinetry for many reasons. The first was to keep the costs low. The second was because it was quicker. The third because it created less of a mess and we could still use our kitchen while it was getting done. They made us new soft-close drawers from scratch, reconfigured a few things, and ironed on the new material. I chose these drawer pulls from Amazon. Although it took three long days, we were so happy with the results!

After our cabinets were refaced, we set about painting the kitchen. This was pretty straightforward. It took four heavy coats of white to cover the dark and grease-stained walls and off-white ceiling. It was the most time-consuming project in the entire renovation!

We ordered our new appliances from Home Depot and Trail Appliances. We went during a big sales event at Home Depot for a new fridge and stove. It turns out that they ordered us the wrong fridge (but we kept it), and our stove was back-ordered for two months. I don’t think that we’ll be going back there again for appliances. Our dishwasher, on the other hand, came from Trail Appliances. We picked it out and picked it up that same day, and the sales team and entire experience was so enjoyable. We were even given a discount just because the salesman liked us! I definitely recommend a smaller company like them over a big box store.

Choosing our floating shelves was probably the hardest process in this makeover. I bought and returned so many different types and colours of shelves- it was insane! Here is Geoffrey testing out a MDF wall shelf and a barn wood shelf. We ended up going with neither! Instead, we chose wide plank pine shelving.

We ended up going with these brackets from Amazon. The least expensive brackets that I could find at Home Depot and Rona were around $10. Because we needed 17 of them, I wanted to find a cheaper option. The brackets that we ordered were only $5 each, and looked better than anything that I could find in the city. Hooray!

I also ordered our light fixture, sink, and faucet from Amazon. Those were the last to be installed. We chose a sink that was a little larger than our previous one, and so much better looking. The faucet is so neat. It has an LED light that turns blue when the water is cold, green when it’s neutral, and red when it’s hot. The plumber said that he had never seen one like it before. He took a video and a few pictures of it, and said that he wanted to order them for the shop. Too funny! After spending an entire day here, and $1100 later, our sink and faucet were in. We were done!

Down the road, and if we stay in this house, we would like to order a chimney range hood for over the stove. I would also like subway tile back splash in the kitchen! I think that it would pull it all together.

We learned so much from this renovation. I’m just thankful that we were able to continue to use our kitchen the entire time. I couldn’t imagine not being able to! In that regard, I wouldn’t have changed anything.

I hope that you guys enjoyed this post. Please leave a comment below if you have any questions, concerns, or compliments. ;-)))

Emory

Hello, Followers:
Blog // Instagram // Pinterest // Twitter

what i bought: toddler tights

Do any other parents of little girls (or boys) love tights? I can’t get enough of them. Not only are they adorable, they are so practical as well. If I put Remy in socks and bottoms, she will usually find a way to take her socks off. With tights, she will leave them alone. It’s a win for both of us.

Normally I find that they are so expensive. What I usually end up doing is buying her thicker tights from the dollar store, of all places! Instead of spending over $20, I only spend a few. They tend to last a year, even with wearing them daily. The only downside is that they come in solid colours.

A few weeks ago, I ended up splurging on animal pattern tights from Amazon. I received a pack of three in the mail a few days after purchasing them. Guys, they are too cute! I chose green horses, beige pandas, and mustard yellow. They are 2T-3T, so they will hopefully last for quite awhile. Remy has already worn them quite a few times. I just love them!

Please excuse the state of our home. The pictures were taken when we were renovating our living room. We have since completed it, and I will be revealing the living room makeover to you in a few weeks!

This was not a sponsored post. To purchase Remy’s tights (or similar), click here.

Emory

Hello, Followers:
Blog // Instagram // Pinterest // Twitter

  • Welcome, friends! My name is Emory. I am a wife and mother to four (two on earth, one in heaven, and growing another). This is our life on the Canadian prairies.
    email: helloscarlettblog@outlook.com

  • Calendar

    January 2022
    M T W T F S S
     12
    3456789
    10111213141516
    17181920212223
    24252627282930
    31  
  • Follow

    Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

    Join 2,833 other subscribers

%d bloggers like this: