If you’re about to enter the stage where your baby is finding the ability to crawl and grab everything in sight, or if you’re further ahead and your little one is beginning to find their feet, then you’re going to be in full baby-proofing mode. From the bedrooms to the kitchen, you have a lot consider.
As the kitchen can often be seen as the heart of the home, we’re going to be focusing on how you can baby-proof the space, avoiding any potential health and safety issues before they become a danger. While your baby is obviously safest under your supervision, it can be difficult to devote them your full attention amongst all the other kitchen chores. Thus, it’s best to ensure your child’s safety is at the forefront of your considerations when contemplating your kitchen’s design.
Develop baby-safe kitchen habits
First things first, you can baby-proof your kitchen all you want, but if you’re not going to change your kitchen habits to create a safe environment, then you’re not going to achieve much.
Start by retraining your brain to become more conscious of obvious safety hazards, refraining from leaving any utensil handles sticking out over the edge of counters, cabinets and hobs – if your child was to pull down on these while they contained hot contents, they could be at risk of scalding. When carrying hot items such as pans or drinks, don’t be carrying your baby in your other arm – it’s a recipe for disaster.
Return all items back to where they belong once you’ve finished using them, as dangers such as sharp objects can easily cause injury if they’re left within reach of a curious youngster. If you’re leaving items to dry on the draining board after being washed up, be sure to also position them out of reach. The same goes for electric appliances, unplugging them and putting them away immediately after use, just in case your toddler climbs up onto the worktop.
Lock cabinet doors
Once your baby figures out how to crawl around your kitchen and discovers the magical contents of each kitchen cabinet, preventing them from unleashing their inner explorer certainly won’t be easy. Baby proof latches are a complete lifesaver for these situations – focus your attention on the cabinets that contain dangerous items such as cleaning liquids, knives and can openers.
Keep the dangerous items up high
The higher items are stored, then the less likely your baby is to get their hands on them. While the latches do a brilliant job of keeping them out of the cupboards, why not put two steps in place to stop them from accessing the dangers? Once your child enters toddler stage, their natural curiosity will lead them to start climbing – subsequently, ensure any items stored high up are still safely secured behind a lock or latch.
Change cleaning supplies
Thinking about dangerous items brings us to the remedies and supplies that are used to clean the kitchen. While you might think locking them away or keeping them up high is as far as you need to go, there are more steps you should consider taking.
If you use harsh products such as chlorine or ammonia-based supplies, then think about switching to safer alternatives. Chemicals found in many mainstream cleaning products give off fumes that can be harmful to a baby, so using something that’s vinegar based or non-chlorine based would be a good alternative.
Secure the trash can
The trash can will drive you insane once your baby realises what a treasure chest it can be to them (you’d be surprised just how much fun you can apparently have with an empty cereal box and a toilet roll tube!). However, more often than not, the contents of the trash can is not something you want your baby trying to play with or attempting to digest.
If your kitchen design allows for it, the easiest method to keep your trash can away from the baby is to simply have it out of sight. Pop it in a cupboard that has a latch on so they can’t get to it easily. Alternatively, buy a trash can that has a latch, preventing your inquisitive child from being able to open it.
Ensure you have a durable kitchen
The kitchen has to be a pretty tough room – it’s subject to excessive heat, moisture and frequent use meaning it gets its fair share of day-to-day abuse or love, whichever way you want to look at it. The addition of a baby is only going to see an increase in daily use of the kitchen. With a whole new bunch of kitchen equipment being introduced like a food processor and plenty of milk bottles to high chairs – either to feed them in, or to sit them in to keep them out of trouble.
You’re also going to be using your countertop more frequently, cooking on them and cleaning them down. Subsequently, you’re going to need to ensure you have a durable kitchen countertop. Earlier, we mentioned changing your cleaning supplies – a durable kitchen countertop would also benefit from less harsh cleaning materials, helping to keep it looking shiny and new amongst all the craziness of a new arrival.
There you have 6 steps to think about when baby-proofing your kitchen effectively to ensure it can still be the heart of the family home without being a minefield for parents of youngsters.
Sophie Armstrong is a content creator for granite and quartz worktop specialists Burlington Granite, who provide a full bespoke worktop solution by offering templating, cutting, polishing and fitting, all driven by 25 years of industry experience.