I distinctly remember going over to friends’ houses who had little children and thinking, “This looks like a daycare center!” The place was overflowing with multi-colored toys, big clunky soft furniture, playmats, plastic bins and stuffed animals. I also remember thinking, “Our place will never look like this! We’re going to get all wooden toys and neutral colored baby gear.”
Welp, that lasted about 1 day. You soon realize that babies love colorful things, especially once their eyesight develops and they see more clearly. From books to mobiles to newborn activity centers, we were (and still are) in total color mode.
However, we’ve still maintained our space so that all of Luca’s toys are in a dedicated spot, there are some neutral colored pieces that break up the brightly colored baby stuff (like his beloved play kitchen), a gray and white tent, his woven toy bins, and his non-toxic Little Nomad playmat.
We were able to keep most of our furniture in the room, except for a bookshelf, some vases, a brass console table, and our marble coffee table. We just added these child locks onto our media console, plug protectors on all of the outlets, bought this soft ottoman (with storage!) instead of the coffee table, and replaced the brass console piece with this play kitchen.
The saddest item that we had to let go of was our cactus, Bart. RIP, Bart.
One of our favorite additions to make the apartment safe for Luca is our baby gate. Another baby-related product I dreaded, because I thought the only option available was a clunky, multi-colored baby gate. Luckily, I found the perfect baby gate that’s sleek and white and separates the living room from the rest of the apartment. This just makes the area look a bit more sophisticated, but safe and enjoyable.
In total, this is what we did to baby proof our living room:
- Removed some breakable ceramic vases
- Removed our cactus plant
- Removed our bookshelf
- Added plug protectors into all outlets
- Installed this baby gate to separate our living room from the rest of the apartment
- Laid down this Little Nomad non-toxic playmat
- Replaced a brass console table with this play kitchen
- Added these child locks to our media console
- Secured chains for the window shades with command hooks
- Replaced our marble coffee table with this soft IKEA ottoman
- Wrapped heavy duty packaging tape around our window handles so they can’t be turned (we tried our hardest to open them and we can’t!)
- Put tape around sharp molding edges on the floor
- Keep all his small toys in woven bins or this multi-bin storage
As Luca grows, we plan on baby proofing a bit more, such as securing more of the furniture to the wall (like the TV), removing a side table, and figuring out the best solution for our floor lamps (he’s starting to hold on to those, even though we’ve tucked them behind play bins and other furniture.) For now, we feel 100% safe, Luca loves his area, and we can enjoy it altogether as a family and feel like it’s our living room and not just one massive play room for a baby.
Take a tour of my living room (with Luca) to see how I implemented all of these baby proofing tactics: