Wednesday, 26 August 2015

Baby proofing your rented family home

It seems like such a long time ago that Leo was a baby. In a matter of weeks he will be starting his very first day at school. A milestone that marks the very end of the days I can just quite simply keep him at home with me. As I write this he is tucked up in his car bed having an afternoon nap. After getting up earlier than usual, and his mood very quickly turning to mud, I put my 4 year old to bed in the day for the first time in a very long time.

I can quite honestly not re-call when he last napped. It really has been that long.

As I cast my mind back to the baby days, I can't help think about how much has changed. How much he has changed, and even just how much I have. Time has been relentless, but with those transitions that have seemingly happened, we have moved forward.

15 months ago we were living in our own home. It was a rented home but in it's own way, it was ours. We loved it. Of course when we moved in Leo was only little, he was toddling about all over the place looking for mischief (and usually he found it). It had a very long stair case that I was always paranoid about, so we had to look into baby proofing our little home. We had to make it safe for our little mischief maker.

If you have never rented then you won't know the struggle that ensues when it comes to baby proofing your home..That is in reality not actually ever yours. It means that you can forget fixing the baby gate to the wall, in fact don't even bring a drill into the house. If you mark those walls, if you even think about putting a hole in there (no matter how good your intentions are) you will most definitely feel the wrath of the lettings agent next time they pay you a visit for your 6 monthly check...

With this in mind, and the best interests of our baby boy, we had to find the best solutions that we could implement without marking the property. I did feel like I was compromising on the quality, because in an ideal world, if it was my house. I would have personally opted for having everything professionally installed, there is no skimping when it comes to safety.

In the end we fixed stair gates to the top and bottom of the stairs, we opted for ones that could be put up and down without damaging the walls. It meant that Leo couldn't get up the stairs while I was busy in the kitchen and I knew that he was safe. We even popped one on the kitchen, but if I am honest that was more to keep Leo out while I was cooking. 

The kitchen lead straight into the lounge, strangely there wasn't even a door where you would have expected one. This had both it's perks and it's annoyances. In hind sight it was great to be able to be preparing dinner in the kitchen and being able to see exactly what Leo was up to at the same time, but equally it mean that usually he was under my feet, and having a oven that was just the right height for him, I could see the possible dangers and wanted to make sure we avoided these.

The only thing that we had to physically have installed was the fire guard, but having a log burner in quite an open fire place meant that I just couldn't compromise. 

My advice to any families renting a home is to just do your research. Make sure the equipment that you choose won't require installation that will mark the walls in any way shape or form. There are alternatives that mean you can just pop them in for the time you live there. Realistically it is the best option because when the time comes for you to move out, you won't have the hassle of filling in the holes you have made in the walls. 

You really will thank yourself when that day arrives.

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