How To Make A Safe Play Area For Your Baby
How can you make a safe play area for your baby?
- Don’t rely on rules
- Choose a safe play area
- Start childproofing ASAP
- Pick age-appropriate toys
- Try a floor bed
- Keep a monitor nearby
- Don’t leave for too long
- Keep it clean
When your baby gets old enough to start playing with their toys, there are many things you have to prepare, including a designated area to play in. But how can you create such an area where they can have some independence and fun without getting in harm's way? Doing this and making the space for your child will take a lot of planning and creativity. To help you get started, here are our best tips on how to make a safe play area for your baby.
Don’t rely on rules
Most young children are too young to understand (or even remember) the simple rules of what to do, and what not to do during playtime. They are certainly not going to be able to remember and follow these rules consistently.
Explaining that going into cabinets, or knocking things down is a no-no likely won’t work with your babies, simply because they don’t have the cognitive skills to understand how they could become hurt by that. So, it’s best to not rely on rules to keep your baby safe during play. Instead, always be alert in keeping them from harm’s way.
Choose a safe play area
No matter how much room you have in your home, you’ll be able to create a safe play space for your baby. Here are a few options that you can try:
- Activity Center — very young babies can use self-contained activity centers, such as platforms or baby bouncing chairs. These are handy in getting them moving and they can still access some toys.
- Playpen — this is more appropriate for toddlers, and is safe as it is a small, confined space. Increase the odds that your toddler will enjoy their playpen by stocking it with their favorite toys.
- Play Zone — this is best for older toddlers, who are curious and love to explore. Try expanding their play spaces with makeshift “walls,” which give them more room to walk around and engage in independent play.
- Childproofed Room — If you can block off danger zones, such as stairs, and rooms like your kitchen and bathroom, then you can turn one room into a larger childproofed area. This gives ample space for them to wander, play, and satisfy their curiosity while still being safe.
Start childproofing ASAP
Even the most watchful parent is no match for a fearless toddler. They can climb a bookshelf, unlock harnesses, and wiggle into tight spaces in a blink of an eye. For that reason, it’s best to start childproofing as soon as possible, preferably before they’re mobile.
Everything that poses a hazard, such as windows, cabinets, kitchen equipment, electrical outlets, and anything sharp or heavy should be fully secured within your play area. Make sure they are firmly locked up or made inaccessible to small, wandering hands.
Pick age-appropriate toys
Toddlers like to put anything and everything in their mouths — as long as they can get it to fit. So any toy or object you place in their play area must be at least bigger than the hole of a toilet paper roll. This prevents it from being a choking hazard for toddlers (particularly those younger than three). Only putting 100% safe toys — like our Baby Bliss Colorful Fish Rattle — within reach is especially important if you need to step away from the play area for a while.
Try a floor bed
Having a floor bed makes it easy for you and other family members to join your baby during playtime! This item creates a nice gathering place for you to hang out and participate. Here, you can nap, hang out, read books, practice tummy time, and let your baby crawl over you — which are all great things for their development. Plus, it allows for supervised yet independent play.
To make a floor bed, you could repurpose an old mattress topper or bed. You could also use non-toxic, interlocking play tiles and blankets. If you have a baby who can’t yet turn over, avoid adding too-soft materials (like pillows) as they can be a suffocation hazard.
Keep a monitor nearby
You’ll want to keep a close eye on your toddler while they’re having playtime on their own. If you can’t always do so, make sure to keep a monitor nearby — particularly one with video feeds. If your monitor has a cord, keep it secure and out of reach from your baby’s hands to prevent it from becoming a strangulation hazard.
Don’t leave for too long
Even with a monitor, we don’t recommend leaving your child alone for too long. Try to remain within eyesight, so that you can supervise them while doing other tasks around the house.
If you need to step away from your baby for a few minutes, try looking for ways to set up a temporary play area near you, such as with a playpen. This is important because it’s easy to get distracted by other tasks and spend more time on them than you initially thought.
Keep it clean
Their play area should be kept completely clean at all times. Even a piece of dust or a stray candy wrapper can quickly make its way into your baby’s mouth — and could end up poisoning or choking them. Be sure to clean these spaces regularly, and keep a keen eye out for anything dirty or small laying around that could end up within their reach.
Designing a great place for your young one to explore and play in is easy with our guide on how to make a safe play area for your baby. Taking these extra steps to ensure that your play area is well-designed will help your baby engage in safe, independent, and enriching play under your supervision!