Sunday, 16 February 2020

How to Baby-Proof Your Garden

Toddler in the garden



When you’ve got a little one on the way, there are so many preparations to be made you might start to wonder if you’ll get it all done in time! For many of us, the focus is on the inside of the house where your little one will be spending most of their time. You might buy a fireplace cover, install a couple of baby gates and start re-arranging your furniture for a bit of extra crawl-space, but have you thought about your garden?
Parents often overlook outdoor spaces, but this is where a lot of hazards tend to live. Pebbles, thorny plants and water features can all be potentially dangerous for your little one. But don’t worry, I’m going to talk you through a few different ways you can address these problems and thoroughly baby-proof your garden.

Garden surfaces

While you want your garden to look great, you don’t want to choose an outdoor flooring option that’s dangerous for your child. Small stones and gravel can be a choking hazard, so if your garden is covered in them – it might be time to consider a garden renovation.
Grass is an obvious choice, it provides a soft, luscious space for your little one to play, learn and develop. Of course, the only downside with having your garden turfed is the amount of upkeep that real grass requires. You don’t want to be spending the summer holidays trudging up and down with a lawn mower when your little one wants to have a teddy bears picnic and enjoy the sunshine!
Garden furniture


A great alternative to grass is composite decking, it offers a forgiving surface that (although not as soft as grass) won’t cause your little one a significant injury if they do happen to fall over. High-quality composite decking is designed not to split or chip, so unlike traditional wood decking, you won’t need to worry about your little one getting a nasty splinter. Better yet, composite decking will last a lifetime with minimal maintenance, giving you more time to spend with your family!

Plants

Having plants in the garden is a great sensory and educational experience for your child. When they get a bit older, they might even help you plant new seeds and begin to take an interest in the natural world (something that’s so often neglected nowadays).
Make sure you remove toxic plants and mushrooms, prickly plants and plants that bear fruit and berries, these plants might look nice in your garden, but they can cause real problems if children get their hands on them.
Instead, you should think about planting vegetables, larger fruits and herbs, the leaves of which are generally non-toxic and safe for curious children to explore. Better yet, if you get a good harvest of carrots and apples, you can add some home-grown vitamins into your baby’s diet.
Some beautiful non-toxic flowers are also a great choice. Pot Marigolds, Amaranthus (shown above), Lemon Balm and Daylilies are sweet smelling, taste rather delicious and will add a touch of colour to your outdoor space.
Purple Amaranth

General Safety Tips

Here are a few other baby-proofing tips to help you keep your garden accident-free!
·         Keep the garden hose out of the sun – If you’ve ever picked up or stepped on a hose pipe that’s been left out in the sun, you’ll know that they can get incredibly hot! Make sure you store them in a shaded, cool place whenever possible.
·         Use plants to protect sharp corners – There are plenty of permeant features in our gardens that might pose a risk to little ones. Use greenery to create a buffer between your child and any sharp edges. 
·         Update your garden furniture – Ditch the glass tables and wooden chairs and treat yourself to a brand-new garden set with padded cushions, rounded edges and removable, washable covers (thank me later).

Hopefully these baby-proofing tips will help you relax and enjoy your garden as your little one explores, grows and changes!

*Guest post

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