nursery + childproofing updates

Thank you all so much for your kind words on last week’s post! We’re excited about the changes ahead and prepping our house for another little one!

I meant to put together this post in January, to share how we managed to fit Avery’s Christmas bounty into our already cozy home. Since our last nursery post back in August, I’ve also been meaning to show what’s changed and how we’ve had to childproof our house. But y’know – there were two things I needed to hang in the nursery so the post got delayed for months. Last weekend I finally got around to hanging them and it took me all of seven and a half minutes.

So, now that we’ve got procrastination out of the way…

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We haven’t changed the nursery too drastically since last summer. When I was nursing Avery I liked the idea of the glider facing into the room and feeling a bit more cozy, but a few months ago we decided to flip it to the other side as we’re mostly using it for reading before bedtime. Her storage boxes then moved to the other side of the wall. We’ve played with a half-dozen or so configurations but this more compact stacking seems to work well for our current needs. Although we envisioned it being used more for toys, it is almost all book storage now. I love that Avery loves books and have, rather eagerly, added quite a bit to her collection in the past six months. (We also regularly visit our local library branch and usually have 10-12 loaners in the rotation.)

Because Avery loves to read (err…look at the pictures), I bought her the Land of Nod chair (against my more rational, space-conscious side) for Christmas. Turns out she’d still rather sit on the floor and flip through books but maybe that will change as she gets older? Or maybe I’ll just put it in the basement for a while and free up some space in her room?

Also, have I mentioned that this girl is obsessed with trash trucks? In Seattle we have three different trucks that roll by each Monday and it’s pretty much the highlight of her day.

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I’m keeping things real by keeping the Disney princess car in this shot. She’s more into pulling it out and re-parking it, so maybe it will live outside once summer comes. By the way, the rug is going bye-bye. We have some ideas for a replacement and ordered samples last week. (For the record, it’s Bailey who trashed it. Dirty paws and claws that get caught in the loops of wool are to blame. Besides, we’d like something with a more level surface for playing on.)

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As another Christmas gift, I ordered Avery this custom growth chart from Etsy shop, PaperRamma. Tracking growth is just one part really, it’s more of a modern infographics baby book and as you can see I haven’t actually filled any of it out yet. (In hindsight, it would be been better to get before or right after she was born since we’ve already passed many of the milestones.) I do love the colors and overall design though.

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Not much has changed with the wardrobe organization either. We keep surplus books and art supplies at the back of the laundry basket shelf and use the bottom three drawers for toys, blankets, sheets and extra diapers and wipes.

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Hey, I also finally hung the “Z” that had been sitting on her dresser for the last 20 months.

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The big addition to the main living area is the IKEA play kitchen that Santa brought. This chunk of wall was literally our last free space so it was fortunate that the kitchen just barely fit. I researched a few kitchens and came back to this one for the price, design and size. Many of the others were quite small and I liked that this one comes with plastic extenders that go on the legs as the child gets taller.

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We’re still using the under-bench space for additional toy storage. The bench is at a good play height for Avery right now, so we took the cushion off and stored it under the couch.

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Avery is also really into blocks and building right now so this is typically her construction area. (I totally gave Kyle a hard time for buying her the girlie Duplos but she loves them. Although, I think she’d love them if they were primary colors too.)

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She also rediscovered her Grimm’s rainbow recently and its endless configuration options. Take note, rainbow cuffs are the hot new toddler trend for Spring!

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Now, onto childproofing. The good news – we really haven’t had to do much. The fauxdenza has had the most attention and primarily because it is parallel to a main path of toddler travel. Although we haven’t had any issues with our fancy, architect-designed pulls in the kitchen, Avery has had a couple run-ins with the ones here. So a few months ago we bought some foam padding, cut pieces to size and adhered them with some double-stick tape. (We put up the foam corner guards last fall when she was less steady on her feet.) She’s at the point where they could probably be removed, but it will only be a matter of time before we’ll need them again and yeah…who likes removing double-stick tape?

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The downside to installing the foam is that it made the cabinet doors easier to open. We had bought some door catches from IKEA six months or so ago but just couldn’t bring ourselves to install the fussy hardware. So instead of childproofing, we tried child-deterring instead. Yup, we used a good ol’ fashioned rubber band around each pair of door pulls. Surprisingly, it worked. She fussed with them for a couple of days and then eventually gave up. In the kitchen, we have mostly drawers within her reach and she doesn’t really open them. I credit this to the drawer dampers that we installed, making them just a tiny bit harder to pull open if you have the strength of a toddler. (I should mention of course that we don’t keep anything dangerous in any drawer or cabinet within her reach. If she got into them, it would be a nuisance more than anything.)

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Sadly, we do not have a wonderfully creative solution for stroller storage. We keep the full-size one here in the mudroom and the smaller umbrella one in the back of the car. I know that with #2 our stroller situation is only going to get bigger, but that’s a topic for another post. (Our mudroom was limited in size because it’s in our front yard setback so we had to work with the existing footprint – had this not been the case we definitely would have gone bigger and incorporated more storage.)

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The only other childproofing measure we’ve taken is to put corner guards on our table. These started out at the corners of the fauxdenza but as she’s grown they’ve migrated to the table. I know it will only be a matter of time before they move to the island, especially since she’s already able to stand on her tip toes and swipe things from the edge (which has led to enforcement of the “12″ rule” where everything (like knives!) gets pushed in 12″ from the edge).

As for a quick update on high chairs – we’re still mostly using the Inglesina clip-on chair at the island (it’s more convenient), but she does sit at the Stokke a few times a week and we also use it for crafty activities like coloring. I know she will eventually outgrow the clip-on chair and it will be passed on to the next sibling so the Stokke still has a long future ahead of it.

So that’s our update. And if you didn’t notice – we have done nothing with the loft ladder! I know, we’re surprised too. I’d like to think we taught her not to climb it but really, that’s just her temperament. She’s a bit more reserved and quiet and that’s probably a big reason we haven’t had to do much to our house. I know it will change at some point (can’t keep a kiddo off a ladder forever!) but because Kyle’s office is up there and he uses the ladder multiple times a day, it’s been nice not to have a gate or contraption to deal with.

Of course, I probably just jinxed us and #2 will be the polar opposite and we’ll have padding all over our house.

Comments

15 Responses to “nursery + childproofing updates”

  1. jen says:

    We’ve just entered the mobile-baby realm and she is into EVERYTHING. This post is so timely as I sit back and scan the rooms and try to figure out how to baby proof only the essentials. :)
    And we have the Stokke, use it several times a day for meals and she loves it! I like that it’s not hideous. :)

    • Lauren says:

      I think as long as there’s not seriously dangerous items out, it’s perfectly fine to baby proof as you go. Our friends teased us about having to baby proof a modern house but it has been awesome because we just don’t have a lot of stuff out in the first place. Also, because we can pretty much hear or see her no matter where we are in the house we don’t have to section entire areas off and she more or less has free reign.

  2. Ok so its a totally random question but were the Hunter boots a good buy? Im dying to get a pair for Aggie but it seems like kind of a waste since her feet will surely have grown out of them.

    • Lauren says:

      I had the same reservations, but they seem to run really big! I think hers are a size 5 and they still fall off her feet sometimes. I bought them last fall thinking they’d last through the winter/spring but she still hasn’t worn them much (fortunately in Seattle she’ll have plenty of opportunities!).

  3. Elin says:

    I love your baby posts. We had our first three months ago, and your posts were such a good place to start thinking about this stuff since we also live small. In the end, for various reasons (including cultural differences, we’re in Sweden) we’ve done quite a few things differently. Still, it Washington useful to read about your process and I’d like to thank you for taking the time.

  4. Phoebe says:

    At first I thought there was going to be some joke in this post since it was posted on April fools, but your previous post about adding on to your house fooled me enough. :) congrats by the way!
    Thanks for the update and details, all good stuff to keep in mind when we have kids! thanks for keeping it real with the Disney princess car! I love how bailey looks like a bear in that play kitchen photo compared to little Avery.

  5. Mark says:

    Our son Noah just LOVES trash day! Up here in Greenwood, its Wednesday. We also live near a school so we get school buses going past every morning.

  6. Eric says:

    This is a story from my mom …

    When I was a toddler, I was fascinated by the garbage trucks as well. They would come twice a week and it was the highlight of the day.

    When my younger sister came along two years after me, my mom was initially very nervous about how we would get along. Fortunately, things seemed to go pretty well and I was very welcoming of the new addition …

    … until at six months I asked if it was now time to put the new baby out for the garbage truck.

    :-)

    • Lauren says:

      Hahaha, that’s amazing! One day a few weeks ago I got Avery up in the morning and said “guess who’s coming today?”. Well, I was referring to our nanny but she looked up at me with the most earnest eyes and said, “traaaaaaasssshhh?”. Love that kid.

  7. S says:

    I think you are right to note her temperament, its nothing to do with boys vs girls (since i know girls who liked to, um, “explore” more) but my boys would have had a field day in your place at that age.
    I caught them once having climbed up ontop of the IKEA toy kitchen, after having pushed it into place, happily pulling all kinds of things off the shelf they could now reach. :)

    Construction site observation is a super fun activity! We have a lot in our neighborhood so it isnt a far trip but those kids will spend hours just watching

    • Lauren says:

      Oh boy! Yes, we have some friends with older kids and they came over once and the 4 year old was up the loft ladder before we blinked. We’re looking forward to summer and using the backyard too. Avery wasn’t walking last summer so it’s like a whole new world for her back there now! :)

      • S says:

        backyards are the BEST! We would often start the day with pancakes (premade and reheated in the toaster = easy) while running around the backyard.
        a sandbox was a great investment, hours and hours of fun

  8. Dina says:

    Interesting idea! Makes me widen my imagination in setting up our nursery room for our coming little bundle of joy! Thanks for sharing…

  9. bridget b. says:

    I really like the style of your house and how the nursery fits the style but still feels fit for a child. We have that same kitchen. My kids love it, and the simple, modern design won me over since we keep it in our open concept first floor.

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