Back in January, I wrote a blog post on baby proofing our apartment, because yes, I'm that person who starts baby proofing before there is even a child in the house. We didn't add cabinet locks, outlet covers, or furniture padding until she started scooting (about two months ago), and we still don't have oven knob or door covers or all the wiring hidden, but that's definitely going to be needed soon since she's now crawling and pulling up. On a related note, I thought it might be helpful for other parents to hear some of the inexpensive ways I've found to keep our apartment feeling stylish yet both adult and child-friendly. I mentioned some of these back in January, but now that we have an all-out crawler (with constantly sticky fingers) in our house, I have a better idea of what works and what may not.
First of all, it's not rocket science or the most unique idea, but I have found that storage ottomans are awesome with babies. We have a round patterned one from Target's Threshold line that I bought over a year ago and it's still holding up well to a baby, two adults and a dog. You can see it next to the couch in the picture (with our new baby-proof bar cabinet to the left) below.
I have this ottoman packed full of the majority of Adeline's toys, about half her picture books, clean burp-cloths, and two throw blankets. When I take the cover off, she loves to pull herself up on the side and toss all of her toys and books out. She weighs 18+ pounds and it's sturdy enough with four peg feet to support her pulling up on it, is the perfect size as a side table for our small living/dining room, and is easy to clean off all the sticky baby hand-prints. Unfortunately it doesn't look like this style is still available online at Target, but I thought any of their below storage ottomans, all under $80, would work similarly well for toy and book storage.
Now for a well-rounded and honest post, I have to share the one thing that is not currently working as well in our living room with a mobile baby. I have this giant textured basket from Crate & Barrel (that I think I bought at the outlets in San Marcos) that used to hold throw blankets and decorative pillows in our master bedroom in Austin, and now holds baby blankets and a pillow in our living room here. I love the look and texture next to our tv stand, it can hold a ton of stuff, but Adeline also wants to pull up on it and it's not as sturdy as the ottoman. It is also made of these rustic woven leaves and she regularly tries to break little pieces off to stick in her mouth.
I am not ready to give up this piece, but I'm trying to decide if either I can somehow anchor it to the wall so she can't pull it over, which doesn't deal with the eating it issue, or if I need to relocate it to our bedroom and find a different storage piece for this corner. I'll let you know what I figure out and share some updated apartment photos when we return from L.A. in the spring. I also have some paint and new decor ideas for this place come next year, so I can't wait to share further over the coming months. In the meantime, I guess at some point I have to start packing and prepping for our short-term move. Wish me luck!