How can you create a backyard space that’s safe for your baby? Your yard will likely require some adjustments to become a welcoming environment for your child. This investment will pay you back many times over, nurturing your budding toddler’s body, mind, and soul. To meet your baby’s changing needs and ensure their safety and enjoyment outdoors as they transition from sitting and crawling to walking, the flexible shelter of a louvered pergola, soft surfaces, and child-safe plants that attract wildlife, encouraging outdoor discovery, are essential.
How to Create a Safe, Inviting, Baby-Friendly Backyard
- Provide the Right Mix of Shade & Sunlight
While brief exposure to sunlight is healthy for your baby, stimulating Vitamin D production, it doesn’t take much – only about 10 minutes. Ample shade is crucial to protect your infant from sunburn in the first six months, when they’re too young for sunblock. StruXure adjustable louvered pergolas help you tend to your growing child’s changing needs, offering 170-degrees of flexibility so you can dial-in the perfect amount of shade or sunlight.
- Choose a Soft, Smooth Flooring Surface
Smooth paving with solid joints is ideal, providing a flat surface for bouncers, making it easier to crawl, and reducing the risk of tripping with baby’s first steps. Place soft surfaces over top, such as large rugs, mats, cushions, and blankets that will remain safely in place. These are safer for the soft, thin skin on your baby’s hands, elbows, and knees, cushioning falls. Avoid rocks and gravel, which can hurt the knees and feet of babies as they learn to become mobile.
- If You Prefer Decking, Inspect it Regularly
Decking can also be a safe choice for your child, particularly composite decks. If you choose wood, which is softer and warmer than stone, inspect it frequently. This is essential to addressing potential splinters and identifying widening gaps that could trap the fingers/toes of your baby. Algae should also be addressed regularly to prevent slips and falls.
- Plan Your Furnishings Around Your Baby
Large tables can hinder walkers, or turn into a dangerous obstacle for bouncers. Consider folding tables you can easily slide into and out of use until your baby is more seasoned pedestrian.
- Incorporate Outdoor Toys to Entice Your Child Outside
Pop-up tunnels, castles, and more are inexpensive and easily stowed away. Foldaway toddler slides and folding mini-trampolines are also fantastic additions for inspiring outdoor activity.
- Keep Your Baby Away from Dangerous Areas
A large, flexible wooden or plastic configurable baby safety panel system can keep your child contained, while still allowing some freedom of movement.
- Be Careful to Choose Child and Wildlife-Friendly Plants
Many beautiful plants, flowers, and berries are toxic to children if ingested. Using taste as a means of discovery, your baby will likely put found items in their mouth. It is crucial to research all plant selections thoroughly before purchase. In addition to toxins, watch out for thorny, spiky, sharp foliage, choosing softer plants. Fruit and sweet-smelling flowers that attract bees and wasps are also best avoided with very young children. As they grow, help your child learn safe distancing, and what is/isn’t safe to touch, without inducing fear, updating plant selections as they age.
- Don’t Let Rain Limit Outdoor Play
With a louvered roof pergola, you’ll never have to worry about rain putting a stop to outdoor play on a cold fall or winter’s day. StruXure pergolas feature a leak-free roof with a built-in gutter system, directing rain away from your patio space and preventing pooling. When the weather is warm, open louvers to allow your child to embrace playing in the rain, encouraging an exciting new outdoor adventure.
Create a patio space that grows with your family through every stage of your life. Contact Denver Pergola Systems to schedule a complimentary custom pergola design consultation today.