Baby-Proofing Your Furniture- For The Upholstery’s Sake
Babies and couches don’t mix well
You cannot have your cake and eat it as far as babies and upholstery are concerned. With these precious little humans, so much can go wrong as you will see in the sections below. It is therefore very important that you take active steps to baby proof your furniture.
And this does not mean covering the sharp corners with rubber caps. We are talking about taking steps to protect your couch and other upholstered furniture from the storm that is childhood.
So does this mean that you totally give up on furniture altogether? Does it mean compromising the aesthetics of your upholstery by covering it with plain old sheet covers and slipovers? The answer in both cases is no. If you are careful you can actually get to fully enjoy yourself with your child without having to worry about stains or damaged upholstery.
What could possibly go wrong?
Before we go into greater detail about how this blissful balance can be achieved, it is important to understand what could go wrong. This will help you prepare yourself and handle the situations in the best way possible.
- Food spills and spit-up
These are by far the most common accidents when it comes to children and upholstery. It could be anything from a juice box spill to food smears during feeding time. It is particularly a nightmare with absorbent fibre upholstery especially when it is brightly coloured. The food dyes get soaked right up and you are left to deal with a horrible stain.
- Diaper accidents
This is very common with babies and toddlers and it can happen in any number of ways. Maybe it is a diaper leak that soaked into your couch fabric. Or it could be your little toddler mistimed their potty time and had a little accident on the ottoman. Whatever the case, these messes can turn into nightmares very fast with stubborn stains and funky odours unless they are properly dealt with as soon as possible.
- Art projects gone wrong
Deep down, every child has a little Picasso in them. Part of growing up means discovering colours and shapes as well as learning how to hold pens. At this stage, everything exists as a canvas for their creative genius whims from the walls to your upholstery. The furniture is particularly hard to deal with in this case as the absorbent fibres hold on particularly tight to ink, paints and crayon swatches.
- Dirt from their mud pie projects
Children do not have the most refined sense of responsibility. So to your little one, it is no big deal trudging in with mud and soil after having a great time playing outdoors. Again, it is your couch that pays for this with things like bud spots, grass stains and general dust accumulation.
- Rips and tears
Finally, having kids around upholstery means you have to deal with the risk of the fabric getting ripped. This happens a lot with toddlers and older kids. Of course, they have no business around knives and scissors but when it does happen, upholstery fibre is usually one of the first parts of the house to suffer.
How can you protect your couch?
Next step is understanding your role when it comes to keeping your furniture clean and in good condition even with active children all over the place. Here are a few key tips that will definitely come in handy in this case.
- Fabric protectors
These include things like Scotch Guard that are designed to make the upholstery fibre stain resistant. They prevent stain particles from seeping into the fabric pores and as a result minimize chances of intense or permanent stains. These come in particularly handy when it comes to preventing food and ink stains.
- Seat covers and throws
These offer temporary protection from direct staining. You could place a mat on the couch cushion while you feed or change the baby to prevent any accidents. You could even invest in seat covers which may compromise the general aesthetic of the upholstery but will save you a lot of trouble down the line.
- Try feeding your baby somewhere different
Your child may not be a big fan of the high feeding chair or the dining table but it is probably time that you get them used to it. This will help prevent food spills that account for a huge chunk of baby-related couch stains.
- Clean up messes as soon as they happen
One of the biggest mistakes you could make dealing with messes on upholstery is ignoring them. This allows the particles to seep in deeper into the fabric making you more likely to end up with really intense stains. Liquid messes also add the risk of formation of mould and funky odours. To prevent all these, it is best to clean up the messes as soon as they occur. Just take a paper towel and gently blot up the substance whether it is juice or pee.
With other stains like ink and dirt, it is best to leave it to the professionals for the best cleaning results.
Working with professional upholstery cleaners
While they are important, these baby-proofing tips will only protect your couch for so long. Some of these little accidents are simply inevitable. In case you get yourself with a baby-related upholstery mess to deal with, the best thing to do is just call a professional to get it handled. There are so many perks to the investment over DIY upholstery cleaning including:
- They are more experienced.
- They have all the equipment needed to do the job right.
- They understand the needs of every different piece of furniture and every type of upholstery fabric.
- They are fast and efficient.
- They are highly professional.
With all this information in mind, you essentially have all the tools you need to ensure that you get to enjoy the best of both worlds; parenthood and proud homeownership. Just don’t be too hard on the little one. Let them play and explore. And if a mess does occur, just call the best upholstery cleaning crew near you to get the job handled right.