When your baby turns six months, he will start the rocking motion which will eventually lead to rolling over and crawling. This is the peak time for parents to start baby-proofing their home to continue to keep it safe for their baby. If you have tile floors, you might be wondering if there’s any way you can make them safe for your crawling baby. Is there such a thing as babyproofing your tile floor?
Because of its slick, smooth surface, tile floors can pose a slip hazard to babies and the hard surface is more likely to lead to injury. To babyproof your tile floor, consider adding a rug or foam mat to the space, or updating the floor to a more baby-friendly carpet. Alternatively, let your baby play in a play yard instead of on the floor.
Keep reading as we discuss the different safety tips regarding tile floors especially if your baby is starting to crawl.
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Is tile flooring dangerous for babies?
It’s common for homes to have tiles floors in both the kitchen and the bathroom, both places that your baby is likely to spend lots of time. Are these floors safe for your little one?
The main advantage of a tile floor is that it is really easy to clean compared to other floors, which is why they’re so common in high-traffic, high-mess areas. You can easily clean it with water and a mop whereas other floor coverings like carpet or hardwood are harder to clean up.
Tile flooring can be dangerous for babies, especially when they are starting to be more mobile. They can slip on tile floors or fall on the floors and hit their heads or other body parts which will hurt them. For a crawling baby, tile floors can also be uncomfortably hard and too cold to crawl on.
There are different options that you can babyproof your tile floor like using carpets and rugs to help make the surface more comfortable and softer.
Tile floor safety statistics for babies
When your baby is starting to move around and explore the environment that he is in, falls are inevitable. According to the CDC, falls are the leading cause of non-fatal injuries in children.
Every day approximately 8,000 children are being treated in hospitals for falls so the numbers are quite significant and a testament to how serious we should be when it comes to babyproofing to prevent falls.
Keep in mind that these statistics are not specific to tile floors, so you should be diligent about safety and babyproofing across your home.
Is it okay to let babies crawl on a tile floor?
Crawling on tile floors might seem uncomfortable but babies can’t care less about what type of floor they are crawling on as long as they are on the move. The surprising thing about babies is that they are very adaptable and things that don’t look or feel comfortable to us might be comfortable for them because they don’t know any better.
It is okay to let your babies crawl on a tile floor provided that the floor is clean and free from things that he can pick up and put in his mouth. You also have to make sure that the tile floor is dry because a wet floor can make your baby slip and fall especially if he is trying to pull up.
There are different ways that you can baby-proof your tile floors and one of the best options is to put a carpet or rug so that it is more comfortable and to prevent slipping.
How to make tile floor safe for baby
Your baby’s safety is the number one cause for concern especially if he is starting to crawl. Baby proofing the house is a huge undertaking but it will be worth it in the end because it will keep your baby safe and give you peace of mind.
If you have tile floors, you have to include this in your babyproofing plan. Tile floors can be slippery for a baby who is on the move and if your baby falls into a tiled floor, it can hurt a lot!
The best ways to make a tile floor safe for babies are to:
- Use a rug
- Lay out foam play mats or puzzle mats
- Spread pillows around the crib
- Add blankets inside play yards
- Change out the tile floor
Rugs and Carpets
Rugs and carpets are not only used for decorative purposes or floor accents but also acts as a cushion for your crawling baby. If your baby is starting to get mobile, opt for a thicker carpet at least ½ an inch to an inch in thickness or more that has softer textures that won’t induce rug burn on your baby’s skin.
Having a softer carpet will also ensure that if your baby falls, he won’t hurt his head as much. Accidents happen all the time and your baby who is starting to master his movements of crawling and pulling up will fall multiple times. Having a softer cushion for him to fall on will prevent him from being hurt.
Since you are putting carpet on top of a tiled floor, it can become slippery so it is worthwhile to invest in a non-slip carpet or rug pad underneath. The rug pad prevents the carpet from moving or slipping and keeps it in place which is perfect for a baby who is on the move.
Foam play mats or puzzle mats
Foam play mats or puzzle mats not only will provide the cushion that you need to keep your baby safe but can also act as a toy or entertainment piece for your baby.
These mats are made out of foam and are cushiony compared to tile floors. You can purchase a big enough mat that you can transport from room to room depending on where your baby plays.
Foam mats are also easy to clean and will withstand the occasional wear and tear.
Pillows around the crib
One of the concerns when it comes to having a tiled floor is the fact that when your baby falls from his crib, it will hurt a lot.
You can surround the crib with pillows if you don’t want your baby to fall into the hard tiled floor. The pillows can act as a cushion and will soften your baby’s fall.
Foam mats inside play yards
Once your baby starts crawling, all bets are off and you have to start babyproofing the house or eyes on him at all times. There will be times when you can’t keep an eye on the baby especially if you have other kids that need your attention. The best way that you can leave your baby safely for a short period is by using a play yard to keep him in a restricted space for the meantime.
Play yards are a great tool to keep your baby from going into places like the kitchen or the bedrooms where it will be hard to keep an eye on him. You can use foam mats to serve as cushions for the floors and make it easier for your baby to crawl around.
You can also put your baby’s toys in the play yard to keep him entertained and encourage individual playtime.
Change out the tile floor
This is the most expensive option is likely to be the last resort when it comes to babyproofing your tile floor.
Changing your floors is always an option especially if you were already planning to renovate and expect to have more kids. You can change from tile to carpet so that your baby will have a more comfortable time crawling and you don’t have to worry about him hurting himself compared to tire floors.
You have to understand that if this is the option that you want to do, it will take a lot of time and money. This will also change the look of your house and is a huge investment.
How to babyproof tile steps
The stairs are probably the hardest area in your house to babyproof. Depending on how many steps you have, you might have to babyproof each step, especially if you are thinking of letting the baby crawl up and down the stairs once he’s able.
The easiest way to babyproof the steps is to place gates on the top and bottom of the gates so that your baby will not have access to the stairs altogether. This will ensure that your baby will not attempt to crawl up and down the stairs. Make sure that the gates are anchored to the stairs so that they will not move and will be secured in place.
If your baby is big enough to explore the stairs area and you are not afraid to let him crawl up and down the stairs, you can consider carpeting your stairs. Some parents put carpet in their stairs to prevent slipping and falling and then take it off once their kids are more able to climb the stairs without any problems.
What kind of flooring is best for babies?
There are many types of flooring available for your home, including solid wood, vinyl, tile, and carpet. Of these, carpet is the best option for your baby’s comfort and safety.
The best type of flooring when it comes to your baby who is starting to crawl is carpet because it is softer and will be more comfortable for your baby to crawl on.
If you have carpet, you have to make sure that it is clean at all times especially if you have a crawling baby. The downside of having carpet is that it will be a pain to clean. You can spot clean it when it gets stains and spots but shampooing the whole carpeted area is recommended especially if your baby is starting to crawl.
Carpet will also help warm your house especially if you live in cooler climates.