Babies who are old enough to crawl, let alone toddle, are at their most challenging in terms of safety. At this stage they can perceive colors better than infants, but they still lack the ability to understand, say, a storybook scene on a wall.
Keep decorating ideas simple for awhile yet, and concentrate on making sure every square inch is clean and safe. For example, no hanging tablecloths, no exposed electrical outlets, no breakable or heavy items on tables and shelves, and no sharp corners on any furniture.
Tots making the transition from crawling to toddling will use any available vertical item to pull themselves up, so choose furniture pieces that are sturdy and stable.
For the inevitable tumbles, make sure floors are clean and resilient or softly covered with carpeting or rugs. If you don't have wall-to-wall carpeting, use slip-proof pads under every rug. Vinyl resilient tiles and wood flooring are more forgiving than ceramic tile or stone, but nonslip rugs can make a real difference on any floor.
Depending on how active or how tall your child is, you may want to make the transition to a low youth bed now. If there's even a chance your child can climb out of the crib, it's time to move on.
The next page provides safe decorating tips for when your child moves on to the preschool years.