Mitchell Brown is the Founder of Sydney’s first and only baby proofing company – First Steps Safe Steps. Originally a carpenter by trade, Mitchell saw a gap in the market for a professional baby proofing and education service. Whilst accidents do happen, Mitchell and his highly experienced team look to minimise all preventable injuries by recommending and implementing solutions that are specific for your home and space.
As a father of an energetic toddler, Mitchell is a firm believer in being proactive to prevent an accident, rather than reactive once an accident has occurred. Read on to find out more about Mitchell and First Steps Safe Steps.
Tell us a little about yourself
I am the owner of First Steps Safe Steps Baby Proofing. I am a qualified carpenter by trade and have worked in the industry for 12 years.
My hobbies include travelling and keeping active and I regularly play basketball and touch football.
I love spending time with my wife, and I am an immensely proud dad to a VERY energetic and cheeky toddler – who tests out my baby proofing skills frequently!
What is First Steps Safe Steps and what inspired you to set up your own business?
First Steps Safe Steps is a complete end to end baby proofing and education service. Not only do we provide personalised solutions and recommendations based on the specific needs of your family and home, but our highly qualified and experienced Safety Technicians implement them for you.
The idea for First Steps Safe Steps came about when my love of travel led me to the UK in 2011, where I worked for a London-based baby proofing company. Upon my return to Australia, I quickly realised that there was an abundance of products and services aimed at new families, but there was a gap in the market, for a baby proofing service here. So, in 2014, together with my wife Holly, we began Sydney’s first, and currently only baby proofing company, First Steps Safe Steps.
What services do you offer?
We like to think of First Steps Safe Steps as a complete baby proofing service. As a first step (pun intended), one of our Safety Technicians conducts a complete safety assessment of the client’s home, where they will identify any areas of concern and address any safety needs. They would then provide the client with a detailed and personalised proposal of all recommended safety requirements and products that would minimise any potential risks. The Safety Technician can then, usually on the same day, proceed to install and baby proof the client’s home. Our safety technicians also provide detailed demonstrations of all installed products, ensuring that the client knows how to use and care for the products. For additional peace of mind, every customer will also receive a safety pack containing valuable infant safety information and relevant contacts.
In addition to our in-home service, we also provide installation and re-positioning of infant car seats.
Tell us about some of the benefits and challenges that you have faced being the first –and only– baby proofing service in the market?
Being the first baby proofing service in Sydney, has given us the time and space to refine our approach, test out many different products, enabling us to know what the best products on the market are. We know what works and what doesn’t – which in turn helps us to deliver to an exceptionally high standard and ensures a very high-level of customer satisfaction.
One of the main challenges we have found is awareness. People aren’t necessarily aware that a service like ours exist and it’s not until they engage us that they realise all of the benefits of having a professional take care of your infant safety needs.
When should parents begin baby proofing their home?
Ideally, when your child is six months old and certainly as soon as you notice signs of movement and exploration. That said, we baby proof homes at all stages from families who are expecting, to those with newborns or with older children. We baby proof a lot of family homes who are expecting a second or third child –when things are starting to get a lot more hectic! We have also baby proofed many grandparent’s homes too.
It really is never too early, to baby proof your home and get that invaluable peace of mind knowing that your child is safe in their own home.
What are your top tips for new parents wanting to baby proof their home?
Our top tips to baby proof your home are:
Overall, be proactive rather than reactive with baby proofing and safety. Don’t baby proof in reaction to a situation, you want to baby proof to prevent an accident.
What is the most difficult thing to baby-proof? Is anything beyond baby-proof?
Staircases are often quite a challenge. Open staircases can be quite tricky to baby proof as there is often nowhere to attach the gates to. Also, many modern homes staircases that have a void, which can also be difficult and requires the installation of custom cut Perspex.
Thankfully, our Safety Technicians are very creative and often think outside of the box to create and implement a safety solution. For example, we recently we encountered an outdoor pond that could not be fenced off. We ended up custom-making a grill that sat just under water level, that could easily support the body weight of a baby if it happened to crawl over to the pond area!
We take great pride in knowing that our team can baby proof almost everything and rarely find anything that is beyond baby proofing.
What’s the one thing you’re looking forward to once the pandemic is behind us?
Enjoying a big gathering with family and friends – and an overseas holiday.
Favourite places in the Inner West?
I do enjoy having a coffee around Balmain. My morning pit spot is usually at Kafeine.
Who inspires you?
To find out more visit www.firststepssafesteps.com.au