Surefire Ways to Baby-Proof Your Home
With a little one on the way, there is much you can do to prepare. Creating a healthy, safe environment at home is something you may not think about until those chubby hands are touching everything within reach. It doesn’t take long for babies of all sizes to begin exploring their world, and that beautiful curiosity will result in using hands and mouths to discover all surfaces of the house. Take the time to make sure baby can safely do so!
To successfully create a secure, happy space for your baby, consider:
- Securing heavy objects that can be pulled down. The television, potted plants, or books on a shelf can turn dangerous if dropped onto baby.
- Locking toilet lids. Not only is it unsanitary, when a baby plays in the potty he could fall in face-first and drown in the water.
- Electricity precautions. Hide wires and cables so baby can’t pull or chew on them and purchase outlet covers that require two hands to remove. Consider moving heavy furniture in front of electrical outlets.
- Creating a safe nursery and sleeping space and following the safe sleep guidelines.
- Relocating toxic substances. If you have cleaners, medications, or other toxic chemicals under sinks or low cabinets, relocate those to a higher place (above the fridge, for example) or place cabinet locks on all cupboard drawers so baby cannot get into them. Have the phone number for poison control visible so if any emergencies arise, you or another caregiver can act quickly.
- Tying blind and curtain tassels and cords up high and out of reach. They pose a suffocation risk as infants can get tangled.
- Using an approved car seat. Know the history of the car seat before use. Ensure it is hooked up correctly in your car.
- Tub safety. Adjust the water heater so that the max temperature is no higher than 120 degrees to prevent scalding. Never leave an infant alone in the bath tub for any amount of time.
- Installing baby gates above and below stairs to avoid falls.
- Having age-appropriate toys on hand. If a toy is intended for older children, it could pose a choking hazard for infants.
- Being watchful of any standing water in or around your home, such as water features, a pool, fish tank, or pond. Always keep a very close eye on infants and toddlers around water. Installing a fence or alarm can help you keep track of water-loving children.
- Installing detectors for smoke and carbon monoxide in every level of your home.
- Making sure doors -especially exterior doors – and windows are well-secured so that your young child can’t leave the house without an adult.
- Using a baby gate to prevent baby from entering rooms in your home that you cannot or just don’t want to baby-proof.
- Crawling around on your hands and knees to look at things from that angle. You may find hazards that slipped your notice before.
- Saving some behaviors for times when baby isn’t watching. Children are very perceptive, and as they grow, they’ll want to be just like you! Avoid taking medication, smoking, or using objects that are unsafe for infants and toddlers.
Babyproofing your home sounds like a lot of work, but creating a safe environment for your baby will ensure that you both have many happy, healthy years to enjoy together. If baby-proofing sounds overwhelming, there are baby-proofing services available where professionals will come into your home and make suggestions or changes to help protect your child. Whether you choose to hire a professional or baby-proof yourself, it’s worth taking the time and making the effort so your little one can explore securely.
What are your ideas for baby-proofing a living space? Share in the comments!