Baby proofing is likely not the first thing on your mind as soon as your baby is born. After all, they will not be mobile for quite some time. However, the time will pass before you know it, and you will begin to see potential danger around every corner.
As a parent, this is one of the biggest and most important tasks you will undertake. You will need to take care and pay special attention to a few specific things when baby proofing your home.
The nursery is more than likely going to be the place that your baby spends most of their time, so naturally it needs a lot of attention when baby proofing.
Tall dressers and bookshelves can be top heavy, and as your baby grows, their curiosity grows, as does their ability to climb.
Use furniture straps to anchor these pieces to the wall to prevent them from falling.
Install safety catches on drawers and utilize doorstoppers to prevent little fingers from getting smashed and pinched.
Attach a child safety knob to the inside of the door to prevent them from getting out and wandering around unsupervised.
Do not leave your baby unattended on a changing table. Even turning your back for a split second gives them enough time to roll off and fall to the floor.
Make sure all electrical outlets are covered, either by placing furniture in front of them or using plug covers.
Ensure that your baby’s bedding is safe and appropriate. Do not place pillows, comforters, stuffed animals, or any other soft objects in the crib with your baby when they are sleeping, as these are suffocation hazards.
Install baby monitors – ideally a model that has audio and video – to keep an eye on your baby while they are sleeping and to make sure you can respond quickly to any potential trouble.
After the nursery, the living room is likely to be the next place your baby will be spending the majority of their time.
Look for sharp edges on your furniture, particularly your coffee table. Place bumpers on the edges and/or corners to soften them and prevent injuries if your baby should stumble or fall.
Move any dangerous, heavy, or breakable objects to a high place out of your baby’s reach.
Cut or tie up any window blind cords or curtain tassels to prevent strangulation.
Just as you did in the nursery, you need to cover any exposed electrical outlets and anchor large furniture to the wall. You should also anchor your TV, either by attaching a strap to your TV stand or installing a wall mount frame.
Fireplaces need special attention when baby proofing. If you have a hearth, consider installing a padded hearth cover to prevent injuries from falls. You should also install an area gate to prevent your baby from getting too close and burning themselves.
Install a carbon monoxide detector and keep all batteries for smoke detectors up to date.
The bathroom may not be a place that your baby hangs out or wanders into often, but it is still important to look over and make safe.
Install a toilet seat lock to prevent your baby from lifting the lid. Simply losing balance and falling into the toilet bowl is not only gross, but also creates the potential for drowning.
Make sure all electronic appliances, such as curling irons, hair dryers, and shavers, are unplugged after use and put away to avoid injury.
Though it is not necessarily “baby proofing,” you need to always be alert and never leave your baby unattended in the bathtub.
If you keep cleaning supplies in a cabinet under your bathroom sink, you need to be sure to buy a safety latch or lock to prevent chemical burns and poisoning.
Little hands are curious about knobs, and they may accidentally find themselves burned if they turn on the hot water. Reducing your water heater’s temperature not only can prevent burns, but it can save energy.
The biggest threat to your baby’s safety is a bad fall.
It is inevitable that they will have stumbles and trips as they grow up, but a home that is not properly equipped with child safety measures can be deadly in the event of a fall.
Safety gates are an absolute must if you have stairs in your home, and they should be installed at both the top and bottom of each staircase. Pressure mounted gates are the most popular an easy to install, but for the top of the stairs, you need a tall, hardware mounted gate to keep your baby safe and secure.
Keep windows locked when they are closed, and never leave your baby unattended in a room where the window is open. If you do want to let some fresh air in, do not rely on screens to keep your baby inside and safe. Install a window guard for added protection.
The kitchen is also a common area for injury and safety hazards. Any time you have a pot or pan on the stove, be sure to turn the handle toward the back of the range so that little hands do not reach up and knock it over.
Any stove and oven knobs within reach should be removed when not in use so that your child does not turn the burner or gas on when you are unaware.
Just like in the bathroom, any cleaning supplies or chemicals should be placed in a locked cabinet, as well as any medications or vitamins.
Always keep the dishwasher locked so that your baby does not get into any soap and so that they do not grab any sharp objects.
It may seem like a lot to remember, but taking the time to ensure every area of your house is baby proofed will keep your baby safe and reduce stress in the long run.
What do you think? Do you have questions or comments about baby proofing? Let us know in the comments.
As always, be sure to share this link with other parents who are looking for help with baby proofing.