How to baby-proof a home

Do you have a baby on the way? As new parents, you are obviously stressed about keeping your baby safe from the perils of your home. While a wait-and-watch approach is fine, you should ideally start baby-proofing your house about four months before your due date. That way, you have ample time to clear clutter, fix any problems, and let any chemical fumes subside. While there are many obvious dangers, there are also many hazards that don’t appear in plain sight. Baby-proofing your home entails checking every nook and cranny for any kind of danger, removing or hiding that danger, and re-doing the process till you’re satisfied – it really is a lot of work! To help out all the new moms and dads, here is a comprehensive guide to baby-proofing that covers both the obvious and the obscure.

The Living Room

  • Mount your TV to the wall and hide the cords. Cable wires are potential choking hazards and should be away from your baby’s sight.
  • Almost every kind of furniture like coffee tables and bookcases can be hazardous for someone who is 1 – 2 feet tall. Cover edges of furniture with bumpers or baby-friendly padding. Figure out the areas where the baby could fall and cushion them with soft rugs or mats.
  • Move out any unstable furniture and breakable decorations like tall lamps and flower vases. If you don’t have an attic, move them behind stable furniture like a sofa or secure them in locked cupboards.
  • If you have a fireplace at your home, invest in a fire guard or a fireplace screen. Also, if there are sharp corners or rough tiles, cushion them as well. Install door guards on all doors to avoid tiny jammed fingers.
  • Ensure all electrical outlets are secured with safety covers. Curious children might start climbing furniture. So, bolt or secure them to the wall to ensure it doesn’t topple over your child.
  • Cordless phones and mobile phones won’t work when the power goes out. So, if you don’t have a landline, have it installed in your home. Also, maintain a list of all emergency numbers next to the landline and on your phone.

If you have a deck or a balcony, there are different types of rails for sale that can provide enhanced safety without ruining the look of your home, hindering the views or sunshine. Another good reason is that new parents don’t need to be worried about cable railings as they are low maintenance.

The Kitchen

  • Purchase sturdy garbage cans with a lockable cover to avoid spillage. Use stove guards, stove knob covers, appliance locks to keep the infant protected.
  • Install smoke detectors in all rooms and change out the battery whenever necessary. Buy a fire extinguisher, learn how to use it, and keep it stored in a place that is easily accessible.
  • If you have pets, feed your pets while you watch them. As soon as mealtime time is over, clean it up immediately. After all, you want your pet, not your baby, to enjoy the kibble.
  • If you store cleaning materials and chemicals in the cupboard under the sink, either move it to a different location or secure it with locks. Do you grow plants? Move them to a location that is out of reach of the baby.
  • Store knives, utensils, glasses, and food items out of reach in secured cabinets. Never leave any appliance plugged in or switched on when it’s not in use. Also, do away with tablecloths till your child is much older.

The Nursery

  • While doing up your baby’s crib, don’t place any stuffed animals, soft toys or bumpers in it as such items can turn into choking hazards. As your baby grows older, remove any hanging wind charms or toys.
  • While you do need a baby monitor in the nursery, go for a cordless one or hide the wires and ensure they are far away from the crib.
  • Opt for a toy box without a lid as you don’t want your child’s fingers to get jammed or slammed. It is also wise to secure any dressers and cupboards to the wall. If there is a window in the nursery, secure it well with safety glass and place the crib away from it.
  • Position the crib away from other kinds of furniture, wall decorations, and lighting fixtures. If you have a rug in the nursery, line it with an anti-skid rug liner underneath it.
  • Store all baby supplies in a separate cupboard that is reachable from the changing table by you, but not your baby. Stock up your first-aid kit. Also, position the changing table and cupboard away from the crib.

The Bathroom

  • Store all electrical appliances and personal products in a locked cabinet. Attach a safety latch on the toilet lid and the bathroom trash can.
  • Install a temperature guard in your water heater or use special taps to reduce the water’s temperature. Most importantly, never leave your baby unattended in the bathroom.

The Garage

  • Keep your tools, any toxic chemicals, detergent, bleach, and other laundry items under lock and key. If you own sports gear, secure it in a place the baby can’t reach. Also, keep the door between the house and garage locked.
  • Clean out your car and remove any small pieces that could cause choking. Take your car for a thorough wash every week to keep it safe for the baby. Use sun shades on windows to protect your infant from harsh sunlight (opt for the stick-on variety as suction shades and hanging shades can fall off).

Your home is your safe haven and it should be one for your baby as well. Baby-proofing your home can get overwhelming at times. To avoid the stress and worry, it’s useful to follow a handy guide and checklist that will help you navigate through the tricky task of baby-proofing before your baby arrives.

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