Baby Proofing 101: How To Child Proof Your Home
You’re pregnant. It’s a glorious and beautiful time. You’re excited. You’ve started planning out the nursery, and the next step is to start your baby proofing checklist.
It may just be easier said than done. Where do you start? What products are the best? What’s best for your baby? What will make your little one safe on the first day, and as he or she grows. You can’t think of everything all at once, but you can take the first steps toward making your baby safe. Here’s a quick guide on how to prepare your home for your baby’s homecoming.
What is Your Safety Plan?
Your first task is to take a big-picture approach to safety in your home. It’s important to review the safety and security of every part of your house—room-by-room. First, though, sit down and consider your safety plan.
- Are you trained in CPR and the Heimlich maneuver?Do you know the basics of first aid?
- Have you padded all corners, and secured all cords?
- Did you install carbon monoxide & smoke detectors?
- Do you have emergency numbers on the fridge?
- Better yet, have you set-up the emergency details on your cell phone and other smart-home devices?
- Have you removed all sharp objects and secured them?
- Did you secure curtains, as well as all drawstrings?
- Are all doors and windows secured and kid-proof?
- Did you check your water heater to make sure it’s set to 120 degrees Fahrenheit/48.8 degrees Celsius?
- Have you set up baby gates and guardrails as needed to prevent falls down stairs, etc.
You have no reason to believe that you will ever need your safety plan or all those quick tricks, but that’s what it’s there for (so you won’t ever need to use it). It offers peace of mind. All kids love to explore. They’re fascinated by those areas of the home where they’re not allowed to go. When you first bring your baby home, it’s easy to think that you have plenty of time before he or she will be making a beeline for the swimming pool or the kitchen sink. You’d be right—for the most part. A baby does a lot of sleeping, eating, and crying with the never-ending diaper changes in between.
Your little bundle of joy will soon be crawling, then walking, running, and climbing. So, here’s a rundown on safety tips and tricks to watch out for.
It’s got to be the safest room of the house. Just as the Nursery is the first spot that comes to mind, the crib is the focal point of the room. That means it has to be safe.
Solution: Check out the Safety Commission, and implement #BareIsBest. There’s one more thing you’ll want to install: a video monitor. It’s the best way to make sure your little one is really safe. Also consider a Breathing Movement Monitor to be notified if anything abnormal happens to their breathing movements while they’re sleeping.
Besides sleeping, your baby is an expert at filling up those diapers. What a mess! So, the bathtub will be your best friend. Your little one will quickly learn to associate the Bathroom with bubbles, toys and fun. It’s all great! But, before you give your little one free-reign, you’ve got to run your own treasure hunt. Only this time, you’re searching for cleaners, bleach, and artificial fragrances from the cabinets in and around the Bathroom.
Solution: Cover/pad corners and remove any wobbly furniture that could topple over. Remove sharp or breakable objects. Secure cords to the wall or completely remove them if possible. Your curious little one will eye level with electrical outlets, making them a prime location for wandering fingers. Using plastic outlet covers will keep them safe. And if you do have a beloved aquatic member of the family, implement a locking top and permanently affix the tank, this should keep both baby and fish safe as can be.
Living Room & Common Areas
Your little bundle of joy will grow to be quite the acrobat. They’ll tug or pull themselves up on anything they can, so it’s important to ensure everything is sturdy. If you have an aquarium you’ll notice it isn’t designed to accommodate a baby or toddler crawling around or leaning on them.
Solution: Cover/pad corners and remove wobbly furniture. Remove sharp and breakable objects. Secure or remove cords and use outlet covers. If your fish are a part of your family, and beloved by you all… Implement a locking top and permanently affix the tank. No wobble!
Kitchen & Laundry
Along with sleeping and bathing, your little one needs to eat! You’ll spend a lot of time in the kitchen together. While you’re spending time cooking and cleaning, your little one will quickly find his or her own kind of entertainment. Beyond the glorious sounds of banging pans and the enticement of exploring mysterious corners of the pantry, there’s always a risk of your toddler climbing up to the counter. Right now you’re thinking it’s impossible, but if your kiddos are anything like ours, they quickly prove themselves to be a mini-Tarzan, highly skilled at getting themselves to all those impossible, hard to reach spots.
Solution: Again, go through all your cabinets and cupboards, securely locking up any sharp objects and tools with a kid-safe latch. Latch the fridge door as well to ensure they don’t accidentally get into anything or have the door hurt them when it closes. This is another room to definitely try the hands-and-knees trick to check for cords, sharp corners, and climbing opportunities.
They grow up so fast. Who would have thought your baby or toddler could get outside? Your tike is just the right size to follow your dog through the doggie door. Or, better yet, your genius might learn how to unlock the back sliding-glass door. He or she will figure it out. Your child is amazing! He or she will get outside. It’s the happening (fun) place to be, with the fire pit, the pool, the BBQ, the dog, and all the rest. So, it’s simple.
Solution: Prepare for the inevitable. Baby proof the backyard, with covers on the pool and hot tub, as well as a careful eye to make sure that no sharp or unsafe objects are left out. Cover the fire pit when you aren’t there. Secure the grill.
Garage & Shed
As kids get older, they start riding on tricycles and scooters. They play with balls, bats, and every manner of outdoor equipment, so your child will be in-and-out of the garage or shed. The garage is also where you keep oil, gas as well as other combustible materials for your lawn mower. You probably keep lawn and pool chemicals out there, as well as sprays for insects and other pests. Take a deep breath and consider… You may not even really know what half that gunk is. One thing you should be certain of, though. It’s not safe.
Solution: Remove and safely dispose of any chemicals and pesticides you don’t need by following the EPA Guidelines. Any you do need, be sure to put away in a cabinet or locked shed, along with any tools, so that is not accessible or near your little one’s favorite toys.
Bringing home your baby for the first time is not cause for concern. It will always be one of the happiest days of your life. It’s also a celebration of how you are embracing this role of parenthood.
Nobody said that this was easy… but it’s worth it!
As you watch your baby on your video monitor, you see their perfect toes, smudged up nose, or a smile in their sleep, and you think they must be dreaming. It’s everything you’ve ever wanted, and you’ll sleep better knowing you’ve created a safe environment for your little one.