Once you have a baby, you need to make your house safe, but how can you do it? This guide lists 10 simple steps to baby proofing your home.
For expectant parents, the world of parenthood may seem like both an exciting and daunting place. With so much unknown territory ahead, how do you keep your baby safe with so many hazards to navigate?
The key to it all is preparation. There may be certain things you cannot protect your child from as they grow up. But there’s plenty of baby proofing you can do to ensure your home is a safe and nurturing space.
Here are 10 babyproofing tips to follow as your child grows from infant to toddler.
A Quick Guide to Babyproofing: 10 Must-Know Steps
The world that we live in as adults may have its fair share of hazards to navigate. But as a baby, the risks are endless.
While some parents can go a little overboard when it comes to babyproofing, it’s not really essential. Infants and toddlers are pretty smart – it’s their curiosity that can sometimes cause harm.
This being said, there are certain must-know baby proofing steps to apply in the home:
1. Adjust Your Water Heater Temperature
Children aged 15-months and older become curious about nearly everything, including knobs that turn. In order to protect your child from scalding hot water burns, make sure to adjust your water temperature setting to 120 degrees.
When the hot water thermostat is set to this temperature, third-degree burns just can’t happen, even if your child does open a hot water faucet.
2. Lock Away Laundry and Cleaning Products
Another major hazard for children at a crawling, kneeling, and reaching age is lower-level cabinets. Especially those that contain hazardous chemicals such as cleaning and laundry products.
You want to invest in the best cabinet locks possible to ensure these cabinets stay closed as your toddler begins to explore. The same goes for storing medications in the home as well.
The Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) reports that there were over 70,000 unintentional poisonings that occurred in 2018 alone, where these types of accidents are easily avoidable.
3. Keep Bathrooms Secure
When it comes to any amount of water, it’s best to keep a close watch on your infant or toddler. Unfortunately, child drownings are far too common and it doesn’t take much water at that — only a couple of inches.
As children begin to explore all areas of the home, make sure to keep your bathroom doors closed and secure. This way your child is not exposed to the dangers of the toilet, bathtub, or shower. You can also install toddler-proof toilet seat covers to prevent accidents.
4. Ensure the Crib is a Safe Space
Another harsh reality is that crib death is another accident that is completely avoidable with a few essential steps.
You want to ensure your child’s crib is a safe space for sleeping at all ages. To prevent injury, make sure you use the appropriate crib-rail height for your child.
As they start to pull themselves up and stand, make sure the crib bed is low enough so that they cannot launch themselves out the crib.
Also, make sure to keep the crib as empty as possible when your child is sleeping. Objects such as pillows, stuffed animals, and even blankets pose a suffocation hazard.
5. Anchor Down All Heavy Objects
From around the age of 6-months old babies become more mobile. They start sitting, grabbing, rolling over, and even crawling. As soon as your child has some form of mobility, it’s time to start anchoring heavy objects or removing them altogether.
A good way to get an idea of what poses a risk to your child is to get down to their level. Lay on the ground and look around at all the things they could potentially bump, grab, or pull on.
This often includes objects such as free-standing TV’s that aren’t wall-mounted. As well as heavy vases, standing lamps, tall cabinets, chests of drawers, etc.
6. Baby Proof Electrical Outlets
Tiny fingers love to explore new objects for their different textures, as well as small cracks, crevices, and holes.
Around the age of 15-months, toddlers become fascinated by exploring all of these things, especially electrical outlets. In order to prevent electrocution, fit your home with electrical outlet covers that can’t be removed by small fingers.
Keep in mind that individual outlet covers may seem like a good idea, but sometimes they are small enough to pose a choking hazard! It’s better to replace the entire cover altogether.
7. Rethink Your Window Blinds
If your home is fitted with Venetian, slatted window blinds, it may be worthwhile replacing these for some other window covering.
The blind cord poses a major risk to children of both infant and toddler age. There is a chance they could become entangled in the cord, resulting in injury or suffocation.
Otherwise, you could replace the window covering with a cordless blind or those with an inaccessible cord.
8. Block Off All Access to Stairs
Stairs pose a major risk to both infants and toddlers as they roll, crawl, and run throughout the home. Even if it’s just one step, this can cause major injury to a small child.
Make sure to safely block off access to all forms of stairs and stairwells with safety gates. If you have a door that leads to a stairwell, such as with a basement, make sure to keep that door locked at all times.
9. Be Mindful of Small Object Choking Hazards
One of the most common ways children familiarize themselves with new objects is by putting them in their mouths. This is why it’s so important to be on high alert with regards to small object choking hazards around your home.
A good way to test this is out is with a small object tester. Grab an old toilet roll tube. If an object is small enough to fit into it, it’s a choking hazard.
Look around your home and remove and lock away all small objects that could pose this risk.
10. Baby Proof Sharp Corners
As babies begin to walk they are still fairly unstable on their feet, bumping into things and falling over often. A good way to prevent your child from injury is to baby-proof all those sharp corners in the main living areas of your home.
This includes the corners of tables, desks, cabinets, and low-level shelving. Rubber corner guards work a treat while protecting your little one from bumps and bruises.
Get Your Home Ready for Your Little One
Baby proofing doesn’t have to be super expensive or time-consuming. It’s just about using your common sense and intuition as a parent.
If you’re looking to get your home ready for the arrival of a little one, check out the rest of this site for home interior inspiration. We offer tips on where to find beautiful knock-off decor, perfect for nursery room decoration.