So you just found out that you are going to have a baby. Well, it can be a moment of joy for the parents, but let’s not forget that it also comes with a lot of responsibilities! And one of the things you should do right away is to babyproof the house!
Babies are curious by nature, and as they become more mobile, they will try to get into every corner of the house. From the kitchen to the stairs to electric outlets, there can be a lot of potential hazards for your little one!
For new parents, it can easily get overwhelming trying to figure out where to start ‘the babyproofing.’ After all, a house that would otherwise look perfectly safe suddenly starts to look like a place filled with hazards for the little one.
That’s why today, we will look at how to babyproof your house the right way (This will provide you with much-needed peace of mind knowing your little one will be safe from hazards).
When should you start babyproofing your house?
It is best to start babyproofing your house as early as possible. Ideally, the process of babyproofing should be started 3-4 months before the pregnancy’s due date.
The reason why we recommend 3-4 months is that some of the preparations can take time while others are just quick fixes.
And once the baby enters into their rolling & crawling age (6-10 months), you will need to do some more babyproofing to ensure the house is safe for exploring.
How to Babyproof Your House
It can easily get overwhelming to think of all the potential hazards present in your house. But if you take a systematic and step-by-step approach, it starts to feel more manageable.
So without wasting time, let’s look at how to babyproof your house the right way:
1. Cover Electrical Outlets
There’s just something about the electrical outlets and the children. In fact, children sticking their fingers in the electrical outlets is a universal phenomenon!
So the first step in babyproofing the house is to cover the electrical outlets. You can easily buy electrical outlet covers both online and offline.
And while you are at it, also keep the outlet extension cords and the electrical cords out of sight and reach!
2. Install Smoke Detectors
If your house doesn’t have smoke & CO detectors, then it is high time to get these installed right away! In the unfortunate event of a fire, these detectors can protect your whole family (including the little one) from dangerous fire and carbon monoxide.
One of the things which makes carbon monoxide (CO) such a big hazard is that it doesn’t smell and is practically colorless. This means you can’t even tell if the CO is present in the atmosphere unless you start to feel dizziness, headache, & other symptoms.
Another thing to keep in mind is to perform a routine check-up of the smoke & CO detectors. This includes changing the batteries when needed or replacing faulty devices.
3. Secure the Crib/Bed
Your baby will be spending a lot of time in the crib, and there will be times when they will be unattended. That’s why you should ensure that the crib provides a safe sleep environment for the baby.
Any type of soft materials, such as blankets, pillows, stuffed animals, and bumpers, shouldn’t be present on the crib as it increases the suffocation risk.
The next step in babyproofing the crib is to ensure that all the screws and bolts are tight and secure. Also, make sure that there’s no gap between the crib and the mattress.
Another important thing to check is the distance between the crib slats. Ideally, the distance between these slats should be less than 2 and 3/8 inches (2.375 inches).
And once the child is old enough to climb out of the crib, move them to a mattress on the floor or a low bed. You shouldn’t use a normal adult bed for the child as there’s a greater chance of injury in the unfortunate event of falling off the bed.
4. Remove Choking Hazards
Check around the house for small items that can pose a choking hazard for the children and remove them. Here’s a list of items that can pose a choking hazard:
- Small toys
- Food items with an irregular shape (popcorn, grapes, and nuts).
Basically, anything that’s small in size shouldn’t be within reach of children. It is best to remove these choking hazards all around the house but pay close attention to the floor as that’s where toddlers will crawl most of the time.
5. Install Baby Safety Gates
We don’t know the reason, but children absolutely love to climb stairs! When unsupervised, climbing stairs can prove to become a potential hazard for the child! So the best way to babyproof the stairs is to install baby safety gates.
And while you are at it, install the baby gates in any area or room where you don’t want the little one to get into! This can include the garage, laundry room, and kitchen.
6. Secure the Furniture
Check all the furniture in the house and make sure it is stable & will not fall over the child. You can use bolts to mount the heavy furniture to the wall. You can also anchor the furniture to the ground using L-brackets or straps to prevent tipping.
And for furniture that’s not stable, it is the best way to move it to a place where the child can’t go!
Another thing to check on the furniture is for any sharp edges, protruding nails, or anything similar. You can easily use edge protectors or corner guards to cover the sharp edges of furniture.
7. Keep Sharp Objects Away
Scout the house for any sharp objects, appliances, and utensils that can pose a potential hazard for the child. This can include food processors, scissors, knives, razor blades, needles, nails, and so on.
It is best to keep these sharp objects out of the reach of children. It is usually best to store these items in a drawer secured with a safety latch or a lock mechanism.
Take The First Step Towards Babyproofing Your House
A parent’s job never ends at all. In fact, it starts even way before the child opens their eyes to the world! Babyproofing the house is one of those things that’s best done early (a few months in advance, at least).
This will give you enough time to scout the house and remove anything hazardous. And you don’t have to limit yourself to what’s listed above. It is one of those times when using your intuition and reasoning can go a long way.
Do you also have any suggestions on how to babyproof the house? Then please share them in the comments & help other parents as well!