It’s thrilling to think that a new baby will be joining your family. Babies bring so much joy and expectation for the future. Whether this is your first baby or one of many, you will want to do everything you can to make sure your little one grows up happy and healthy. Baby proofing your baby’s environment is a necessary first step.
On the surface, it might seem like baby proofing an entire home is a lot of work. But, babies grow up fast and before you blink your little one will be crawling and walking. Like any large task, when broken down into chunks you’ll be able to get your home ready in a thorough and timely manner. From the baby’s crib to the main living areas, this post will help you get it done.
Sudden infant death syndrome is the leading cause of death for babies between 1 month and 1 year old. Start with your baby’s crib. It’s important that the crib be completely free of pillows, stuffed animals, blankets, etc. And, resist the urge to have your baby sleep with you, it really isn’t safe for any number of reasons. By having baby sleep solo, on her back, you’ll be helping her breathe easier and sleep safely.
Next, it’s time to work on the other rooms of your home. The leading cause of death for children between the ages of 1 and 4 are unintentional accidents. The tiny humans in our lives are curious, active and really innovative when it comes to exploring their world. To keep your little one safe you’ll need to look at things at eye level.
To get your baby’s view of the world, get down on your knees and look around. You’ll see many things that will make your baby curious. Wall outlets, sharp furniture corners, and shelves with knick-knacks are just a few common threats. Here are some of the most common things that can be done in your home to prepare for your baby:
- Get and install outlet covers. Take care to use the type that is a self closing socket plug. The type that simply plugs into the outlet holes can be removed and can become a choking hazard.
- Take the time to anchor furniture. Shelves, chest of drawers, just about anything we use at home for storage and display can be easily pulled over and fall on a child.
- Check window drapes and shades for hanging cords that can get wrapped around hands or necks. These need to be tied up out of reach of tiny humans.
- Babies put just about everything in their mouth. Check for any objects at baby’s level that can become a choking hazard and remove them from the room or put up very high.
- Cabinets and drawers are a big draw for curious tots. Be sure that what you’re storing in lower cabinets is baby safe. Remove all cleaning agents, chemicals, soaps and the like to high storage areas. If you have knives in kitchen drawers move those as well. If that is not an option, install cabinet locks to prevent baby from opening cabinets.
- Be aware that toddlers are top heavy so they tip over easily. This means that any bucket or toilet with water can be a drowning hazard. You can use toilet lid locks or special door knobs to help prevent access to these areas. Never leave a child unattended near water, including bath time.
As your child grows up and gets taller, you’ll want to expand the child proofing. For example, be sure to restrict cooking to the back burners on the stove and turn the handles so they aren’t accessible from your child’s level. If you live on a second story, invest in window guards as children have been known to go through screens. You’ll also want to take a look outside your home, in the garage and around the yard.
Never underestimate the ability of tiny humans to find that one thing you didn’t see, tripping on an area rug and falling on the corner of a coffee table for example. Babies and toddlers are adorable, and adorably curious. They will keep you on your toes when it comes to safety around the home.