Baby proofing the home is a very critical task in a new parent’s to-do-list. Being able to do this “assignment” will help avoid or at least minimize accidents that will involve the newest member of the family.
For some households, baby-proofing starts way before the little one is born. Nesting – or the mother-to-be’s instinct to clean up, organize, and prepare their home for their newborn will usually involve some baby-proofing tasks crucial to guarantee the safety of the baby.
Conscious effort however has to be exerted when it comes to baby-proofing the home and you also may need useful tool for this work the best impact driver will give you most help. And while parents may not be able to do it all at once, it is best to assess the important part of your home that needs baby proofing as soon as the baby arrives. The rest could then be split into bite-size pieces that parents can work on from time to time – or as the baby grows and starts reaching milestone after milestone.
So what are the most important baby proofing you should do around the house? Here are several areas you may want to consider, as well as the timing when it should be done.
What to baby proof prior to baby’s arrival
- First of all make sure that the whole house is clean particularly the nursery, if you will have one. If you live in an old house, it may help to inspect walls, carpets and other parts of the home to ensure that there are no mold growths or spores that may be inhaled by the baby.
- You may also want to ensure that everything is safely sanitized and disinfected. If there are curtains in the house and the baby’s room, it will be best to change them. The whole house should be well swept, mopped, and vacuumed. The couch should also be cleaned, because most likely, the baby will spend time there too with the members of the family.
- If someone smokes cigarette around the home, it will be best to impose a rule now – even before the baby arrives — that smoking will no longer be tolerated inside the home. Safety inspections like those involving fire and electricity may also be conducted at this time. If and when you will be using a baby monitor, now is also the time as well to source one.
- You may also want to ensure that there are no hanging frames, ornaments, or things that may fall off the baby’s cot when a sudden earthquake takes place. Read up as well on the dangers of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome or SIDS to ensure that all areas where your baby may sleep or take a nap, are areas where it will be safe for the little one to snooze in.
- If in case you bought second hand or pre-loved baby gear, now is also the time to disinfect and sanitize. It will be best to put these items under the sun, after application of disinfectant, to further kill any germs or bacteria.
- If you will be co-sleeping, you might as well want to take safety measures to ensure that your little one will not roll-off the bed or get accidentally squished by you or your partner.
Baby proofing past the newborn stage
- Once the baby starts to crawl, new baby proofing challenges will be coming your way. Apart from ensuring that your baby will not be able to roll off the bed or the couch through bed rail guards and the like, you may also want to ensure that everything around the house will be safe.
- Pack away your home decors that may break, have sharp edges, or are just plain sharp. Purchase outlet covers as well to ensure that little fingers can never get through those electrical sockets. Make sure also that a baby gate is installed in all your doorways and stairways.
- You may also want to anchor all your home appliances and pieces of furniture that may tip over. They may be too little but when the time comes that they will try to reach for something or stand up on their own, they may be able to put weight on the furniture or appliances, and eventually topple them.
- Get rid of all choking hazards in your home. All those little things that teething babies may suddenly put into their mouths should be kept out of baby’s reach. If you have an older child who may has toys that pose a choking hazard, or can be harmful when ingested, explain nicely to your older child that these would have to be kept temporarily because the baby may choke on it and get hurt. Examples are small puzzle pieces, play-doh, marbles, lego blocks, Barbie accessories, tiny toys, and the like.
- Make sure as well that all your mobile devices are out of baby’s reach especially while you are recharging its batteries. NEVER, ever leave a charger plugged in the socket because this is serious, and can even be a fatal hazard for your baby.
Baby-proofing during toddlerhood
- Install a baby lock on cabinets which your baby may be able to open. These baby-locks are available in the baby section of any store, or any home improvement shop. At the same breath, keep away all poisonous substances that the baby may accidentally ingest such as home cleaners, disinfectants, aerosol sprays, and similar chemicals.
- Cleaning materials should be safely stowed away too. Toiletries should also be kept out of their reach. Inspect your home as well for strangulation hazards like any loose cords, cords for blinds and window shades, and similar objects. Make sure that your baby will not be able to reach these, especially when he tries to stand up on his own.
- Remove as well empty plastic bags because these can cause suffocation either through baby’s independent play, or a curious moment between an older child and your little one.
- You may also want to install rubber mats or specify a play area where the baby can safely practice walking or sitting on his own (like a playpen, or play yard). As you know they get out-of-balance as they try to master the art of sitting up straight, standing up, and later on walking.
- Install pinch guards, and door stoppers in all the doors that can be accessed by your baby. If you have electric fans in your house, you may want to put safety covers on them too.
- You may also want to ensure that your bathroom is baby-proof as well. Toilet bowls should have baby-proof locks on its lids. Same goes with the shower knob. The tub, if you have one in the home, should be baby proofed as well, and should never be left with any amount of water. You may also want to ensure that your bathroom is free from water drippings that could cause slips, falls, and accidents.
- If you have a pool in your home, make sure that safety gates have been installed too.
- The kitchen should be baby-proofed as well. All kitchen appliance and gadgets as well as food vessels and pots should be out of reach especially those that may contain hot meals and soups. Knives and other sharp and breakable objects should likewise be out of the baby’s reach.
These are just some safety precautions to lessen if not totally avoid accidents in the home. Even if you have baby-proofed your whole house, always remember that there is no substitute to close adult supervision. Accidents can happen in split seconds, and such should be avoided at all costs.