Bringing home your baby is undoubtedly one of the most exciting and memorable moments of your life – but it also can be stressful. Although it is time-consuming and not the most fun activity, baby “proofing” your home is not always as widely discussed as it should be. Overlooking or underestimating several aspects and areas of your home when bringing baby home is a common mistake as there is so much to think about. With this in mind, it is best to prepare your home ahead of time – that way you can spend the earliest moments in your child’s life bonding with them instead of fussing with wires, glass, or sharp objects when bringing your child home for the first time.
Ready to make your home safe for your new baby? We have put together a few helpful tips to leave the guesswork out of baby proofing your space!
Home to various sharp objects, hot temperatures, and cooking equipment, the kitchen should be the first place you set your eyes on when proofing your home regardless of how much time you plan to spend in that room with your child.
Putting all hazards away, such as knives, rubber bands, etc. in either drawers or cupboards is a great first step. Make sure to add safety catches to all of these storage areas. Second, make it a priority to unplug appliances such as the blender, coffee maker, and toaster. Plugging those sockets with covers can be beneficial as well if they are in reach of your little one. A hob guard can be helpful for your oven and make sure that all pots and pans are no longer in reach of small hands.
Corner guards are especially helpful in kitchens with sharp corners, as well.
All glassware and fragile China should be housed high in the kitchen, out of reach.
Household cleaners such as chlorine bleach and ammonia should be swapped for less hazardous products such as vinegar, baking soda, or nonchlorine bleach. Detergents, especially detergent pods, should be locked up and out of reach, as well.
When thinking of baby proofing your child’s nursery, the crib is the very first thing we think about. It will be a space your child will be around often, so it is important to make sure it is as safe as possible before used. When purchasing a crib, look for the Juvenile Products Manufacturing Association label. Make sure the crib you are eyeing doesn’t pop up on the CPSC’s list of recalled products, as well.
Basic crib guidelines to follow:
- Crib slats should be no more than 2 3/8 inches apart with no missing or broken slats.
- The mattress pad used should be firm and fit tightly inside the crib, making sure it does not move around easily.
- Wood should be smooth without splinters or peeling paint.
- Once your child can support themself, remove any dangling decorations above the crib such as a decorative mobile, to remove any possibility of accidental strangulation.
- The crib should be away from all windows, lamps, or wall decorations.
The bathroom is an easy place to miss when baby proofing a home for the first time, however, this room can be home to sharp objects such as razors or tweezers and hot tools such as curling irons and blow-dryers.
Start by storing all cosmetics, medications, and mouthwashes in a secured cabinet. Store all sharp objects in a childproof container.
Be sure to unplug all hot styling tools and appliances and put them away after each use. These tools often have long cords, which should be out of reach to prevent a strangulation hazard.
Electrical outlets in the bathroom should ideally be protected by a ground-fault circuit interrupter or (GFCI), which is a device that helps in stopping the flow of electricity upon a change in the electrical current.
To prevent accidental burns with hot water, try installing an anti-scalding device on faucets. Be sure to place a soft rubber or plastic guard over the tub spout and anti-slip mats in the bathtub and on the bathroom floor.
Finally, never leave your child alone around water. No matter how baby proofed the bathroom is, this is a golden rule to live by.
A living room can have furniture with sharp corners or edges, making it important to cover them with edge guards. This room is also home to TVs, which pose a falling hazard. Securing your TV in place with safety straps or mounting it on your wall can help protect your children from accidents. Furniture, such as bookcases or filing cabinets should also be secured to the walls. Floor lamps can be moved behind other furniture to discourage little hands from pulling them over.
For area rugs, place non-slip pads under each and make sure that edges of the rug are not curling to prevent a tripping hazard. Fireplaces should have a gate in front of them, preventing access to tiny, curious hands!
Extra Tips and Tricks to Keep in Mind
- Scared of pinched fingers? Add finger guards to the door hinges.
- Want to eradicate windows opening? Install restrictors on all the windows that seem accessible to your child.
- Smoke detectors should be installed in every room of the house and batteries replaced at least once a year.
- Carbon Monoxide detectors should also be installed in every bedroom, checking the batteries seasonally.
Having a safe space for your child at home is important, but what about when they aren’t at home? As a home-away-from-home, your child’s school should be the ultimate safe learning space. At The Nest Schools, we prioritize the safety and wellness of every child, making it our mission to build strong minds, healthy bodies, and happy kids! We are proud to be Eco-Healthy endorsed and offer a state-of-the-art security system and groundbreaking air purifying technology throughout our schools.
Whether you are searching for tips to baby proof your home for the first time or are looking for a refresher to welcome a new baby into your growing family, it is important to not let baby proofing scare or worry you too much. Keeping calm and keeping educated goes a long way for baby while worrying doesn’t help you or your child. With this baby proofing refresher article, we hope your home feels even safer and welcoming for the whole family.