Having a baby is always a joyous occasion, and a reason for celebration, but it’s also a massive change and a massive responsibility. Your priority, from now on, is keeping the baby safe and content, and that is going to include a fair bit of baby-proofing. Unfortunately, there are numerous things around a normal house that are dangerous for a curious baby that is exploring their surroundings, so it’s up to you to make sure your home is safe for the new bundle of joy. Here is a checklist from Anwyl Homes of how to make your home safe for a baby.
1. Cover your outlets
Once they’re old enough to crawl, a baby’s favourite pastime is taking whatever is within reach and sticking it in the electrical sockets. We don’t even need to talk about how incredibly dangerous that is; if the baby gets their hands on something metallic and sticks it in, it can turn from playtime to tragedy.
Luckily, there are special covers meant to protect your baby and prevent them from accessing any sockets. They’re easy to open for adults, but too tricky to figure out for a curious toddler. They’ll just have to find some other way to amuse themselves.
2. Use a baby gate in front of the stairs
Living in a house instead of an apartment is great, because of the extra space, but it also comes with dangers, such as stairs. You just need to look away for a quick second for the baby to crawl to the stairs and tumble all the way down and hurt themselves.
Baby gates can put your mind to rest, because they prevent your little one from falling down the stairs or alternatively, trying to get up the stairs, if they’re feeling brave. Again, they are easy to navigate as an adult – you can unlock them or step over them – but they will successfully deter your toddler from accessing the danger of the stairs.
3. Put sharp objects out of reach
Playing with sharp objects is dangerous even for experienced adults, but even more so for babies. Protecting the little one from knives and such is easy, because you can always put them in a drawer or a high shelf, but the problem is actually thinking about all the things a baby could use to hurt themselves.
First, you need to go around the kitchen and collect anything sharp or metal and place it out of your baby’s reach. Then, the rest of the house needs to come under scrutiny as well – glassware, vases, mirrors, decorative objects are all fair game for a child who sees something shiny and wants to play. Make sure you hide everything away.
4. Lock your medicine and liquor cabinets
Medicine isn’t fun, so you’d think it wouldn’t entice a baby, but any cabinet and drawer will. When they’re in their explorative phase, they want to get into everything and check out all of your secrets and hidden objects. That means that you need to check your drawers and cabinets in every room and have a think about what could be dangerous. Then, you can put child locks on these doors and drawers.
The medicine cabinet should be locked, the liquor cabinet should be locked, the cabinet where you keep perfume, the cabinet where you keep cleaning products both in the kitchen and in the bathroom – these all need to be revised and baby-proofed.
5. Be careful about those sharp corners and edges
Raise your hand if you’ve ever bumped your head on a corner when you were little. What about fingers you stuck in doors, hinges, or got trapped between pieces of furniture? Every silly thing you did to hurt yourself may be repeated by your little one, so make sure to purchase special protectors for your door and window hinges and buffers for your sharp corners and edges on your furniture.
That way, you can save your kid a bump or two when they inevitably tumble their way head-first, right into your coffee table. But since you’ve taken the glass away and protected those corners, it’s now safe for your baby to be around it.
As you can see, preparing a house for a new baby is serious business and it requires some extensive thinking and research. It’s not as easy as just keeping the cat away; you need to carefully think about every single object in your house and how it could be used to hurt a curious baby and about what new and exciting ways your baby might discover to hurt themselves once they’re of age. Thankfully, there are all sorts of ways you can baby-proof your home, so you don’t need to figure it all out by yourself.