4 Steps to Babyproofing Your Home
If you’re expecting a new baby, you have a long list of things to do to prepare. Before you bring an infant home from the hospital, get your house ready. Here are a few easy tips for babyproofing your home.
Use Outlet Covers When Babyproofing Your Home
Babies are curious by nature. Once they are able to roll over and crawl, it’s important to purchase and install outlet covers. Many power outlets are located low on the wall and are easy for small children to reach. Choose a product that plugs into the outlets to prevent babies from sticking their fingers or toys into the outlet.
Prevent Furniture From Tipping
When a baby is learning to stand, he or she will use furniture to pull up. Before this developmental stage, secure your furniture to the wall. Kits are available that include bolts and straps to anchor the furniture and prevent it from tipping. Install straps on the changing table, bookcases, dressers, and other furniture that could be pulled over.
Install Babyproofing Gates in Your Home
Baby gates are great for keeping small children out of dangerous areas. You might install one to block off the bathroom or laundry room. Add a gate at both the top and bottom of any staircase to keep your baby off the steps. You’ll find gates that screw into the wall and others that are portable and easy to move around the house. If you have a deck attached to your home, make sure there is a sturdy gate to keep the baby out of that area.
The cords on window blinds and electrical cords can be dangerous for small children. Secure blind cords high up on the wall, as they can be a strangulation hazard. Extension cords should not be used when the baby is crawling or beginning to walk. Keep appliance cords tied up and out of reach. Inspect the nursery to make sure there are no cords near the crib.
Babyproofing Your Home for a Toddler
Small babies aren’t very mobile, but will still manage to explore. As your child gets older, you will need to reassess your babyproofing needs. Toddlers are just as curious and you’ll want to add even more protection. Oven knob covers keep children from turning on the stove. You’ll also want to move household chemicals and cleaning supplies to a higher cabinet. Install cabinet locks to keep toddlers out of these areas.
The bathroom is interesting to young children. Add a toilet seat lock and make sure cosmetics and medications are out of reach. You might choose to keep the bathroom off-limits entirely by using a baby gate in the doorway.
You will find products for babyproofing your home online and at home improvement stores. There are various options and you may have to try several types before finding a style that works for your family. By babyproofing before you come home from the hospital, you’ll feel better prepared for the challenges of parenting.