Baby Proofing Your Home
So, you’re ready to start a new chapter in your life, in a few months or maybe a few days, you’ll be welcoming the newest little member of your family. Whether you have older children or this is your first, there are a few things you need to remember when preparing your home for your new bundle of joy.
Maybe you won’t need these right away, but as your baby passes from laying on the back to creeping, you definitely want to make sure you have some of these measures in place especially when they reach the toddler stage. As you will find out soon enough, there is nothing faster than a toddler with something in their mouth or hand that they shouldn’t have. In fact, specialists recommend starting your baby-proofing at least 3 months in advance and then doing a second baby proofing sweep around the 6 month mark which is when most babies usually start to crawl/creep.
While some may be obvious adjustments like “don’t leave dangerous liquids within reach”, there are other things that you might not even consider.
One such is loose cords, you may think “it’s not plugged in, so it’s okay”, but actually baby teeth are very sharp and you’d be surprised that with enough time, a baby with newly developing teeth might be able to gnaw through the silicone/rubber protective layer of most cords to expose the wires below, not only does this produce a choking hazard, it also poses a fire and electric shock risk due to the newly exposed wires.
Following on from loose cords are wall sockets. Children loooove to prod and probe, so any and every hole becomes the archaeological find of the century and they will feverishly try to push different items into these sockets. Remember to install safety plug protectors. They come in varying colors, but my go-to from personal experience is the Ultra Clear type. These are transparent in nature and are almost imperceptible at first glance, which is ideal as kids are more likely to push and pull at obvious changes in color/texture. They are also made of a very hard plastic, almost glass-like resistance, so as the mom of a toddler, I don’t have to worry about her chewing off a piece. Additionally, they are slightly smaller than the actual outlet so even I have to wiggle a little before it comes loose, which is added security as it is more difficult for her to dislodge on her own.
Another consideration is remote controls. As your baby discovers the connection between the remote and the TV, it may seem comical or even cute to see them tapping away at the buttons and then glancing at the TV expecting something to happen. What’s not so comical however, is babies’ tendencies to randomly drop things. Dislodged batteries pose serious choking hazards and leaking battery fluid is poisonous. Don’t forget as well that with enough time, babies might be able to even chew/gnaw off the actual buttons from the remote, again posing choking hazards, so don’t leave them unattended with the remote either.
Don’t forget to apply silicone/rubber piping around sharp-edged coffee and end tables. Additionally, try to ensure that where possible your dining tables are also risk free, that includes removing decorative glass or center pieces – as these are usually attraction points for toddlers who may attempt climbing up into the chairs to reach them.
Use sturdy wedges to prop doors open. Some wedges go at the bottom and some slip onto the door frame itself to stop the doors from fully closing. Toddlers love experimenting with opening and closing doors; the last thing you want is their tiny little fingers getting caught in a door jam.
Additionally, ensure that you have copies of all keys to all doors at easy reach. Many a parent has had their heart stop beating momentarily when their toddler magically was able to lock themselves on the other side of a door.
As you venture into this new territory, it can be easy to overlook areas where additional safety measures need to be put in place, so one piece of advice, before your baby arrives, or even if you already have small children, is to spend maybe about 10 minutes this week crawling around on the floor. See the world as they see it. I know it may sound bonkers, but try it! You’d be amazed and possibly alarmed at the many potential risks you encounter when maneuvering at their level.