Learn To Babyproof Your Home Properly
That spiral staircase and those tall, heavy bookshelves seemed like a good idea when you first moved in, but then you had a baby. When looking at your home with your brand new set of parent eyes, it's hard not to see every sharp corner or breakable heirloom and cringeor worse, think about all the things outside of your walls that can break in and do harm. With a beautiful, fragile bundle of joy on the way, all kinds of preparations are being made. But what good is a circus-themed nursery if the first house your growing baby lives in isn't a safe one? Transform your home into a cozy and protected place for parents and baby by following these simple steps to babyproof your home.
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How To Babyproof Your Home's Living Room
Also known as the family room, this area is notorious for simply having a lot of stuff--stuff that can be swallowed, stuff that can lead to poked eyes and banged heads. And since the living room often includes multiple entrances from the outside of the house, it's also a high-trafficked area for trespassers. Here are few tips to babyproof your home's living room the right way:
- Crawl through your living room to get an idea of what's within your child's reach as they become more mobile. Remove any fragile and/or valuable items that can easily be knocked over.
- Move heavy furniture that can easily tip over to the side. This includes any low items with sharp corners, such as coffee and side tables.
- Fasten bookshelves to walls so they can't be easily pulled down
- Install baby gates so the little one can't wander too far. It's important to buy gates that meet all ASTM and JPMA standards. For more bang for your buck, this one from Regalo comes with extensions so that you can fit it to any doorway size.
- Keep the television and other electronics from the window, where they can easily be seen from the outside, and consequently run the risk of attracting burglars.
How To Babyproof Your Home's Kitchen
The kitchen is not just a hazardous place when it comes to leftover culinary experimentation, it can also be extremely unsafe for little ones. With all the appliances found in this room, it's best to keep your baby away from this area as much as possible. When they absolutely must be in the kitchen, try to keep them in a sectioned-off, secured space, like in a highchair or playpen. Otherwise, here are a few tips to keep the kitchen a safe place for your baby:
- For heavy-duty cooking, set up stove guards to keep tiny fingers from reaching onto hot surfaces. Make sure the guards are adjustable and can fit any stove and surface size, like this Prince Lionheart Stove Guard we found that works great without hurting your wallet.
- Secure cabinets and drawers with baby locks and latches.
- Push all magnets to the top of the fridges. Smaller ones are a hazard because they can be pulled off and swallowed.
- Keep the oven door locked at all times.
- Keep cleaning supplies far from anywhere your baby might get to when unattended. Try keeping poisonous fluids on top of cabinets, instead of under the sink.
- Avoid installing glass windows, or place window guards in places your baby will spend a lot of time in. (Glass windows are easy to smash in from the outside).
How To Babyproof Your Home's Bathrooms
The bathroom is a prime place for babies to get their hands into places where they don't belong. A well-stocked cabinet can easily turn into a parent's worst nightmare. A large, luxurious tub would have the same effects. As a space where both parents and baby will spend a lot of time, here are a few tips for babyproofing your home's bathroom:
- Set your water heater temperature to a maximum of 120 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Keep medications, toiletries, and cleaning supplies out of reach or locked up.
- Never leave water standing still in the tub, sink, or even in a bucket.
- Place guards or sleeves on your faucet and shower handles.
- Install lid locks on your toilet.
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How To Babyproof The Baby's Room
The nursery is all about the baby. That said, it should be a place where your child can roam freely or sleep peacefully without the possibilities of pinched fingers or crocodile tears. To make your baby's bedroom the safe haven it should be, here are a few tips:
- Install smart security cameras, in addition to traditional baby cams, so that you can keep a watchful eye on your little one. Most smart security cams come with features that alert you to when something happens that's out of the ordinary and can be accessed via any Wi-Fi enabled device.
- Use toy chests without heavy lids or keep the lids propped open, so that they can't fall on top of tiny fingers or lock baby inside.
- Do not place a crib near windows. Make sure windows in the baby's room are always closed and locked.
- If the baby's room is next to the bathroom or staircase, make sure to install baby gates in the doorway. For a top-of-the-line, high pressure gate, this one from Kidco isn't only ASTM and JPMA compliant, it's also high-pressure, making it perfect for baby rooms or staircase entry ways.
- Install outlet plug covers. Make sure they aren't the plastic ones you stick into the outlet, but a cover that hides the entire outlet itself. The smaller ones that are placed inside the electrical outlet can be easily pulled out.
In order to properly babyproof your home, you have to make sure the outside is just as secure as the inside. While it's easy to take care of the stuff in your home that can inhibit your child's safety, the other side of your walls are a little trickier to secure. Installing a home security system is a good idea because it can take care of the areas you can't. With total surveillance, secured entrances and exits, and emergency call centers, you can spend quality time with your baby and let your home security system deal with the rest.