When the time comes for adults to bring their baby home from the hospital, they might be shocked by the number of hidden dangers lurking around the home that they considered to be safe. That is why baby-proofing your household is so important, and it is recommended that parents deal with it before their baby is born.
As a parent, you can never be too careful. But remember - what might happen doesn't mean that it will happen. Read this guide to find out how to prevent your baby from getting hurt at home.
When is the right time to start baby-proofing your household?
Providing a safe home for the offspring is every parent's responsibility. But, when should you start adapting your place to the needs of the youngest member of your family?** The sooner - the better!** Parents who have some experience with the subject said that they started a few months before the baby arrived. That gave them enough time to prepare properly. Plus, they were able to devote their time to their new bundle of joy once it arrived without having to think about the hazards.
If you are about to move to a new house or apartment before the arrival of a new family member, maybe you should hire professionals to help you baby-proof the new space. In case you don't have much time to pack, movers and packers can help you with it. Welcoming a new baby is a moment to remember, a moment when you should focus on your family, not on your household.
Baby equipment retailers will probably advise you to buy the necessary baby-proofing items at the same time when shopping for other baby stuff. It is actually good advice since you will do it all at once and you might even get a discount for many items bought at the same time. And, you will agree that it is never too early to start thinking about the safety of those we love most.
Start by baby-proofing the room where your baby will be sleeping
When babies arrive, they usually spend many hours sleeping. That is why you should start baby-proofing your household from the place where your child will be spending most of his/her time.
Assemble your baby's crib carefully
Be careful when choosing a cot or crib for your newborn. Manufacturers need to make sure that their products are safe for newborns and they do make them according to certain standards. However, buying such a product is not enough to keep your newborn safe and sound if you do not assemble it properly or if you choose an unsafe place to put it. So, check every screw or bolt when putting together the parts of a crib or cot.
Choose the safest place for your baby's bed
Make sure that your baby's bed is not placed directly by the window or a heater. Sometimes, this is difficult to do, especially if you have a big family living in a small apartment. If you do not have a choice but to put a crib near the window, at least you should remove the curtains or make sure that your baby cannot reach them. Loop cords are extremely dangerous for babies and children, so you should replace those, too.
Less is more
Speaking of your baby's bed, stay away from those fluffy blankets and stuffed toys since they represent a suffocating hazard to your baby. Even baby bumpers can be dangerous. The safest way to put your baby to sleep is to dress him/her in a blanket sleeper and place them on a firm mattress covered by a fitted sheet. Leave the fluffy bedding for photo sessions.
Secure your furniture and your rugs
Really soon, your baby will start crawling and that's why you need to secure all the furniture that can hurt them if toppled. Think about dressers, bookshelves, and the changing table.
Slippery carpets and rugs are also very dangerous. Secure them with a non-skid liner so that you or anyone else doesn't trip or fall while holding your baby.
Kitchen and dining room baby-proofing
Even though your baby might be too young to hurt itself by reaching the stovetop or by opening the drawers where you keep your sharp knives, you should baby-proof your kitchen ASAP. It will take you some time to get used to the rearrangement, that's why. Here are some of the necessary changes to introduce into your kitchen routine:
• start using your back burners whenever you can and avoid the front ones
• install stove knob covers
• unplug the small kitchen appliances when you are not using them
• keep heavy and sharp items out of your baby's reach
• avoid tablecloths that your baby can reach from the floor
• cover all the outlets - this goes for baby-proofing in general, not only the kitchen
• place lockable covers on your garbage can
• secure the drawers
• place cleaning supplies and other chemicals in cupboards
Don't forget about hallways and stairs when baby-proofing your household
As we have already mentioned, you should be careful about slippery floors and unsecured rugs. If you have stairs in your home, you have to install baby gates at the top and bottom of every staircase.
When you go shopping for the equipment for baby-proofing your household, buy a bag of edge and corner bumpers. You'll probably need more than you think. Add several door holders and door stoppers to your shopping cart too to protect those chubby hands and tiny fingers from getting injured.
Make sure that your bathroom is safe for the arrival of a new family member
There are many substances and objects that might harm or hurt your baby and that we usually keep in our bathrooms. Start by putting your toiletries, medicines, and cleaning chemicals somewhere your baby cannot reach them. Go on by putting safety guards on toilets as soon as your baby starts crawling. If your bathroom is the room where you keep the washer/drier, you should have a habit of using a childproof safety lock that most models have nowadays.
Only after baby-proofing your household will you be able to sleep better in your apartment or house knowing that your family is safe under your roof. Follow our guide and never leave your baby unattended.