Having a baby is the happiest time of your life, so it’s of the utmost importance to baby-proof your home to keep your little one safe. These strategies will help you whether you’re a first-time parent or you’re about to bring home baby number two, three, four…
Babies are naturally inquisitive, they’re learning how the world works, and often this means putting their hands in or on things they shouldn’t. Without you even realising it, your home has many dangers lurking around every corner, so steps should be made to lessen the risk well before your bundle of joy is mobile.
Baby-Proof Your Home
Start by reviewing your home for anything your little one could climb up on, fall down into, get stuck in, turn on, or put something into. Just like a toddler, learn to crawl before you walk here.
The most obvious things are outlet covers for power points, window locks, door safety knobs, drawer latches, and furniture guards that will lessen the damage and tears of a bumped head.
All of these items can be purchased at your local hardware store and are inexpensive, especially when you consider the cost of not having them in your home. But what big ticket items do you need to baby-proof your home?
A baby gate can be useful for keeping things out, such as pets, as well as keeping your toddler in. Once your baby is mobile, it only takes a second for them to end up somewhere they shouldn’t, so having gates throughout your home makes your life easier as well as safer for baby.
Look around each room, and take note of things your baby could get into, such as a fireplace in the loungeroom or walk-in-wardrobe in the bedroom. Fence these off to lessen the likelihood of hurt hands, bumped heads, or things toppling down from above.
Stairs can be a nightmare, the damage that can be done from a fall down the stairs is frightening. Make sure you have a gate at both the top AND bottom because you don’t want baby crawling up the stairs, only to tumble down again.
Baby-Proof Your Kitchen
The kitchen is probably the most dangerous room of the house for a baby, so it’s the most important room to look at when you baby-proof your home. From hot surfaces to sharp objects, it’s all shiny and interesting to a baby, but dangerous to their wellbeing.
As well as the above-mentioned covers and latches, it’s important to make sure your appliances are protected.
For your oven, knob covers and an oven lock are highly recommended, as they prevent your toddler from being able to turn on or climb into the oven.
Likewise, press and pull fridge locks ensure your fridge will stay shut and your child out of harm’s way.
With most kitchens being finished with tiles, floorboards, or lino, it makes for a hard landing when your toddler is learning to walk. Covering the kitchen with interlocking foam floor panels is a great way to minimise bumps and bruises.
Baby-Proof Your Bathroom
After your kitchen, the bathroom is the second most dangerous room in the house. From medications and lotions to baths and hot taps, the potential for harm is huge in the bathroom, but it doesn’t need to be.
A cabinet lock, or magnetic lock, is a must for your bathroom. Most cabinet locks are plastic and come with a key that you use to unlock the cabinet, whereas a magnetic lock just snaps shut, but takes a greater force to open than a toddler can muster.
If you have a toilet in the bathroom, then a plastic toilet lock that snaps over the lid will ensure your little one can’t open the lid and climb in.
To avoid scalding, fitting an anti-scald device to the faucet in the basin and to the shower is a must. An anti-scald device will prevent hot water from leaving the tap, reducing the chance of nasty burns. It’s also safest to have these devices installed by a plumber.
Baby Safety in the Home
When taking steps to baby-proof your home, you can do it all in one big DIY weekend, or space it out in smaller projects over time. How you do it doesn’t matter, but that you get it finished before your baby starts moving around is vital.
Costs for the above suggestions will vary, so check in with your local baby shop or visit your hardware store and speak with the experts to find the best solutions for your home.