Baby proofing a house can seem like a daunting task. Though it is commonly accepted that one needs to baby proof their home to minimize dangers, everything can seem dangerous once you take a close look at your environment. Fortunately, this task is not insurmountable. With a little planning and a few supplies you can turn your home into a safe zone for your baby in no time.
4 Tips to Baby Proof Your Home
1. Lock Everything
This doesn’t just mean doors leading to the outside or to rooms you want your child to stay out of. Basically, anything that can open or close needs to be secured in some way. This isn’t just to keep your kids out of a place, but also to make sure doors and lids don’t close on little fingers or accidentally trap your child somewhere.
You will probably need to buy some child locks to put on everything from cabinet doors to refrigerators, oven doors, trashcan lids, storage bins for pet food, tool boxes, and even things like storage ottomans with hinged lids. Toy chests should be securely locked as well or should have their lids removed entirely. And don’t forget a lock for the toilet lid! Not only can a lid close on your child’s fingers, but the bacteria in a toilet can be harmful as well, not to mention the danger involved if your child manages to climb into the toilet face first. Which leads us to our next point:
2. Beware of Water
Water is often associated with tranquility and healing, but when it comes to small children expect this to be turned on its head. Babies can drown in a small amount of water, so it’s important to make sure you don’t have any standing water around the house. This includes things like sinks that don’t drain all the way, buckets with water for cleaning, and large water bowls for pets. If you do have a pet that needs a lot of water consider getting an automatic refilling water bowl or a pet fountain. These are generally designed to keep water fresh for your pets but can also solve the problem of giving your pet access to water without leaving a lot of it out for a baby to get into.
Also be aware of the water temperature settings in your home. Children can easily scald themselves if the water comes out too hot. This can be solved by turning the setting on your water heater to 120 degrees Fahrenheit. This way the water can’t hurt your baby even if they do manage to turn it on.
3. Sweat the Small Stuff
“Don’t sweat the small stuff” is great advice when it comes to parenting, but not to baby proofing! An important step in baby proofing your home is to ensure there are no choking hazards in easy reach. There can be a lot of little parts around a home, so start by making sure toys belonging to older children are out of reach, small pet toys are properly secured, and that any small decorative objects are placed on high shelves where they can’t be reached. You may also want to take magnets off the fridge so they don’t fall off and become choking hazards. When identifying hazardous objects it can help to use a tester such as a toilet paper roll. If anything can fit through that roll it’s too small to be around the baby and should be put somewhere safe.
4. Secure Furniture and Electronics
Whether they’re trying to get a better view of something or trying to stand up, babies and toddlers love to pull on things. For this reason you should secure any tall or heavy objects to the wall or in a place they can’t be tipped. This includes bookcases, chairs, stools, lamps, and especially televisions. Make sure electrical cords are put away or secured so a child can’t pull on them. This will prevent them from pulling something like a lamp or T.V. down on their heads and will reduce the risk of electrocution. Speaking of, be sure to put covers on all your outlets too!