Babies grow quickly and their naturally curious nature has them moving and exploring in no time. Turn your back for a moment and the helplessly squirming infant would be crawling at a high speed all the way across the room. As a parent, your top priority is to keep your little one safe. In this article, we will discuss some important baby proofing checklist and ideas to make your home safe for the baby. Start these baby proofing tasks as soon as possible as children grow and develop at different rates.
1. Avoid placing baby on very soft surfaces
Soft surfaces like waterbeds, large soft toys and plush couches can be very dangerous from an infant’s point of view as they increase chances of suffocation and choking. Adults co-sleeping with baby must be extra careful and keep baby from being suffocated at night. If your bed is close to the wall, make sure there is no gap between that and the wall where the baby could roll over or fall through.
2. Ensure US consumer safety rating for furniture
The baby’s crib should conform to US consumer product and safety standards. Keep it free of pillows, soft toys etc. Place all electrical cords, including those of the baby monitor, lamps etc, 3-5 ft away from the crib.
3. Keep cords tied up and safely out of reach
Keep all cords, including those of curtains and blinds, tied up and bunched above/away from the ground. This is to prevent toddlers and babies from playing with them. This is one of the most important baby proofing hacks new moms and dads should know about.
4. Supervise the baby at all times
While this may be difficult, it is especially important when the child starts to crawl. It is also important to supervise the baby when it is placed on changing station as well as during bath time.
5. Baby proof your home with alarms and detectors
As part of baby proofing kit, install smoke detectors and alarms as well as carbon monoxide detectors in the house and garage. Teach older kids what to do if the alarm goes off. Baby proofing fireplace tips include placing safety grate and fencing off the entire area.
6. Keep toilet lids closed always
As far as possible, keep the bathroom doors closed. Also keep the toilet lid down to prevent baby from falling in. An important among all baby proofing products is a baby gate which can keep baby away from kitchen, bathroom, staircases and other potentially harmful areas.
7. Turn down the water temperature
Adjust the thermostat on water heaters to 120 F to prevent baby from scalding.
8. Keep small items out of reach
Organize and tidy your home always and do not forget baby proofing cabinets and drawers. Also hang purses and handbags containing small items away from baby. Keep everything in its place to minimize the baby from swallowing small parts.
9. Anchor furniture
Shelves and TV can be very dangerous if left unanchored. You can have a carpenter or handyman anchor these down with special adjustments and nails. This is one of the oft overlooked baby proofing ideas.
10. Keep baby away from the pool and hot tub
It is best to keep the pool covered when not in use and while baby is still crawling. You can also add up a fence around these areas to keep baby safe.
11. Keep all electrical outlets covered
Use baby proofing products to keep all electrical outlets covered. Make sure the items used are not easy to remove. Remove the nightlights from lower outlets.
12. Protect baby from sharp edges of furniture
You can use padding material or bubble wraps to pack edges of coffee tables and protect baby from the sharp edges.
13. Keep valuables away from baby
Keep all glass pieces and valuables away from the curious explorer.
14. Keep appliance doors closed always
This is especially true for ovens, washing machines, dryers and dishwashers. Also close the microwave door. If needed, use a latch on these appliances.
15. Secure areas that are at 3 to 4 ft height from ground
Keep surfaces clean and ensure there are no marbles, stones, pins, buttons, rubber bands, safety pins and other small items.
16. Keep household cleaners out of reach
As far as possible, try to use organic, herbal cleaners. You can also switch to using vinegar and baking soda to clean kitchens and bathrooms. Also keep the number of the nearest Poison Control Center handy.
17. Anchor the stove
Anchor the stove firmly and keep it as far behind as you can on the kitchen counter. Use the back burners while cooking. Make sure to turn pot and pan handles safely away and out of reach of toddlers.
18. Drain buckets and tubs after use
One of the most important of all baby proofing checklist points is to drain water from tubs and baths. Keep the bathroom doors closed and latched.
19. Educate and inform older kids
Teach older siblings and other visiting kids to keep small toys and parts out of reach from the baby. Ask babysitters and caregivers to check the floor/garden areas for choking hazards before setting the baby down to play.
20. Keep medicines out of reach
Never refer to medicines as sweets or candy. This might tempt toddlers to take more of it.
21. Keep furniture away from balconies and railings
Secure furniture, lock the doors and windows and avoid placing chairs, steppers or climbers very close to stoves, countertops with kitchen knives or next to open windows. Secure doors to garages and cellars. Latch the basement door. Use safety gates to keep baby and toddlers away from the basement steps.
22. Keep firearms locked away safely
Apart from firearms, also keep away matches, lighters, knives etc away.
Use these 22 baby proofing ideas to keep the little one safe and healthy. Remember: baby proofing the house does not eliminate the need for adult supervision. Good luck!