Baby proofing: Your Guide to Child Safety in the Home

New parents want nothing more than to keep their new precious angel safe, happy, and healthy. But, the place you might feel the safest can often still be riddled with hazards for your baby. So, when a baby is on the way, you know that it’s time to make some serious changes to your lifestyle and home. That means baby proofing! This extensive task is essential to ensure your child’s safety. Here are a few tips for a safe and ouch free home!

When to Start Babyproofing

It is going to get hectic once your baby is born so get started soon and get used to the new products in your home. Some parents choose to start three months in advance of the baby’s birth, because installation of all the new products takes time and adjustment. Plan ahead to make sure the bigger projects are completed prior to the baby’s arrival. You can start small, but once your baby starts showing signs of crawling, it’s time to start baby proofing further.

Where to Start Babyproofing 

Doors are a world of mystery for young ones ready to explore, but often they pose serious risks, especially when there is clear danger lurking behind them. Be sure to either baby proof the entire room you don’t want your baby to have access to, or use a baby-proof door knob cover to keep your child from entering the room at all. If you opt to leave the door accessible, be sure to have special baby-proof locks for the cabinets, toilets, and faucets.

How to Start Babyproofing

  • Baby Safety Gates and Guards. The gates can be installed in door frames or other passageways in your home to keep your child from entering rooms they shouldn’t. If you want a gate at the top of the stairs, be sure to install it with screws firmly into the wall. Also, make sure that any windows, glass or screen doors, and balconies have guards on them to keep your baby from opening them or falling through.
  • Corners. As your little one is learning to crawl around and attempting to walk, they often grab onto things like coffee tables or chairs for support. Use foam wedges to cover any of these sharp corners to keep your baby safe in case of a fall. You can also try tennis balls for corners, and pool noodles or crib bumpers for edges.
  • Outlets. Be sure to use baby-proof outlet covers to keep your little one safe. These outlet covers come in different varieties so that you can simply cover the outlet or lock up cords too! Don’t forget to unplug and tuck away items when not in use. Cords can be a serious hazard for your cute crawler to get caught up in. 
  • Household Cleaners. A lot of dangerous household items are often kept in the bathroom. Many of the bottles we keep around seem secure and spill-proof, but they can leak. Household cleaners and other similar products are dangerous, and contain toxic chemicals that would be very harmful and even deadly for your baby.
  • Personal Care Products. Hygiene products such as leave-in conditioners or mouthwash are also hazardous and should be stored out of reach or locked up so your baby cannot open any cabinets to find them. 
  • Medications. Medications in particular are a top baby-proofing priority. The small bottles often resemble rattles and other baby toys. Ensure that all medications have child proof caps and be stored far out of reach or are locked up too. This includes everything from over-the-counter medications, prescription drugs, vitamins, and even supplements. 
  • Sharp or Dangerous Objects. Many common household items like utensils and tools can become weapons in the hands of kids. Things like scissors and screwdrivers as well as all kitchen knives and other sharp utensils should be kept in drawers secured with baby-proof locks. 
  • Stove Safety. When cooking, be sure to have knob covers for the stove so that your curious creature can’t accidentally turn them on. Move all of your cooking supplies along with the pots and pans to the back of the countertop or cooktop to avoid any accidents.
  • Fire Hazards. Install fireplace screens to prevent burns! Fireplace tools can pose a danger and should be kept out of reach of the kids. It is best to take kids with you if you ever leave the room when there is a fire going. 
  • Heaters. Be sure to use only portable electric space heaters and make sure they are not on or near anything flammable. Keep them turned off when not in use or when sleeping and nowhere your baby has access to.
  • Backyard. Block off any areas that might give your baby access to water such as pools and ponds. Baby safety gates are a great way to keep your kiddo from going outside when you want to keep the door open.
  • Poisonous Plants. A variety of plants that are commonly left around the house are actually unsafe and poisonous for your baby. Be sure to check all of your plants to make sure they are baby safe and in pots that won’t tip over.
  • Blinds. Make sure to remove the looped cords on your blinds if you have them so your baby doesn’t get caught up in them.
  • Tablecloths. Babies could pull on them and bring heavy objects crashing down around them. Try placemats instead.
  • Trash Cans. Opt for a trash can with a lid and put a lock on it to ensure that your baby cannot access any choking hazards and other unsafe materials inside it.

Follow all of these baby proofing safety tips ensure that your little one’s new home is a safety sanctuary. At Coastal Kids, the health and safety of your child is our top priority. Our team of exceptional pediatricians and nurses are here to help you with any questions you may have about baby proofing your home. So, go get started, your baby is going to be as happy to be home as you are!