Parents would only want the best for their babies. When it’s time to bring your baby home, you want to make sure that your house is already set up to receive you and your little one.
What does it mean to baby proof your house? Baby proofing is necessary to keep your baby safe from the threats of your home. This means putting safety covers on your garbage bins, installing baby gates in front of the stairways, covering unused outlets, and many more.
We suggest that you start planning for this at least 3 months before your little one pops out. Some preparation may take a while so you better start early so you can finish everything before you bring home your little bundle of joy.
Important Tips To Baby Proof Your House
In the Bedroom or Nursery room
If you are going to repaint your baby’s room, make sure to finish it at least 8 weeks before her arrival. This is to ensure that everything dries out and the baby can’t inhale harmful fumes.
- Check the crib – if you are using an old crib, check if it is still up to the safety standards. If not, you may want to invest and buy a new one to make sure that your baby will be safe in her crib.Place the crib away from lamps, heaters, wired appliances, wall decors, and windows to avoid accidents. Put your baby supplies away from the reach of your baby. But make sure it’s just far enough for you to reach when you need it.
- Remove hazardous things from the crib – Pillows, bumpers, toys and stuffed animals, and blankets may pose threats to your baby. She may suffocate when caught in between these things. So, clear her crib before you put her down to sleep.
- Keep baby monitors in the distance – If you have baby monitors, please put it at least 3 feet away from the crib because any cord is a hazard to babies.
- Install window guards – DO NOT PLACE THE CRIB NEAR A WINDOW. This is extremely dangerous especially if your baby already knows how to walk and climb. Therefore, you must install window guards just to make sure that your baby can’t get through the windows.But remember, these window guards are not substitutes for parental supervision. It is very important that you keep an eye on your little one even if you have baby proofed your house.
In the Bathroom
- Secure doors with latches and locks – Bathrooms are not really a safe and good place for babies to enter alone. They might trip, touch something filthy, or play with water that can be unsafe without your supervision. So, it is best to use safety latches and locks so your little one can’t gain entry in your bathroom alone.
- Invest in toilet lid lock – It’s unimaginable for someone to play with toilet water, but kids find it fun. Keep an eye on your kid and for added security, install a toilet lid lock.
- Install an anti-scald device for the faucets and showerheads – Call a plumber to help you out with this. Anti-scald devices regulate the water temperature of taps and showers. This will prevent burns if your child accidentally opens the faucet by herself.
- Put a non-slip mat in the bath – Do not just use regular mats because you or your child may slip on it. Safeguard your family by using non-slip mats in the tub and advise your kids not to run around during bath time to avoid accidents.
- Empty bathtubs and buckets – Do not leave your bathtubs and buckets filled with water. Empty those out immediately after use.
- Keep razors, dryers, and other chemicals out of reach – It’s better if these things will be placed inside a locked drawer where your kids could not see it. They would want to get their hands on everything they can see because they are curious.
- Check those bath toys – Kids love to play in the water with their bath toys. But make sure that these toys are still safe for them. Some toys are impossible to clean and bath toys are prone to mold or mildew. You may want to buy new toys or duplicates so you can throw away the old ones.
In the Kitchen
- Lock stove knobs – If water is not safe for babies to play with, fire is much more dangerous. Kids are naturally curious about everything so you need to secure covers for your stove knobs to prevent your baby from igniting a fire and playing with it.
- Secure a safety cover on your garbage bins – You also want to make sure that your little one won’t scavenge in the trash and get her hands dirty or put something in her mouth. So, make sure to put safety covers on your bins to avoid these things.
- Use safety locks and latches for drawers – Do not forget to lock those kitchen drawers! Your knives and other sharp utensils should be securely locked in those drawers to avoid accidents. Place your breakables and other dangerous items out of your child’s reach.
- Store those plastic bags – These bags can be a suffocation hazard for children so keep these out of their sight.
- Keep small magnets off your refrigerator – It may be tempting for parents to stick up reminder cards on the refrigerator but once you have a baby, this is a no-no. Small magnets can be swallowed by babies and may cause serious injury to their gastrointestinal tract.
Tip: Limit your baby’s time in the kitchen. There are so many hazards in the kitchen that can harm your baby. So, if you are cooking or cleaning, ask someone to watch the baby for you. Or safe keep her in a secure playpen where you can still see her from the kitchen.
In the Living Room
- Try using a carpet – Some moms would intentionally put thick rugs or carpets to cushion the blows their babies would get from falling over and over when they are still learning to stand and walk.
- Choose your coffee table wisely – If you are a coffee person, then, you should consider buying a round-shaped coffee table to safeguard your baby. Tables with sharp edges are not really safe when you have a baby around. But if you insist, consider buying edge bumpers to keep your baby safe.Some moms actually go for an ottoman with storage for a safer approach for their kids. And this is more functional, too, because you can keep some of her toys inside the chair.
- Fireplace safety – When it is not in use, secure a cover to keep your baby away from the fireplace. A gate or screen may also work but it may still stir up their curiosity because they can still have a peak of what’s behind.Make sure to keep an eye on your baby when the fireplace is in use. And as young as she is, try to tell her not to mess with fire because it is dangerous. Train her to keep away from the fireplace.
Throughout the House
- Cut or hang window-blind cords – Babies like to pull anything from your hair, pieces of jewelry, and other things that hang which includes a window-blind cord. This can be a serious threat if your baby gets entangled with the tie and injures herself.If your toddler is strong enough, she can pull the tie and break the window blinds. This can fall on her and she can get injured.
- Cover unused outlets – UNCOVERED OUTLETS ARE EXTREMELY DANGEROUS FOR BABIES! If you try to stick your finger in a working electrical outlet, the current can actually kill you. Remember that our body is a great conductor of electricity. Make sure to cover unused outlets!
- Install safety gates – If your baby starts crawling and walking, it is important to install baby gates in front of any stairs or rooms that you think your baby should not enter. This will give you an assurance that your baby will stay in the safe zone and not fall on any staircases in your home.
- Install corner and edge bumpers – This is usually placed in table corners and countertops. Some tables have very sharp edges which are not at all safe for your baby. You better use edge bumpers to protect your baby from it.
- Use door holders and stoppers – Keep your baby’s fingers from being crushed between doors and door hinges.
- Switch to cordless phones if possible – These wires can get in your way while you are looking out for your baby. If you can switch to cordless phones, then, you can move easily around the house.
- Watch any dangling cords – Your cord appliances should be hidden behind your furniture or kept high enough that your baby can’t reach. Again, any cord is a hazard to babies.
- Install smoke detectors – As much as possible, you should be able to install smoke detectors on every level of the house. This is to ensure the safety of everyone. Also, do not forget to check the batteries of your smoke detectors every month to make sure that they serve their purpose.
- Secure a fire extinguisher – First, you must learn how to use a fire extinguisher. This may be useful someday if a fire starts inside your home. If you think that the fire is unmanageable, call the fire department immediately.
- Put non-slip pads under your rags and floor mats – When your kid starts running around the house, it may be best to put non-slip pads to your rags and floor mats. This is to avoid slipping accidents that may injure your kids.
- Remove indoor plants – As much as we want our house to look nice with plants, these may not be safe for our babies. Take those plants outside. If you can’t really help it, you may opt to have hanging plants instead. Just make sure it’s beyond their reach.
- Make a child-friendly ground – It may be a good idea to turn your lawns, if you are not using it for anything, into a playground. You and your family can enjoy the outdoors without getting away from home. Just make sure to banish lawn mowers and other equipment that may be dangerous to your little ones and check for poisonous and dangerous plants as well.
- Use secured playpens – If you are not confident of letting your child play in your garden or lawn, you can have secured playpens instead. You can limit the play area so that it would be easier for you to supervise.
- Childproof the pool – If you are planning to have a pool for your kids, make sure to childproof it. Install gates around the pool just so they could not enter it without your permission. Make sure to watch your kids if you decide to enjoy the pool during the weekends.
Why Do I Need To Baby Proof My House?
Babies are little angels – sweet and innocent. They don’t intend to go looking for trouble but because they are new to this world, they don’t know how what could harm them. They don’t know how to protect themselves yet.
As parents, we wouldn’t want our little angels to get hurt because it hurts us more. So, why do we need to baby proof our house? We do this to lessen the threats of home and to keep our babies safe.
Here are a few lists of the most common injuries while your baby is at home:
- Falling, tripping or slipping – These are few scenarios of babies falling and tripping: Running towards something and tripped, falling from the changing table because they rolled over, crawling in bed and fell, and etc.There are still a lot of incidents of babies falling and tripping inside the house. But babies are actually tougher than they look. Just help them with every trip and fall. They will learn from it eventually.
- Burns – Small children are very prone to this. They often get burns from hot food or liquid serve to them. Sometimes they get it from pulling their mom’s coffee on the table. Other times, if unsupervised, they pull hot pans from the stove and burn themselves.
- Poisoning – Most moms switch to organic or natural alternatives from chemical-based cleaning essentials because of poisoning. Most of our cleaning products are placed in cabinets at ground level which is very accessible to our children if left unlocked.It does not take too long before your child swallows a handful detergent or other chemicals and gets poisoned by it. According to a report, there are about 41.9 poisoning incidents for every 1000 children who are under 6 years old.
If you want to switch tonatural disinfectant options, please check the list below:
- Lemon juice, baking soda, vinegar – You can mix these three together to create a powerful disinfectant paste that you can use in your toilet bowls and tiles. This a great way to get rid of stains and unpleasant smells.
- Hydrogen Peroxide – This solution can destroy bacteria, viruses, yeasts, and fungi. You can use this to clean your bathrooms and sinks. But keep in mind that this may discolor some surfaces. It is best to test out this cleaner first on a small area before using it on the whole surface.
- White vinegar – This is also a great disinfectant that can be used to wipe tables after eating. It can actually be used anywhere. If you are bothered by the smell, don’t worry, it just goes away in a few. Or you can use water clear off the smell.
- Tea tree oil – This has been famous in skin cares. Pimple gels have a good amount of tea tree oil in it. But this is not just for the skin. You can use this as an effective natural disinfectant, too.
- Ready-made products – Yes, there are already natural disinfectants in the market. You just need to find the products that would work best for you. Check the labels and ingredients if necessary.Note: These may be natural products but you still need to keep these away from your children’s reach. These products, when swallowed, may still cause health problems for your children.
- Drowning – Most kids find it easy to love everything that is connected to water. Did you notice that bath time with them takes a while? And you still need to convince them to get out of the water to get changed. That’s how much they enjoy the water.Where are they most likely to drown? Believe it or not, but drowning in a home bathtub is common. That’s why it is important to keep the level water low. Also, do not leave them even unattended even just for a few seconds because you may regret it.
- Choking – Babies frequently put things and objects in their mouths out of curiosity. You need to see to it that you have picked up things on the floor before your baby starts to crawl. It may sound funny but some parents do crawl on the floor just to make sure that they did not miss to pick up any object.
- Furniture tipping over – Bookshelves and cabinets can be of help when your baby learns to stand and walk. But if those pieces of furniture are not anchored to the wall, you may have a serious problem. These can fall on children and cause serious injuries or even death.Note: You should anchor your furniture on the wall for security and get rid of wobbly furniture that may tip over on your children.
- Suffocation – This usually happens when babies are asleep. Parents have been reminded not to put thick blankets and pillows in the crib when the baby is sleeping. The US reports that the number cause of death for children under 1 year old is accidental suffocation.
- Electrocution – Outlets are of a perfect height to be noticed by crawler babies. These become the target of curious babies to put their mouths on them or try to fit their tiny fingers in them. According to reports, there are approximately 100 kids who die every year by electrocution.
What Do We Need To Look For A Crib To Make Sure It Is Safe?
The US Consumer Product Safety Commission has implemented new standards for overall crib safety. Check the following regulations:
- The old-fashioned drop-side cribs are now prohibited in the market because of the danger it imposes to the baby. And even repair kits are not allowed to be sold in markets, too.
- Wood ribs should be made of stronger materials to prevent the crib from breaking and encourage durability.
- Crib hardware must have the tools to install the screws tightly to keep it from falling off.
- Mattress supports must be more durable.
- Safety testing must be more rigid.
How Do I Make Sure That My Baby Is Safe In The Crib?
- Keep the crib clear of pillows, blankets, stuffed animals and toys, to prevent suffocation.
- Check the crib’s slats or ribs and make sure that the distance between is not larger than two fingers. Call the manufacturer immediately for replacement if possible.
- Follow the instructions religiously. Proper assembly is of paramount importance. If you are not sure, call the manufacturer immediately for assistance.
- Do not place the crib near a window with blind or curtain cords. Babies are never safe with cords. They can strangle with it.
Baby Safety Products Worth Your Investment
- The anti-tip TV and furniture straps – Children’s regularity around the TV may pose some TV-related accidents. The US Consumer Product Safety Commission advised securing TVs and other tall furniture using furniture straps to the wall.Also, if you reside in earthquake-prone areas, you should have done this by now.
According to a study in 2015, 17,000 and more children experienced a TV-related injury in the US every year; that is 1 child every 30 minutes.
- Electrical outlet covers – Choose an outlet cover that is not loose. Your baby may be able to uncover the outlets if you use low-quality covers.
- Window guard bars – These bars may be an eyesore but they are for your baby’s safety. This is a must especially if you leave in an apartment with multiple levels. Windows left opened and unguarded are not just hazards, but they can be deadly.
- Adjustable safety locks – These all-purpose safety locks will save your day! These are easy to use and install. They can be used on your fridge, room doors, drawers, cabinets, fireplace, and even ovens.
- Magnetic locks – These ones work like adjustable safety locks but with the magnets. But these don’t work if your drawers are thicker than 1.4 inches. You got to stick with the traditional safety locks for these drawers.
- Corner guards or edge bumpers – You may want to consider how these corner guards would look like with your furniture. You don’t want to have those bulky ones that may entice your baby to pull it off. Go with a simple corner guard that doesn’t really get in the way.
- Non-slip adhesive bath rings or mats – Bathtubs or bathrooms, in general, are slippery because the floor gets wet most of the time. It is important to secure non-slip rings and mats to avoid slipping.
- Door locks – Locks are your friend at this stage. Place locks on restricted rooms so that your baby can’t enter.
Baby Proofing Your Car
Your baby proofing mission does not start and end in the house. In fact, the first thing you should reorganize is your car because that is the first place where your baby will be after being sent out from the hospital.
- Clean your car thoroughly – If you doubt that you can thoroughly clean your car, ask experts to do it for you. You need to make sure that your seats, seat covers, air-conditions, and car carpets are clean. If you have a car seat for your baby, make sure it’s 99.9% germ-free, too.
- Purchase an approved rear-facing car seat for your baby – Check if the safety standards are up to date and if it is age appropriate for your baby.
- Apply sun shades on the windows if necessary – You may want to consider using stick-on sun shades because these will last for an extended period of time and don’t just come off easily.
- Clear your car – Check if you have pens, coins, and other small objects within your baby’s reach that can be choking hazards to her.
What To Avoid Doing In Front Of Your Baby?
For your kids, you are their hero. They look up to you because they adore you. Someday, they want to be like you, too. As parents, we must be careful in what we do in front of our little ones because there is a great chance that they will follow in our footsteps.
Do not do these things in front of your baby:
- Taking medicines and referring to those as candies – Candies are kids’ Holy Grail. If you tell them that what you are taking is candy, they may want to get some too. You know how kids act when they want something. Be careful not to tease them too much.If they get their hands on your medicine kit, they may swallow everything because you taught them that they are candies. This may end up with an unpleasant visit to the hospital.
- Drinking coffee or hot beverages – Sipping your morning coffee may be dangerous if you are carrying your baby. Anything that you eat or drink is appealing to them. You may end up spilling your coffee all over you, or worse, your baby.
- Eating junk food – The rule is simple. What you eat and drink, your baby eats and drinks, too. So, if you don’t want your baby to eat junk, don’t eat them, too.Don’t try to reason with your baby because what they can only comprehend is you not giving them food. They wouldn’t understand that what you are eating is not healthy. So, try indulging yourself with these guilty pleasures when your baby is not around.
- Using too much phone – This is a major concern for our generation today. Most moms are so hooked in social media that they forget to look out for their little ones. And instead of developing a deeper connection with your baby, it is being interrupted by phones and other gadgets.Only a few moms nowadays practice the traditional teaching and learning method. These moms prefer books over IPads. Most moms would just offer their phones or tablets to keep their babies busy and stationary.Educational apps can help but this will never replace the time shared with you while your baby is learning. Keep the use of gadgets in moderation and don’t let them be dependent on it.
1. When should I start baby proofing my house?
Ideally, you should start planning after you learned that you are pregnant and start taking actions 3 months before your due date. Remember that you are baby proofing your house, not just a room. Some preparations may take time as well.
2. How do I baby proof my living room?
Here are the things you can do to make your living room safe for your baby:
- Rearrange your living room if you must to give more space for your baby.
- Cover table corners with edge bumpers to hide its sharp edges.
- Use stain-resistant fabrics and place non-slip pads under it to avoid slipping accidents.
- Remove unnecessary furniture, appliances, objects that may be hazardous to your baby.
- Cover unused outlets within baby’s reach.
As your baby grows, she will learn to walk, run, and jump. When this happens, you also need to step up your game. You just need to be keen in observing your little one and you should know what precautions to take.
3. How do I baby proof my bathroom?
Be careful not to leave your bathroom door open or else a little invader may sneak in and do unpleasant things. Here are tips to baby proof your bathroom:
- Do not leave your children unattended in the bathroom. That’s the most important rule!
- Secure latches or locks on your bathroom door.
- Use non-slip mats in the bathroom.
- Secure razors, blow dryers, and medicines in a locked drawer. Keep these things out of children’s reach. Please include soaps, shampoos, and other essentials away from their reach.Put a safety cover on your garbage bins