The arrival of a baby necessitates several adjustments in the lifestyle of the parents. It also unearths a level of home geography that the parents never realized existed. Unassuming cupboards suddenly morph into death traps while drawers and doorways become guillotines for the baby’s tiny fingers.
Some over-enthusiastic parents will thoroughly baby-proof the home from end to end way before the child is born only to reverse the changes later when they realized they posed no danger. That’s why it might be prudent to wait for the child to arrive and start moving around the house so you can make changes and pick up potential dangers.
So as you think about securing your home from unwelcome outsiders (see HomeSecuritySeek for home security tips), here are a number of tips you can apply to make your home safer for your baby.
1. Remove Hazards from Potential Crawling Routes
Once the baby learns to crawl, it’ll want to explore the home. The living room will usually be the epicenter of this adventure. Beware of anything that could draw the child toward danger. For example, long curtains swayed by a gentle breeze may inadvertently entangle the child and, if an open window is low enough, the baby could even climb out.
Take down or tie back cords and curtains to ensure they are beyond the baby’s reach. Use wall hooks and drawstrings to secure chains for your blinds so that they don’t hang at the baby’s crawling height.
2. Cover Power Outlets and Bundle Appliance Cords
Once your infant discovers their fingers, they’ll not only want to collect things but will also be keen on inserting their fingers in any hole they come across. Unfortunately, power outlets are a perfect target for this activity.
As soon as your baby can roll over, start shopping for the right outlet covers. The size of the cover is important since if you pick one that’s too small, the baby could choke on it. Makes sure the cords and cables of your computers, television, speakers and kitchen appliances are tied and secured behind the respective equipment.
3. Blunt Corners and Edges
There are different types of strips, pads and corner protectors that you could use to smooth your sharp corners and edges. You could complement this effort by buying your child a helmet though it will not be practical to have them wearing it all the time.
Once the baby can roll over, it doesn’t take long for them to start pulling themselves up using household furniture. This progress comes with new risks. They could, for instance, smash their eye against the corner of the coffee table.
4. Block Access Where Necessary
Babies become extraordinarily curious once they realize they can move around. The average infant will try opening anything in the house that can open. They’ll grab and pull objects from atop tables or crawl into any space their little bodies can fit into.
On the one hand, it’s exciting to see your child’s motor skills grow. However, this can get them into dangerous situations. Block access whenever necessary. Fix latches to control entry to any place the child does not need to go, such as gates, doors, cabinets, drawers, bin lids, and toilet seats.
5. Get Rid of Choking Hazards
Babies’ curiosity compels them to want to taste stuff. They’ll stick into their mouths anything that can fit in there. It doesn’t matter whether it’s balls, buttons, keys, remote control buttons, toys, pet litter pellets, stones, and dirt. Once they put it in their mouth, swallowing is the next natural reflex and that carries the very real risk of choking.
As a rule of thumb, anything that’s smaller than a golf ball should be placed out of reach of the child until they are old enough to understand they shouldn’t shove just anything into their mouth.
The first 5 years of your child’s life are crucial since they are oblivious to many dangers. Fortunately, baby-proofing your home is a fairly easy and affordable process as long as its well-thought-out. Your local department or hardware store should have everything you need. If it doesn’t, you can always extend your search to the Internet.