As a parent, you want to make your child’s home as safe as possible. But how do you know what to do and where to start? While many baby proofing products are on the market, it’s not always clear which ones are worth the money and which can be replaced with DIY (Do-It-Yourself) solutions.
As much as we want to keep our children safe from harm, there are some things we cannot control. Taking precautions is essential when you’re not around to watch over them. Many parents are unaware of this fact, which is why many child-related injuries occur in the home.
In short, knowing what to do and where to start before your baby arrives is important. You need to keep some things in mind to prepare for your baby.
The 14 Most Important Safety Measures for Every Room in Your Home
Before you start any projects, it’s crucial to figure out what you would need to do to keep your child safe. You’ll learn more about this in the following sections and some other tips and tricks that will help you get started immediately.
BABY PROOFING YOUR HOME
The key to baby proofing your home is installing safety features and keeping it up to date with repairs and renovations.
1. Install Carbon Monoxide and Smoke Detectors
Making your child’s room safe is the first step you need to take. Carbon monoxide and fire are serious threats to your child’s well-being and can cause severe health complications or even death. This also ensures that your home is protected in case of a fire.
Make certain to check and maintain the batteries regularly. Change them if needed to ensure that the detectors are working properly.
2. A First Aid is Essential
Install a first aid kit near your child’s nursery. This kit should include bandages, alcohol wipes, cotton balls, gauze, and more. These will help take care of small injuries that can occur in the home, such as cuts and scrapes.
You can also keep antibiotics in this kit, which helps when minor illnesses are not serious enough to call a doctor. Preparation is key when dealing with anything that may happen, and having a first aid kit near you ensures this is possible.
3. Consider Your Child’s Environment
Before installing any baby proofing products, consider the layout of your house and your baby’s age.
The structure of your home and the materials you use to decorate it are two factors that can influence how safe your child is. You should consider the size, shape, and material of the furniture, windows, doors, electrical outlets, stairs, and railings.
For your child’s learning environment, consider the carpet, walls of a hallway or stairway, and the furniture in the child’s room. Certain items may need to be removed from the room or covered with padding or protective sheets.
4. Outlet Covers and Safety Plates
Covering electrical outlets is one of the best ways to keep your child safe. There are several reasons you would want to install outlet covers and safety plates. Still, they are mainly used as a safety measure to prevent small objects from falling in. This can save your child’s life, especially if they crawl and put things in their mouth.
These covers also help protect against accidental shocks, which prevents injuries.
5. Use Secure Furniture
To keep your baby safe, you must ensure that the furniture in your home isn’t a hazard. Most furniture manufacturers make baby proofing kits that are easy to install. These kits include attachments that can be screwed into the legs of tables and chairs so that they can’t be pulled over on top of your child. They also have latches that keep drawers from opening too far, which could cause them to tip over and fall on top of a baby crawling underneath them.
If you don’t have any furniture like this yet, consider getting some! It’s one of the simplest ways to ensure that your home is safe for babies and toddlers.
BABY PROOFING YOUR BATHROOM
Bathrooms are one of the most unsafe places in the home. Inadequate safety measures or mistakes can easily lead to a tragedy for your family.
The following safety features will help ensure that your bathroom is safe for your baby and keeps you safe!
6. Locks for Toilet Seats
A toilet is dangerous for babies, especially when you’re not there to supervise them. That’s why it’s essential to have safety locks on the toilet seat so your baby cannot get into trouble while you’re showering or doing your business.
Don’t be tempted to use the seat covers since they don’t provide any safety and can easily be pulled back. Instead, consider getting one of these toilet lock kits. They work great, don’t require any tools, and are simple.
7. Use Safety Mats
Safety mats are a great way to keep your kid from slipping on slick surfaces. The soft, flexible material still provides extra resistance against slips and falls. Plus, there are lots of fun colors to choose from!
8. Tub Temperature
To keep your baby safe, you must ensure that their bath is at the right temperature. Ensure your water heater is set at 37°C and 38°C or 98.6–100.4°F. Always check your baby’s temperature before bathing.
This means that the water should be warm but not too hot. Even if it is slightly too hot, your baby could be severely injured by scalding and burns. Consider the safety of other children and adults, as well!
9. Dispose of Trashcan
When baby proofing your bathroom, the first thing on your list should be to dispose of the trashcan.
There are a few reasons for this:
- It’s a breeding ground for germs.
- It’s a pain to stoop and throw away trash when trying to get ready in the morning.
- Babies like things that rattle and jiggle, and trashcans are perfect for those purposes!
If you want a trash can in your bathroom, go ahead and get one that has a lid or lock so that it can’t be opened easily by an infant.
BABY PROOFING YOUR KITCHEN
Your kitchen may be the most dangerous room in your house. That’s why it’s so important to baby-proof it as much as possible. Use the following tips and tricks to keep your kitchen safe and out of reach for toddlers.
10. Place up Locks on Cabinets
Cabinets are one of the most dangerous places in your kitchen for babies. They contain many harmful items, such as cleaning supplies, sharp knives, and oven cleaners.
You should always keep all these items out of reach from your child. If you have small cabinets above your sink or stove, place up locks to prevent them from opening. These locks can be easily found in any hardware store.
- Put away cleaning products, dish soap, and other hazardous materials.
- Make sure nothing is on the cabinet’s top shelf or in the back since that’s out of reach for your child.
- Stock knives and other dangerous items in a knife block or put them in locked drawers that an adult can only access.
- Keep all sharp objects out of your child’s reach, including kitchen utensils like spatulas.
- Make sure matches are out of sight.
- Refrigerator doors should lock as well.
BABY PROOFING YOUR LIVING ROOM
Your living room is an excellent place for your baby to play. As long as it’s well-stocked with toys, there’s nothing wrong with letting them run around and get some exercise while you watch them from the sofa.
11. Pay Extra Attention to the Wires and Other Stuff
Your child shouldn’t be able to reach your TV, computers, or chargers easily. Make sure to remove any cords from reach by using extra-long extension cords.
You don’t want your child to be tempted to pull on the cords and risk getting hurt. Be sure to tuck all wires out of your way whenever possible.
- Sharp corners of tables and ottomans should be covered with padding or corner caps.
- Be sure to keep all cleaning products out of reach as well.
- Consider switching to power cords on the floor instead of hanging from the wall.
- Install metal window guards to prevent your child from being able to open the windows and climb out.
- Never leave a lit fireplace unattended with your baby.
- You should lock the gun and ensure it is unloaded, along with the ammunition. Keep the gun locked up in a secure place that is out of your baby’s reach.
- Remove your plants and any live plants from the home since they can be potential hazards when they are alive, wilting, and dry.
BABY PROOFING YOUR CHILD’S NURSERY
Your nursery is a special place for you and your baby to relax. It’s where you feed, change, and play with your child. As long as you practice proper safety precautions, there’s no reason why you shouldn’t feel safe bringing your child into their room night after night.
12. Make Sure That Your Child Is Safe and Comfortable
- Toy Box – If you keep all the toys in one place, your child won’t have to worry about getting injured while playing with them. You’ll also easily see what they’re playing with so that accidents can be prevented.
- Crib – Choose a safe crib for your child. It should have four reinforced corners to prevent it from becoming loose and unstable over time. Check the legs and joints.
- Dresser – Use a dresser that locks securely to the wall. Your child can easily be injured if they open the drawers and the dresser tips over.
- Window – Window guards should be installed on your child’s room windows for extra protection. You should also consider keeping blinds closed all the time since your child could easily climb onto a chair or stool and fall from the window if they can reach them.
- Door – If your child has a door, you must make sure it isn’t always left open. If the door is left open, a child can easily fall out of the house without realizing it. You should also ensure that this door can be locked inside so your child cannot easily enter or exit the room.
- Safety Gates – We recommend installing a safety gate at the top of your stairs. This will prevent your child from falling down the stairs and risking injury. If you have a baby door, you should also install a safety gate to prevent your child from crawling out of their crib at night.
- Library – When setting up a home library for your child, always remember to mind the gap. This means that you should put books on sturdy shelves or ones that are a safe distance away from where your child sleeps, plays, or crawls.
BABY PROOFING YOUR MASTER BEDROOM
Your master bedroom should be a special place for you and your partner to be as stress-free as possible. It should be where you want to spend as much time with each other as possible.
13. Keep Your Bed or Mattress Safe
Your bed or mattress is one of the most important things you need to protect while baby proofing your bedroom. Babies love to explore the inside of everything, and they can easily get caught up in your bed and get injured.
You should never put your baby in bed with you. Like you, they can be injured by falling out of the bed or off the mattress.
- Install bed guards to prevent your child from being able to climb out of bed.
- You should also use fitted sheets on your mattress, so your child can’t easily get caught up in the loose fabric.
- Get your child to stay in bed with a stuffed animal or special toy.
BABY PROOFING YOUR HOME OFFICE
Your office is where you need to be at least once daily. You wouldn’t want to risk your child reaching up and pulling your computer monitor or keyboard down or stumbling into some loose items and getting hurt by them.
14. Kids Are Off-Limit
Your home office is a place where you like to relax and get work done. There’s no sense in letting your child run around and get into anything that could hurt them.
- Put items on shelves and keep all papers away from your child’s reach.
- Keep any cords hidden so they can’t be pulled or damaged by your child. This is especially essential if you have valuable electronics that a power surge could damage or if you have a laptop that needs to stay plugged in at all times.
- You should also keep your desk drawers locked so your child cannot access them.
- Consider using a cable lock for your laptop if you need to leave it unattended.
Babies begin exploring their world at around 5 months of age. Babies like to pull and grab things. They also want to investigate what they can fit into their mouths. This makes it even more important for you to practice proper baby proofing at this time.
If you begin giving your child a larger area to play in a while still crawling, they’ll likely try to pull themselves up and walk sooner than usual.
That’s why in NY Babysteps Preschool, we give our small children a chance to explore their environment while they’re still crawling. This allows them to get used to the movements and muscle strength they’ll need when walking on their own.
At NY Babysteps, we believe that children deserve the best opportunity you can give them to grow and fulfill their potential.
For more information about NY Babysteps Preschool, please contact us. We’re looking forward to meeting you and your family!