Baby-Proofing Guide for New Parents
You’ve got a crib and the perfect car seat…but has your house been baby proofed? Today, we’re recapping information from this post, and adding a few additional tips, in order to create the ultimate baby-proofing guide for new parents.
In the nursery
- Tightly wind baby monitor cords, or choose a cordless option, and keep them away from the crib.
- Keep all other cords behind furniture or in places where baby cannot reach them.
- Instead of plastic outlet covers (which can pose a choking risk), try sliding covers like these.
- Secure dressers and other heavy furniture to the wall.
- Store toys in open boxes or other containers that won’t slam down on your baby’s hands. Avoid materials (like wicker) that can be easily pulled off or worn down.
- Don’t place cribs, pack and plays, or bassinets over a vent or under or next to a window. Make sure blinds cannot be reached from inside the crib.
In the kitchen
- Store all cleaning supplies out of a child’s reach, or, if that’s not a possibility, in a cabinet with an effective child lock.
- If your oven or stove knobs are within your child’s reach, try these great stove knob covers.
- Try to keep pet food in an area that is not child-accessible, as it can be a choking hazard to your little ones.
- If you have any sharp corners, invest in corner covers. (Especially if you have tall babies like I do.)
- Place child locks on knife drawers, or move knives, scissors, and other sharp objects out of reach.
- Store plastic bags, cling wrap, and aluminum foil out of your child’s reach, or lock them away with a child lock.
- Avoid tablecloths. Babies can grab and pull a cloth—and anything on top of it—down on themselves.
- Make sure all trash cans have a lid that is secured shut with a child lock. If trash cans are located inside drawers, make sure those drawers also have a child safety lock.
In the bathroom
- Make sure you store all bath products, especially bath and baby oils, in a safe spot in child-resistant packaging. Check the ingredients of your bath and baby oils for liquid hydrocarbons, as these can be very harmful to a baby’s lungs.
- Use non-slip mats in (and out of) the tub. If you have floors that get slippery, this is especially important.
- Cover the tub spout (with a cover like this adorable whale) to protect baby’s head in case she falls.
- To avoid water that is too hot, always test the water temperature first. You can also set your water heater to 120 degrees F, or install an anti-scalding device to your bath spout and sink faucet.
- Keep all cords (from hairdryers, curling irons, etc.) out of reach; they can be a strangulation and burning hazard.
- Store razors, nail clippers, and any sharp objects out of reach.
In the family/living room
- If you have large areas with windows, or sliding glass doors, mark them with stickers to avoid any collisions.
- Cut off or tie up any dangling window cords or curtain sashes.
- Secure TVs and other heavy furniture to the wall.
- Place tall, unsecured lamps or other decorative items behind furniture, where they can’t topple over.
- Keep heavy items on lower, sturdy furniture, in as inaccessible a location as possible (pushed all the way back into a shelf, etc.).
- Place corner covers on coffee tables and entertainment centers.
By the stairs
- Use a baby gate to limit your child’s accessibility to the stairs. Consider the following when choosing a baby gate:
- Are the stairs heavily used throughout the day?
- Do you carry items like laundry up the stairs?
- Do you need a larger area gated than just the top and bottom of the stairs?
- Do you have any preferences on how the gate appears aesthetically?
- Place a gate at the top and the bottom of each staircase. If possible, choose gates that fasten securely to the wall with hardware to use at the top of the stairs.
- If utilizing a baby gate is not possible, consider placing a temporary barrier, like a solid bench or a chair placed on its side in front of the stair opening.
Around the fireplace
- Put up a baby safety gate (like this one) around the fireplace to protect baby from burns. Make sure the gate secures to the wall on either side of the fireplace.
- For a baby proof fireplace, put all of your sharp fire-burning tools and logs behind the baby gate or in a locked closet.
- Store matches and gas fire keys out of reach.
- If your fireplace is unused, such as during the summer months, you can protect your baby with a cute fireplace cover. Purchase a cover or make yourself—consider a magnetic chalkboard like this one, and use it for decoration or as a place for the kids to be creative.
- Stepped hearths pose a danger to new crawlers and walkers. Create a baby proof fireplace by putting foam padding along the sides and corners of the fireplace.
- Complete your baby proofing fireplace efforts with foam hearth pads that cover the top flat surface of the hearth, protecting baby from falls.
- For a DIY hearth covering solution, place interlocking foam blocks along the top and sides of the hearth.
- Check and clear your fireplace vents regularly, and place a carbon monoxide alarm in the same room as the fireplace. Check and replace the batteries often.
- Secure fireplace gates closed with a specially made gate lock, or for a cheaper option keep them shut with cable ties.
When you’re away from home
- Check for choking hazards (e.g. small toys, pet food, etc.) and ensure that these items are out of reach.
- Ensure that all cleaning supplies and other chemicals are safely stored.
- Where appropriate, bring and use outlet covers for accessible electrical outlets.
- Move any plants out of your child’s reach, especially if they’re toxic.
- When in doubt, get down on the floor at your baby’s level and examine the area for potential hazards.
Have we missed anything? What would you add to our baby proofing guide?
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