No feeling can beat the first time you watch your baby take his first steps towards you.
As your little angel leaves the safety of his crib, he begins exploring everything around him by touching and pulling on various stuff in the house. Needless to say, you experience a sense of fulfilment when your baby wanders around the house with wonderment in his eyes.
Home will always be the safest place for your baby. However, danger lurks at every corner of the house and can compromise the safety of your little adventurer. Baby proofing house checklist will help you turn every corner of the house into a safe haven for your inquisitive toddler to begin his journey as an explorer.
When should I start baby proofing my home?
Many people, including loved ones, may advise you to start baby proofing your home once your toddler begins to get on all fours and crawl. But experts recommend that you start making your home baby compliant before the child is born. As parents of a newborn, you will be hard pressed for time when your infant arrives. After the birth of your munchkin, there are a million things you will have to do and in the whole process of new adjustments and changes, baby proofing may get pushed back on your priority list. Therefore, starting early allows you to work at your own pace and ensure more effective planning.
Once you have decided to baby proof your home, the following areas in your house need to be revamped to accommodate your baby’s newfound need for exploration.
Your baby’s nursery is going to be his first ever room so no doubt that you will pull out all the stops to make it as homely as possible. While you adorn your newborn’s nursery with alluring colours and eye-catching decoration, also remember to look at it from his point of view to ensure his safety. As he will spend his first couple of years in the nursery, refrain from using crib bumpers and drop-side cribs while baby proofing the nursery. Avoid pillows, mattresses and stuffed animals on the perchance that they may suffocate your little one. Lastly, opt for a cordless baby monitor, if possible, as it eliminates the hassle of having to safely wound the cords.
Do you think that toys are the most innocuous things you can give your tiny tot to keep him happy and engaged? Well, it’s time you think again! Ask any mother and she will tell of numerable instances when her kid has pulled out parts of a toy like buttons, ribbons, beads, etc. and stuffed them in their mouth, nose or ear. As a mother, your natural instinct is to protect your baby from any harm, therefore also keep an eye out for toy hazards.
Babies find such things alluring and the little scientist in them is often tempted to explore and taste it. Kids choking on toy parts is a potential hazard and could lead to dire consequences. As a mother, you need to ensure that the toys are toddler compliant and not so heavy that it can harm your child if it lands on him by accident. Also, cords or strings that are longer than 12 inches should be avoided lest it causes strangulation. Furthermore, store all these toys in an open toy box to prevent his little fingers from getting slammed in the lid while opening or closing the box.
Before bathing your child, ensure that you have everything around you so that your kid is never unsupervised as bathrooms can be very tricky. Ensure that the water is always around 38° Celsius as anything above that will be too hot for your little one’s sensitive skin. You can opt for baby proofing products like baby bath water thermometers and bath spout covers that come in the shape of amusing toys, which will serve its purpose and at the same time be amusing to your child. Apart from it, bathroom mats will prevent your enthusiastic toddler from having slip-ups. Also, keep your bathroom door locked at all times as your wandering child can encounter many hazards in every corner of the bathroom.
The toilet is yet another place that may catch your kid’s fancy. The mere thought of untoward accidents like drowning, unsanitary exposure, or the possibility of your child getting his fingers trapped in the seat covers is enough to give you sleepless nights. Make such worries disappear by using a sturdy toilet lock that your child cannot fiddle with. Also, in his excitement, your kid may mistake the different coloured medicines in your medicine cabinet for candy, so keep it off-limits by securing such cabinets with locks that your child cannot pry it off.
To an adult, heavy furniture may seem well secured but to your child, the cupboards and drawers are the perfect companions to practice his crawling skills. As your little one learns to pull on furniture, get the unsecured items like cupboards, bookshelves, and chest of drawers anchored to the wall. Prevent bruises caused by your child accidentally bumping into sharp edges by using edge guards or soft plastic covers. In this way, he can enjoy his exploration without much interruptions (and you can breathe a sigh of relief!).
Babies love to stick their fingers in electrical sockets without a care in the world (understandably so!). But the result can spell disaster for your child. Covering the sockets with clear covers, sliding covers, and swing-shut options will give you peace of mind as your little wanderer can safely explore his home turf. Also, seal the long wires and cords so that they cannot be tampered with easily.
Windows and doors
The outside scenery may seem too captivating to your home-bound kid, hence he may try to fidget with the windows and doors to get a better view. Additionally, it is not possible to watch your overly active kid every minute. If left unsupervised, his curiosity can get the better of him. As a mother, taking simple measures like using a window guard, and keeping the area free of furniture, so that it cannot be used as a ladder, will keep your over-enthusiastic kid safe and sound. Baby proofing products for door knobs and door locks will protect your child from getting painful pinched fingers and also keep him from running out of the house at his whim.
Children become fascinated with knobs and turning things at around 15 months of age. Knowing kids, can you blame them? Their enticing shapes and designs make it difficult for your munchkin to resist them so, investing in stove guards and stove knob covers is a good idea. When you have an inquisitive toddler at home, keep all the sharp objects like knives, scissors, cutters, and glassware out of your kids reach preferably in the top cabinets or in the shelves which can be secured with locks and latches.
Hot foods is another thing that mamas have to keep an eye out for. Although you may be a pro at multitasking (which mother isn’t?), never carry your infant and hot liquids or foods at the same time. Kids at that age, hardly ever remain still and it can cause unwarranted burns and injuries. Also, keep all the hot foods and liquids at the centre of the table or counter so that your overactive toddler does not topple it over. The same applies to the pot and pan handles while cooking, turn them towards the back of the stove for precaution.
Cabinets and drawers
As your kid continues his exploration further, he may be curious about the cabinets and drawers and the suspenseful items held within. Therefore, keep all the lower cabinets, which generally contain cleaning supplies and chemicals, out of harm’s way when you have a crawling infant. Make it a habit to store all the harmful chemicals in the top cabinets. Another alternative is to securely shut the cabinets with latches or locks to keep them out of his prying hands.
Toilet paper roll rule
Your baby’s curiosity knows no bounds at this age. No wonder, he is always putting things in his mouth and wants to nibble at everything he can find. With things lying around at home, the rule of thumb is to pass any questionable object through the cardboard tube of the toilet paper roll. If the object is small enough to pass through the roll, it poses a threat as your child can ingest it, leading to choking hazards. Also, add finishing touches to your baby proofing efforts by putting yourself in your kid’s shoes. Go down on all fours and check every corner of the house for small objects that can catch the fancy of your toddler.
The Importance of saying NO to your child
In addition to baby proofing your home, you should also familiarize your child with the word ‘’NO’’ from the onset. Using phrases like “No!,” “Danger,” or “That’s mommy’s property” from an early age, will help him understand that these places or things are off-limits. Infancy is the height of a child’s curiosity and experimentation phase so when they start to crawl and stand up on their feet, the house becomes their oyster. Therefore, take their safety a step further than baby proofing every corner of the house. You must habituate your child to hearing the necessary word “No” by accompanying it with gestures that convey to him that staying away from certain dangerous areas of the house is in his best interest.
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