When you welcome a new baby into the world, your whole world turns upside down. But there may be something that you’re not prepared for, and that is just how much a baby can take over your home. It can mean rooms are now filled with diapers and baby accessories, as well as needing to rethink a few things down the line. As soon as your baby can crawl and roll over, which will all happen relatively quickly, you need to be thinking about all different things around the home, that could potentially be a hazard to them. There may be a few things that can damaged if they get their hands on them too.
Before the childproofing, there are just a few regular things you should check on, to make sure that you’ve got a safe place to bring your baby back to. These are:
- Check your smoke detectors get more installed if you don’t have at least one on each floor.
- Getting carbon monoxide monitors can be a good idea, especially if you use gas or oil to help heat your home. Putting them in the sleeping areas is usually the best place.
- Place plug socket covers on the exposed plug sockets in your home. It doesn’t take too much for a baby to just reach up and touch it or for them to poke something t the plug, which can be really damaging.
- Large pieces of furniture like bookshelves of wardrobes are best if they are secured to the wall. They may not be secured if it was just you living there, but nailing them to the wall can be a life saver. If a little one attempted to climb up a bookcase that wasn’t secured, for example, then it could fall on top of them quite easily.
- Check what is at floor level for them to reach; candles, ornaments, plants, or toys. These can all be damaging to your baby, and they can get damaged too.
Doors and Windows
You will start seeing your home in a whole new light, as there are hazards that you probably wouldn’t have thought of before; your doors and windows being some of the main ones. First of all, if you have window blinds, then the cables for them need to be secured. These can be major choking and strangling hazard for little ones. Curtains can be hazardous too, so think about getting tie-backs, so that they aren’t just hanging lose the whole time.
You should also think about how secure the windows are; do they have locks and do they open all of the way? If they are damaged or need to get repaired, then it is best to do so as soon as possible to stop them becoming more of a hazard. Somewhere like US Window & Door will be able to advise on the best ones to get with little ones around. Look for double or even triple glazed, to get maximum protection should they run into a window or patio door.
It is also a good point to note that not all rooms in the home need childproofing, so your bedroom or an office can simply be kept off limits. Using something like a door knob covers can be a good way to stop little hands being able to get to the door knob and stop them from being able to open it. This can apply to things like closets too; keep the doors secured so that little ones can’t get them open and raid the contents.
There is no getting away from the fact that there are going to be hazards in the home. From cleaning products to medication or things for your car, they all need to be stored. But little ones aren’t going to know that they shouldn’t be touching them. Which is where securing cabinets comes in. Bathroom cabinets, under the kitchen sink cabinets, and any other cleaning cabinets need to be secured. You can various clips for doors to stop little ones from getting in. You just need to remember to put them back on once you have opened them.
A good backup is to move products like that high and out of reach. Then you know they won’t be able to reach them. High up and locked away is the best option, though.
Knives are also something that we forget about being a hazard. Most of the time these will be stored in a knife block that should be kept out of reach. But if you keep any in drawers in the kitchen, then now is the time to put closers or locks on the drawers too. When babies can start to pull themselves up, they could easily get into kitchen drawers if you’re not careful.
Going up and down stairs is second nature to all of us. But for a baby or toddler navigating the stairs, they aren’t going to know what to do. So it is important that you have measures in place, that will stop them being near the stairs until they are ready to be near the stairs. Baby gates are the easiest way to do just that; it means that they can be stopped from crawling up the stairs, as well as being stopped from falling down the stairs at the top.
Fireplace or Heat
Not everyone is going to have fireplaces in their homes or log burners. But we are all likely to have radiators. These can all be dangerous if we let them be. If they are too hot, then a baby reaching out could hurt themselves, even a radiator. So things like radiator covers can be a good idea, as well as checking that you have thermostatic radiators as these won’t overheat. If you have a fireplace or an open fire/ log burner, then you need to get the right covers in place, to help protect little hands reaching out.
What else would you add to the childproofing list? There can be a lot to think about but it will become second nature to check on the things around the home that could cause damage.