Babyproofing! Where to start and where does it end?? It can be overwhelming thinking about all the things that need to be addressed when it comes to babies and their safety, but I have put together a list to help get you started on babyproofing your home for a baby ON THE GO!
Get At Your Child’s Level
This might sound silly, but get down and crawl around like your baby and see what he sees! You might be surprised by what you come across. Sometimes you don’t even realize something is a hazard until your baby discovers it first, this will help you beat him to it.
Electrical Cords and Outlets
Tuck cords away or place them out of reach so that baby cannot pull or bite on them. Pulling on a cord may result in an object, like a lamp, to come crashing down on him, and we don’t want him biting into any cords that may be electrically active. If you have outlets not in use, use safety plugs or outlet covers so that your baby cannot stick his fingers or anything else into the outlet.
Make sure that there are no objects, like a mobile, hanging over the crib once baby can move around more. The crib should never have bumper pads! Also, be sure to lower the mattress in your crib as your baby grows and becomes able to sit up and pull up. You don’t want baby tipping or climbing out of the crib. Also, be sure that nothing is within reach from the crib, you’d be surprised how far those little arms can reach through the slats!
Wet babies are slippery! It’s a good idea to get a soft cover for your bath spout as well as putting down a no-slip pad inside and outside of the bathtub. This will not only help keep baby safe but you as well! Remember to always check the temperature of the water in the tub before placing your baby inside. Using your wrist is a good way to test the temperature to make sure it is not too hot.
Ensure that any type of sharp or pointed objects, such as scissors, knives, tools, etc, are out of reach for baby. Remember, once baby can pull up, much more is within his reach than you might realize! Make sure that ALL medications and cleaners are placed up high so that little hands cannot find them. Have the number for Poison Control saved in your phone or posted somewhere in your home where you can quickly find it should an accident occur. Be sure that any and all guns in the house are properly stored and locked away. This is important for children of ANY age.
Make it a habit to cook using the back burners on the stove so that little hands cannot reach up and accidentally touch the hot burners in front. Turn the handles of pots and pans away from the countertop edges so that they cannot be reached and pulled down on top of your baby or toddler.
Around the House
Place safety locks or latches on any cupboard you do not want your baby to be able to access. Latches are especially helpful in areas like the kitchen and bathroom. Use door handle covers if your toddler can open doors and you need to keep him out of certain rooms or want to be able to keep him contained in one area of the house at times. This is especially important if he can open doors to the outside of the house–you don’t want your toddler opening doors to strangers or letting himself out without you around! If you have a fireplace, be sure to use a fireplace screen, but remember that the screen can become hot as well. Mount or secure any furniture or TVs which may easily be tipped over by a baby or toddler who is climbing, pulling, tugging or jumping on or near the object. Ensure blind cords are wrapped up and out of reach to avoid strangulation and other injuries.
If you have doorstops in your home that have a little rubber tip on them, THESE CAN COME OFF, and trust me, baby will find them, pop them off and put them right in his mouth (personal experience here). Your doorstops will still work without the rubber tips, so until baby is old enough to understand not to put them in his mouth, or at least until he is no longer crawling and doesn’t have the doorstops in his line of vision, take the tops off and store them somewhere to be put back on later .
Use baby gates at the top and bottom of stairs once baby is on the move. Over time your baby will learn how to safely navigate the stairs, but until then, if you don’t keep the stairs blocked, baby WILL find them! Also, be sure that you install the gates correctly and that they are secure. You don’t want baby to be playing near the gate (especially at the top of the stairs) and be able to push it over or pull it down if he climbs or tugs on it. Similarly, if you are in an older home, the spacing between your stair or balcony railings may be wider than 4 inches. If this is the case, use some type of material like garden fencing or plexiglass or an actual railing safety net to prevent baby from falling through the wide openings.
If this is your first baby, you likely do not have a toy room and this step might look a little different for you, but if you do have a toy room, go through the toys and remove any small objects that could be a potential choking hazard. This includes any object small enough to fit through the opening of a toilet paper roll. Educate your older children and ask them to please keep small objects up off the floor and to keep their smaller sized toys in their rooms where baby cannot get to them.
Remember that this list is not a fully comprehensive babyproofing list, as many things can harm a baby, but it should give you a good starting point as you work on babyproofing your home. You’ve got this, mama!
If you would like additional information on Choking Prevention and CPR for your infant or child, reach out to your local mama coach and she can help. Being educated is KEY to keeping your baby safe!