Tips for Baby-Proofing Your Home
Bringing home that little bundle of joy is an exciting yet overwhelming experience. Many new parents are nervous about bringing baby home and want to make sure the environment is as safe as possible. This becomes especially important around the age of eight months, when most babies become mobile and begin learning to crawl. For parents looking to get started in baby-proofing their homes, there are a few important steps to take.
Anchor Furniture to Walls
Top-heavy furniture and taller furniture can become extremely dangerous as babies learn to pull themselves up off the ground. Now is a good time to go through the home and anchor furniture to walls as needed. Bookshelves, dressers, TV stands, pantries, and other large furniture items can be secure to the wall using a simple drywall anchor and screws.
Invest in Child-Proof Locks
Once babies discover that they can open and close drawers, cabinets, and doors, it seems that’s all they want to do! Fortunately, there are all kinds of great and easy-to-use child-proof locks that can be installed throughout the home, including on kitchen cabinets, desk drawers, and interior doors. These locks typically require two motions to bypass, so they’re effective in preventing access to babies but still functional enough for everyday adult use. Gates with these locks should also be placed near any and all staircases in the home.
Cover Up Sharp Edges and Corners
Soon after learning to crawl comes learning to walk—and with learning to walk comes plenty of falls and tumbles! This is a good time to assess furniture and other items at baby’s eye level to check for sharp corners that could be dangerous in the event of a fall. It is easy to cover up these edges and corners with inexpensive foam protectors that can be found in stores. These can also be easily removed without damaging furniture down the road, making them an effective and practical baby-proofing item for coffee tables, end tables, and the like.
Soften Those Inevitable Falls
Speaking of falls, homes with tile, hardwood, laminate, or other solid surface flooring may require some additional baby-proofing, especially in main living areas. While babies have their diapered bottoms as a built-in cushion when they fall, they can still experience injuries when they slip and fall on harder flooring. For this reason, many parents choose to place soft, plush rugs throughout the home for baby to play and practice walking/crawling on. These are great for providing a little extra cushion, and as an added bonus, they can improve the interior look and feel of a space as well.
Stock Up on Outlet Covers
Babies are curious beings, and many electrical outlets will be right at eye-level for a baby learning to crawl or walk. Parents should be sure to purchase a bulk package of outlet covers and make sure they’re in place before baby even starts to become mobile. These baby-proofing items are inexpensive and are usually made of plastic, so they can be easily inserted into any outlet that’s not in use and prevent baby’s fingers from coming near the electrical charge. These also come with a locking mechanism that requires a large amount of pressure to be placed on the cover in order for it to be removed, so that infants can’t simply pull them off.
While this is by no means a comprehensive list of baby-proofing tips, it should at least help new parents get started on the path to making their homes safer for growing (and increasingly mobile) babies. From there, parents can hopefully worry a little less and enjoy precious moments even more.