Keeping our baby safe (baby proof your home) is our greatest concern and responsibility. There is so much to consider and it is very easy to overlook something that might be fairly obvious to some but escape others. Things like covering electrical outlets, putting up baby gates and turning pot handles to the rear of the stove are all things that we think “oh yeah!” once we are made aware of them but wouldn’t necessarily even think about before then!
This article is a helpful place to start thinking about ways to baby proof your home.
What is the best way to baby-proof our home?
The best way is to explore your home from the world of your child – that is from their height. You should get down on all fours and crawl around your home. This will help you see hazards you might not have recognised as an adult.
Are electrical outlets in baby’s reach or are there cords hanging down that your baby can pull on or get tangled in? Does your furniture have sharp corners? Are there items at your baby’s level that should be put up out of reach? Take a few minutes and crawl around your home making notes on all the hazards you come across.
What is the most hazardous situation for my baby?
I get asked this a lot, and the answer is any situation that places your baby in harm’s way is the worst situation for your baby. However I have to say that for me the situation I dread the most is choking or anything that might obstruct the airways that would cause them to stop breathing. This is why I am careful to ensure that small items (such as cell batteries, pen lids etc.) are up hight and out of reach of baby.
What are some things I need to consider when I baby proof my home?
As you crawl around you will start to notice that the world your baby is in brings many dangers and things you need to consider. Your baby is a quick mover, and will move much faster than you, so always keep this in mind as you do your baby proof audit of your house.
Apart from that, definitely consider putting up all valuables and breakable items out of reach of your babies – especially glass – anything that is small enough to fit in her mouth should be removed too.
Not that this will happen often but if you aren’t sure if something is small enough to fit in your baby’s mouth and so pose a choking hazard, use this helpful trick; take an empty toilet paper roll and if the item fits inside the tube it means that it will most likely fit in baby’s mouth. If it does, put it away up somewhere high and out of reach of baby!
Why do I need baby safety gates?
Baby safety gates can be placed in doorways or at the top and bottom of staircases. The gates can prevent your baby from getting into the kitchen or bathroom too. They can also prevent your baby from tumbling down the stairs or climbing the stairs and falling. The mesh or the holes in the gate should not be large enough for your baby to put his toes through to climb the gate.
Gates now are being made to operate hands-free or one handed. There are gates being made with the bars going vertical instead of horizontal reducing the chances of your baby being able to climb the gate.
What are electric outlet covers or locks?
Electric outlet covers look like plastic plugs when they are inserted and prevent baby from sticking those curious fingers in the outlet and getting a serious and very dangerous electrical shock.
Electric outlet lock plates can replace typical outlets too and in order to insert anything into the outlet the plug has to be inserted and turned. This is one of the safest options, but there are so many varieties available now including Universal Powerpoint Covers and the award-winning Bink Outlet Safety Plugs.
What kind of baby proof products are available?
There are all kinds of baby products available and most are reasonably priced. There are motion sensors, corner cushions for sharp corners on furniture. There are electric outlet covers, cabinet and drawer locks of different types and cord retractors for window blinds.
Are there baby proofing checklists available?
Yes there are baby-proofing checklists available. You can locate them online and they are printable. Specialty stores, hospitals, and paediatricians are all possible sources for such checklists. You can also check out the article I wrote which is essentially a checklist on how to baby proof all different areas of your home.
How can I baby proof my nursery?
You can baby proof your nursery by keeping your baby’s crib away from windows and blind cords. Put outlet protectors on all outlets and you can even get things for blind cords like the amazing magnetic Up and Away . Make certain to dress your baby in sleepers rather than using blankets. When your baby begins sitting up place the mattress in the lowest position. Do not put stuffed animals or pillows in the crib with your little one, they could nestle up to them and suffocate.
How can I baby proof my kitchen?
Put all cleaners or chemicals up out of reach of your baby. Make sure all drawers and cabinet doors are secured with baby proof locks. While cooking put all pot handles toward the rear of the stove. Do not have electric cords hanging over counters where your baby can pull on them.
How can I baby proof my car?
You can baby proof your car by making sure the car seat your baby will ride in is installed correctly and that it is the correct one for your baby. Remember that in most countries (including Australia) you must have a baby seat professionally installed for it to be legal.
Remove all loose items that could become missiles in a crash or quick stop, and place them in the boot or in a car tidy that will keep them safe and secure.
The bottom line of baby proofing your home and your car is to be mindful of common things can be hazardous to a baby or small child but if you conduct a good audit of your home and car, remembering to be at the height of your little one, you will be able to baby proof your house and car and keep your little one safe.