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Tips For Childproofing your Home

As your baby starts moving, and exploring their world more, you’ll have your work cut out trying to keep them safe as they gain confidence. A few minor bumps and knocks are inevitable, but a little piece of mind goes a long way. If you don’t want to spend all your time following them around anxiously, it’s best to eliminate as many potential hazards as possible beforehand.

Why is it important to baby proof the house?

 

Babies are inherently curious, and once they learn how to crawl, they can wreak havoc around the house. You have to make sure they are safe exploring on their own and therefore childproofing your home is one of the most fundamental changes you can implement in their early years. Failure to do so could lead to injury, as babies are susceptible to hurting themselves on things you don’t think twice about. That is why in order to start baby proofing, you need to get down on their level. Get on your hands and knees, and look around. Put yourself in the mind of a baby and think of what you would find interesting, and whether or not that is a hazard. These include small objects that your baby could choke on, cords that your baby could get tangled up in, heavy objects like TVs, sharp objects, or poisonous materials. All these objects should be locked up, or relocated to an inaccessible area.

Baby gates are an additional boon that will make your life that much simpler when it comes to baby proofing the house. Just make sure the baby gate is free of any splinters, cracks, rough parts, and has a safety-approved label.

At what age should you baby proof?

 

Even though babies don’t pose a threat to themselves until they start crawling, baby proofing house should be done as soon as possible. Ideally, you can get started on this long process three months before the due date, as some recommended measures will have to be implemented over time. Once the baby starts to crawl (between 6 to 10 months), you will need to do a second sweep of the house to make sure no imminent dangers are present on ground level. Things like heavy objects, electric cords, and tiny choking hazards, should all be kept out of reach and out of sight, once your baby learns how to crawl. However, while you are baby proofing the home, make sure there are no safety risks to you as well. When your baby is in your arms, make sure you don’t walk on slippery floors, or sit on wobbly furniture, as this could lead to serious accidents as well.

Check safety from their eye level

 

The most effective way to baby proof your home is to get down the floor so you can see things from your baby’s level. From down there you’ll be able to see any open plug sockets that need covering, fix any loose cables and wires to prevent them from getting tangled up and take stock of low-level items such as standing lamps that need securing. Once they develop more, they’ll love pulling themselves up from sitting to standing so you’ll also need to secure any larger items of furniture such as bookshelves or drawers too.

 

Cushions and pillows make for good protection

 

Stock-up on cushions and pillows. They serve as great bumpers when propped against table legs or sharp cornered furniture. You can also buy specially made baby-proofing foam tape to soften the impact of furniture with hard edges.

Keep areas off limits with safety gates

 

If you have stairs, sturdy stair gates are a must-have. Ideally place one at the top and one at the bottom of each staircase and remember to close them behind you every time you go up or down.

Play it safe in the bathroom

 

Babies will use their mouth as well as their hands to explore so ensure any items that look temptingly edible such as shampoos or creams are kept out of reach or are tightly closed. Keep any toxic substances such as bleach and cleaning products in a locked cupboard. Toilets are a source of endless fascination and your baby may enjoy throwing toys in and trying to fish them out with her hands. Keep the bathroom door closed where possible and if your baby is particularly drawn to the loo, consider a toilet-seat lock.

Keep kitchen safety on your mind

 

Fit floor height cupboards and drawers with childproof locks and latches to stop little fingers from getting trapped and to prevent any injuries whilst removing heavy items such as glass dishes or pans. Keep in mind that closed doors and locked cupboards are be a huge source of frustration for your curious baby, so leave at least one cupboard accessible. Fill it with plastic containers of different shapes and sizes. There is nothing entertaining for a little explorer than emptying the entire content of a cabinet on to the floor.

When cooking, keep your child away from the oven door when it’s hot. Use the back rings of the hob or turn the saucepan handles away from you so that they can’t be pulled over by tiny hands. And always place hot drinks on surfaces where they can’t be reached and toppled. 

Don’t take your eyes off baby

 

Of course, it’s impossible to make your home completely accident proof, even with the most stringent of baby-proofing methods in place so be sure to keep a close eye on your little one on their adventures. Lucky for you, they’re great fun to watch.

Don't forget to baby proof the nursery

 

When you are making house safe for babies, all the efforts should start from the nursery. This is where your little one will be spending most of their time, and as they grow older, it pays off to be prepared well in advance. Here are a few tips for baby proofing the nursery.

  1. Buy a baby monitor. It is important to keep an eye on the baby when things get too quiet.
  2. Avoid placing floor lamps, as these can easily be pulled over.
  3. Position the crib away from windows and other furniture, in case baby tries to climb over.
  4. Window blinds with long, exposed cords can pose a strangulation risk.
  5. Install a baby gate, should your baby decide to take an unsupervised late-night stroll.
  6. Secure any open dresser drawers with childproof locks, in case baby wants to climb.
  7. Put plastic outlet protectors over any unused electrical outlets.
  8. Blankets, pillows, and even crib bumpers should be avoided, as these may pose a suffocation risk to the baby. A well-fitting sheet, water-proof cover, and a comfortable mattress are all a baby needs to sleep comfortably at night.
  9. Make sure childproofing is done well in advance. Your baby might look like an innocent bundle of joy, but before you know it, they will be up to no good!

Play it safe with electricity

 

We all know how much babies love exploring every inch of the house, as is expected with their inquisitive nature. However, babies and electrical outlets just don’t go well together. This is a fact of life and all electrical appliances and outlets should be treated with utmost precaution when adding babies to the picture. There’s a serious risk of adventurous toddlers poking anything into the electrical outlet, which might just electrocute them! Fortunately, electrical outlet caps are available everywhere. These nifty products are an easy and safe way to protect your toddler from any electric accidents. They are easy to install, but difficult to remove (for toddlers at least!). Just make sure that in addition to power outlets, all phone chargers, extension cables, and computer cables are kept away from the reach of toddlers crawling about. They can easily be pulled out and tampered with. These days, many appliances are cordless. Cordless appliances lower the risk of any untoward accident happening as there are no wires involved. When it comes to electrical appliances and your child, you have to make sure that your little one is exposed to a bare minimum, if at all. Even the ones they are exposed to have to be completely baby-proof so that your baby’s naughtiness doesn’t get the better of them.

 

Please be aware that the information given in these articles is only intended as general advice and should in no way be taken as a substitute for professional medical advice. If you or your family or your child is suffering from symptoms or conditions which are severe or persistent or you need specific medical advice, please seek professional medical assistance. Philips AVENT cannot be held responsible for any damages that result from the use of the information provided on this website.