“We’ve got a walker!” you exclaim excitedly, until you realize this tiny human who was once easy to watch is a moving liability in your own home. You did all the necessary things needed to be done before your infant arrived, but now life has indeed changed—and this is even true of a new crawler. If you haven’t fully baby-proofed your house yet or perhaps you’ve just moved in, though, don’t panic. There are some things that are more important than others, and you want to tackle the top priorities first.
When it comes down to it, baby-proofing is essentially getting down to your toddler’s level and experiencing the world from his perspective. Suddenly things like unlatched cupboards and your container of laundry pods take on a whole new meaning. These days, there’s usually a parenting app for that, but this endeavor just takes some good old-fashioned planning. Just moved in? Read on for the most important things to baby-proof in your new abode. These are top priorities for Frontier Properties when they move a family into their new home, but there are extra things you can do to ensure a safe environment.
When we think babyproofing, many of us think of those latches on drawers and cupboards, but the first thing you should really do is simply make sure any big appliances and other things are properly tied down. Unless you’ve been hiding under a rock, you’ve likely seen that horrendously scary video of the dresser coming on down on that tiny baby, and his twin brother doing everything in his power to get the dresser off him. Despite our best intentions, we might not think about how things like TVs on top of dressers and heavy paintings on walls can become extremely perilous. Use furniture straps to make sure heavy items can’t come down on your little one, and make sure to add the bumpers to the corners of everything in case they fall into these things.
Time to Talk Toilets
Just like you need to secure cabinets and drawers that kids have access to in your home, you need to secure the lid to your toilet. This isn’t just because of the water—which can be a hazard—but also because a curious child can get her fingers slammed inside.
Careful with Cords
Use cord holders to keep cords attached to walls so kids don’t get caught up and possibly even strangled in these. The same precaution should be applied to cords that hang from curtains. Far too many kids have been the victims of strangulation when these cords are readily available for toddler “play”. Make sure they are tied up and above the reach of your wee ones.
This is a fast but necessary baby-proofing technique that basically entails buying baby-proof covers for all outlets or moving furniture so that these outlets are completely inaccessible to your newly mobile baby.
Go for Gates – and Plenty of Them
Moms joke that they have eyes in the back of their heads but the harsh reality is no one can watch their baby 100 percent of the time. That’s why it’s a good idea to restrict some of their movement around your home with baby gates. You can still give them plenty of room to run while keeping them safe! And make sure to put gates at the top and bottom of stairs to prevent them from gaining access to these.
Watch Out for Windows
Make sure to get childproof screens instead of the ones that are simply meant to keep the bugs out. This will prevent them from pushing through and falling out, which would be particularly detrimental if this happened on a second floor.
There is a baby-proofing element in simply being aware of what the baby can get to and what they will encounter as they crawl and/or walk at surprisingly swift speeds. Do you have items plugged in like an iron that your baby can pull down? Are there toys that are meant for older children from your big family lying on the ground that could present a choking hazard for your little guy or gal? Do you make sure to cook and boil things on the back burners instead of the front burners to prevent accidents by fidgeting fingers? You don’t have to drive yourself to insanity but you should always be aware of what’s in your home that could seem harmless but would ultimately be extremely dangerous for baby.
Baby-proofing in your new home shouldn’t overwhelm you, but it should give you the peace of mind to enjoy this new space you call your own.