You just brought home a new baby, and suddenly every comfort in your home you once took for granted has -without warning- become a dangerous weapon. Your safe space now has danger lurking around every corner. From electrical outlets to the blinds cord, countless everyday items threaten the life of your precious baby – along with many more you have yet to think of. What’s a mom to do?
Well, don’t be alarmed, because we have done all the homework for you! Here is a list of the top items to babyproof in your home, broken down by the four primary living areas:
- Test the water temp every time before placing baby in the tub. Make sure your water does not exceed 120º.
- Prevent slipping by using nonskid mats in and next to the tub as well as on any hard-surface floors near the bathroom — most likely, you will find yourself chasing a wet, naked baby through the house at some point.
- Install locks on all your toilet seats. This will prevent accidental drowning, unsanitary contact, and tiny fingers from getting smashed.
- Locking medicine cabinets. If you do not have any out-of-reach storage, keeping medicine for both you and baby is essential.
- Stay looking sharp, but keep the cords to your straightener, blow dryer, and any other items out of baby’s reach to avoid both burns and strangling.
- It’s always a good idea to place a cover over the tub spout, to protect baby’s head in case of falls.
- Cribs: always ensure the slats are no wider than 2 3/8 inches apart.
- Remove any blankets, pillows or stuffed animals from the crib. They are cute, but can cause suffocation.
- When it comes to babyproofing, everyone first thinks of plastic outlet covers. Think again! These have proven to be choking hazards, so instead, consider using sliding outlet covers.
- Keep baby monitor cords tightly wound and always away from the crib, or choose a cordless monitor.
- Store toys in an open toy box to avoid having lids smash little fingers.
- Dry dog or cat food can be a stealthy choking hazard. If left unattended, it could easily end up in baby's mouth. Either have regular, monitored pet mealtimes, or keep your pets’ bowls in an out-of-reach area.
- Stove knob covers are a great way to keep those fun to twist knobs turned off. Also, an appliance lock ensures baby won't pull the oven door down.
- Always keep a fire extinguisher in the kitchen. We recommend a dry-chemical extinguisher, kept out of reach, mounted to the wall, or locked in a childproof cabinet. You want to put out the fire, not your baby.
- Under-sink cabinets are a typical place to store cleaning products, but with your baby around, moving them to a higher shelf is a smart idea. If they must stay in low cabinets, latches and locks are a must, to ensure the cabinet doors stay securely shut.
- Cordless shades or cord cleats are the way to keep blinds safe for baby.
- Coffee tables, fireplace hearths, window ledges, night stands, and other wood furniture offer plenty of sharp corners at eye level for someone 2 feet tall. Cushion edges with bumpers.
- Houseplants: even these can look tasty to a toddler. Keep them out of reach, so your little seedling won't be tempted.
- Does your home have stairs? If so, a baby gate is a non-negotiable. Interior decoration angst can be set aside, as they come in many styles to match your home's decor.
- Search your house for breakables and move them to where baby can't get them. You might be surprised by just how far little ones can reach.
- Cover your fireplace with a guard door, and protect her from sharp corners on brick or ceramic tile.
- Studies show that keeping books in view helps develop a love of reading. Secure bookcases and other tall furniture to the wall with bolts or adjustable, locking furniture straps, to prevent your little genius from tipping it over.