When your little one first gets on the move, it’s time to start thinking about baby proofing their environment to make sure that your home is a safe place for them, and to give your family some peace of mind. A few small changes can make a big difference to how “baby proof” your home is, and it’s worth re-checking now and then as they grow, as baby gets bigger and develops more skills suddenly they are able to reach into places that they couldn’t yesterday!
Here are a few pointers to check for when baby proofing your home.
The kitchen is one of the most dangerous places in the home, with the hot oven, lots of cleaning products, sometimes also the washing machine (washing pods are very. dangerous, and can look tempting to babies and young children!) so this room may need some care. If you have a separate kitchen like us, you might want to put a baby gate across the kitchen door so that babies and young toddlers can’t access the area without supervision. If you have an open plan kitchen area, this can be more difficult but secure cupboard locks can help solve the problem.
Again, there are often a lot of cleaning products in the bathroom, which is something to be careful with. It’s best to lock them away in a high up cupboard or high shelf if possible, so that they are out of reach of prying hands. You can also buy safety products for the bath tub to help prevent a newly mobile baby from slipping over in the bath, such as rubber bath mats.
With a newly crawling baby, it’s worth having a think about your flooring. An area with carpets can be softer for them to crawl on, while having hard flooring comes in handy later on when you are toilet training, so it’s great to have a mixture of both. Carpets also offer more warmth for little ones sitting playing on the floor, especially in the winter.
Stairs are often one of the first things families look to baby proof. You don’t want your young baby crawling away up the stairs every time your back is turned! If you have a young and keen crawler, it may be easier to just put a gate on the bottom of the stairs to keep them contained in the downstairs living area. Our youngest was crawling up the stairs at seven months, so this was very necessary!
In the living room, babies and toddlers normally make a bee-line for electronics and also for enticing ornaments and nick nacks. So it’s important to make sure that wires and plug sockets are not too accessible, and are contained out of the way. It’s often easier to move breakable ornaments up out of the way at this stage too, especially if they are the kind which could shatter and cut your baby.
In the garden, there are a few issues to consider too. In these hot summer days, making sure your garden offers plenty of shade for your baby is important. With little ones who put everything in their mouth, it’s also important to keep a close eye on them in the garden as it offers so many little things like leaves or twigs which, although fun to explore, could be a choking hazard if you’re not near by.
This may sound like a lot, but a quick check over your house and a few adjustments mean that you’ll be much more relaxed as your baby plays at home, without having to worry too much about what they could be getting in to.