Before you bring your baby home from hospital, it’s usually a good idea to baby proof the home. Although they aren’t likely to be crawling before they’re six months old, it’s best to get it out of the way while you have the free time on your hands, because as soon as he/she arrives that free time is likely to reduce dramatically.
We’ve compiled a list of things that need baby proofing in your home and how to do it.
Any unused plug sockets should be kept concealed with a plug cover. You can buy sliding plug covers that close over automatically and avoid the risk of you forgetting to replace the cap after someone has finished using it.
If you have a lot of extension cords as well, you’ll need to keep the cords tidy and secure. To do this you can purchase rubber cord covers or cable tidying units.
Finally, don’t have any plugs hanging over the edge of the counters. For example, make sure the cords of the microwave and toaster are firmly out of reach.
The doors and cupboards
All doors in the house should be fitted with door stoppers or door finger guards. You can buy travel doorstops that are light in weight and easy to remove – making sure there are no unpleasant surprises on the family holiday!
Door jammers are perfect for when you don’t want to close your child’s bedroom door completely while they’re sleeping, but also want to make sure their hands don’t get trapped should they wake up and go exploring.
Safety latches are necessary to stop your baby from opening any cupboards and ingesting anything they shouldn’t.
The corners of furniture
These can be baby proofed either using thick corner cushion bumper tape or rubber corner guards to protect your baby from any bumps as they start to find their feet.
The radiators and fireplace
As a baby’s skin is more sensitive than adult skin, a few seconds against a radiator can do a lot of damage. To prevent any harm, you should place radiator protectors over each one in the house.
These can take up a lot of room though and, while it requires initial investment, you could look at installing underfloor heating. This not only removes any danger to your baby but helps to free up some space – something you’ll definitely be short on when baby arrives). As well as this, it provides a more even heat throughout each room at a more cost effective price.
A fire guard is also a must, regardless of whether you have the fire lit.
The stairs – and even entrances into some rooms – should all be blocked off by safety gates. They are easy to fit, coming in either wall fixed or pressure fittings and a range of different styles.
The bathroom has lots of little things to think about. For example, all taps in the bathroom should now have baby tap protectors – especially in the bath. You will need to make sure all shampoo, body wash, bleach etc. is all out of reach or in a cabinet that has a safety latch on it
Your toilet seat will need a toilet lock and you’ll even need to be careful if you would normally use a plastic bag in your bin as this could pose as a suffocation risk.
Make sure any loose shelving or extra storage racks has been screwed to the wall so there’s no risk of it tipping over.
And if you’re sick of looking at cupboard safety latches by now, for a more aesthetically pleasing alternative, you could look at a magnetic locking system that you attach to the inside of the cupboard.
You will need to remove any breakables that are within reaching distance, for example, glass candle jars in exchange for some child friendly toys that can help distract them.
You can baby proof your dishwasher by loading knives and sharp objects pointing downwards.
Lastly, one of the best ways to baby proof your kitchen is to have a playpen, walker or high chair that you can place them into while you go about daily chores such as cooking or ironing – and that isn’t just directed at the mums!
All of these items mentioned in this article can be found with a quick internet search or trip to your local DIY retailer, supermarket or large pharmacy chain.