Newborns, infants and toddlers are curious creatures that explore their surroundings. To protect them, it’s important to baby proof your home.
This is a big job, but it can be done room-by-room with a few simple tools and precautions. Start by getting on the baby’s level to see what they can reach, grab or yank.
Baby will be rolling over, crawling and walking before you know it, so it’s important to take precautionary steps to keep them safe. Baby proofing your home may seem overwhelming at first, but if you tackle it room by room, the process is manageable and the results will give you peace of mind.
Baby gates are one of the most important items on your childproofing checklist because they block access to a room. There are different kinds of gates to choose from, including pressure-mounted gates and hardware-mounted ones. The best option is a hardware-mounted gate, which is screwed or bolted to the framing inside your wall, and can’t be pulled down by hand. This kind of gate is also the safest for use at the top or bottom of stairs, where a fall could be deadly.
Some gates have a roll-out option that allows you to open them with your foot, but this can be a hassle for adults and isn’t as secure as a gate that is secured from the top down or the side. If you opt for a roll-out gate, try to find one that has a release lever or button that you can press with your foot rather than pulling on it.
Other things to consider when baby proofing include installing door knob covers and putting locks on cabinets, drawers and toilets. Ensure that any hazardous cleaners, sharp knives, heavy objects or medications are locked away in a high cabinet out of reach. You’ll also want to ensure that all nightstand, bathroom and closet items like razors, hair straighteners and ties are locked or put out of sight. Moreover, remember that there can be instances where you might notice your baby swallowing bath water.
It’s also a good idea to replace any light bulbs that are near baby’s reach with brighter, lower wattage bulbs and to make sure smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors are working properly. If you live in an older house, it’s a good idea to have any flaking or peeling paint professionally tested for lead. There will undoubtedly be bumps and bruises along the way, but addressing the major hazards can help prevent them from becoming serious injuries.
A window guard is a metal or aluminum bar that can be fitted over the bottom of a window. These are designed to prevent children from falling out of open windows. Tragic falls from windows happen each year, and they are almost always preventable. In New York City, landlords are required to install window guards in apartments where a child under 10 lives. They are much more effective than insect screens, and they can be used in combination with screen doors.
In addition to window guards, it’s a good idea to move pictures and artwork higher away from the ground, especially in hallways and stairways where they can be knocked down. If you have to hang art or pictures in these areas, consider using safety frames with built-in braces to keep them from falling.
As your little one becomes mobile, they will be drawn to cabinets and drawers that contain hazardous items. To keep your baby or toddler from opening these, use latches and locks to secure them. Then, put the items you don’t want them to get into in locked closets or storage rooms.
It’s also a good idea to remove anything from lower shelves and counters that your baby or toddler can reach, such as potted plants and breakable decorations. It’s best to store these in a high cabinet until your child is older.
Once your child is crawling, they will be attracted to outlets and cords. To help prevent them from getting tangled in these, you can cover all electrical outlets with plastic covers. It’s also a good idea to keep lamps, televisions and computer cords tucked away out of sight. You can also buy cord covers that wrap around the end of a cord to prevent tangling.
Crawling babies and mischievous toddlers can be like a symphony in motion, but if you take the time to properly babyproof your home, they can safely explore without risking injury. It’s worth it to make a few sacrifices for this exciting, but fleeting, stage in your child’s life. Before you know it, they’ll be moving on to the next chapter in their life and you’ll remember these moments of cold coffee and untouched lunches fondly.
Door Jamb Shields
Childproofing your home can help you prevent accidents that might be caused by furniture edges, blind cords, or window falls. It also helps to teach your children how to explore safely, as well as set boundaries and eliminate stress. You can babyproof your interior and exterior doors with different types of locks.
This product helps to protect the second most vulnerable part of your door when kicked or pushed-the door jamb. It is made from galvanized steel and wraps around your existing jamb, allowing it to support up to 2x more physical force. This is a great addition to any door that needs extra protection and it can be easily installed without removing the trim.
Most people who purchase this product are looking for a way to strengthen their doors without replacing them. Unlike some other similar products, this one doesn’t just wrap around the hinge side of your door but also covers the lock area. This makes it much more difficult for your child to kick in the door even if they can get past your regular deadbolt. This product is also more affordable than many of its competitors.
Aside from door safety products, you can also use a variety of other childproofing methods. For example, you can install safety gates at stairways to prevent falls, secure cabinets and drawers with childproof locks, tie up blind cords or use cordless blinds, and install soft corner protectors on sharp furniture edges. You can also strap down heavy appliances to prevent tipping accidents, cover electrical outlets, and remove small objects that could be choking hazards.
Every child is unique and may have different needs when it comes to babyproofing their environment. This is why it’s important to know your child’s personality and how they interact with the world around them. If you aren’t sure what type of protective measures to take, consider asking a friend or family member for advice. They might be able to give you ideas about how they childproofed their home and what types of things they had to do to keep their kids safe.
Your baby will be a mobile crawler or cruiser before you know it, and the more things they can reach, pull, or knock down, the more likely they are to get hurt. While addressing all of the safety hazards in your home will take time and effort, it’s one of the most important steps you can take to keep your little one happy and healthy.
A pinch guard (also known as a finger protection shield or door hinge guard) prevents children from choking on the doors’ hinge side. These products come in different forms to fit on doors of different sizes and shapes, and some can be used on both the hinge and edge of the door. When choosing a pinch guard, look for a snug fit so that it stays in place during normal use. It’s also wise to choose a model that can be easily removed and cleaned when necessary.
Another way to prevent injury to baby is to remove any rugs that can cause falls, and add nonslip pads to stairs and other areas that might be slippery. Also, make sure all electrical outlets are covered or switched to tamper-resistant receptacles, and always keep cords, chains, and other hanging objects out of reach. It’s also a good idea to replace any light bulbs that are exposed or flickering, and store cleaning products and other household chemicals in locked cabinets or up high where your little one can’t reach them.
Keeping your toddler safe is a continuous process, so it’s important to regularly review all the baby proofing efforts you’ve made. Ensure that furniture is securely anchored to the walls, install window guards at the top and bottom of all windows, and make sure all blind cords are tucked out of reach. Also, remember to check your carbon monoxide and smoke detectors and change the batteries as needed.
Once you’ve addressed these major safety issues, it’s a good idea to crawl through each room with your baby to get a better perspective of what they might be able to reach and knock over. This simple exercise can help you find any items they might be tempted to climb on or pull down, like decorative pillows off the couch or potted plants off the floor.