Whether you're hosting family for the holidays, or your child is about to walk, it’s important to create a space that’s safe for little ones to roam. Here are 10 baby-proofing tips to help prepare your house for new crawlers and walkers.
- Small changes make all the difference in a little one’s safety. Make good habits now, so you don’t have to train yourself once they’re on the move!
- Stock up on items to easily babyproof the main areas in your home.
- Think like a kid! Create a safe space by channeling your inner child.
1. Outlets and sockets. Children are curious about everything, including the socket that you plug your bedside lamp into. But, the potential for serious injury is high when young ones get curious about electrical outlets. Purchase inexpensive electrical plugs or invest in babyproof outlet covers to keep your little one protected.
2. Check the floors! If you’ve previously had a laissez faire view of picking things up when they fall to the ground, retrain your brain to have good pickup habits. Coins, wrappers and other fallen items can be choking hazards for babies.
3. Gate for stairs. Prevent slips, falls and wandering kiddos by gating the entrances to staircases or areas where a baby shouldn’t go — like the kitchen, laundry room or other spaces with potential hazards. Nowadays, even the most unusual stair setups or entrances can be gated.
4. Check the stability of your furniture. Dressers and standalone cabinets are the main culprits here. Make sure that these items are secured to the wall behind them, so there’s no way they could fall over on a curious kiddo who pulls too harshly or tries to climb up. Many come with wall anchors when they’re first purchased.
5. Some things should be locked up altogether. Cleaning supplies, laundry detergent or pods, toiletries, soaps, knives, pots and pans simply aren’t kid-friendly. Put locks on any cabinets that store these potentially hazardous household items and double-check that the locks are effective even as kiddos learn to explore.
6. Create a decoy! You heard that right! Sometimes all you need is a designated safe cabinet to satisfy a little one’s desire to explore. In this cabinet, stash kid-friendly items, like lightweight plastic storage containers, toys and books for them to play with.
7. Worried about jagged corners? Secure fireplace corners and table corners with foam guards to prevent accidents as babies and toddlers learn to crawl, pull up and walk.
8. Cut off access to a heater or furnace and oven. Sometimes, baby-proofing is about creating a space for a child to roam safely. Other times, it’s about cutting off access entirely. Be sure to log any appliances that could be a danger to little ones and block them from these spaces altogether.
9. Unplug. Train yourself to unplug appliances and table lamps that aren't in use. Not only will you save money on your electric bill, but you’ll also ensure that a little one isn’t tugging on potentially dangerous cords (and remember to use outlet caps after you’ve unplugged your devices, and don’t leave unplugged cords dangling).
And if you’re unplugging a phone, iPad, computer or other device with a detachable cord, be sure to stash the cord away somewhere safe until your next use.
10. Get on their level! To truly see what they'll see, you might consider crawling around on your hands and knees. From this viewpoint, you’ll notice all the knick knacks on low shelves, cords within reach and the rickety table they may try to pull up on. Then, get rid of potential hazards as you identify them from a child’s level.
Enjoy a hassle-free holiday by babyproofing your home! These quick fixes will keep your space safe for your little one — or visiting babies and toddlers — to play.
Need a better space for your growing family?
Whether you are feeling cramped or that split-level isn’t jiving with a super-curious early walker, we can help. Reach out to Edina Realty to get in touch with a real estate specialist who can help you and your family find the perfect place to call home.