Trying to get your home and life ready for the new arrival can be incredibly stressful, and you may never feel that you are quite ready.
Are you expecting a new baby? Going through the last few months or weeks of your pregnancy? If this is your first child, you’re probably going through a whirlwind of emotions from anticipation, anxiety to excitement. If you’re beginning to feel that there is an endless list of things to do, prioritise.
Don’t put yourself under pressure to have every single thing ready, but get the obvious essentials and ensure that you have baby proofed your home. In addition to setting up the nursery, it’s important to look out for potential hazards around your home to keep your baby safe and create a secure environment. Here are 10 practical, simple ways to baby proof your home in time for the new arrival.
1) Invest in a baby gate
Baby gates are essential to help protect your child in your home and should definitely be on the ‘to do’ list. When installing safety gates, think about fitting them across entrances in the home that you don’t want your child to go. (E.g. the top or bottom of stairs or doorways)
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2) Remove or cover sharp edges
A lot of home furniture and features have sharp edges that could be dangerous to your little one once they start crawling and moving around the house. Covering sharp edges with thick tablecloths, soft blankets and pillows is an option and you can also buy corner guards/ furniture edge guards while your baby masters the concept of walking.
3) Install baby locks for cabinets
For some reason, closed cabinet doors are an intensely attractive adventure to most babies. Ensure that latches are installed on the insides of the cabinets and drawers to stop them getting in! It is also advisable not to open the cabinets and drawers in front them as they will tend to mimic your movements.
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4) Have Suitable Flooring
Even if you want carpet in the baby nursery, wood flooring such as laminate is a good to have in the living area. As you and your baby will be spending a lot of time there, wood floors are easier to wipe up spills and less likely to attract dust which may cause allergies. Whether you have carpets or wood floors, ensure both are safe for your child to crawl around and play on.
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5) Remove Small Objects
It is really important to keep your floors clear of small objects. Babies love to put things in their mouths so keep objects like coins, marbles, buttons or anything that is small enough to fit in the baby’s mouth far away from his/her reach.
6) Cover Electrical Outlets
Electrical outlets are one of the major potential dangers for mobile babies, especially if you have outlets at a hip level that your baby can reach easily. Be sure to insert safety caps or electrical tapes on all outlets to stop them sticking their fingers in and being accidentally electrocuted. Additionally, keep all the electrical cords out of your baby/toddlers way to stop them tripping over them, pulling them or chewing them.
7) Install a Toilet Lock
Installing a toilet lock is useful as it will stop your child from lifting the lid and accidentally falling in. This will also stop them from dropping things in there like your mobile phone or house keys.
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8) Safeguard Your Fireplace
Many homes have fireplaces and although they bring you warmth and comfort, it is important to keep your child safe from the fire. Fireguards are a good way to keep the fire going while protecting your child. You must always be present with your baby in a room with a hot fireplace or wood stove.
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9) Smoke Detectors
Make sure every room in the house is equipped with a working smoke and carbon monoxide detector. You may already have one installed but it would be a good idea to purchase another one for the nursery. Smoke detectors are crucially important for the safety of your home and even more so with a new baby in the house. Always ensure that the batteries are regularly changed and detectors are working.
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10) Poisonous Liquids
Prevent poisoning by keeping household cleaners, chemicals and medicines completely out of reach and do not store them under the sink where an inquisitive child might find them. Despite the hundreds of childproofing tips and gadgets on the market, the most important safety device is always going to be your supervision. No matter how well equipped you are, you still need to keep a constant lookout for possible dangers.