Expanding on the topic of my last post, I’d like to discuss a few baby proofing tips with you all. Once you have found the dream home where you would like to raise your child, your job is still far from over. After moving in, it is time to start making your home a secure and welcoming environment for your baby. Depending on the home you choose, this can be as simple as putting covers on your outlets or much more complicated. No matter what you decide to go with, any home can be made safe with the right amount of time and effort. The initial purchasing decision should be based on a combination of factors, and not only on how ready the house is for a baby. This is something that can be changed at the end of the day. You will almost never find a home that is in perfectly baby proof condition unless the owners have recently added a member to the family themselves. Otherwise, this is something that you will need to assume responsibility for as the new proprietors and expectant parents.
So where do you begin? It’s hard to imagine what a baby or toddler may be able to get into. If you have ever spent time around one, you will know that they often do things that are unexpected, or wind up in some very unlikely situations. They are going to want to explore their environment, and your adult logic will not apply here. That is why it is better to be safe than sorry. All it takes is a minute of distraction for your child to get into trouble. You can’t rely on constant monitoring to keep them safe.
This is where locks and baby gates come into play. At the very least, drawers and cabinets where medication, cleaning supplies, and other toxic or harmful substances are kept should be kept safely locked. What many parents do not consider is that your child ingest almost anything that can be swallowed. This also includes innocuous items such as beauty products, nail polish remover, shampoos, hand soap, essential oils, etc that you may be more likely to leave lying around. Remember to also keep these items out of reach or locked away. Any small objects that your child might choke on should also be stored away or gotten rid of. A good test to determine if the size of an object poses a choking hazard to your baby or toddler is to consider whether or not it would easily pass through the center of a toilet paper roll. If it can, then it is not appropriate for your child to have access to.
Baby gates are another great way to protect your child from injury or dangerous situations. There are many hazards found in the kitchen – hot stoves, knives, sharp forks. It is best to keep your baby from getting into this area of your home. Stairs to the second floor or basement should also be blocked off to prevent falls.