As your child grows before your eyes, you watch as they explore everything. There are times you will observe in glee at their curiosity and yet begin to become fearful of their constant wonder. With exploration and keen interest comes touching, grabbing, pulling, opening and putting objects in their mouths. Potential accidents could occur around the house, and you don’t want to wish you had locked something or kept items out of reach after an incident. Baby proofing takes time and can seem like an overwhelming task, but it’s completely worth it to keep your child safe. Here are the basics of baby proofing, but with an emphasis on what to prioritize in the home.
Focus on the rooms your child is mostly in.
From a two-bedroom apartment to a five-bedroom house, you never know where potential dangers could be lurking. But you also don’t want to install protection from top to bottom if there are rooms you child won’t be able to access for a while. Place your attention to the nursery, your bedroom, kitchen, and the place they commonly use for a play area. Most kits come with cabinet locks, drawer locks, electric outlet covers, and doorknob covers, but there are more things you can put in place.
There are latches that prevent the opening of ovens and dishwashers. As well as, preventing kids from turning the stove knobs. Not to mention, corners to furniture and tables can turn a simple trip or stumble into a nightmare for parents. Once you see blood and your child needs stitches in their head, it’ll cause a massive amount of parental guilt. So, pay attention to pointy furniture and apply some edge cushions around the house.
And lastly, don’t be afraid to get creative using Velcro, magnets, or Command Strips to keep certain things in place. Making sure things stay on the counters, keeping cabinets closed, or to keep child furniture in a place that your little one has gained the strength to move around. You can never be too overbearing in this department.
Don’t forget potential choking hazards all throughout the house.
It’s easy to baby proof the whole house from top to bottom with locks, alarms that can be triggered, and electric outlet covers in every room. But that causes us to forget about the little things lurking in the home. Things can easily fall to the ground, pills can be forgotten on the counter, or even small batteries from the toys kids use can be accessible to them.
According to a recent study, young children who had to go to the emergency room for swallowing inanimate objects have more than doubled. So, make sure to keep a watchful eye on your earrings, vitamins, change falling from your wallet, or anything else a child can put in their mouths.
This also means looking at areas where your child can climb on top of chairs, tables, and desks. Since this allows them to reach the things they’re interested in that can be more toxic like chemicals, laundry pods, and sprays.
Playpens and baby gates will be essential from time to time.
Unfortunately, there will be moments where you have to travel with your baby to a non-baby proofed home. So, be prepared to invest in a baby gate or playpens. Plus, if you do live in a spacious house with many rooms, it can feel daunting while you look through baby proofing kits that fit smaller spaces. Six door knob covers and four cabinet locks from a $20 package is definitely not going to cut it for some.
Keeping your baby in eye view in an already safe space will put your mind at ease at home and at grandma’s house. Plus, playpens make it much easier if you have to move from room to room throughout the house while working from home, making snacks in the kitchen, or straightening up around the house.
Upgrade baby proofing as your children get older.
It can be easy to assume that the same protective proofing and tools will work for your little one once they crossover into toddler status. However, that is not always the case. Children are known to get stronger, figure out safety locks, or even use teamwork to get into a cabinet or to obtain particular objects.
Make sure you research the sturdiness of the baby proof kit you choose, or just periodically watch your child interact with it. If it seems like they’re starting to learn their way around the safety measures put in place, look into a kit upgrade!