From crawling to their first steps, these are monumental moments for every parent to witness, but they certainly change the dynamics a bit. Your baby is mobile now, and they’re FAST!
Here are some tips to ensure that your little bundle of joy can’t get into too much trouble, or even hurt.
You likely started prepping the nursery right away. Picking paint colors, furnishing with cribs and changing tables, stocking up with diapers and other supplies, but did you baby-proof? Kids are little magicians, and in no time at all they’ll be surprising you with the ease in which they’re able to get out of that crib!
Select the right furniture: Changing tables and cribs should really come with an extra set of hands, right? Well, until that technology makes it to thankful parents everywhere, look for these available safety features:
Crib: Look for cribs with fixed rails at least 26 inches from the top of the mattress and with bars no more than 2 3/8 inches apart. Your crib’s mattress should be firm, should not sag under your baby’s weight, and should fit snuggly in the crib. While decorative touches can be aesthetically pleasing, they can also pose additional safety issues, so we recommend avoiding cribs with decorative cutouts and posts. Similarly, features like drop rails and crib bumpers have been proven to be unsafe and should not be used.
Changing Table: Select a changing table with raised sides and a strap for added safety. Changing tables should be sturdy and the top should be concave so that the middle is slightly lower than the sides (this makes changing much easier and safer!). Good changing tables should have built in storage so that necessities like diapers and wipes are within reach.
Secure your furniture: Install wall anchors on all furniture pieces so that it can’t tip over or fall, particularly when your baby starts climbing.
Secure cabinets and drawers: Prevent your baby from getting into cabinets and drawers by installing child safety locks.
Soft flooring: Your baby will inevitably manage to get out of the crib at some point. Ensure even the least graceful escape is safe by putting down soft carpeting or a cushy rug next to the crib.
The Living Room
With the exception of the nursery, this is likely where you and your new baby will spend most of your time. Ensure that they can be free to explore safely with these baby-proofing tips!
Outlets: Toddlers especially are fascinated by outlets and could insert a finger or object in them. Purchase outlet covers and plug them in to any unused outlet.
Furniture Corners: Falls are bound to happen while they’re still getting the hang of walking, and they could hit their head on the corners of furniture like coffee tables and end tables. Padding is available that you can install on your furniture to avoid crying and potentially serious injury should your baby fall near furniture.
Secure Furniture: As with the nursery, you want to secure any furniture to the wall that has the potential to tip or fall. This includes entertainment centers, book cases, television sets, etc.
Secure Cabinets and Drawers: Does your entertainment center or coffee table have doors or drawers? It’s easy to get those little fingers pinched, so install child safety locks so that your little one can’t get into anything.
Chords: Babies love to pull on things, so tuck away power chords and / or secure them so that they can’t pull down a lamp, bluray player, etc.
Minimize Content: Do you have a lot of knickknacks, picture frames, or breakables? It’s best to move those out of the area to prevent accidents that could hurt your baby.
The kitchen is viewed by many as being the heart of the home, so it’s no surprise that families spend much of their time in this room. Whether you’re feeding, or prepping the next meal (because babies eat a LOT), there are likely to be times when your child is in the kitchen with you. This is especially true once they become mobile! While kitchens can be difficult to child proof, this is not impossible. Here are some things to keep in mind.
Supervision is Key: While you likely watch your baby like a hawk generally, this is even more important in the kitchen. Though you’ll take steps to child proof your kitchen, nothing beats supervision.
Secure Cabinets and Drawers: Child safety locks are great for keeping the little one out of cabinets and drawers. From cutlery and graters, to cleaning products and plastic bags, there are a lot of dangers hiding in those cabinets, so lock them up. If your baby figures out how to get past the child safety locks, move anything dangerous to another area well out of reach.
Secure the Oven, Fridge, and Microwave: While your baby should be kept far away from the oven while it’s on, you may find that they try sneaking over to explore when you’re not using it. Installing latches on your appliances could prevent serious injury. It’s also recommended to purchase knob covers (or remove the knobs all together) for when the oven is not in use so that your baby can’t inadvertently turn on the burners.
Designate a "Kid Cabinet": Pick a cabinet that is far away from the stove or oven and fill it with baby toys, games, and other interesting but safe objects (plastic storage containers, foil pie plates, wooden spoons, etc.). This not only gives them something to preoccupy themselves with while they’re in the kitchen (instead of the things they aren’t allowed to get into), but it helps them understand the boundaries you’ve set. If your baby gets bored with the items in their cabinet, switch them up!
Congratulations on your newest addition! We hope these tips help you prepare for your baby’s arrival and their uncanny fascination with anything in your house that might be dangerous.
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