Oh I remember those days well! Having to make sure that the entire house was safe and secure for our little explorers for their safety and our peace of mind. Before too long, I’ll be needing to baby proof our home for Amelia next year!
Before having a baby, a look around your home for any potential hazards would usually come up with nothing more than a charging wire that you could maybe trip over in the night. But after having a baby, everything looks a bit different, suddenly it can seem like everything in your home is a hazard from the hinges of your doors to the products in your cupboards, is it really possible to keep a child safe when everything they’re surrounded with seems able to kill them? Don’t panic, baby proofing your home and creating a safe environment for your child isn’t as hard as you think, so here are a few things you’ll want to have in place before your child starts to crawl.
Why baby proof when they start to crawl?
For the most part, babies who are unable to crawl only have access to the areas of your home you put them in, which makes keeping them safe far easier. But when they reach around 8 months of age and start to find their knees, it’s a whole different ball game. Once crawling begins your child can move themselves and are no longer confined to the safe playmat you place them on. Crawling is also the start of other mobility mile steps such as pulling themselves up and eventually walking, so this age is the time that many pediatrics suggest that you make sure you have some baby proofing in place.
BABY PROOFING IN GENERAL
Install Baby Gates to Keep Baby In One Place
Once your child starts to crawl it becomes a whole lot harder to keep them in one place which is where installing a few baby gates can come in handy. You may not be able to keep them in one spot any longer but you can keep them in one room. Install baby gates throughout your home to give you the ability to segment your space without shutting doors. Also, remember to install baby gates at other hazardous locations such as at the top and bottom of the stairs.
Use Doorstops to Protect Delicate Fingers
Crawling babies will put their hands in anything within arms reach which includes the hinges or doors and on door frames. Install doorstops in all of your doors to keep them secured into one position, reducing the risk of little fingers getting trapped. As soon as your child is old enough you will want to teach them about keeping their fingers well out of the doors way.
Cover Hot Radiators or Heaters
In the winter months when the heating is on try to block access to or cover your radiators and heaters to stop your crawling baby from accidentally burning themselves if they try to pull themselves up using them.
Keep Plug Sockets Covered or Turned Off
Plug sockets can look inviting for prying fingers, so ensure to cover them where possible or keep them switched off. As soon as your baby is old enough explain to them why they should never put their fingers near a plug socket.
Attach Corner Guards to Furniture
Attach corner guards to the corners of any furniture which your baby may hit its head-on, this includes tables, side tables, worktops and cabinets.
IN THE KITCHEN
Use Cupboard Door & Drawer Locks
Kitchen cupboards and drawers can contain a number of things hazardous to a baby, not to mention that they can also trap their fingers, to stop them from gaining access to the contents of your kitchen cupboards or trapping their fingers simply install some magnetic cupboard door and drawer locks.
Fit An Oven Door Guard
Always keep a close eye on your baby if you are cooking and ideally keep them in another room or in their high chair so that they remain well out of the way of hot pans and the oven. If you do have your baby crawling around in the kitchen whilst you are cooking then consider fitting an oven door guard to protect against burns.
IN THE LIVING ROOM / FAMILY ROOM
Keep TV Cords Out Of The Way
Try to keep all wires and chords for the TV and any other living room appliances well out of the way by tucking them behind the TV itself or using a wire guard.
Use A Fireguard Screen or Door
If you have a real fireplace then install a fireguard to keep your baby well away from the heat and flames when the fire is in use. Also, remember to store matches and firelighters well out of reach.
Don’t Leave Them On The Sofa
Even if your baby is asleep or happily watching something on the television, never leave them alone on the sofa in case they accidentally fall off and injure themselves.
Place Tall Unstable Lamps Out Of The Way
Place any floor lamps that your baby could try to hold onto and pull themselves up on behind furniture to keep them out of the way and stop them falling.
IN THE BEDROOM
Remove Mobiles & Hanging Toys
As soon as your baby can get onto their hands and knees it’s time to remove any mobiles or hanging toys from their crib so that they cannot pull them down and into their mouths.
Lower The Mattress
As soon as your baby begins to pull themselves up, it’s time to lower the mattress to its lowest setting and lock the sides of their crib in place so that they don’t fall out.
IN THE BATHROOM
Use A Non-Slip Mat
As soon as your baby starts to pull themselves up in the bath they will need a non-slip mat to prevent them from slipping and falling.
Use Soft Coverings For The Taps
In some instances, especially when your baby is unsteady on their feet, it may be worth using soft guards for your bath taps in case they do fall back and hit their head. Alternatively, you can use a bath seat to try and keep your baby in one place.
Every home is different, and what you need to do in order to make your home safe for a baby will vary, so use this as a guide but be sure to make your own assessment. One way to see things from your baby’s point of view is to get on all fours and crawl around your house, to see what you can see and what you may have missed.