You want your child to have all the opportunities in the world. You’ve taken the steps to be healthier for them during pregnancy, you’ve moved to a beautiful house in on of many cities with great public education, and now it’s time to take a closer look at where your baby is going to be spending its formative years. There’s no stopping a curious child once they get on the move. Most start walking between 9 and 12 months, but a lot of babies are at least somewhat mobile as early as 6 months.
The earlier you can start baby proofing your home the better. It gives you more time to identify potential points of harm and gives you some time to adapt and develop important habits that go along with the baby proofing. Because once the due date arrives, you’re not going to have much spare time if any.
This is one of the classic dangers for children that every mom has been worried about since the fifties. At a particular age, babies become fascinated by sockets, and more so with sticking anything they can find in them. They see us inserting keys, plugging in electronics, and all manner of activity that they want to emulate. There are several solutions that all involve purchasable products depending on your needs. The original plastic socket inserts are cheap and effective, but depending on your frequency of use you might want to try a slide cover or cage style socket protector.
Related post: How to Create a Safe Play Area for Your Baby
Corners and edges. They’re everywhere. They’re sharp and provide a potentially dangerous contact surface if your little one should trip and fall. We can’t realistically protect every 90-degree surface in the home, but we should definitely identify the problem points. Heavy furniture with unforgiving materials like metal and glass should probably take some time in storage.
If no alternative is available, you can always attempt to babyproof your existing furniture. There’s plenty of protective items available for purchase for all types of furniture, but don’t doubt the magical results that can be achieved with some sliced-open pool noodles and some duct tape. It’s not pretty, but it’s safe.
The general rule of thumb is if the baby can reach it, at some point they will. Out with the table cloths, wrap up the blind cords, and invest in a little cable management for lamps and electronics. If you can’t prevent them from reaching whatever it is, maybe you can hide it or make it less appealing to play with. You might even replace those heavy stone or ceramic coasters with something lighter and more fall-friendly. Top-heavy furniture that could be tipped over should be anchored to the wall or braced somehow. This is one of those times where the energy put into prevention is going to save you a lot of strife down the road.
There’s never been a child that didn’t fall or lose their balance at some point, it’s just part of growing up. Since you’ve already cased your walls and furniture with pool noodles and duct tape we should focus on other hot spots for falls. The major areas of concern are stairs and tile or other hard floors. Even some hardwood can be pretty unforgiving. Runner rugs and baby gates can contain and soften a lot of the falls. Baby gates should absolutely be used at the top of stairways not only for the prevention of access but also to catch those missteps that occur close to the edge.
There’s not a lot of homemade solutions when it comes to baby-proofing doors. Once they understand how doors work, they’ll go to great lengths to try and manipulate the knobs. For round knobs, there are plenty of plastic case options, but depending on the child they may not be 100% secure. Handled knobs tend to have more hard stop options that might be harder to get through. Just make sure you get a product designed for your knob shape.
Again, outside of some creative carpentry solutions, you’re probably going to be purchasing one of the numerous plastic cabinet locks. It again comes down to preference and frequency of use for that particular cabinet. For instance, you probably want a more robust lock on the cabinet with the cleaning agents compared to the pantry.
There are just too many potential dangers for a child in most bathrooms. The best bet is to close the door when you’re not in there and keep it closed. This might not be hard for you to keep up with, but training your family might take some time. There are also self-closing hinges and other after-market spring devices that can be installed on doors if you see it becoming an issue. Combined with the right knob cover you can make the bathrooms more or less secure. Just don’t make it so secure you can’t get in and out with relative ease.
Contain It If You Can
The best solution to baby proofing a home is to make sure your nursery and play space is contained, safe, and clean. If you can create an inviting space that the child enjoys and appreciates, they might be less likely to wander so much. Curiosity will eventually get the best of them, as it should, but at least you can feel a little more at ease knowing your home is just a little adventure-proof.