One of the most important steps you can take to prepare for a baby is childproofing your home. Little hands will get into things you never even thought of, so being prepared is critical to your child’s safety. Here are some areas of your home that need attention to get you started on your childproofing project.
· Electrical Outlets – You can buy inexpensive covers to keep little fingers out of your outlets, or simply put a piece of furniture in front of them.
· Cords – Be they electrical cords or cords for blinds or draperies, they are a risk. Cords from blinds or draperies are a choking hazard, and electrical cords can cause a shock, or can cause baby to pull something heavy (such as the lamp at the other end of that cord) down on top of them
· Rickety furniture – Be certain that you don’t have unstable furniture around. When your baby begins pulling up, he could pull the furniture right down on top of him. Sometimes it’s necessary to attach furniture, such as top heavy bookcases to the wall.
· Plants – Some houseplants are poisonous, so be certain to keep plants out of baby’s reach.
· Radiators – If you live in an older home with radiators, you will need to put barriers in front of them or radiator covers over them during winter months.
· Fireplace – Be certain your fireplace is equipped with a grill or glass doors to protect your child’s little fingers.
· Stairs – Install baby gates to keep your little one from tumbling down the stairs.
· Cabinet doors and drawers – Install childproof latches so that your baby is unable to open drawers and doors, particularly those where you store sharp objects or cleaning supplies.
· Railings – Be certain that any railings in your home, such as those on your stairs, have no more than a five inch gap between any vertical posts. You’d be amazed at how easily a baby’s head can get stuck.
All of these are important steps to readying your home for those days when baby starts crawling around. But, probably the most important thing you can do is to learn to keep your everyday things put away. Items that adults use regularly, like scissors, pins, coins, buttons and letter openers can all be very hazardous to a baby. It’s going to take some getting used to, but with some preparation, you can organize your life so that your everyday activities don’t put your baby at risk.