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Babyproofing: A Complete Safety Checklist

Babies can turn into crawling champions almost overnight — and when this happens, you can bet that they'll start exploring every nook and cranny of the house.

Babyproofing around the house

Even before your baby is able to zip around, it's a good idea to start planning your babyproof house. Once your baby starts crawling, there will be no slowing down any time soon! In such a case, babyproofing your home would figure on top of your to-do list as a new parent. We've created a basic babyproof checklist to help you get started.

First, scan through the house at your baby's eye level. The world looks very different to your baby than it does to you. Getting down to the eye level of an infant can help you notice hazards that you might otherwise miss. Here are some things to look for:

  • Doors: Door holders and doorstops should be installed to prevent your child's fingers getting stuck between the hinges. Any area that should be off-limits to your baby must have a gate.
  • Stairs: If there are stairs in your home, place safety gates with mesh or vertical slats to prevent your child from falling. These are usually portable and can be placed at the bottom as well as the top of stairs.
  • Electrical sockets: Securing all electric outlets with sliding safety covers is a must. Removable socket covers could be a choking hazard, so sliding covers are better.
  • Balconies: Make sure that the space between the railings of a balcony is less than three inches, so that your child does not get stuck in between.
  • Appliances: Store any electric or large countertop appliances in cabinets away from the child's reach immediately after use.
  • Sharp corners and edges: Sharp edges of furniture, like tables and chairs, must be secured with soft materials and bumpers to avoid injury. Door handles can be replaced with handles without sharp edges, if necessary.
  • Electrical cords: Keep all electric cords out of your child's reach. They could chew on or pull at the cord, causing the appliance to fall and posing an electrical hazard.
  • Ashtrays: Any ashtrays must be emptied and cleaned immediately after use, and kept out of the child's reach.
  • Lights and lamp fixtures: Keep any lamps or lights out of your baby's reach to avoid burning fingers on a hot bulb.
  • Unstable or heavy furniture: Furniture that seems to be unstable should be secured to the wall with safety straps to prevent it from falling if your baby pushes or pulls on it.
  • Cabinets and drawers: All drawers and cabinets must stay closed to ensure the baby doesn't try to open them, or use them to hoist him or herself up

How to babyproof the nursery

Your baby probably spends a lot of time playing, eating, and sleeping in the nursery. This is why it is important to make sure they can safely navigate the area. Here are a few babyproofing tips to keep in mind, so you can stay worry-free as your little one explores.

  • Secure any nursery furniture to the wall. This will prevent it from moving or sliding over in case the baby pushes against it.
  • If there is a rug in the room, attach a  non-skid rug liner to the bottom of the rug to prevent slippage.
  • Install safety guards on any windows in the room.
  • Install socket cover over any open electrical sockets.
  • Install latches on all drawers and cupboards.
  • Ensure there is no furniture attached to the crib, as the infant may use it to climb out.
  • Keep the height of the crib mattress at the lowest position to prevent your child from climbing out.
  • Ensure there is tight fitted bedding in the crib, and no heavy toys or loose pillows, to prevent SIDS (sudden infant death syndrome).
  • Ensure that none of the baby's toys have small or sharp parts, like batteries etc.

Babyproofing checklist for the kitchen

With hot dishes, knives, and heavy pots and pans, babyproofing the kitchen can seem like a daunting task. Here are some key things to keep in mind:

  • Install latches for the oven door, and lockable covers for oven knobs and stoves. A stove guard will come handy to block burners.
  • Install safety latches on refrigerator doors and freezer.
  • Switch off any appliances immediately after use.
  • Note that tablecloths are easily within an infant's reach and can be a serious hazard. One tug could bring everything on the table falling down.
  • Install latches on cupboards and drawers, as well as lockable covers over dustbins.
  • Make it a habit to cook your meals on back burners, with the handles facing the wall.
  • Place any cutlery, dishes, and pots away from the edge of the table.
  • Keep knives, sharp objects, and lighters in lockable drawers.

Babyproofing ideas for the bathroom

Having a bathroom that's safe for your baby is an important part of a childproof house. Here is a quick list on how to babyproof your bathroom:

  • Install safety locks on the toilet seat, as well as any drawers and cupboards within the baby's reach.
  • Cover any bathroom spouts and knobs with soft covers.
  • Install a non-slip mat inside and beside the bathtub.
  • Ensure the child is never left unattended in the bathtub, and that the tub stays completely drained at all times. A tub with just an inch of water could be a drowning hazard for your baby.
  • Unplug and store bathroom appliances immediately after use. Appliances like straightening irons and hair dryers should be kept in lockable drawers.
  • Store medicine in lockable cabinets out of reach of your child.

Other babyproofing tips

We've gone over the main areas of your house. But here are a few more suggestions to keep in mind to babyproof your home:

  • Keep your baby' feeding chair out of reach of electrical cords and appliances.
  • If you have pets, keep your baby away during feeding time. Find a place for your cat's litter that is not accessible to the baby.
  • Keep house plants out of reach of the baby. Touching or ingesting the leaves, stem, or soil of some house plants can cause harmful effects, ranging from skin allergies or upset stomach to vomiting and diarrhea.

Once your baby prepares to enter the crawling phase, babyproofing your home is a must. You may find your protective and maternal instincts kick in as you prepare the house for this new explorer! Pay close attention to things like electrical sockets, cabinets, sharp-edged furniture, and appliances. Areas such as the kitchen, bathroom, and the nursery are especially important to focus on.

https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/infant-and-toddler-health/in-depth/child-safety/art-20046124

https://www.parents.com/baby/safety/babyproofing/babyproofing-basics/

https://www.thebump.com/a/checklist-babyproofing-part-2#2

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