The day you bring your newborn home is a wonderful milestone, but you might feel concerned about whether your home is safe enough for a baby. Follow this baby proofing checklist to put a few essential safety features in place and you’ll be able to relax knowing that your little one is safe!
How to baby proof your home
Discover how to baby proof your home by learning some of the most common danger points and how you can remove risks from your home with our five top tips.
1. Baby proofing your house’s poisonous and hazardous products
It’s never too early to start safety proofing your home for baby’s arrival. They’ll be crawling before you know it, and you’ll be glad you thought about baby proofing your home before you get anywhere near that exciting, perilous stage. One of the most important baby proofing steps to take is to secure any potential poisons or hazards.
- Cleaning supplies: keep any dangerous chemicals in locked cupboards out of reach of kids
- Medicines: keep any prescription or over-the-counter drugs in high cabinets and add childproof locks to the doors
- Sharp objects: tools, knives, and even certain items of stationery should be placed in drawers and cabinets that little ones can’t reach or access
2. Baby proofing fixtures and furniture
It’s surprising how many potential dangers there are in the home for youngsters. Here are some things to look out for and baby proofing tips to reduce the dangers:
- Sharp corners: add padding and bumpers to any sharp corners, including tables and TV stands
- Windows: install window guards or stops, and keep the keys out of reach of little hands
- Blind cords: use safety tassels and cord stops, and keep cords up high out of reach – be particularly vigilant if the cot is near the window
3. Baby proofing your home’s security systems
There are certain safety features that all homes should have, and these become all the more essential when there’s a baby in the house. It's also important that you keep these systems safe from little fingers that like to press buttons - you wouldn't want your home's security to be lessened accidentally.
- Smoke detector: make sure it’s working with regular tests and battery checks, place it high up on the ceiling or wall where little ones can't reach
- Carbon monoxide detector: if you use gas, oil heat or have a garage attached to your house then install one of these - again, place it high up and test regularly
- Burglar alarm: you might also choose to add this protection and should ensure the control panel is mounted at height
4. Baby proofing your house through cleaning
Newborns can pick up illness and infections much easier than adults, as their immune systems are still developing. That means it’s more important than ever to keep your home hygienic by using the right products in the right ways.
- Anti-bacterial sprays: like Cif are great for cleaning everyday surfaces and floors
- Bleaches: like Domex kill germs in high-risk rooms like the kitchen and bathroom
- Laundry detergents: like Breeze Stain Action are powerful and gentle so you can keep your baby's clothes clean and kind to their skin
When using a product for the first time, always test it on a small area first and follow the instructions on the packaging.
5. Baby proofing your home for crawling
Although this isn't an immediate need, it’s worth thinking ahead and baby proofing your home for when your little one becomes mobile.
- Add stair gates: install these at the top and bottom of stairs, and also across any openings that don’t have doors, particularly to rooms with hazards like the kitchen
- Remove trip hazards: things like rugs can trip little feet when they’re learning to move around so remove them or fasten them securely
- Apply hinge protectors: add these to anything with a hinge, like doors and ironing boards, to prevent little fingers from getting trapped or pinched
- Insert socket protectors: add these into electric sockets so that your child won’t be able to insert their fingers or pieces of metal
- Anchor your furniture: apply straps to any large, heavy pieces of furniture like wardrobes and chests of drawers and attach them to the wall to stop them from being pulled over
Put these baby proofing steps in place and you’ll have one less thing to do in the run-up to your little one’s arrival.