There are all kinds of reasons to look into baby-proofing your house. Perhaps you’re a brand-new parent, or just an experienced but safety-conscious one. Whatever the case, this guide will help you set out your ‘preparing for baby’ checklist with tips on how to baby-proof your home.
Hygiene is as important as everything else on your ‘preparing for baby’ checklist. Babies will try to put anything and everything in their mouths, so keep your surfaces clean!
Baby-proofing your bathroom
The biggest bathroom risks for babies are water, falls, and contact with unsafe substances. Here are a few baby safety measures you can put in place, both while you’re getting ready for baby and after your little one has arrived.
Install a catch for your toilet seat. This will stop your child being injured by falling lids, or climbing into the toilet (yes, really).
Clean your toilet regularly with a bleach-based cleaner like Domestos, to prevent the spread of harmful bacteria.
Put non-slip mats down both inside and beside the bath or shower, and another one next to the sink.
Keep cleaning fluids and medicines well out of reach – in a locked cupboard, where possible.
Creating a child-proof kitchen
Kitchens are dangerous for people of all ages, but especially so when you haven’t yet learned that hot things hurt. Here are a few baby safety tips for when you’re cooking or eating.
What triggers you the most when kids get messy?
Avoid handling anything hot, whether that’s a pan or your cup of coffee, while you’re holding your child.
Keep plates, cutlery and cups well away from the edge of a surface.
Keep your knives, pans and cleaning solutions in locked cupboards or baby-proof drawers that cannot be opened by little hands
Secure your oven door with a door guard.
Turn pan handles towards the back of the stove.
If you can, put a safety gate at the door to prevent a curious kid sneaking in to the kitchen while your back is turned!
From lighting to phones and games consoles, the average home has more electronics in it than ever before. With those come some very specific risks to babies and young children. Here’s what to keep in mind in your quest to make your home child-proof:
Invest in plug socket cover or block access to sockets with heavy furniture.
Turn all electricals off at the mains when they’re not in use.
Hide cords and cables and store phone chargers in a drawer when not in use.
Keep smaller appliances like toasters, hairdryers, and electric razors unplugged and out of reach.
Stabilise any wobbly floor lamps.
What about the rest of the house? Well, if you have stairs, make sure you put safety gates on your ‘preparing for baby’ checklist. If you have wide banisters, consider blocking those with plastic fencing until your kids are less likely to tumble through the gaps.
Where possible, put corner guards on the edges of low furniture and fireplaces and add colourful stickers to any sheet glass doors or room separators so your little one can clearly see there’s something there.
Finally, keep your children's teddies and soft toys hygienic through coughs and colds without damaging them:
Keep heavy objects out of reach if you’re not using them.
Store chemicals and unsafe substances securely out of sight.
Always supervise your kids, especially in or near water.