Baby Proofing and Child Proofing Your Home – Part 1

by Rachel Laurendeau on September 18, 2012

Sometimes, home improvements aren’t about sledge hammers, paint rollers or bathroom fixtures but are simply about making your home more usable, comfortable and safe for those people living in it. On the matter of safety, babyproofing and childproofing has been at the top of my list lately and I thought I would share some of my thoughts and my checklist with you. This list is not exhaustive (but it can be exhausting) so make sure you do a complete safety audit of your home.

Babies develop at different rates, but on average, they will start to be mobile (rolling, crawling, scooting, etc.) at around the eight-month mark. You will want to be ready for this stage by making sure your home and yard are safe for your little bundle of joy to explore. The number of tasks involved will make this feel like nothing short of a major home remodeling project.

Cabinets
• install latches or locks to keep your curious baby out of potentially dangerous bathroom and kitchen cabinets and drawers. There are even magnetic locks that make the task a little easier.

Outlets, cords and appliances
• use safety plugs or outlet covers on unused electrical outlets.
• there is some bizarre attraction to electrical cords so your best bet is out of sight out of mind, keep cords tucked behind furniture or in a cord hiding tube or device.
• never leave an appliance plugged in on a counter with a cord within reach; we have had to learn to never plug anything into the outlets on our kitchen island, heaven forbid out little one should pull on the cord and have the blender or kettle come tumbling down on him!
• if your blinds have looped cords, cut them or use safety tassels and cord stops.
• babies love buttons, keep electronics out of view or get covers to keep little fingers from putting their toast in the blue ray player.
• flat screen TVs may need to be anchored down so they don’t topple over.
• refrigerators, dishwashers, ovens and washing machines can all pose safety threats. If you are in the market for new ones, see if you can find any with child safety locks, otherwise, you can buy appliance latches, if this is of concern.

Baby Gates
• use baby gates at the top and bottom of stairs and to keep your little one out of dangerous areas.

Interior Doors
• use doorstops, door holders and knob covers to protect your baby’s fingers, keep them out of certain rooms and to keep them from inadvertently locking themselves into a room alone.

Keeping our little ones safe is more important than any bathroom remodeling or kitchen remodeling project and as such, should always take precedence over other home improvement projects. Taking the time to babyproof and childproof your home is the best investment you will ever make.

Stay tuned for Part 2 on this topic where we will add to the checklist for safety precautions for bath time and outdoor playtime.

Resources: Child Proofing Tips Blog and Baby Center

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