The Ultimate Guide to Baby-Proofing Your Home

The Ultimate Guide to Baby-Proofing Your Home

It's amazing how much a new baby can change your life and home. From the moment your bundle of joy arrives in the world, you'll be faced with all sorts of new challenges, so it's important to be prepared. Baby-proofing your home is one of the most important aspects of parenthood, because it's vital to ensure that your little one stays safe as they become mobile and start to explore their surroundings. We've put together the ultimate guide to baby proofing your home so that you can be confident in the knowledge that your child is safe as they start crawling.

When to Start Baby Proofing

It's possible to baby proof your home in stages but you will need to have put some safety measures in place before your baby comes into the world. Then, as your child becomes more agile, you will need to take extra steps to baby proof your home.

Of course, being a new parent is incredibly tiring which is why it's often a good idea to do as much of the baby proofing as possible during pregnancy. For expectant mothers, the second trimester is an ideal time for this, because the nausea and exhaustion of the first few months should have worn off, but you're not yet feeling the effects of advanced pregnancy.

Remember, though, that baby proofing is an ongoing task. As your child becomes taller, they will begin to reach new items and cupboards that you may not need to worry about when they first start walking.

The Stairs

One of the first things areas of your home you should think about baby proofing is the stairs. Babies are surprisingly fast once they start crawling which means that they could easily take a tumble down stairs if you're not careful. Before this ever becomes an issue, install a stair gate at the top and bottom of your stairs to keep your little one safe.

The Kitchen

The kitchen is another room that you'll need to make safe for your baby before they even arrive. 

A lot of parents opt to block off their kitchens with a safety gate but if this isn't an option, make sure to install childproof locks on cupboards and drawers that contain anything dangerous and/or messy - so essentially, all of them!

You should also be aware of choking hazards commonly found in the kitchen, such as small batteries, plastic wrappers and fridge magnets. Remember to always unplug appliances that are not in use and to turn pot and pan handles inwards so that your child can't grab them.

The Bathroom

Many hazardous items such as medicines and razors are kept in the bathroom, so make sure to keep these inside a cabinet with a childproof lock, and preferably one that is also well out of reach of your child.

You should also install tap guards to stop your child from turning on the hot water and potentially scalding themselves, and a lockable toilet lid cover to keep them out of the toilet.

In addition, you should purchase a non-slip bathmat for your bath or shower to ensure that your child doesn't slip and bump their head. You'll also need a baby bathtub and a water thermometer to make sure that the temperature is just right - for more on that, check out our bath time essentials article.

The Nursery

Before your baby arrives, you should go through the items in their nursery to make sure that everything is safe. Remove cot bumpers until your child is at least a year old, and don't put any toys in the crib because these are a suffocation risk. Make sure that there are no dangling cords anywhere near your sleeping baby, either.

You also need to make sure your cot or crib has a good quality, firm mattress that fits snugly and conforms to the BS EN ISO 9237-1995 safety standard. When you push the mattress to the left side of the cot, there should be no more than two fingers’ width between the edge of the mattress and the right side of the frame.

For more on choosing the right bed for your child, take a look at this blog post.

Windows

Secure your windows with restrictors that only allow windows to open by 6.5cm, so that your child can't push them open or fall out. You should also add child proof window locks and move any furniture away from underneath the window so that your little one can't stand on it and climb out.

Doors

It's vital that you baby proof your doors so that your curious little one doesn't venture out when your attention is elsewhere. Use baby gates when there are rooms that you want to remain off-limits to your little one whilst keeping the door open - this is particularly useful during the summer months.

Children can often get their hands, feet and digits trapped when doors slam, so use door stoppers to prevent this from happening. It's also a good idea to install finger guards over door hinges so that your child doesn't have their finger trapped, as this can be very painful.

Plug Sockets

Your electrical sockets are a big hazard, so use lockable safety covers to make sure that curious fingers stay well away from power outlets. We often forget about plug sockets when they are partially obscured by furniture or underneath a table, so it's a good idea to get on your hands and knees and crawl around to see if there are any outlets you may have missed. You might feel silly, but it's worth it for the safety of your little one.

Electrical Cables

With so many things in our homes plugged in, electric cables can be a huge danger to children. To keep them safe from shocks and strangulation, you should either position your cables high out of reach or use a cable tube so that your child can't grab them.

Furniture

Your baby or toddler is likely to be constantly on the move, so you need to make sure that there are no hazards in their path. Make sure that you secure heavy items before your child begins to pull themselves up, so that they can't tip them over. You can find straps or brackets for this in most good DIY stores.

You should also put corner guards on any sharp table edges to stop your child from bumping or scratching themselves, and add safety catches to drawers and cupboard doors. It's also best to store any dangerous items as high up as possible, and preferably in rooms where your child doesn't spend a lot of time.

Here at Unique Baby Store, we're here to support you as you embark on the marvellous journey that is parenthood. If you have any questions, then please don't hesitate to get in contact with us today - we're only too happy to help!