New Parent Checklist: How to Baby-Proof Before Baby Comes Home
Newborns are tiny and fragile little humans; they require our care for everything from feeding to sleeping. While we prepare to welcome our baby, we often forget how quickly newborns develop. One day your little one cannot hold its head up, and the next one, you find your child opening drawers and crawling around the house.
When we talk about baby proofing, there are a couple of stages and areas to cover. First, you need to create a safe environment for a newborn that cannot communicate to tell you its needs. Later, you must think like a toddler, crawling around the house, and find everything that represents a threat to your child. It sounds like a lot of work, but we have it all covered.
Before the arrival of your newborn.
While you are in the hospital, you feel safe, but everything starts to look too dangerous for your newborn once you step out. You want to clean every surface and make everyone drive slow. While that might be a bit hard to do, you can start with the following.
- Look around your house for peeling paint and have it professionally fixed before you bring your baby home.
- If you are planning on painting the nursery do it sooner than later. Allow a couple of months for the paint to fully dry and avoid fumes accumulation.
- Install carbon monoxide and smoke detectors and remember to check the batteries regularly.
- Buy a fire extinguisher and install it in an accessible spot. Make sure you know how to use it.
- Have important numbers handy, emergency numbers, and even your pediatrician information.
- Keep objects away from the crib, lamps, light cords, blind cords, and anything that your child might reach and pull.
- Create a safe sleeping environment, buy a firm and flat mattress that fits right into the crib. Keep a cool temperature and avoid placing blankets, stuffed animals, or pillows within the first year of life. And always place your baby on its back.
- And finally, you’ll need to install and understand how the car seat works. You will not leave the hospital unless the car seat is correctly installed.
From six to nine months.
Now your quiet and calm baby is rolling, sitting, and even climbing. It is time to move to phase two of babyproofing.
- If your baby is starting to climb, make sure you lower the level of the crib.
- Place a thick rug near the crib in case your child figures out how to escape.
- Install cordless blinds or curtains.
- It is time to secure every piece of furniture to the wall. From bookshelves to TV furniture.
- Install non-slip pads on rug corners.
- Block open outlets with safety plugs.
Once your child steps into the toddler phase, the world is suddenly a place to discover. Your growing bundle of joy is probably taking its first steps or even running around the house. The days of sitting still are long gone, and curiosity rules. Now you need to be extra careful.
- Place bumpers on sharp corners and edges.
- Install a temperature guard on your heater to keep the maximum at 120°F, your toddler could open the hot water one day, and that temperature will not cause damage.
- Store on your top shelves any cleaner, alcoholic beverages, chemicals, and medicines.
- Place latch locks on drawers and doors that are accessible to your kid.
- Vacuum constantly to catch any staple, clip, coin, or other small objects that might be a choking hazard.
- Time to place safety gates on stairs or any room your child should not have access to, like the laundry room or garage door.
- Make sure the toy box is safe, preferably without the lid, to avoid finger pinch.
- Install door slam stoppers.
- If you are a plant lover, make sure your indoor plants are baby safe. Some plants are poisonous to children.
- Decoration objects can also be attractive to toddlers. Make sure you keep them out of reach, especially if they are heavy or breakable. And be mindful about tablecloths. Toddlers like to pull them.
- Unplug any appliance that is not in use. Buttons and red lights are very interesting for any kid.
Every parent would love to place bubble wrap around its baby and avoid any harm for life. But in the first years of life, you need to let your child explore, and many times that means a bit of risk. Providing a safe environment for your kid is crucial. According to the Rady Children’s Hospital, nearly 70% of the children who die from unintentional injuries at home are four years or younger. And the main reason they visit the ER is household injuries. Prevention is important. We hope our advice makes it easier for you to baby-proof your home.