The newborn days fly by so quickly. One minute you have a tiny little bundle snuggling up on your chest, and the next, they are starting to lift their heads, roll over and pull themselves up. Before you know it, gone are the days where you can pop your baby on a playmat and they stay put. Your baby is suddenly on the move, cruising, crawling or even taking their first tentative steps around your living room and the safe haven of your home is full of risks and hazards that have the potential to cause your baby harm.
If your baby is showing signs of movement, here’s an essential guide on how to baby proof your home:
- Door Guards / door stops – Little fingers love to push against doors and try and reach up and grab door handles, but there is also a real risk of little fingers accidentally getting trapped between the door and the frame. Door guards stop the doors from closing fully, reducing the risk of fingers getting trapped, whereas door stops keep doors propped completely open.
- Protect furniture corners – If you baby is starting to pull themselves up and cruise around the coffee table – watch out for sharp corners, which could cause some real injury if your child was to fall into or hit at head height. Buy some proactive rubber or foam corners to apply to your furniture, reducing the risk of injury.
- Blinds and Window coverings – Window blinds and curtain cords are a real danger to young children, with the risk of asphyxiation should the cords be left within reach. Most modern blinds now come with blind guards as standard, however you can also buy these separately, hooking the chain and pull cords out of reach from little hands.
- Block the stair wells – For crawling and cruising babies, stairs are a pretty fascinating prospect, and little ones will often be keen to clamber up them at the earliest opportunity. A stair gate is a great way of keeping babies where they should be, whether it is fitted across the bedroom door or at the bottom or top of the stairwell. There are a huge variety of stairgate types available on the market with many of them being fully adjustable to fit even the most unorthodox shaped interiors.
- Secure Heavy Items – Ensure cabinets and heavy furniture items are attached to the wall with screw mounted devices. Babies will love to open cupboard doors and pull on drawers, and if the furniture is top heavy, the risk of furniture falling is high.
- Cupboard locks – For areas of the home where chemicals or cleaning products may be stored, add cupboard locks to your doors. These clever devices are easy to unlatch for parents and grown ups but incredibly tricky for small hands to navigate!
- Kitchen Safety – Use the back hobs or stove points to ensure children can’t reach up and touch hot pans. Turn the pan handles to the back of the stove. If your stove is particularly low in height you can attached a stove guard that prevents pans from being pulled over.
- Bathroom Safety – Ensure medication, vitamins and toiletries are in high cupboards out of reach and that cupboards at low height contain safe items or are locked.
- In the nursery – Keep your child’s crib or cot away from the window, and install window guards to prevent them from opening fully by a child.
- Changing Diapers – Last but not least, once your baby can roll, never leave your child unattended on the baby changing table – it only takes a second of you looking the other way! If they have a safety harness – use it but don’t fully rely upon it.
Your baby finding their feet is an exciting but nerve wracking time and definitely requires your full attention. My advice would be to start baby proofing at the earliest opportunity once they start showing signs of movement so that you are ready and prepared for its arrival! Enjoy this new milestone!