Have a baby on the way, or did you just welcome your newborn to your home? Congratulations! While you're sure to be an excellent parent, part of your responsibilities involve making your home as safe as possible. Let's look at how you can child proof your home with a few basic steps.
Get Child Proofing Gear and Supplies
The first step of child proofing your home involves getting the right gear and supplies. For example, you'll probably want some corner protectors, which are soft rubber attachments you can hook up to the corners of tables and walls to protect your baby from bumping their head against those corners as they crawl or run around.
Child-resistant packaging is also a good idea. The right child-resistant bags or containers will help you keep medicine, ingredients, chemicals, and other things out of the hands of your little ones, even if they manage to find the dangerous items in question.
Lock Cabinets and Containers
You should especially look into locking cabinets and containers with child proof locks or tamper-resistant handles. As your baby learns to crawl, they'll inevitably get curious and want to check out what you have around the house.
You have to make sure they can't get into the cabinet under the kitchen sink, for example, which may contain dangerous chemicals and cleaning supplies. Lock all the cabinets and containers that don't need to be opened all the time. Fortunately, most child proofing cabinet and container locks are easy to open for adults without removing the locks themselves.
Similarly, your child will probably encounter several electrical outlets as they explore the floor of your home. To that end, purchase some plastic outlet covers, which fit snugly into unused outlets and which prevent your child from accidentally shocking themselves as they investigate the plugs.
Anchor Heavy Furniture
You might have several furniture pieces that are less than stable around your home. It's a good idea to purchase some wall anchors for those furniture pieces, which attach to your walls and which can withstand several hundred pounds of force. Once your heavy furniture is anchored, you won't need to worry about accidentally toppling over onto your child as they crawl around.
Walk Around the House and Check for Hazards
Even after purchasing the right child proofing supplies and equipment, take a long, thorough tour around your house and check for any hazards, like fragile furniture pieces, sharp edges on furniture, etc.
The more you check your house and take care of hazards, the fewer incidents or injuries you'll encounter when your child finally comes home or as they start to crawl and run around.
Get Rid of Cords or Cables
Cords and cables represent almost irresistible curiosities for little ones like your children. For example, the cords coming out of your entertainment center, if haphazardly arrayed on the floor, will certainly be tempting to chew on for babies that have just learned how to crawl around and who want to put everything inside their mouths.
Organize cables and cords, stuff them out of sight, and get rid of cables or cords that you aren't actively using. If you have drapes or curtains with cords, consider replacing those drapes and curtains with versions that don't have long cords instead.
Open Windows from the Top
It's nice to let in some fresh air from time to time, but windows can also present hazards for little ones, particularly those who are old enough to crawl onto furniture pieces. A screen door can keep insects out, but not your two-year-old child if they are determined enough!
With that in mind, try opening your windows from the top instead. You'll still be protected from annoying and incessant insects, but you'll make it much harder for your children to push through screen doors and fall out of your windows to the other sides.
Put Up Blocks to Water Sources
Have a pool in the backyard? Make sure to use a baby gate at the back door or to keep the back door locked at all times. Similarly, don't let your child enter the bathroom unattended, particularly if you have already drawn a bath.
Any large water sources in your home, like a backyard pool, must be blocked and barricaded at all times. That's the best way to prevent an unfortunate accident. Your child can enjoy these places under your supervision, of course, but they should be kept away from those areas until they know how to swim or are old enough to exercise caution.
As you can see, child proofing your home largely involves checking for potential hazards and putting up shields or guards to protect your child from accidentally injuring themselves. With a little preparation, your home will be warm, welcoming, and safe for your little one for years to come!