As your child starts moving – you will realize that your comfortable house is a veritable minefield, filled with potential hazards. The goal of baby-proofing is to sanctify the environment in which the baby moves – so that it is completely(or almost) free of all dangers. This is a continuous process and you will need to keep doing it as you understand your child’s personality better.
There are babyproofing guides available for each and every room and if you are like me – you are not seeking to spend thousands of dollars converting your house into a well protected fortress. You are looking to protect the baby from the most critical dangers and complement your efforts with proper supervision of the kids. As you observe the baby you will quickly realize what more you need to do to make your house safer for you kids given the personality of your kids.
Here are the first babyproofing steps you need to take
- Outlets – You have several options you could use to cover your outlets – and these are the most important if your receptacle is not already tamper proof with it built protection. I will talk about some of the most popular options.
- Mommy’s Helper Outlet Plugs, 36 Count – At 2.99 for 36 they are really cheap and stay put. But they are extremely difficult to pull out. So refrain from using these for the outlets that you regularly use.
- Safety Baby Self-Closing Outlet Covers – An Alternative To Socket Plugs – 3 pack – If you dont want to bother with putting and removing plugs I would suggest these as they basically render the outlets tamperproof. They are an additional cover that sits on top of the outlet.
- Twin Door Outlet Box – I would reommend these if you want to have your gadget plugged to the outlet but dont want the kids to be able to touch them. Works only for standard and square shaped plugs.
2. Sharp Edge Protection – I know some of you would never part with your favourite coffee table and might be looking at ways to soften the sharp edges so that you can keep it. There are solutions but they are not pretty. I would suggest you get rid of the coffee table and opt for ones that are more baby friendly yet good looking.
In any case there are numerous such sharp edges that the baby must be protected against, irrespective of the resulting visual ugliness. Here are some suggestions
- Roving Cove® 4-Piece ‘Safe Corner® Cushion’ – which includes protection of the edges only or the Roving Cove® 16.2 ft (15ft Edge + 4 Corners) ‘Safe Edge® and Corner Cushion’ which covers the corners as well.
3. Doors – The goal with all baby proofing as it relates to doors is to prevent the baby from opening and also to protect the baby’s fingers in case the door shuts off by itself or is forced shut by the baby herself.
Here are the options
- Door Knob Locks – A door knob lock will fit over your existing door knob and will only open when a button is pressed, which cannot be accomplished usually by the small hands of a baby or toddler.
- Pinch guard – The purpose of the pinch guard is to prevent the door from slamming hard on to the fingers of the baby.
4. Stairs – Sealing off the stairs is probably something you should do even before the baby is born as you might get busy. Basically what you will be trying to do is to restrict all access to the stairs by putting a gate or by cordoning off the area. There are couple of approaches
- Base of Stairs – The base can be rendered off limits by either of the two approaches
- Put a gate around the surrounding area if this area includes other potential hazards like fireplace – Use either a 3-in-1 metal gate or wooden gate. The same can be used to isolate fireplaces or televisions mounted on the wall.
- If you have only a small space and need a gate specifically fitted at the entrance, you could use Summer Infant Multi-Use Deco Extra Tall Walk-Thru Gate or the Regalo Easy Step Walk Thru Gate, White
- Top of the stairs – The gate at the top must be secured strongly and so must be screwed to the bannister. the key thing to consider is that the gate should not have any thresholds to step over – as this could cause tripping and falling, especially dangerous at the top of the stairs. North States Supergate Easy Swing and Lock Metal Gate, Matte Bronze and Kidco Safeway Gate, Top of Stairs Gate are good options for the gate.
- I would use the No Hole Stairway Baby Gate Mounting Kit By Safety Innovations and Wall Saver for Pressure Gates, 2 Pack to prevent any drilling on bannisters and walls if you are living in a rented apartment.
5. Kitchen Safety -The kitchen is probably another extremely dangerous area for the kids and you should follow all basic precautions like not leaving anything sharp or hot on the edge of the counters. In addition you could use the following tools to make it safer for the kid
- Baby proof stove knob Covers – These will come in handy to prevent access to the stove knobs, the other option being to remove the knobs for use only when you need them.
- TotShield Stove Guard for Free Standing Gas and Electric Stove – I would suggest only using the rear hot plates but in case you need to use all four, make sure there is this protection in place. I never use the front stove except when guests are at home and so I used this only on special ocassions.
- Cabinets, Dishwasher and Drawers can be babyproofed with the help of the following equipment
- Safety Baby Magnetic Cabinet Locks, No Tools Or Screws Needed, 4 Locks + 1 Key – The new bestseller, giving all the benefits of a traditional locking system as shown in Safety 1st Magnetic Locking System without any of the hardware work. First choice in contemporary child safety locks. Aesthetically appealing, invisible magnetic locks
- Munchkin Xtraguard Dual Action Multi Use Latches – If you do not want any hardware work, especially if you live in rented home this is what I recommend for latching cabinets, though it may not work for drawers.
- Safety 1st Magnetic Locking System, – This used to be the best solution except that you had to drill into the wood work which is not acceptable in a rented home.
- Refrigerators – The Munchkin Xtraguard Dual Action Multi Use Latches is good enough to keep any kinds of fridges out of bounds of the kids.
6. Bath Safety – If you are looking to give bath to your baby in the tub then it is important to consider some safety features that will make sure that the bathroom is kid friendly.
- Spout covers – What is it about babies that draws them towards the very objects we know are dangerous for them. The Bath spouts are perhaps the most dangerous items in the bathroom and need to be covered. The Skip Hop Bath Spout Cover is the only thing you need to consider. This is the number one best seller in this category in amazon and not without reason. It is made of soft but tough rubber,it is BPA and pthalate free which is important considering that your baby might well be biting it a lot. It has a well situated blow hole that allows access to the shower diverter. It has easy to adjust fin screws that makes it easy to adjust around any spout. Best buy in my opinion.
- Spout Extender – This is something that will come in use later but might as well add it here – the spout extender on your bathroom sink making it easier for little kids to reach the water flow when they wash their hands. The Aqueduck faucet extender allows the kids to wash hands on their own thereby enabling them to be more independedt.
- Bathroom slip guards- As the baby attempts to stand, you should be careful that he/she does not slip. The Anti-Slip Anti-Bacterial Bath Mat 16″ x 28″ and Munchkin Dandy Dots Bath Mat are good options.
- Bath Toys – Look for bath toys that are BPA free and pthalate free since they are likely to be bitten by the babies.
- While giving bath, fill water just enough to submerge the legs and not more.
- Toilet safety – make sure the toilers are shut off at all times with this safety device.
7. Furniture – As the way finds his way about, he will use all the furniture available nearby to hold and sturdy themselves. There are a couple of indispensable tools that you could use to prevent any kind of mishap happening.
- Furniture Anchor – Especially useful if any of your furniture pieces like bookshelves could topple over under the application of pressure. They consist of two anchors separated by a strap – the first anchor needs to be attached to the bookshelf and the second to the wall. Safety 1st Furniture Wall Straps is a well reviewd furniture anchor.
- TV Anchor – We made sure we barricaded the TV so that our kids had no access to it but if your simply want to secure the TV you could wall mount it or secure it with a TV anchor, TV and Furniture Anti-Tip Straps are available than do a great job a securing TVs.
In addition to all this there are some basic precautions you need to take