Having a baby can bring on many new challenges and changes.
If you’re worried about creating a safer home for your newborn child, you should focus on babyproofing your space, especially your living room as most families spend most of their time there, before your bring you new baby home.
First, you should focus on keeping your floors and low surfaces free of small objects, which your baby can fit in his mouth. You should always keep any small objects off the floor and out of your baby’s reach. Don’t forget to vacuum your home regularly in order to avoid having any small elements you might not notice visually on the floor. Also, you must remember to inspect your baby’s toys regularly to prevent small pieces from falling off and becoming choking hazards. It’s advisable to get rid of the toy and the broken pieces as soon as you notice them on the floor. You should also move your furniture to find and pick up small items, and vacuum,too. Remember that your baby can easily reach under the furnishings and find things you may have missed, such as loose paper, old batteries, buttons or even broken glass.
In terms of securing your home, you must take special care of the electrical cords. Secure these with zipping ties, cord straps or velcro to tie up all long cords and keep them out of your child’s reach. If you keep your cords on the floor, your child may become entangled in them or pull on them. It’s recommended to wrap any excess cord length to secure it using a zip tie. Don’t forget to hook the cord to your wall with a command hook, making sure it’s high enough to keep it out of your baby’s reach to pull it down. In order to block access to the outlet and the cord consider moving your furnishings in front of these.
One of the most important steps when babyproofing your living room is covering all electrical outlets. If you’re on a budget, you can simply move your furniture in front of them. Another way is to use plastic outlet covers, which you can purchase at any department or grocery store. These covers are made of plastic and you must simply plug it right into the outlet. These plastic outlet covers are difficult for your child to grip and pull out as these lie flat against the outlet. Another idea is to install baby-safe electrical outlet plates over your existing outlets in order to prevent your child from getting to them. Clip these right over your original cover and if you want to use your outlet, simply put the prongs in place and slide the cover to the side. Then plug your cord in. These outlet plates are considered more visually appealing than the plastic ones, but it’s much easier to lose them or forget to put them back in after you use the outlet.
Prepare your floor for your newborn child – consider making it softer, especially if you have hard floors, because your baby will need a softer place to sit and play. You can choose from anything from area rugs to make your floors softer to baby play mats for your child. Another idea is to choose a more permanent solution and install new carpeting. Also, consider purchasing gym or playmat as it is a perfect option for babies. They come in much different sized and styles, offering your baby a soft and comfortable area to lie down and play. If you want to invest in an area rug or carpeting, consider choosing something in a darker shade in order to avoid stains and leftover messes. Keep in mind that babies and young children may often create messes such as spills and a darker colored rug will allow you to mask it better.
How to secure windows and furnishings
Start by placing corner covers or bumpers on the sharp edges of all your furniture. You can find these in many different styles and colors in the baby care aisle of your local big box store. Plus, they are easy to apply and remove when your child is older. Some of these bumpers come in shapes like animals or cartoon characters, so you can easily create a more fun space for your kid. You should keep in mind to purchase as many of these as you need for all sharp corners and edges in your living room, including coffee tables, end tables, shorter bookcases, TV stands, benches, shelving units, and chairs.
When babyproofing your furniture, you must remember to secure your bookcases and any other tall furnishings to the wall in order to prevent a risk of that furniture falling over on your child and hurting him. Consider purchasing the secure kit you can purchase at the hardware store to secure the furniture to the wall. Another option is to use furniture straps in order to secure your bookcases and end tables to the wall. These are easy to use and apply, and are incredibly reliable and durable. Plus, you can easily remove furniture straps or release them if you want to redecorate or rearrange your living room furnishings.
While preparing your living room for your newborn child, you should remember to always keep your drawers closed and secure. Consider using locks or straps in order to prevent your child from pulling your drawers out. You must also take all the things you keep in the drawers into consideration. Make sure your baby will not have access to items such as candles, remotes, lighters and other objects with small pieces or fragile ones. Keep in mind that your curious child may want to pull the drawers out in order to use them as a ladder for climbing higher. One of the most popular options when it comes to securing drawers is installing magnetic locks. You can easily find kits that come with multiple locks and a single key, which makes them easy to disable by you when you need to get into the drawer. Plus, these will not allow your baby to open the drawer at all.
Keep your window and window treatments secure, no matter how low to the ground they go. Don’t forget that as your child grows, he might be able to reach the latch of your window, so it’s important to secure it, including draperies and blinds. If you have sliding windows, it’s advisable to put a bar in the window track to prevent it from sliding open. For hung windows that push up to open, you must make sure they stay in the locked position and that the locks are secure. Also, you should wrap up and secure all cords hanging from your draperies or blinds in order to prevent your baby from becoming entangled in them. Consider using zip ties and hooks for winding up any excess cord lengths. Also, hang them out of reach. If possible, you may also choose cordless window coverings. Think of how you want to prevent the glass from shattering or breaking. One of the best ideas is to replace the glass in your windows with shatterproof glass. Another option is to choose shatterproof linings such as tempered glass or films. In order to make sure your baby will not fall out of the window, consider installing window guards, which are bars that will allow you to open your windows and let air in without worrying about your baby.
How to babyproof doors and fixtures
First, you must secure door handles and locks, especially if your living room is where the front door stands. Make sure your growing baby cannot open the door and get his fingers caught in the door or even get out of your house if locks and handles are not secured. You can purchase a “door monkey” that allows air to move between rooms through a small gap in the door while keeping it from opening or closing any further. Also, you may want to keep your baby from unlocking the door by using a cover on deadbolts, which can be bought in the baby care aisle of most stores. In order to prevent your baby from turning round door knobs, consider door knob covers. Another option is to close the door using a washcloth in the jamb by placing a washcloth between the door and the frame as you close it. Then close the door on the cloth to keep it in place while your child tries to push it open. Moreover, you will be able to easily open it yourself.
Don’t forget to secure your storm or screen door using a metal mesh or grill on the bottom half in order to keep your child from falling through or pushing the screen out. Keep in mind that screens are not sturdy or safe, so it’s recommended to use the metal grill over the lower portion to make it safer. You can find these at your local home improvement or hardware store. Another option is to find a company that will install special types of doors for you, that comes equipped with a metal grill on the lower half of the screen.
It’s advisable to place a barrier or guard around fireplaces, radiators and space heaters, even if you’re not using these devices. Keep in mind they may still be dangerous to your baby, so it’s mandatory to keep them secure. In order to keep your interior stylish, consider covering your fireplace with a panel painted with chalkboard paint. Another idea is to fill it with books or cover it with a piece of sheet metal. If you want to keep your fireplace functional, you still have to focus on protecting your baby from it. Installing a gate with a wide girth is a great option, as it will keep your baby away from both the fire and the hearth while the fireplace is in use. Also, consider incorporating radiator covers to keep your baby from getting his hands stuck in a hot radiator while it is in use. You can easily find these types of covers in many different styles, or even make your own.
While babyproofing your home, you must remember to check if any household plants are poisonous to make sure they can not be harmful to your child. Remember that even some of the most popular household plants can be harmful to your baby, including peace lily, caladium, and pothos plants, which are all highly toxic to children, as well as pets. Make sure to put these plants out of reach. If you have plastic plants, you don’t have to be worried about your baby becoming poisoned by eating soil from the pot, ingesting blossoms or leaves. However, even plastic plants may be dangerous to your child as he can pull off leaves or small pieces, so you should consider keeping all plants out of reach, if possible.
Last but not least, remember to put breakable items on high shelves, especially if these are expensive or easily broken. You must always keep these out of reach from your child if you don’t want him to damage the object and himself. Always keep vases, decorative items, and remote controls out of reach of your child, as these could potentially cause harm if broken. Another idea is to install high, floating shelves for placing these items on. It’s not only a stylish option but also a safe one until your child is older.
When it comes to babyproofing your living room, there are many things you should take into consideration to make your home a safe place for your newborn child. Above all that, remember that the best way to keep your baby safe is to watch them at all times. Also, go to the child care aisle of your local big box store or baby supply store to find supplies for babyproofing.
Get down on the floor to see things from your baby’s point of view – you will be surprised how many things you missed when standing up!