Babyproofing your house: A handy checklist

It’s incredible how quickly your little one begins to crawl and move about, isn’t it? While each milestone is a mark of celebration, it also adds a list of concerns in a parent’s mind. You are probably looking around your home right now and making a list of every nook that’s dangerous for your child!

You may have already figured that a baby on the move is a force of nature. So instead of telling them to stay away from certain places in the house (a futile exercise), consider baby-proofing unsafe areas. To help get you started, here is a quick checklist of the most common areas that need babyproofing in every home. 

Kitchen safety measures 

Pic courtesy: Kelly Sikkema on Unsplash

  1. Add child locks to kitchen cabinet cupboards and drawers. If you like, you could keep one open with vessels and plastic containers for your baby to play with. But ensure that they don’t close the cupboard on their tiny fingers. 
  1. Make sure your trash can or compost unit is covered and out of your child’s reach. You don’t want your little one toppling it over on themselves or getting their hands in the trash.
  1. The kitchen is filled with small electric appliances like kettles, toasters, and coffee makers. Make sure you unplug them while not using it so your child doesn’t play with any connected electric appliance.
  1. Move sharp objects like knives, scissors, and graters away from their reach. Place them on higher surfaces or inside drawers which are babyproofed.

Bathroom safety measures 

Pic courtesy: Jen Theodore on Unsplash

  1. Never leave your little one unattended in the bathroom. Babies can drown in as little as an inch of water if it gets into their nose and mouth. Make sure you are always there when they crawl towards the area.
  2. Keep the baby tub far away from the hot water tap so they can’t reach it even if they try. 
  3. Do not give your child small bath toys to play with as these are potential choking hazards. Give them toys that won’t disintegrate or move too much while they are in the bath. 
  4. Move all chemicals and cleaners to a higher cupboard, far away from their reach. Alternatively, you could keep the supplies cupboard locked.

Living & Dining room safety measures

  1. Most of our dining rooms are filled with tables, chairs, shelves, and cabinets. These usually have sharp edges that could scratch a baby. So add edge protectors to sharp corners so that you can avoid any injuries. 
  2. Little objects attract your child! Move any houseplants, pet water/food dishes, and small curios out of your baby’s reach so they don’t grab them and put them in their mouth or hurt themselves with it. 
  3. Babies love to pull on tablecloths so make sure your table has a short cover that is out of their reach. 
  4. Secure your television, bookshelves, and other such large items to the wall so your child does not topple them over.

Bedroom safety measures

  1. Do not leave your baby unattended when they are asleep or awake on your bed, even with pillows around them. They may push the pillows away and roll off the bed. A baby bed or crib is always the best option.
  2. Check on your sleeping baby every now and then to make sure they don’t roll over and sleep face down. This is a suffocation hazard.
  3. Do not put your baby’s crib near anything they can clutch and pull down or climb on such as windows, curtains, and blinds. 
  4. If they can reach up or stand, make sure you remove any toys that are hanging above their beds, especially when you are not in the room.

Other areas to babyproof

  1. Cover all your electrical outlets so they don’t stick their fingers into the holes. You don’t need to tape them up — socket plugs are readily available these days. Also, make sure to tie up or put away all electrical cords out of your little one’s reach. 
  1. Your baby can now move doors to shut them. So make it a point to add pinch guards so your doors won’t bang shut and hurt your child.
  1. Do your doorstops have removable rubber caps? These are a choking hazard so make sure you change them. 
  1. Never let your child wander onto the balcony on their own. Cover the gaps if there are any between balcony or stairway railings.
  1. Have stairs at home? Then make sure to add a gate at the bottom and top to prevent your baby from crawling up or down the stairs. 
  1. Finally, it may sound silly, but get on all fours and see the house the way the baby sees the house. The number of potentially hazardous areas will suddenly be in full view for you to take care of. A few simple steps is all it takes to make your home a safe haven for your child!
September 07, 2020 — Gowri Kishore

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