Tips for Getting Your Home Ready for Your First Baby

Soon-to-be-first-time parents have a lot on their minds! In addition to preparing themselves and their nursery for parenthood, they need to be sure their home is safe for their new kid at every stage of their childhood. That can seem overwhelming since almost everything in a house or apartment could technically be unsafe. There are, however, a few key safety measures to take which will cover the bulk of likely accidents.

Pest Control

Let’s begin with one that isn’t immediately obvious as a safety concern for new parents: pest control. A house or apartment that’s vulnerable to bugs and rodents puts kids, pets, and parents at risk for disease. Not to mention, an infested house loses value quickly.

Sharp Corners, Slippery Rugs, and Electrical Outlets

 Now, let’s look at the more obvious things that come to mind when talking about baby-proofing. Sharp corners on tables, counters, and other pieces of furniture keep lots of expecting parents up at night. Here are two good pieces of news that can set your mind at ease. First, bumper padding is very effective at softening a corner that could cause a major cut or damage an eye. It’s not expensive, and usually easy to install. Secondly, remember that with everything you must worry about with a new baby, you can wait a little while for this. Typically, infants don’t begin to crawl until they’re 6 to 10 months old. Before that, they mostly stay where you put them (with proper supervision, of course.) It’s important and necessary, but it can wait until you’ve settled in from all the challenges of being a new parent.

The same is true of slippery rugs and bath mats. Make sure you secure them with non-slip pads. Babies don’t have far to fall when they hit the ground, but if the surface is hard like a bathtub or unfinished basement cement floor, it can hurt bad and even do serious damage.

Installing safety plugs into electrical outlets is one of the cheapest and quickest things you can do to keep your home safe. You can buy them at nearly any retailer who has a baby or home improvement section for a few dollars. A small investment to safeguard your child from electrical shock. You can also move furniture in front of outlets, but you must make sure they can’t be moved. Here’s a good rule of thumb: if you can move it yourself while standing up, assume your child could somehow, some way, manage to do that as well. If not, it’s probably safe if there isn’t enough space for them to wiggle their fingers back towards them. In any case, err on the side of caution.

Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Detectors

 As diligent as you may be with furniture and appliances, you have a lot less control of the threats of fire, smoke and carbon monoxide. What you can do, however, is make sure you have detectors in place to warn you. It’s simple, inexpensive, and potentially lifesaving.

Most homes built after 1989 will have smoke detectors installed, as it became required by law at that time. In 1993, regulations required they be in every bedroom. Of course, you may have an older house, and smoke detectors (while long-lasting) don’t live forever. A good guideline is to get into the habit of changing their batteries when you change your clocks twice a year to account for Daylight Savings Time.

Carbon Monoxide detectors are also critical because Carbon Monoxide is invisible and odorless. With smoke, you can at least see and smell the threat. You could, unfortunately, die from carbon monoxide poisoning quite quickly without ever knowing it was there. A detector can be a life-saver.

Locks and Gates

 Lastly, a simple, but easy to forget rule: keep your doors and gates locked. Children are curious and want to explore. Make an ironclad routine of closing garage doors, locking any door that they can use to exit the home or enter a dangerous area like a pool.

The world is full of hidden dangers, and a parent’s instinct is to try to protect their children from all of them. These tips cover many of the most manageable and common risks in the home.

5 Tips on Babyproofing Your Home

Babies are incredible little beings and being a parent is such a marvelous experience. When they are very small, there is very little that they can get into. While there are safety procedures, because they are reliant on you to get around, measures to secure your home are minimal. As they begin to grow, it is important to keep in mind that there are safety procedures that you need to consider to make sure that they are safe. Before they start navigating their way around your home, make sure to keep in mind these five babyproofing tips to keep them safe.

Securing Medication

Securing medications is a key component of babyproofing your home. All of your medications, including prenatal vitamins should be safely stowed away out of your baby’s reach. While prenatal vitamins were safe for you to ingest for your and your baby’s health during pregnancy, they are certainly not safe for your child, so it is critical to have any and all medications out of their reach. Not only should medication be stored high up away from children, if possible it should also be locked away so that there is no way for kids to get into it.

Safely Storing Chemicals

Chemicals can be a big safety risk for your children. Whether this is cleaning products or maintenance fluids, anything that can go into your child’s mouth that could be dangerous should be stored away. Storing everything that a baby could get into in a high up area may not be feasible, so cabinet locks are a great alternative. While a cabinet may be within reach of a child’s arm, childproof locks are a deterrent that can keep your baby safe. Whether you opt for magnets, press locks or grip locks, these can keep your little ones out of drawers and cabinets where they shouldn’t be. If you are using something that uses a key-like system like a magnet, it is important to also store the unlocking device away from your child’s reach.

Installing Baby Gates

Baby gates are a quintessential component of babyproofing, as these keep children locked in certain areas with mechanisms that typically can only be managed by adults. These systems are intended to keep children gated off in certain areas or restricted from encountering dangers like stairs. They come in mesh material, swinging gates and many other materials, but all lock. It is important that when installing these, you follow all of the necessary safety procedures, as improper installation can lead to significant safety hazards.

Presence of Pet Supplies

Pets supplies are another factor when it comes to creating a safe environment for your child. When babyproofing a home with pets, it is important to still create an environment that is safe and secure for your pets but making adjustments that protect your child. Consider using baby gates to secure the pet’s area so that you do not find your child trying to munch on pet snacks and stealing the family pet’s toys.

Babyproofing the House

Babyproofing can be a big undertaking as children have a way of finding their way into everything. While you may start with the most critical spaces in the house, it is important that you babyproof the entire home. Starting on a room by room basis will allow you to assess each space and evaluate it for potential dangers and then begin to put protective safety measures into place. This process can be lengthy, so start babyproofing well before your kiddo starts cruising the furniture. This will give you plenty of time, as opposed to rushing around trying to snatch up your kid before they reach the next danger around your underprepared home.

Babyproofing is a necessary step in securely your child and ensuring their safety. Once they get moving, it will be natural for them to want to explore their environment. You will want to ensure that your home is safe for them to explore and navigate so that they can learn and grow while still being protected.