The world can be a dangerous place for a baby on the move. Before your little one takes off crawling, you’ll want to do some serious babyproofing to make your house a safe place for your curious new explorer. Read on to find out how you can make sure your baby stays safe in the home.
Plug Electrical Outlets
No little one can resist sticking her fingers in those tiny, dangerous holes in the wall. Plug up the temptation with plastic outlet covers—the ones that require two hands to pry off. Or go even safer by replacing your current electrical plates with ones that have spring-loaded outlet covers. Arrange furniture in front of outlets to further diminish the temptation.
You’ll probably need to change your habits once your baby can grab and move—everything within reach is game for her, so it’s your job to keep things out of the way. Water glasses, dinner plates, and silverware need to be set far back on the table, so your little one can’t pull on them from your lap. Keep your cell phone out of reach too or your babe might send it flying. Swap out your dangly earrings for studs and skip the necklaces entirely for awhile. If you wear glasses, you might want to switch to contacts until your baby has outgrown this grabby phase.
Barricade the stairs
If your little one can crawl to the stairs, she can tumble down them as well. Install baby gates at the top of staircases at the minimum. A gate at the bottom is helpful to prevent adventurous climbers from starting to scale the stairs and tumbling backward down them. Baby gates can be useful for blocking off-limits rooms or areas as well.
Remove Plants and Planters
Some house plants are poisonous when eaten, so you’ll want to move those tasty-looking-to-a-baby treats up to a very high shelf or ledge. Relocate any large floor planters to an off-limits room even if the plants they house are harmless—your baby might just decide to fling around or feast on that dirt one day.
Keep Floors Clean
With that tiny baby zooming along the floors, it’s important to keep them clean and free of any hazards. All objects smaller than a tangerine need to be up and out of reach of your little one, who will put anything and everything in his mouth. Instigate a no-shoes policy in your home, which will help prevent fertilizer residue and germs from making their way indoors. Also sweep, mop, and vacuum regularly.
Your baby will soon use the furniture as her own personal walker, so make sure all heavy pieces are stable and not at risk of toppling over on her. Use furniture straps or brackets to secure bookcases, dressers, and side tables to the wall. Apply corner guards to coffee tables, TV stands, windowsills, and anything else with sharp corners.
Lock Up Hazardous Products
Absolutely everything that presents a danger to your baby if ingested—from toxic household products like cleaners, dishwasher tablets, paint, and laundry soap to all medicine and vitamins to alcohol—should be relocated out of baby’s reach and secured in a high, locked cabinet.