- Small changes make all the difference in a little one’s safety. Train yourself now so you’re ready once they’re on the move!
- Stock up on items to easily babyproof the main areas in your home.
- Think like a kid! Create a safe space by channeling your inner child.
As your child starts to take early steps and explore their surroundings, it’s important to take some precautions around the house. Here are 10 baby-proofing tips to help prepare your house for new crawlers and walkers.
1. Cover outlets and sockets
Children are curious about everything, including the socket on the wall. But the potential for serious injury is high when young ones get curious about electrical outlets. Purchase inexpensive electrical plugs or invest in babyproof outlet covers to keep your little one protected.
2. Check the floors
Retrain your brain to have good pickup habits — especially if you’re not the tidiest of homeowners. Coins, wrappers and other fallen items can be choking hazards for babies.
If you’re able, try to declutter your home during naptime. Maintaining a clean and organized home will help keep potential threats away from your little one.
3. Gate your stairs
Prevent slips, falls and wandering kiddos by gating the entrances to staircases or areas where a baby shouldn’t go — like the kitchen, laundry room or other spaces with foreseen hazards. Nowadays, even the most unusual stair setups or entrances can be gated.
4. Check the stability of your furniture
Dressers and standalone cabinets are the main culprits here. Make sure that these items are secured to the wall behind them, so there’s no way they could fall over on a curious kiddo who pulls or tries to climb up. Be sure to save the facets that come with your furniture; most pieces come with wall anchors at the time of purchase.
5. Some things should be locked up altogether
Cleaning supplies, laundry detergent or pods, toiletries, soaps, knives, pots and pans simply aren’t kid-friendly. Put locks on any cabinets that store these potentially hazardous household items and double-check that the locks are effective even as kiddos learn to explore.
6. Create a decoy!
You heard that right! Sometimes the best thing you can do is create a designated safe cabinet to satisfy a little one’s desire to explore. In this cabinet, stash kid-friendly items, like lightweight plastic storage containers, toys and books. Now your child can fuel their curiosity with safe toys rather than getting into cleaning supplies or heavy cooking appliances.
7. Worried about jagged corners?
Soften and secure fireplace corners and table corners to prevent accidents as babies and toddlers learn to crawl, pull up and walk. Although foam guards and safety bumpers are not the most stylish decor elements, they’ll protect your little ones from potential injuries.
8. Cut off access to a heater or furnace and oven
Sometimes, baby-proofing is about creating a space for a child to roam safely. Other times, it’s about cutting off access to potentially harmful areas entirely. Be sure to take note of any appliances that could be a danger to little ones and block them from these spaces altogether.
Train yourself to unplug appliances and table lamps that aren't in use and safely secure the power cord. Not only will you save money on your electric bill, but you’ll also ensure that a little one isn’t tugging on potentially dangerous cords. This is also true of dangling ropes for curtains and blinds.
If you’re unplugging a phone, iPad, computer or another device with a detachable cord, be sure to stash the cord away somewhere safe until your next use. Remember to insert outlet caps after you’ve unplugged any of your devices.
10. Get on their level!
To truly see what they'll see, you might consider crawling around on your hands and knees. From this viewpoint, you’ll notice all the knick-knacks on low shelves, cords within reach and the rickety table kids may try to pull up on. Get rid of potential hazards as you identify them from a child’s level.
Need a better space for your growing family?
These quick fixes will keep your space safe for your little one — or visiting babies and toddlers — to play.
If you’re still feeling cramped in your home or that split-level isn’t jiving with a super-curious early walker, we can help. Reach out to Edina Realty or one of our agents to get in touch with a real estate specialist who can help you and your family find the perfect place to call home.