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When Baby starts crawling or walking, anything in your house is fair game. They love exploring, touching, and tasting everything your home has to offer. Everyday items you never gave a second thought to become hazards. Here’s a guide to keeping your home safe from the moment your little one comes home from the hospital:
Start with the basics. Double check that your home has all the basics that keep everyone in the home safe: A functioning fire extinguisher, smoke alarms, and carbon-monoxide detectors in case of emergency. Then create safe spaces by gating off stairs, ensuring all electrical outlets are covered, and keeping any toxic substances up high and out of reach.
Reorganize your kitchen. Cooking can be distracting, so making sure that there aren’t hazards within Baby’s reach while your back is turned is so important. Safe items like plastic containers, paper towels, and sponges can live on lower shelves, while anything sharp or suffocation (think sharp utensils, plastic bags) need to be placed out of arm’s reach. Appliances that aren’t in use should be kept unplugged, with their cords kept on the counter. Consider plastic latches for cabinets or covers for stove knobs so she doesn’t play with fire!
Secure your furniture. While baby’s playing around the house, keep in mind all the surfaces she could accidentally bump! Any table or chair with a sharp corner should be covered with a cushioned guard. Shelves, frames, and TVs should be mounted so as not to fall. Any electrical cords or pulls for your window blinds should be out of reach as well.
Prep the bathroom. This is a place where baby should be watched at all times. A vital safety mantra to remember is simply to never take your eyes off of her while you’re both in here. Water, slippery surfaces—it all requires your attention. Consider latches for your medicine cabinet as well as a toilet seat lock.
Double check everything in the nursery. Keep in mind that while toys may be cute and snuggly, they do pose a hazard to those under 6 months old. Ensure that there aren’t stuffed animals left in the crib and that sheets are fit as tight as possible to keep from suffocating your little one. A mobile hanging over the crib is fine as long as no small parts are able to fall into the sleeping area. And as for the crib itself, although vintage cribs may fit into your nursery’s aesthetic, some may not meet new safety guidelines! Double check to ensure there are no dangerous openings or faulty side drops.
Don’t forget the little things. So many things float around our homes that we don’t give a second thought to: paperclips, bobby pins, thumbtacks… and once baby comes they all need their place! Being cognizant of this and using care to make sure these items aren’t loose will eliminate the dangers of baby getting her hands (and mouth) on them.
Take a little time during your pregnancy to look around your house in the mindset of a crawling or walking toddler. Every item is a new discovery that needs to be investigated! You should create a forgiving environment for all your little one’s epic journeys around the house.
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