Baby Tips

What Is the Most Effective Way to Baby Proof a Home?

As a parent, you want to make sure your child is safe at all times. But how do you know which safety measures are the most effective? You can start by babyproofing your home

Once you become a parent, it can seem like danger lurks around every corner. And when it comes to your home, that’s true. 

For toddlers just learning to walk or curious preschoolers, your home can be a brave new world full of the thrill of victory or the agony of defeat. 

While the spectre of stranger danger haunts many parents, it’s accidents within the home that carry the most significant risk for young children. Our exclusive range of baby nursery products will help create the perfect baby nursery for your baby.

You’d be surprised at how easy it is for a baby to get into trouble. From kitchen cabinets to outlet covers, here’s how to babyproof the main rooms in your home to make them safe for babies and toddlers.

The Basics of Baby Proofing

When to Baby Proof

Ideally, you want to batten down the hatches before the tornado toddler starts to sweep through. 

Once babies turn over onto their stomachs, usually around five to six months old, crawling is just a few months away. 

Start some common-sense measures like securing furniture and installing gates before the baby starts using every surface as a step up.

Your Childproofed Home

In addition to the steps outlined in the following steps, you should also:

  • Set the temperature of your water heater to 120 degrees F.
  • Install smoke detectors on every level of your home and near bedrooms.
  • Install carbon monoxide detectors near sleeping areas in your homes if you use gas or oil heat or have an attached garage.
  • Install covers on electrical outlets.
  • Place cushions on the corners of furniture.
  • Cut window blind cords or use safety tassels and inner line stops to help prevent your child from strangling in window blind cord loops.
  • Secure furniture and large appliances to the wall so that your kids can’t tip them over if they climb on them
  • Check the floor regularly for small items and toys that younger children can choke on. This includes marbles, balls, uninflated or broken balloons, small magnets, small Lego pieces and other toys with small details.

Is your home childproofed?

How to Baby Proof

Baby Tips

There are a few ways you can get the lay of the land in your home and ensure you’ve caught the usual suspects for safety concerns. Child safety experts recommend doing the following.

Be Familiar With the Settings on Your Hot-Water Heater

To keep curious babies safe, We suggest ensuring that your hot-water heater is set to less than 120 degrees.

Around 15 months, kids become fascinated with playing with knobs and turning things. They get into the bathroom, turn on the hot water, and scald themselves. 

We saw so many burns in the emergency room caused by kids playing in bathrooms, but if the thermostat is set to less than 120 degrees, they can’t do that. It’s something easy that people don’t think of.

According to the Consumer Product Safety Commission, most injuries and deaths from tap-water scalds involve the elderly and children under the age of five.

The CPSC caution parents to remember that they should always be present with their children in the bathroom, as leaving your child unsupervised for any period could result in serious injury.

Keep Bathrooms Locked or Secured at All Times

The bathroom is a vast area where injury can occur. Kids can drown in small amounts of water — even just a few inches.

Babies and toddlers are also drawn to playing in the toilet and opening bathroom cabinets, often filled with harmful cleaners and medications.

Nearly 90 children drown inside homes each year, making it essential to keep bathroom doors locked and toilet covers secured with childproof locks.

There will come a day when your toddler learns how to open a door using the doorknob. And then it’s harder to keep them out of places they shouldn’t go. 

The National Safety Council recommended using doorknob covers to prevent this problem before it even starts.

Know-How to Keep Baby’s Crib Safe

The CPSC indicates that cribs and crib mattresses were associated with an annual average of 36 deaths per year between 2011-2013. 

And in 2015, there were an estimated 12,100 emergency-department-treated injuries to children younger than age five associated with cribs and crib mattresses.

To prevent injury, parents should be aware of the appropriate crib-rail height for their baby’s age. Looking for blankets for a baby cot? Look no further. My Baby Nursery has you covered.

When they’re newborns, you can have the crib at the highest setting, but when they change developmentally — as soon as they can pull up, for example — you have to lower it to the lowest level because if not, they can pull up and launch themselves out of there.

Parents should be reminded that objects placed in the crib with a baby are a no-no. 

They don’t need blankets and pillows — those become more of a hazard than anything; the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends absolutely nothing be in or near the baby’s crib. 

No crib bumpers — even the breathable ones — because they can come off and get tangled up. 

Keep an Eye Out for Heavy Objects Around the Home

Around six months of age, babies start to move, roll and play on the floor more often. It’s at this milestone that she tells parents to get on the ground with their babies.

You need to lay on the floor and look from their point of view. You start saying, “that cabinet that has all of those heavy things on it — maybe I should move them off or make sure the cabinet is secure.”

By nine months old, a baby will begin pulling up on furniture, leaving parents with the task of anchoring furniture to walls and removing heavy items like televisions and lamps from furniture surfaces.

According to Safe Kids Worldwide, a nonprofit organization that works to stop preventable injuries in infants and children, a child dies every three weeks from a television tipping over. 

And, over the last ten years, a child has visited the emergency room approximately once every 45 minutes from injuries caused by a TV tipping over.

We don’t think about some of these things, but things happen in a split-second — even to the best of us.

Be Cautious Around Electricity

Around that 15-month age range, they become fascinated with putting things into things, and they stick something in electric sockets, so parents should find tight-fitting electrical outlet covers that baby’s tiny fingers cannot pull out.

As big of a pain as it is to replace the cover, it’s far better than those individual outlet covers that plugin. If small enough, those unique covers can be a choking hazard if they get loose.

Don’t Forget About Window Blinds.

For some reason — as many times as you tell kids not to — they love to put things around their neck. This cautions parents to keep Venetian blind cords out of the reach of small children.

The CPSC asks parents to check window coverings in their home, replacing corded window coverings with safer cordless or inaccessible cord options, citing that approximately one child per month dies after becoming entangled in a window-covering cord.

Alarmingly, about two children per day go to the emergency room because of injuries involving window blind cords, according to 2017 research from Nationwide Children’s Hospital. 

Again, the ideal solution would be replacing current window treatments with cordless blinds, but these wraps keep cords up out of reach as a faster or temporary fix.

Create a Small Object Tester

Create a “small object tester” to help both parents and older siblings determine what objects must be kept out of the baby’s reach.

Take an old toilet paper tube — if (the item) can fit in there, then it’s a choking hazard, and it can’t be around the baby. 

Look around your house for small objects — if you have older kids especially, then you have to be careful about small toys and things like Legos. Those should stay in an older child’s bedroom.

Use Gates Around Stairs

Parents should use caution around stairways, place safety gates at the tops of stairs, or close and lock doors leading to stairwells.

Around that six-month mark, it’s time to start getting these things ready. When they’re a newborn, you don’t have to do that, but the minute they start moving and rolling, it’s time to get those gates out.

This type of semi-permanent gate (you screw it into place) has significant benefits: 

It won’t fall, you can keep it open when you don’t need it, and it doesn’t have that pesky bar at the bottom that you might trip over. 

Plus, we know from experience that this gate is not that easy to climb over for kids.

Keep Cleaning and Laundry Products Out of Reach

The CPSC estimates that 84,000 children were treated in the emergency room in 2015 due to poison exposure. 

Among the top five products associated with pediatric poisoning incidents were laundry pods.

Lock the cabinets and keep things high. Parents should be reminded that once a baby starts climbing, storing items on higher shelves won’t keep them safe. The best choice is always to lock it.

We also like to caution against storing pills and other medications in purses, as small children can mistake them for candy.

You have to stay on top of them. You have to get on their level and see what they’re potentially looking at. 

It only takes a little bit; it only takes a split second — things happen, and you can’t be on guard 24/7. You have to take common-sense steps to prevent injury.

Curious babies love to open whatever they can, and you’re probably going to want to lock up your cabinets. 

These are a great option that works to keep them locked out even when they’re older.

Create a Safe Spot for Babies to Play During Chores

Baby Tips

If babies crawl around on the floor while parents are making dinner, this could be a potential hazard.

It would help if you had something that contains your child while making dinner and keeps them busy, happy, and safe — these types of toys fit the bill. 

This one has all the goodies babies love, including lights, sounds, and music, and has an adjustable height so it can grow with them.

Watch Out for Corners

We recommend parents get on the floor so that they’re at eye level with their baby and look around. 

It helps them look at their home differently, and it’s easier to spot things that will be attractive to a baby

It can sometimes seem like babies are magnets for sharp corners, so you may want to grab corner guards for tables and such.

Listen, your space just isn’t going to look attractive for the next several years. 

The thought of putting up soft baby bumpers on the corners of a living room table might feel very defeating, but if you decide to keep the table in the room, you need these. 

Their little faces want to go straight into sharp objects, trust. At least these are clear. 

Pro tip: If you “don’t care” about the table and want to make sure these are super secure, glue them on.

Keep Windows Guarded

Over the last 15 years, we’ve seen a decrease in window falls by 50 per cent. Still, she advised parents to secure windows so they can’t open more than four inches.

With these window stops, you screw them into the window frame; if you don’t own your place or don’t want holes, you can also look for versions that are applied with suction cups. Releasable window guards, which put bars across the window, are another option.

Skip the Tablecloths

Tablecloths are a big problem. Kids love to pull them down (or use them to try to pull themselves up), which can easily send the contents of the table flying.

Limit Access to High-Risk Areas

Gate off rooms like the kitchen or bathroom where the greatest concentration of injury risk resides.

Get a Baby’s-Eye View

Crawling around on all fours may seem like a silly exercise, but it’s the best way to see what your baby sees. 

It’ll help you spot potential risks like enticing knick-knacks or forgotten blind cords dangling within reach.

Focus on the Little Things

No, this isn’t a metaphor. Look for small objects near the ground that could become potential choking hazards. 

Think magnets, button batteries, and more. As a bonus, you might also spot all those dust bunnies you’ve neglected to vacuum up under the couch—some things you can’t unsee.

Put Away the Poison

This applies not only to the apparent caustic cleaning chemicals but also to the often overlooked items like poisonous houseplants. 

If you’re not sure which plants are safe, you can use this nifty online resource, complete with photos from the Poison Control Center.

What to Baby Proof

If you’re beginning the process of childproofing your home, it can seem pretty overwhelming. 

Thousands of products crowd the parenting market with a plethora of features that promise unparalleled protection. But do they deliver? 

Here’s a quick summary of each category of child safety products and some basic features to look for.

Latches and Locks

These simple mechanisms can keep dangerous chemicals and other potentially hazardous items under lock and key.

Look for latches and locks made of sturdy materials that won’t give way easily or snap under stress. You’ll also want to ensure the latches and locks you choose are ones you can open. 

You know, in case you need that stuff sometime in the next three years. For maximum safety, move poisonous substances to higher cupboards and cabinets that are well out of the baby’s reach.

Safety Gates

You shall not pass! Play gatekeeper with easy products for adults to open but have a locking mechanism to deter toddlers. 

If you do choose a gate with slats, make sure they’re no more than 2 3/8 inches wide to prevent tiny heads from suffering suffocation. 

Take some measurements to guarantee your gate will adequately span the space you’re blocking off, and don’t use older accordion-style safety gates. 

These products were pulled from the market for strangulation concerns.

Window Guards

Some childproofing gadgets can be lifesavers. Literally. 

Typically pressure mounted and adjustable, window guards should have quick-release mechanisms to allow for escape during emergencies.

Edge and Corner Guards

Protect your little explorer from the sharp edges of tables, fireplaces, and more with these soft covers. 

Look for guards that are non-toxic and large enough not to become choking hazards if they get pried loose by curious fingers.

Outlet Covers

The tiny holes that accommodate your electrical appliances are unfortunately perfect for little digits.

Remove temptation with outlet covers but choose ones that slide open and closed instead of the cheap plastic inserts, which can become choking hazards.

Furniture Anchors

Look out below! Creepers and crawlers constantly use furniture or an electronic device to get a leg up, but it’s a dangerous endeavour. 

If you have a heavy piece of furniture or electronics that isn’t secure, it could topple over and crush your child. 

It’s one of the most common injuries for young children, but it’s easily preventable with furniture anchors. 

Use two anchors and make sure they’re screwed into the wall studs so your little sweetie can continue trying to scale every surface safely.

Whew! Feeling Overwhelmed?

Remember that babyproofing your home is a process, one that you should start early and complete in stages. 

Every child and every environment has different demands, so take the time to assess your situation and your home carefully before you begin.

And while there are lots of sites that extol the virtues of do-it-yourself safety hacks, those approaches can be faulty and sometimes downright dangerous. Check out our range of baby nursery products and furniture for all your baby needs.

There is no substitute for quality products and expert, professional advice to ensure your little one stays safe and sound.

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