First Time Parents Guide: Baby Proofing Your Home
You can’t blame your baby for being fascinated by, and endlessly curious about, everything there is to see, touch, and taste in your home environment. The world is an interesting place, especially when it’s brand new! That said, it’s your responsibility to protect your child by baby-proofing your home.
When it comes to baby-proofing your home, I find it more useful to think of it as less of a list of tasks and more of a larger mindset. As you move through your space, get in the habit of asking yourself, “how could this be safer for my child?” With this idea in mind, you’ll find plenty of little hazards to fix and little solutions to make your home safer for your baby - more than I could possibly list here.
That said, if you’re concerned about baby-proofing your home, here’s a quick checklist to follow.
How to baby-proof your kitchen
The kitchen is a dangerous place for a baby, and you may want to invest in a child gate to keep him or her out of there entirely. You should definitely get child locks for your cabinets, covers for stove knobs, and plugs for any electrical outlets. Rather than storing dangerous chemicals under your sink, consider placing them higher off the floor, maybe in locked cabinets. Likewise with liquor or any other products that could hurt your baby - think “higher up.”
How to baby-proof your living room
You may want to mount large pieces of furniture, such as bookcases, to the wall, so they won’t tip over. Rugs on hard floors should be protected from skidding, and if you have carpet, it should be vacuumed and cleaned regularly. Consider slipcovers for upholstery, and make sure any hard furniture edges are covered. Cover all electrical outlets in the walls. And check for more minor hazards, such as hanging cords. Children are highly creative, so make sure they can’t surprise you!
How to baby-proof your baby’s room
Ideally, your nursery should be a room in your home with soft carpet or large, non-skidding rugs, to cushion any accidental falls. Invest in finger-pinch guards for doors and hinges - as your child grows stronger, you’ll want to minimize the risk of injury. Make sure any extra furnishings and decorations are safe and out of the baby’s reach.
If you live in a home built before 1978…
Make sure none of your paint contains lead. If you’ve been putting off renovations, this may be the time to tackle them. Hire an experienced contractor - trying to do it yourself can be dangerous, and it’s important to take care of yourself and minimize stress.
This may seem like a lot, but don’t worry! If you approach parenting from a place of mindfulness, compassion, and steady alignment with your most important values - and you have the right information and support - you can trust your natural parental instincts to steer you right.
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