Where to Start When Baby Proofing Your House
It's official - our son is on the go! In his 6th month, he spent three weeks getting up on his knees and rocking back and forth. Soon after, the crawling began. Now, he can get from point A to B in just a few seconds. My husband and I feel that he needs to be watched every second. Which is difficult.....so now we are in the baby proofing stage. You don't always know what you need to baby proof, until he is already heading towards it - or has already gotten into it! Here are 10 Steps for Baby Proofing Your Home to get you started!
1) Relocate pet food bowls.
Do you have a dog who constantly has their food and water bowls in plain sight? Hopefully you have an area in your home where you can relocate their feeding station to. If you do not relocate, you baby will be playing in the water bowls every second that they get. What fun for mom! And your baby will also not be shy when it comes to tasting dog food kernels. Dog food pellets are a potential choking hazard. Our dog does not eat her food as soon as we set it down, so it is often in her bowl at all hours of the day.
It is scary, but true, that furniture can fall over onto your children if they try to climb up on it. Be sure to strap everything to the wall in order to prevent accidents in your home. These heavy duty metal tv straps should do the trick! Make sure they are installed properly by a professional or your favorite handyman. Here's another type that would be great for dressers and other furniture that backs up to a wall. We will be using these in our new home!
3) Cover your outlets:
Make sure you purchase twice as many outlet protectors than you think you will need. You will be surprised as to how many outlets you actually have in your home that will need covering. It is good to have extras on hand. Also, if your baby is frequently at a favorite relatives house for visits, you might want to consider covering the outlets in areas of their house where you often hang out in.
4) Gates gates and gates:
We currently have an accordion-style gate that spans the width of the stairs in the split level home that we are living in. This takes care of the stairs going up AND down at our house. This XL baby gate seems perfect for a large area of your home that would need to be gated off from your baby. In our old home, we had a baby gate that lead into our son's room. This was mostly to keep our pup out, and not so much our baby in. It worked for a while, but our dog was soon a regular fixture in the nursery.
5) Corner protectors:
If you have any hard surfaces in your home that are eye or chest level to your baby (i.e. coffee tables, end tables, TV stands), you can purchase foam edge and corner protectors which act as a bumper if your baby were to take a tumble. Luckily, we had a leather ottoman-style coffee table. Who knew this would have been the greatest table ever once we had kids?!
If you own a cell phone, or any other small electronics, you might want to consider a toilet lid lock. Babies, for whatever reason, love to see things swim. I once caught my son trying to stuff my MacBook Pro into the toilet. I got there just in time!
7) Blind cord windups:
We had vertical blinds in our old house. Each set of blinds had the white cords that went to the floor. These cords can be extremely dangerous if your baby were to get tangled up in them. These simple windups allowed us to get our cords off the ground in order to avoid this hazard.
8) Bath spout protector:
Even though we are always with our son during bath time, there have been times where he has tried to stand up too quickly. This adorable whale spout cover will prevent any bath tub nicks and bumps from if your baby were to slip and hit his or her head on the metal spout.
9) Lock your cabinets:
Honestly, we only have the cabinets with breakables and chemicals locked. He loves the spatula drawer and tupperware drawer too much to deny access. That would just be cruel. Plus, those drawers provide hours of entertainment for our son! We use the side by side locks, which don't use any adhesives. They simply loop around your hardware.
10) Sliding door locks:
My parents have a lake house that we frequent in the summer. Now that my son is walking, we will be picking up these sliding door locks to help ensure that he is unable to leave the house unattended. Water safety is a must!
One of the biggest challenges that I have is keeping the floors clean. Theo will find the tiniest piece of anything on the floor and will put it into his mouth. Five years ago, when we decided to adopt our German Shepherd, I promised my husband that I would vacuum every few days in order to keep the dog hair at bay. LOL - that was a joke. We are no strangers to dog-hair tumble weeds in our house.
But now, I have become obsessed with vacuuming. I have to do it every four days. Our dog loves to be outside, so she is constantly bringing debris into the house. When we move into our new house, I will be getting a bObsweep robotic vacuum. I have heard great things about this little guy, and this will greatly reduce my vacuuming stress!
Now let's talk about baby proofing THE BABY. Now that he can crawl, he thinks it is awesome to pull himself up onto anything and everything. He will get into a full-on wobbly standing position whenever he can. Most of the time, we have been able to catch him as he goes down. But I missed him once (or twice!). I immediately searched "baby walking helmets" and found the Thudguard. It's an adorable baby helmet that seems completely awesome. I tossed the idea out to several of my friends with babies older than Theo, and most of them said NO. Okay, all of them said to skip the helmet. That's fine, I will just spend my whole life following my little buddy everywhere he goes!
Even though it has been a lot of work keeping our son safe as he has begun to explore the house, it is extremely rewarding to see him grow up and become mobile. Rewarding and terrifying all at the same time. Now, does anyone know where I can get a baby bubble suit?