Baby On The Way? Tips For Baby-Proofing Your New Home
New parents have a lot on their mind (to put it mildly). But even with all the late night feedings and countless diaper changes, one very important thing cannot be overlooked–babyproofing your home. Most new parents are quite surprised by how quickly and easily their seemingly innocent newborn can into serious mischief around the house.
It is crucial to babyproof early and comprehensively, especially if you have just moved into a new home. You could take care of it in progressions, as your child develops and hits new milestones (crawling, pulling up, walking). Each one of these stages brings with a whole new set of hazards to worry about. Ultimately though, it is best to take care of these early and all at once, while you still have the time and energy–and most importantly, before an accident can befall your little one.
In a new home, babyproofing is actually a great way to get intimately acquainted with every nook and cranny of your new floor plan. The best strategy is to move from room-to-room tackling all of the major, well-known babyproofing spots first, and then, inspecting every detail of every room for maximum safety.
Big Picture Things
First, take a moment to assess the overall safety of your home. Make sure you have working fire extinguishers, smoke detectors, and carbon monoxide detectors. Position safety gates at the top and bottom of stairs and any other problematic areas. Be sure to cover all electrical outlets with plastic safety caps, attach babyproof door locks, and secure all cords for blinds completely out of reach.
Next, it is best to start in arguably the most important room–the place where the baby will do much of its sleeping and playing. Is the crib safe and up to current safety regulations? If your crib is new, this should not be an issue, but hand-me-downs and antiques need to be rigorously examined:
- Slats should not be more than 2⅜ inches apart
- Mattresses should be at least 27¼ inches x 51⅜ inches
- Cribs should be as bare as possible, without pillows, blankets, and bumpers
- Check out more crib safety information here
You should also consider soft, thick rugs to help cushion falls, a safety-hinge toy box, and finger-pinch guards for doors.
Let’s move to the room in the house responsible for the most household accidents, regardless of age–the bathroom. First things first, be sure to set your home’s water heater below 120 degrees Fahrenheit so you won’t scald your baby during bathtime. Add slip-proof pads to your bathtub and a thermometer to double check that water temp. Make sure to latch your medicine cabinet and place all electrical appliances, cords, and hazardous cleaning supplies out of reach. A toilet seat lock is also probably a good investment.
Like bathrooms, kitchens are a minefield of potential dangers to your little one. Drawers and cabinets all need back latches, especially one holding dangerous items, such as knives, plastic bags, and choking hazards. Small appliances should be unplugged when not in use and their cords out of reach. The stove needs to be secured and locked, if possible, as well as safety covers placed over the knobs. And finally, just like in the bathroom, remove all hazardous cooking and cleaning supplies, including detergents, from reasonable reach.
In here, falls and run-ins with hard furniture are the biggest hazards. For the most part, you can’t avoid these mishaps, but you can do your best to lessen their injury by adding cushioned corner guards or edging to coffee and side tables, fireplaces, and any other sharp corners. Secure all tall pieces of furniture to the wall with latches, including bookcases and entertainment centers. And finally, whatever is in their reach, they will grab, so make sure anything on the floor or low shelves is safe.
At Stanley Martin Homes, we place tremendous emphasis on family. We build each new home with family in mind and work closely with you to ensure your family’s safety and happiness. Welcome your new baby home in a brand new home and start living for your future.