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baby proofing

Rolling. Scooting. Crawling. Pulling herself up to stand.

It’s exciting when your little one becomes more mobile. But that new range of motion makes it easier for her to touch or grab items she shouldn’t, from outlets to power cords.

Follow these tips to make your home a safe place for baby to explore.

 

When to Start Baby Proofing

It’s a good idea to secure your home before your little one starts to crawl. To see what could be dangerous for him to encounter, get on his level and take note of everything he can see and touch.

As baby continues to grow and become more mobile, do your best to anticipate and account for his curiosity and height.

A Room-by-Room Guide for Baby Proofing Your Home

Nursery

Toybox: Select a toybox with no lid or cover to prevent your child from getting stuck inside or pinching her little fingers.

Crib: Provide a safe sleeping environment by keeping the crib clear of blankets, pillows, stuffed animals, bumpers and other soft materials that increase the risk of suffocation. Make sure your little one can’t reach any cords or decorations from inside the crib. And ensure the crib meets all current safety standards.

Bed: If your baby can climb out of his crib, it’s time to upgrade him to a toddler bed or place a mattress on the floor.

Dresser: Mount the dresser and any other heavy furniture to the wall to prevent it from tipping over.

Living Room

  • Use corner guards on sharp corners to prevent painful injuries.
  • Ensure your TV stand is sturdy or secured to the wall to prevent your little one from pulling it down on herself.
  • Place any television appliances such as gaming systems or routers out of baby’s reach or store those items in a cabinet with a safety lock.

Kitchen

Install door latches: Your cabinets and drawers contain many dangerous or breakable items, so use safety latches to keep your little one out. You should also put baby locks on your oven and fridge.

Stash sharp objects: Place sharp items like knives, scissors and food processors in a drawer or cupboard with a safety latch.

Pick up appliances: If an appliance is within your little one’s reach, unplug and store it when not in use.

Check the stove: If your baby can reach the knobs for your burners, install knob covers. And use the back burners or turn pot handles toward the back of the stove to keep hot things out of reach.

Bathroom

  • Put safety latches on all cabinets and drawers.
  • Close the toilet lid after use and consider using a toilet lock.
  • Practice bathtub safety. Always test the water before your baby gets in to ensure it’s not too hot and never leave her unattended in the bath. You can also apply nonslip pads on the floor of the tub to prevent falls.

Laundry Room

Store all laundry products out of reach as ingesting them can be dangerous. And consider placing locks on front-loading washers and dryers.

Throughout the House

  • Outlets: Use secure covers on all outlets.
  • Cords: Ensure cords for blinds and electronics are out of reach.
  • Stairs: Install baby gates at the top and bottom of each staircase. Ensure that the gates are secure and aren’t easy for baby to open.
  • Door handles: Place covers on the handles of any doors your little one can reach.
  • Cleaning products: Store all cleaning products in a cabinet with a safety lock.

A Learning Opportunity

While you should have an eye on your baby at all times to intercept before he hurts himself, it’s also important to seize any learning opportunities.

For example, if your baby goes to touch an outlet, say “no” firmly as you move his hand away. Or if he reaches for the stove while you’re cooking, catch those little fingers and say “ouch” or “hot!”

If you’re unsure about whether an item at home poses a risk to your baby, talk with a pediatrician.

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