Discovery Point Blog
4 Essential Baby Proofing Tasks
It’s normal to be anxious about returning home from the hospital with your newborn. Suddenly, your home may look less like the inviting place it was during pregnancy and more like an obstacle course full of hazards for your precious baby.
While you’re not wrong to worry, the good news is there’s plenty you can do to make your home both safe and comfortable for you and your little one. It may take some forethought, assistance with rearranging furniture, and a new purchase or two to get your home totally baby proofed. So be sure to start this process well before your due date!
Baby Proofing Must-Dos that Deserve Your Attention
There are plenty of room-by-room baby proofing resources out there for you to check out. However, sometimes having all that information at once can be a little overwhelming. Here, we’re focusing on four relatively quick and simple tips that will go a long way in making your home a safer place.
1. Anchor televisions and other large furniture pieces to the wall.
Unsecured furniture and TVs are such a major hazard for children that there’s even a governmental campaign devoted to this cause called Anchor It! According to anchorit.gov, 469 children died from incidents related to furniture, TVs, or appliances tipping over between 2000 and 2019. From 2017 to 2019, 11,300 children are estimated to have been treated in the ER annually for injuries related to these tip-over incidents.
Anchoring your furniture and appliances to the wall can prevent these dangerous incidents from happening in your home. Anti-tip devices, which are also called anchoring kits or anti-tip straps, can be found online and in stores for just a few dollars and only take a few minutes to install. Consider anchoring all televisions, dressers, bookshelves, and TV stands in your home.
2. Install child safety locks on cabinets.
When you think of baby proofing your home, your mind likely goes to child safety locks on cabinets, and for good reason. Installing these locks or latches is a major step in baby proofing any kitchen or bathroom.
Fortunately, there are many more options available than the old-fashioned adhesive straps that can ruin cabinetry or become impossible to remove even once your child has grown. Instead, opt for catch-and-hook style latches or magnetic locks.
3. Move cleaning supplies to upper cabinets.
While we’re on the subject of cabinets, it’s a good idea to go ahead and move any chemicals well out of your child’s reach. Although cabinet locks are quite effective, there’s still a small chance your little one could learn how to get them open. It’s also likely that a cabinet will accidentally be left open at some point. Keeping toxic cleaning supplies in higher cabinets is an extra safety step that is well worth taking.
4. Get rid of cords and cables wherever possible.
Your baby will likely see any cord or cable that’s hanging as an open invitation for pulling and climbing. Any items those cords are attached to could land on top of your child if pulled on with enough force. Cords attached to items like blinds can also pose a strangulation hazard.
The best way to approach this problem is first to do away with extension cords, at least for the first few years of your child’s life. From tripping to chewing, little ones can get into way too much trouble with these.
Next, consider replacing your window treatments with cordless blinds, which are both safer and more convenient than those with cords. Finally, keep cords and cables that can’t be eliminated – such as those connected to your television or lighting fixtures – tucked away and out of sight at all times.
Completing these four tasks will only be the beginning of your baby proofing journey. However, taking care of this low-hanging fruit now can give you confidence as you tackle other baby proofing to-dos.
Have you already graduated from baby proofing and are wondering what steps to take as your child grows older and becomes ever more adventurous? Check back soon for our upcoming post on toddler-proofing your home!