At Paran Homes, we build our homes to last with loads of living spaces, inviting bedrooms and convenient flex spaces in which your family can bloom and grow. Is there anything more exciting – and somewhat terrifying – than bringing a brand-new baby home from the hospital and through your front door for the very first time? You quickly realize all that you DON’T know about raising a baby and keeping them safe. Blink your eyes and they’re crawling. Blink again and they’re up on their feet and walking… then running. A mobile baby presents a whole new world of unbelievable joy (and potential disasters.) With many of our new home owners at the baby (or grandbaby) stage of family life, Paran Homes is tickled pink (or baby blue) to share these expert tips on the latest techniques and tools for babyproofing your new home beyond the age-old baby gates on the stairs.
Get a Baby’s Eye View: The best way to assess all the prospective dangers your baby might face is to get down on their level. Go room to room throughout your home and get down on your hands and knees. Crawl all throughout the space, taking note of any possible issues along the way. You should do this BEFORE they start to crawl. Pay particular attention to sharp corners where they might hit their head – like the fireplace and coffee table – and address those with cushioned bumpers.
Be Wary of the Bathroom: At some point, babies learn to pull up on things to enjoy the view. If they do this on the bathtub, they could slip on the tile and hit their head on the way down. Non-skid rugs could prevent the slip and also cushion their fall. The best measure to take here is to never leave your child unattended in the bathroom, particularly when soaking in the tub – not even for a minute. A baby can drown in just 1 inch of water. Other measures for this room of the home that Parents.com recommends are to keep your water heater set to 120 degrees or lower to prevent scalding, place a soft cover over your faucet head, and lay down non-slip strips in the bathtub. Parenting Magazine also suggests installing toilet locks to protect baby’s fingers from getting smashed, as well as another potential drowning risk.
Be Particularly Careful in the Kitchen: Stove knob covers prevent the risk of baby accidentally turning on the gas or possibly burning him/herself. A stove guard can protect your child from pulling boiling pots and pans down on themselves.
Keep ‘Em Out of the Cabinets and Drawers: Whether in the kitchen or the bathroom, cabinet doors and drawers can present their own realm of dangerous prospects. Cleaning supplies, chemicals, sharp or breakable objects, heavy appliances that can topple and more that lurk behind those baby-sized doors or fun sliding drawers pose lots of potential risks. The best way to avoid disaster here is to invest in childproof safety latches made specifically for cabinets and drawers, then place them throughout your home.
Stay Indoors, Kids: While the “get outside and play” mantra will begin soon enough, those shiny doorknobs on the front and back doors, as well as all of the interior doors of the home prove incredibly alluring to small children. Rather than allow them to turn the knob and walk on out the door unsupervised, it would be wise to purchase childproof doorknob covers. These will also limit their opportunities to shut their sweet little fingers in the door, as well.
Don’t be Blind to the Dangers of Blind, Drapery and Electric Cords: The cords that hang down on your blinds or window treatments can be rather tempting to toddlers. In addition to the fact that one good yank could potentially bring the entire set of blinds or draperies down on your baby’s head, those cords could prove a strangulation hazard. The same holds true for dangling cords from small kitchen appliances.
A Shocking Discovery: It just so happens that little baby fingers can fit neatly into the holes of an electrical outlet – posing a shock risk. Placing covers over the outlets renders them virtually invisible and dramatically lowers the potential for baby to try and place other objects inside. But because the individual plastic electric outlet covers could also be a possible choking hazard for little explorers, Parenting Magazine suggests using sliding covers instead.
That is NOT a Ladder, Little One: Small children – once they become mobile – love to use stationary objects to pull up and will even attempt to climb them. This is particularly true of bookcases and chests of drawers. To prevent them from toppling on top of your baby, secure them to the wall with sturdy anchors.
Other helpful tips can be found in Babyproofing Basics on Parents.com or 20+ Tips for Babyproofing Your Home from Parenting Magazine.