Safety Around the home: Is anything truly babyproof?
As if having a baby isn’t overwhelming enough, the hospital, the birth the aftercare, when you finally get your little one home, you can breathe a sigh of relief. As the months roll by and your little one is reaching their milestones, you look around and see potential accidents waiting to happen in every room. Plugs to stick fingers in, corners to bang heads into, objects to pull down on top of themselves, it can be a very time consuming process to think of everything and you might find yourself asking: do I really have to babyproof?
Experts agree the resounding answer is yes, but also to use intuition and deal with the most obvious dangers first and to establish some common sense practice to help you decided what does and doesn’t need to be baby proofed. Here are five top areas to keep an eye on!
What do I need
Once your little one starts to move around, be it the bum shuffle, crawl or toddle, all areas become a potential danger zone. Your kitchen becomes one of the more exciting areas that your baby will love to explore...if given a chance. From opening cabinets to pulling the entire contents of your kitchen draws on to the floor. Here are a few products to consider and provide you with peace of mind.
- Plug socket covers: Stop little fingers exploring the fascination of the plug.
- Cupboard/draw locks: Keep the contents inside and your baby out.
- Fridge locks: Its easier to secure the door than cleaning up spilt milk
- Oven door locks: Potential burn hazard if small hands come in contact.
- Door slam stopper: Prevents little fingers getting caught
Consider cooking at the back of the hob and ensure all pot handles are turned away from a grabbing toddler.
I will never understand the fascination with the kitchen bin, but toddlers just love them and will make a beeline for them every time. If accessible, consider moving the bin to a different area while your toddler is in the kitchen. The same can be said for your pets food and water bowls. As much as your toddler probably loves your pet pooch, the sharing of utensils is a step too far.
If space allows, you could consider a room divider to separate your toddler from the obvious potential dangers.
Watch out for Corners
To understand what is and isn’t a corner worth considering, you've got to get on your baby’s level, and not in a cool cute way but rather their eye level. Experts recommend getting down on the floor and looking around at your home it a new light, its easier to spot things that are going to be attractive to a baby! Many parents would tell you babies when they get the hang of independent movement are MAGNETS for sharp corners! Putting soft baby bumpers on anything remotely sharp will save you and your baby a lot of headaches! Pro tip: If you “don’t care” about the table and want to make sure these are super secure, glue them on!
Gatekeep the Stairs
One of the first things we think of as parents, and one of the most important is closing off the stairs. Get a good set of baby gates that is a tall enough to prevent them pulling themselves over (babies are surprisingly agile when they want to be! This at a glance guide will help you chose a gate no matter your stairs set up!
Create a small object tester
Your baby will reach a point where everything around it will be something to try put in their mouth! Something useful to do is take a Take an old toilet paper tube — if (the item) can fit in there, then it's a choking hazard and can't be around the baby! If you have older kids especially, then you have to be careful about small toys and things like Legos.
A Baby Base
Babies are natural explorers and to them, your home is one huge discovery zone. If left to their own devices, babies will gleefully scout what's fallen under the sofa (and likely taste it), reach for items that might topple over, and otherwise bounce around the house unaware of any potential dangers. That's where a safe toddler play area comes in. Some babies love the playpen. Others resist being confined to a small space once they are able to walk and explore. Increase the odds that your child will enjoy this safe space by stocking it with their favourite playthings. A playpen is a good solution for a run to the laundry room or a similar, quick task. Travel cots can be a great choice, as they double up as a playpen and can be folded away when not in use. Of course, they are a fantastic option for the overnight stay with grandparents while mum and dad take a night off.