Baby Safety: Childproofing for Your New Arrival
Nothing is more precious to a family than the newest member of the family, so taking precautions to make your home safe for your new baby is necessary. Although newborns may not be able to cause much trouble, they grow fast and can explore their surroundings very quickly. So, it is important to childproof for all ages before you bring your bundle of joy home; you may not have the time to baby proof for each stage as they come. Let’s look at childproofing by two stages.
Newborns to Six Months
Babies spend the majority of their early lives sleeping in their nursery, so it is very important to make their “home” as safe as possible. Follow these safety guidelines for maximum protection:
- Bassinet should have a stable base and sturdy bottom. The mattress should be firm and snugly fit into the smooth walls of the bassinet. If the bassinet is on wheels, the legs/wheels should securely lock.
- Changing table should have a safety strap and should be sturdy. Keep changing supplies nearby but out of baby’s reach. If your nursery is not carpeted, place a rug under the table to cushion any accidental falls.
- Crib should also have a stable base, sturdy bottom, and firm, snug mattress. In addition, the crib slats should be no more than 5 3/4 cm apart, and corner posts should be no more than 1/8 cm higher than the crib rail.
- All sleeping areas should be free of fluffy bedding like pillows and comforters.
- Position the crib away from windows, install window stops, and ensure cords are out of reach or eliminated.
- Position baby monitors out of baby’s reach even if she is not standing yet. She will stand soon, and the cord of the baby monitor can be dragged into the crib and become a strangulation hazard.
- Cover electrical outlets in the nursery immediately and attend to the rest of the house as soon as possible.
Mobility: Ages Six Months to Four Years
As soon as baby can crawl, she will be into everything. It is important to make sure your entire house is childproofed at this point. Start with typical childproofing, like the following:
- Cover all outlets
- Baby-gate rooms, stairs and doorways
- Put all chemicals in a locked cabinet out of baby’s reach
- Change your smoke alarm and carbon monoxide batteries
- Remove all glass knick-knacks or cabinets
- Strap large cabinets and shelving units to walls
- Turn your water heater to or below 48 degrees Celsius
- Place non-slip mats in your bathtub
- Secure mats and rugs to the floor with non-slip backings
- Repaint any rooms with peeling paint, especially If the existence of lead paint is unknown
- Place bumpers on sharp furniture edges
After you childproof your home according to the above, kneel down to the baby’s level. Crawl on the floor, and look at everything in every room. If there are any sharp corners, glass objects, electrical cords or outlets, or any other dangerous material or substance in sight, remove them or cover them with baby protectors.
Bringing home baby is one of the most exciting and scary parts of anyone’s lives, but with a little safeguarding and childproofing, welcoming your little one home can be less scary and more exciting. Taking care of childproofing in advance can also leave you better prepared for each stage of baby’s life.