Whether you’re expecting a baby soon or if you are planning on moving to a new location for the sake of your child’s future, the first thing on your mind has to be babyproofing your home. There are many dangers around every home that will affect your baby’s safety. Anything from stairs to cupboards and sharp corners can seriously hurt your baby, and the type of flooring you use will also have an effect on the safety of your child.
Babyproofing your home is simple but it does take some time to finish. This guide will go through the basics of baby proofing your home, some extra tips depending on the type of home you live in and some additional improvements you can do to plan for when your baby grows older. These improvements aren’t very expensive and some of them will be great investments for years to come until your child grows old enough to be wary of the dangers around the home.
Finding the time for improvements
If you’re a busy couple then it can be hard to find time to make these home improvements let alone find time to look after your child. Luckily, the mother is able to get a minimum of two weeks maternity leave to look after their child immediately after the child is born. However, many people don’t know that the father is also eligible for paternity leave. This article from Ellis Whittam on paternity will explain all the terms and conditions that you have to meet in order to be eligible. In short, the father can get up two weeks off to help with looking after the child. You don’t need to be worried when you return to work either because you have the right to return to your normal role at work. In addition, you are also eligible for paternity pay to help you pay for things such as bills or additional toys and furniture for your child. Keep in mind that these two weeks have to be taken off consecutively and within 56 days of your child’s birth.
Once you finally make the time for improvements, you should get to work as soon as possible and make the most of your time. In addition to spending time on home improvements to babyproof your home, you should also spend more time with your partner and with your baby. Try to get in as much quality time together before you go back to work because, for a busy couple, it’s rare to get to see your family together and spend some time with them.
- Replace Carpets With Laminate or Wooden Flooring
Your baby’s main method of travelling around the home is going to be on all fours crawling around. As a result, you want to make sure that all crawl-height dangers are removed. This includes things like electrical outlets, crawl spaces under furniture, sharp corners on shelves and drawers, and miscellaneous objects you might have around the floor. The first thing you should consider is laminate or wooden flooring. Babies spend a lot of time on the floor and carpets are prone to housing small objects and dust which can adversely affect your child. It is also far more hygienic and easy to clean when you have a clear floor such as laminate or wood. It’s easier to vacuum dust and random objects, and you’ll spend less time each week cleaning the carpets.
- Banishing Crawl-Height Dangers
As mentioned before, your baby will crawl around a lot as their main method of getting around, meaning that you have to eliminate as many dangers as possible. Get on your knees and crawl around the home, try to bring your down to the height of your child as they are crawling and look for sharp corners or edges, electrical outlets and other hazards.
For electrical outlets, do not buy socket covers that are plastic and plug into the sockets themselves. Contrary to popular belief, babies cannot fit their fingers into power outlets so they don’t pose as much threat as some people would think. However, the socket covers you can buy are a waste of money and potentially even more dangerous than leaving them uncovered. Instead, buy covers that clip over the entire outlet and require opening and shutting. These are a little more expensive, but they offer more safety for when your children grow up and are more likely to stick objects into the outlets.
Of course, you also need to worry about things such as sharp corners and the edges of things like drawers. For corners, you can buy soft plastic corner guards that will protect your baby from most injuries. However, it’s a good idea to try and declutter the house as much as possible and constantly be on the lookout for objects that could fall off shelves or tip over onto your child.
- Creating a Baby Room
If you’re worried about the dangers around your home and want a quiet location to keep your baby’s cot, then look no further than converting one of your bedrooms (your child’s future bedroom) into a baby room or a nursery. It is much easier for you to keep track of your baby if they are confined to a single room, though it’s not a good idea to have them locked up in the same place like a prisoner. However, it is far easier to clean up and babyproof a single room at a time as opposed to your entire home.
The baby’s room should have plenty of colourful decorations, a cot, a changing table and other essentials. You might also want to install a baby camera in the room so you can monitor how your child is doing when they are sleeping or playing inside the room. There are some other great additions you can add to the room as well, for instance, you can have a rocking chair for when you need to calm your baby. The relaxing rocking motion is soothing for babies and will make them fall asleep very quickly. It’s important that you try and keep clutter to a minimum in your nursery so that there aren’t many things to trip over or bump into for your child.
- Baby Proofing the Kitchen
The kitchen is perhaps the most dangerous room of all when it comes to babies and toddlers. There are many sharp objects, dangerous fluids and plastic bags that your baby or toddler could suffocate on. It’s a good idea to install a gate on your kitchen door and lock it to prevent your baby from crawling inside or your toddler from wandering in. Try to keep your kitchen off-limits and until your child is old enough to understand the dangers inside, don’t let them in. Keep your dining table in a separate room if possible and keep the gate shut at all times.
If getting a safety gate isn’t practical, then you have to do some serious cleaning around the kitchen. You’ll need to declutter the kitchen as much as possible and store as much as you can inside of cupboards. Do not leave any wires for appliances dangling in plain sight because your child can pull on these and drag down appliances or fiddle with the electrical wires. Tidy up after your mess as soon as possible and don’t leave any of your pots and pans unattended while you answer phone calls or something similar. Always keep an eye on active cooking and make sure you know where your child is at all times.