Babyproof It!

The first thought in new parents’ minds when getting ready for a new baby are the crib, the car seat, diapers and all the baby accoutrements that go with toting a baby boy or girl around town.

However, it is important to baby and child proof your home so your little one doesn’t come to any harm.

Obvious ones include socket covers, cabinet catches and gates for stairs. But it’s important to check other areas; make sure the crib you buy has bars close enough together that baby cannot poke his or her little head through them, make sure they are high enough that when your baby starts to pull himself up, he can’t climb out. Check that the crib is put together securely, with no screws sticking out, no plastic bags or loose pieces left behind. Ensure lamps are not too close to the crib or to curtains. Make sure the mattress fits well with no gaps between it and the crib. The room temperature should not be set too high or too low, between 60 and 68 degrees is recommended.

Set your water heater to 120 degrees so the water cannot get too hot and use non slip mats on the floor and in the bath. Consider using a toilet lock for the seat when baby gets a bit more mobile. In the kitchen, use cabinet and drawer locks and make sure all cleaning supplies are well out of a curious baby’s reach. Tablecloths are best avoided as your baby starts to get around because a baby will often try to use the dangling tablecloth to pull herself up.

Window locks for baby-height windows are recommended, and a gate across the fireplace, if you have one, is a good idea. If you live in an older house, radiator guards will be necessary in the winter. Shorten hanging drape or blind cords, again, the dangly lines are very tempting for a baby and can wrap around children’s necks.

If you have pets, be sure to keep all litter boxes, food and water bowls away from baby’s access. Kids will put everything in their mouths, and dog food is no exception. And while it may not harm your baby, it probably isn’t the best idea, and the dog will certainly mind!

And finally, make sure your smoke alarms are all functioning and that you have a working fire extinguisher in the house.

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