10 tips for baby proofing
Ah the blessing of babies - no one can ever be prepared for them, no matter how hard they try, but we can certainly try and help! We thought we would kick off our Safety 1st blogs with a bunch of tips on baby proofing your house (and life!).
You’ve heard about baby proofing before - right? Your baby shower will most likely be full of well meaning Aunties with their interesting, albeit probably outdated, advice and your mothers group will have the full range of different mums and their views.
Some won’t believe in going overboard, some wait until the kids are on the move and baby proof as it becomes needed, and some start taping down anything that moved when they saw the two pink lines.
We’ve come up with a few tips that should cover all bases - keeping the kids safe, while not turning your house into a bubble wrap ball!
- An age old trick is to get down and lay on the ground and look around the room. Can you see anything at eye level now that might appeal to a baby on the move? Cords, power sockets, plants, sharp edges? Pets? Here is a good start on things to start ‘proofing’. (Although we don’t recommend getting rid of O’Malley the alley cat just for the impending arrival!).
- Electricity sockets are baby magnets - there’s something about the switches that make babies and toddlers want to flick them on and off! And don’t think your little one doesn’t see you plugging things in - they’ll soon learn to mimic that, so the best thing here is the plastic power outlet plug protectors. Easy enough for you to remove to do the vacuuming but secure enough that prying hands can’t take them out, or even worse stick something in.
- Cupboard locks - whether or not you want to go overboard with baby proofing, these things are absolutely magic and definitely needed! Essentially a clip that goes around the corner of a draw or cupboard, not allowing it to be opened without unclipping. You can also get ones that go over handles, if you don't have a corner cupboard. You can also avoid having to stock up on these (especially while bubs is small), by rearranging your draws and having soft things like tea towels in the lower cupboards and scissors and knives completely out of reach. Or you could use all of your clips proofing cupboards that contained linen, and run out just as you get to the hazardous draws. Choose wisely!
- Once your babies are growing and walking around, ovens become a real hazard. It’s so easy to turn the knobs around and quickly have gas escaping, and also to open the door. Pick yourself up some of the baby cupboard locks for the door, and safety locks/latches for the knobs to save yourself wondering where the gas smell is coming from!
- When toddlers start running, their sense of direction and spacial awareness becomes second to showing how fast they can run across the lounge room whilst chasing the cat. Table corners can quickly become a trip to the GP for stitches, and you’ll probably lose count of how many bruises eventuated from a misplaced climb on the coffee table. You needn’t stock up on bulky, offensive looking foam corners - these days everything is slimmed down and ‘adult friendly’ - pick up your clear corner cushions here.
- If you have stairs inside the house, now is probably the time to invest in a child safety gate. As soon as your baby can so much as sit and pull themselves up, the stairs become a fun and exciting challenge! They can also be really helpful to shift around to contain areas of the house, as they are really easy to move around.
- From generally 6 months onwards, babies neck strength and ability to sit starts to improve dramatically. Bath time, while a favourite with most kids, suddenly isn't as fun when they are laying down in your arms or on one of the baby inserts. To help them sit unassisted, bath mats are the best thing to put in to allow them some grip. Of course, never leave babies unattended in the bath for any reason ever - babies can drown in inches of water and it only takes one second for them to slip over. Colourful bath mats for babies are also a fun way to remind yourself that you’re a parent, when you take a glass of wine in for a solo bath - oh wait, don’t be silly, there is no such things as solo baths as a parent!
- Try and keep the kitchen a baby free zone, especially at dinner/cooking times. All it takes is one crawling baby under foot, or a toddler to knock your legs while you have a hot pan and you can have some serious burns. Keep all saucepan handles facing inwards so that they cannot reach, don't carry them while trying to cook at the same time and if possible, sit them in a highchair in view but on the opposite side of the room with something to occupy them.
- Start researching whether there is a baby first aid course you can take in your area. These classes are absolutely invaluable and will teach you things from preventing and dealing with choking, CPR on infants and children, burns treatments, how to administer pain relief (and how often) and much more. You can also generally purchase quality purpose chosen first aid kits for babies, which are ideal to have around the house.
- If all else fails, Bunnings sells bubble wrap on the cheap - we recommend a good double layer around chairs, tables, doors and of course your baby. This will not only restrict movement and accidents but can be quite the conversation starter when you’re out in public! And we all know that mums are always on the look out for like minded friends, right?