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What You Should Always Baby-Proof at Home

Wednesday, August 25, 2021   /   by Earl Gaddi

What You Should Always Baby-Proof at Home

Bringing a baby home is a magical moment and, once that baby is placed in your arms, there’s an undeniable urge to keep them as safe as possible—especially in your own home. So how do you keep your baby happy, safe, and away from mischief? Baby-proofing!
The best time to baby-proof a home is before your newborn has arrived—trust us, there will be very little time to dedicate to the task once they’ve arrived! If you’re moving into a new house with baby in tow, have a plan mapped out for what things you’ll need to baby-proof once you take possession.
Cutting the clutter and eliminating hazards around the home is not only important for the safety of your baby, but for you as well. There may be many sleepless nights during the first few months, so make it easy on yourself to navigate your home safely during the wee hours of the night or on little sleep. Slippery floors, unstable furniture, or inconveniently placed home accessories can quickly turn into an unsafe situation when holding a baby.
If you’re getting ready to welcome a new bundle of joy into your life, here are a few items you should always baby-proof to ensure your home is safe for newborns, toddlers, and parents.

Cords
There’s no lack of cords in the everyday home. From blinds to electrical, cords are an easy and important thing to baby-proof. Remove, cut or mount any long cords from blinds, drapes, or shades so they’re not within reach. Use cord holders to manage the cables in your media centre or computer cords in your home office. Consider taping down any extension cords or tuck them under furniture so they aren’t easily accessible. And don’t forget the cord on your baby monitor! Make sure it doesn’t hang over or behind their crib.
Paint
If the nursery needs a fresh coat of paint or wall treatment be sure to finish the project at least eight weeks before the baby is due. This will help reduce their exposure to volatile organic compounds (VOC) and other fumes. If your home was built before 1976 it’s best to have a professional come look at any paint that’s flaking or peeling as it could contain lead, which is harmful if ingested.

Heavy furniture and décor accessories
A functional piece of furniture to adults looks like a fun climbing challenge to toddlers! Bookcases, cabinets, dressers, media units, and other top-heavy furniture should be secured to the wall to prevent tipping. TVs should also be tethered or mounted to the wall away from reach. If your nursery features a gallery wall above the crib, ensure the frames are mounted securely to the wall. In addition to the standard picture hanging hardware, 3M command strips can be used to ensure those frames aren’t going anywhere! Remove and store any décor accessories that might be unsafe, such as glass candle holders, vases with beads, tabletop picture frames, or sharp objects.   
Plants
There are so many benefits to keeping plants in your home, but once your baby starts crawling around the house, be sure you know what types you’re growing. Peace Lily, Philodendron, Pothos, Oleander, Ivy, and Arrowhead are all toxic if ingested, so if you have these plants either give them away or place them out of reach.

Pet food and toys
No, you can’t baby-proof a cat or dog, but you can be conscious and aware of how your baby or toddler interacts with them! Even the friendliest dogs can become possessive of their food and toys when an unpredictable guest is in the vicinity. Move your pet’s food and toys into another room or corner, away from grabby hands and curious mouths. Never allow your pet to sleep with your baby as they can smother them unknowingly. Lastly, no matter how comfortable your pet seems around children, never leave them alone with a baby or toddler. It takes mere seconds for a cat to scratch or a dog to nip delicate skin. 
Pool
Pools are great for families, offering hours of fun and exercise, but if you don’t take pool safety seriously, tragic accidents can happen. If you have a pool, install a self-locking fence at least four feet tall. You’ll also need to consult your local bylaws to see what safety protocols are mandatory for your area. Hard pool covers or nets can also prevent a baby or toddler from accidentally falling in. Alarm systems on doors or pool gates can alert you if your child (or an intruder) has entered your pool. Keep the pool clear of floaties, toys, and other objects that can be a temptation for children to reach in and try to grab. Lastly, if you own a pool, take a CPR course. It’s something you hope you will never need, but it could save a life if you do.

Doors and drawers
Imagine the joy and excitement you would feel every time you opened a door or drawer and found something new inside! For your baby or toddler, exploring those doors and drawers is endless fun, but if you don’t want pots and pans or the contents of your freezer scattered around the kitchen, it might be best to invest in a variety of locks! And don’t stop at the kitchen—lock-up cabinets in the bathroom, mudroom, dining room, and bedrooms.  
Stairs
We know, baby gates can be a bit of an eyesore, but they do prevent your little one from taking a big tumble. Install baby gates at the top and bottom of stairs, or in front of any room you don’t want your baby exploring. There will also come a time when your child will start climbing the stairs on their own. If you have wooden treads that can become slippery, try installing a carpet runner, making it easy for them to gain traction.

Without a doubt, kids will find a way to grab, pull, poke, stand on, and touch anything in their little paths. If you’ve baby-proofed your home but are still unsure of what hazards could lie ahead, get down on your hands and knees and crawl around. Seeing the world from your baby’s point of view might help you identify hidden dangers and address them before accidents happen. 
Enjoy your newly baby-proofed home!

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