Having kids is a milestone that so many of us look forward to and celebrate with gusto. But if you ask most parents, they will tell you that even though it is probably the highlight of their lives, raising those kids is also one of the most challenging jobs in this life. Because feeding them and keeping them safe are just the beginning; the actual list of the ways we have to care for our children is endless. We can’t help with the whole list, but we can help with childproofing your home for your baby.
Not long after a new mother gets over the anxiety of having a newborn at home, as well as the nightlong crying and sleepless nights, the baby starts crawling. This then leads to walking, and just like that, this tiny human being will have everyone in the house running after them in a frenzy. They will try to catch a tumbling baby’s head from hitting the floor or flying across the room to save tiny fingers from being stuck inside the power socket. Left unprepared, the “mobile” phase will leave you feeling like your house has suddenly turned into a war zone, where your sleek, edgy furniture and gorgeous wood floors are ticking bombs.
Here are some smart ways to childproof your home in preparation for your little bundle of joy’s newfound mobility:
Keep the House Clean
This might not be the first thing that comes to mind when considering how to childproof your home, but it should. For smaller children who are still in the mouthing phase, they tend to grab everything in sight and put it directly into their mouths. It is the way they explore new things and feed their curiosity. As such, you will have to be extra vigilant with cleaning, especially during this period. Contact your local cleaning service providers and find out more about the weekly packages they can offer to make sure that, when your baby starts crawling, all surfaces are clean and clear of any clutter. Pay special attention to fluffy rugs. Although very comfy for your baby to crawl and walk on, they can hide tons of random edible items. Same for the floor under your furniture. Even if you can’t access it, a small child likely can.
Cover Sharp Edges
Once you become a parent, you often develop a sort of sixth sense about the possible dangers in your home. Suddenly, that fancy coffee table seems like a terrible idea. Covering all sharp edges with corner bumpers and table edge guards will help alleviate the inevitable parent-guilt you will likely develop. You can find tons of options online and at local store. Just be sure to walk around your home and make note of how many you need. Then, if you’re up to it, invite friends or loved ones over to help you install them. Call it a baby-proofing party! Who said parents don’t get to have fun?
Cover Power Sockets
You really can’t blame children for poking around power sockets; they just look so interesting! But as a responsible parent, the smart thing to do is to cover all sockets that are within your children’s reach with individual outlet covers or safe-plate sliding covers that are even safer and look better.
Choose Shock-Absorbing Flooring
Furnish your children’s rooms and playroom (if available) with shock-absorbing flooring, like carpet or — if you’re feeling fancy — a sustainable option like cork. It is true that wood floors and marble ones are classier; however, they do not get along well with little ones. For a practical solution if you already have hard floors throughout, use area rugs or interlocking foam tiles. In order to not completely sacrifice your home’s aesthetic post-baby, instead of the ABC primary-colored ones, go for the more elegant monotone colors that serve the same purpose but look better.
Use Baby Gates
There are some areas you should completely keep your children away from at all times. Like the kitchen, for example, unless accompanied by grownups. Small children and babies have no business being in the kitchen alone. There are too many things that are dangerous: a pot of hot water, a stove that’s turned on, and just lots of accidents waiting to happen. Put your mind at ease and block access to any rooms where kids would not be safe, and don’t forget the top and bottom of any staircases if you live in a multi-floor house.
Get Rid of Window Cords
You definitely don’t want your kids playing with loose ropes hanging around curtains or blinds. Children like to role-play, and don’t understand the inherent danger. The last thing you want is a hanging rope or string giving them some Tarzan-inspired ideas. Remove any cords or ropes used to hold back your curtains, and opt for cordless blinds. If you already have corded blinds, use blind cord wraps to get them out of kids’ reach.
Having babies is usually a joyous experience, and protecting them and keeping them safe is going to be a lifelong mission. By baby-proofing your house, you’ll have the peace of mind that you’ve created a harm-free environment for your child.