Getting ready for a new addition to your family is a very exciting and anxious time! When the baby first arrives, he/she will obviously not be crawling around or walking (unless you are adopting an older baby), however, you will want to take care of some details to ensure the beginning of your baby’s life is a safe and relatively uneventful one! Here are a few ideas to get you started:
Electrical outlets. Young kids seem to have a fascination with keys and electrical outlets. Thankfully, someone invented an outlet cover for the outlets that is nearly impossible for kids (and in some cases, even adults) to remove. You can purchase outlet covers inexpensively at Wal-Mart, Target, or any other mass merchandiser that sells baby items.
Vertical blind cords. Toddlers are also fascinated by vertical blind cords. Again, another genius invented a cap within which you can roll up the cord, safely storing away until it needs to be used. Your baby will not be able to yank on the cords or wrap them around their neck when using this device. Found at stores that sell baby items, this is a necessity as your baby gets a little older.
CD’s/DVD’s. Make sure your CD’s/DVD’s are put away-locked away! Little ones are really excited about what might be inside…or not. They will often just use them as little discs to throw around and see if they can break them.
Pictures/Books/Albums. Again, little ones love to dig into anything that looks like a book, regardless of whether it is priceless or not (they have no way of knowing). Store your pictures on higher ground, and put your books and albums in places that little ones cannot get to. This will help preserve your books and pictures, and will keep the curious one out of trouble!
Plants. Plants don’t taste very good, but they do have lots of dirt to play in! As your baby begins to crawl around, if you have “floor” plants, you may want to move them to higher places so they are safe from baby’s hands. Otherwise, you may find your 6 month old surrounded by a pile of dirt, along with a little in his/her mouth!
Knick-Knacks. Anything of value that you don’t want to see flung against the wall or along your hardwood floors, you will want to keep out of reach or locked away from your little one. This will not only protect your things, but will also protect the baby from choking on items that find their way into the mouth!
Brooms/Mops. Toddlers especially like to play with anything they can get their hands on. Brooms and mops are one example, and can be very dangerous if your child decides to play with them and then fall on the floor. Keep brooms and mops up and away from your little child.
Door Handles. Yet another great invention is the door handle safety cover. It keeps toddlers (and sometimes adults!) from opening doors that they should not open. The cover is plastic and must be squeezed together to open the door, thus making it difficult for your child to open doors they shouldn’t.
Kitchen cabinets. You can install “locks” inside your cabinet doors to keep little hands out of places they should not go. This is especially important for the cabinet under your kitchen sink, where most people keep cleaning supplies. Installing these in advance of baby’s arrival will ensure they are in place and you have had practice using them before the baby gets big enough to try and open the cabinets.
Fireplace. To a baby, a fireplace can look like a hiding place. To prevent baby from investigating ashes and old wood, keep the doors to your fireplace shut and locked. You can buy inexpensive plastic locks from your local mass merchandiser designed to keep your toddler out of trouble in the fireplace.
There are literally hundreds of different ways to baby proof your home. If you get down on all fours and crawl around, you will see life from your child’s perspective. This might be your best defense in keeping your baby out of harm’s way (and out of trouble) while preserving some of the items in your home you cherish. Good luck!