The months of staring at your little bundle of joy tucked safely in their moses basket or immobile on a play gym are precious, yet very fleeting. Before you know it, their inquisitive little fingers are clambering onto pieces of furniture and wobbly legs are manoeuvring precariously from room to room. In their eyes, the stairs are their next great adventure and the kitchen their own personal playground; but unfortunately for us, our entire house becomes quite simply, a myriad of hazards.
While crushing their curiosity isn’t something we want to do, keeping them safe most certainly is, which is why working out how to babyproof your home becomes the number one priority. Take a look at the main 8 steps identified below and work through them until your home is a hazard-free zone.
- 1. Invest In Stair Gates
- 2. Secure Your Doors
- 3. Cover Power Sockets
- 4. Soften Sharp Edges
- 5. Have A Re-shuffle
- 6. Childproof Windows
- 7. Install Smoke Detectors
- 8. Latch Close Cupboards
How To Babyproof Your home
Babyproofing a home can be a full-on strategic mission, probably never considered in your previous child-free life, but suddenly an urgent task. At around the 6-month mark, your once static little baby will begin to move around and change the parenting goalposts considerably. Fortunately, as long as you cover all of the major bases with the following steps, your home will quickly become a safe place for your little one.
1. Invest In Stair Gates
This is possibly the first thing that springs to mind when thinking about creating a safe house for any child. From the foot of the stairs to doorways of room’s you’d rather keep out of bounds, stair gates are super versatile and great at keeping those little crawlers away from areas they shouldn’t be in. There are a huge amount of designs on the market depending on the width of the area the stair gate is needed for, so it’s a good idea to shop around and find the right one for you. With different colours and materials to choose from, you should be able to find one that fits in with the decor of your home too, which is always a bonus.
Which? have a great guide on how to buy the best stairgate if you’re not sure where to start, with safety scores on each product. SafeTots have an extensive range of stair gates in a huge amount of designs and colours to choose from. For something a little different, however, take a look at this one from Fontanot, which not only features a fun, geometric design but can be adjusted to fit all sizes and types of staircases.
2. Secure Your Doors
Tiny fingers getting caught in doors is enough to make anyone’s heart stop momentarily, so it’s important to reduce the risk of this happening wherever possible. Protecting little ones from doors slamming or trapping them is relatively easy with the help of a slamming prevention device. These come in all shapes and sizes; from door guards to slam stoppers and are all available through BabySecurity for you to take your pick.
The risk of little hands becoming caught in the hinged areas of doors is also a fear, as this can result in severe injuries. A good way to avoid this is to invest in a door finger guard, which can be secured to the door in order to eradicate this potential danger zone. Door Tech have designed a door finger guard that is regularly used in schools and nurseries, so is one you can undoubtedly trust to do a good job.
3. Cover Power Sockets
This step is fairly easy to carry out throughout the home and is vitally important to prevent any electric shocks. Nowadays, socket covers are available in a huge variety of designs and can even double up as nightlights, like these from Osram. If you’re looking for something a little more simple, however, these budget socket covers from SafeTots do the job perfectly and are extremely cost-effective.
4. Soften Sharp Edges
Again, a relatively simple fix, but very important to avoid nasty bumps and scratches. There’s bound to be a toddler height table with an especially sharp edge somewhere around your home, and while it may not look particularly pretty to alter it, corner protectors are a necessity where baby-proofing is concerned. There are so many different kinds available, you should be able to find something that fits in well with the rest of the room while remaining inconspicuous. Essentra Component have a range of products available from corner protectors to edging strips, whereas many sellers on Amazon have a great selection of clear protectors if you’re wanting something that blends in a little.
5. Have A Re-shuffle
Having a baby turns your world upside down and when child-proofing your home, the same applies to the contents of your house. It’s definitely a good idea to take a look around and move things around if they pose a risk to your little one. Things to think about include:
- Rugs – If you have any rugs around the house, it may be a good time to secure them with an anti-slip pad such as this simple tape from Safety Buyer. This way, little legs won’t give way if a rug should slip on a wooden floor for example.
- Plants – While plants can finish off a room nicely, they won’t look as great if tipped over the floor. Pop plants onto a shelf higher up, or ontop of furniture to keep them away from inquisitive hands.
- Lamps – Similar to plants, small lamps should be placed higher up so their cords aren’t at the perfect height to be played with by your crawling baby. As well as this, lightbulbs can cause nasty burns once they have been on for a while, so need to be kept away from little ones. Taller lamps should be placed behind furniture so they aren’t able to be pulled over.
- Furniture – While you’re in the process of re-shuffling things around a little, make sure that any large pieces of furniture against the wall are secured sufficiently. Large units, for example, can look like an amazing opportunity to climb to a toddler but could be catastrophic should they fall away from the wall. IKEA have a handy guide on how to do this and the products you’ll need.
6. Childproof Your Windows
Windows can cause a considerable amount of anxiety for parents and caregivers, particularly during hotter periods when they may need to be open. Luckily, there are a few simple ways in which they can be made safe at a relatively low cost, in order to keep children of every age safe from any danger.
While most new houses are already equipped with window locks, many homes won’t have this facility, so it’s well worth checking. These can prove to be invaluable, particularly installed on windows on upper floors. Home Secure the security specialists, have a range of window locks designed specifically to keep children safe. If however, you’d prefer to install new windows or double glazing in Milton Keynes or any of the surrounding areas, with locks and latches included, we would be happy to help in your baby-proofing efforts!
In addition to this, it’s a good idea to check every curtain or blind for any loose cords or tassels. These can either simply be tied up high so they can’t be reached or held with a cord shortener such as this one from Uber Kids.
7. Install Smoke Detectors
Many people don’t feel the need to equip their homes with smoke detectors, but once you have children, they are an absolute must-have. With the advance in SMART technology, there’s no end to the amazing gadgets you can get for your home and smoke alarms are no exception. Screwfix have a great range, including alarms that also detect carbon monoxide.
Safelincs have a useful article on fire alarms that are suitable for children, along with information on fire prevention and the many smoke alarms that they have in stock.
8. Latch Close Cupboards
It’s a good idea to make sure that any drawers and cupboards that are able to be reached by children are kept safe and secure. The kitchen, for example, contains various chemicals and items that could prove to be very harmful should any child get their hands on them. Locks Online have many different designs to choose from, helping you find something to fit your needs.
Aside from the kitchen, these are great applied to things like bedside tables, living room cabinets and hallway units. You’d be surprised at the number of areas that are easily accessed should they not be secured with a latch of some kind.
Keep Your Little Ones Safe
These 8 easy steps should definitely help in creating a baby-proof space for your child, as well as any little ones that may come to visit. While it may seem like a big task, once it’s all done, you’ll have peace of mind that you’ve done everything to prevent those common household accidents. We hope you’ve found this helpful; if so, why not share the article on social media using the links below. Your fellow parents and caregivers will definitely thank you for it!