Baby Proofing Your Home: Protect Your Baby and Your Home at the Same Time
Baby proofing your home is hardly a one-time event. As your child grows, so do potential hazards they’ll face and opportunities for your child to dirty and destroy your home that you just spent what felt like hours making spotless. Because let’s face it – although small, children have the unique ability to get into everything and create disorder. Protecting your child as well as your home means preventing accidents and staying ahead of their little curiosities.
It doesn’t matter what style of home you live in, perhaps you live in a single-story condo in Miami, FL or a three-story home in Atlanta, GA, baby proofing your space is vital to your child’s safety while keeping your home clean and protected from damage. What will your child be able to get into once they start crawling, walking, or even climbing? It’s hard to tell, but taking the necessary steps to keep your home clean, and baby proofing to minimize any potential damage they could cause to themselves or your home can give you peace of mind.
Baby Proofing Your Home at Every Stage
Your baby may not begin crawling for many months, but baby proofing your home and setting up a stylish yet safe nursery beforehand is a smart way to create a safe environment for your child while reducing the chances of damage to your home in the near future. Consider taking the following safety measures while baby proofing your home:
Optimizing your home for an infant
- Keep baby monitors and cords three feet away from the crib.
- Keep the crib free of pillows, blankets, and stuffed animals.
- Make sure changing and bath areas are secure to prevent slips, rolls, and tumbles.
- As your baby proofing, secure all cords, including those on blinds and window coverings. Remember, any cord can be a hazard. Consider installing safety tassels or cord stops to tuck away the cords.
- Place the crib away from any windows, heaters, lamps, wall decorations, and cords.
Preparing your home for a crawling baby
- Cover electrical outlets with electrical plugs and remove nightlights, air fresheners, and other plugins that are easy to pull out.
- Secure or hide electrical cords. They’ll be sure to pull down anything they’re attached to making a lamp, stereo, or TV come crashing down on them and the floor.
- Close the toilet lid or place a latch on top.
- Add padding to tables with sharp corners or edges and Install finger-pinch guards for hinges on doors.
- When you’re baby proofing, install latches on doors, especially to stairs, cabinets, and appliances.
- Place cleaning products and other toxic chemicals in a safe, dry place with a latch or lock.
- Always keep the floor and low tables clear of small debris and other choking hazards.
- Empty bathtubs and buckets of water immediately after use.
- Use baby gates to keep your child safe from stairs or rooms that haven’t been childproofed.
- Anchor your television and unstable furniture, such as bookcases, dressers, and loose tables.
Protecting your home from a toddler while keeping them safe
- Keep all windows latched and add stoppers so they can’t be raised if they are accidentally unlatched. Kids not only can easily make holes in screens using their fingers and toys, but can also fall out of windows if they lean on the screens.
- Keep medicines in childproof containers in high cabinets that latch or lock.
- Keep hot foods and liquids in the center of tables or at the back of counters.
- Make sure knobs on your stove and oven are securely covered or removed so your toddler doesn’t turn them on and possibly cause a fire
- Make sure doors lock from the outside so your toddler can’t accidentally lock themself in a room.
- Secure doors that provide access to off-limit areas, like garages or workshops.
Keeping your home clean and orderly at every stage
As you know, baby’s require a lot of attention and energy. As infants, it can feel like a never-ending cycle of feeding, burping, wiping, bathing, holding and cuddling, and finally, putting them to bed. So it may feel next to impossible to find the time and muster up the courage to face your household chores. Luckily, before your children can walk, you don’t need to worry about a mess scattered throughout the home.
When your baby begins to crawl, they’re on the move and they will start getting into anything and everything within reach. However, keeping your house clean with a toddler is probably the biggest challenge. No matter what stage your child is at, the minute you’re finished cleaning one mess, another one is waiting for you. Whether it’s toys scattered around the room, food smeared on your furniture, or tiny handprints left on your sliding glass door, there is always something to clean up. Here are some ways to stay ahead of the mess at every stage:
Keeping your home clean with an infant
- Do laundry regularly. Laundry can become a time-consuming task if the clothes begin piling up.
- Declutter and organize. Always have a designated spot for everything such as toys, baby clothes, medications, and bibs.
- Keep diapers, cleaning cloths and wipes, and cleaning supplies stored in various areas throughout the home in case of an accident.
- Clean your home before going to bed. Let’s face it, you’ll get better sleep knowing it’s been done.
- Apply a fabric and upholstery protective spray to your furniture to prevent any stains from accidents or spills.
- Lay down blankets to protect your carpet or area rug during tummy time or when changing their diaper.
- Consider purchasing a handheld shampooer for your rug or carpet to keep your carpet clean and reach deeper dirt, food, or stains.
- Place baby wipes and supplies out of reach of the baby, but keep them handy for any accidents.
Managing the mess with a crawling child
- Keep markers, pens, or crayons out of your child’s reach to avoid any upholstery or walls from getting drawn on.
- Use safe-spill drinking cups to avoid spills and stains.
- Pack away any valuables and breakables, and any furniture or decor that could be damaged.
- Store dry goods, heavy kitchen supplies, oils and spices, and sharp objects in an upper cabinet or a locked cabinet.
- Find a safe place for everything so it’s easy to return your house back to normal after your baby goes to sleep.
- Purchase a basket or bin to hold your child’s toys. Having a set place for their toys can help to keep your house less cluttered.
Tidying up your home with a toddler
- Create designated play areas in your home.
- Establish a cleaning routine and have your toddler help out so they’re invested in the cleaning process too.
- Consider placing rugs down to save your floors from scratches or dents.
- Vacuum regularly to pick up any dirt or spilled food.
- Give away or store any clothes, toys, or supplies that your toddler has outgrown.
This article was written by Julia Weaver from Redfin on June 2, 2020, updated on August 13, 2020, and reposted with permission.