Wednesday 13 November 2019

Top tips for baby proofing your home

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When you first bring your baby home everything seems dangerous! That first drive home, you suddenly realise just what kind of driver your partner is and it suddenly feels like you are strapped into a rollercoaster rather than the back seat of the family hatchback. As a parent of course we want to do everything we can do keep our children safe and that starts at home and making our home environment as safe as possible for our new bundles of joy, especially when they start crawling, investigating and walking! 

First of all though, don’t worry too much about putting all of this in place right now – you’ll soon find you’re baby proofing the home relentlessly as the months fly by without even really realising. And the second thing, don’t worry too much about worrying about baby proofing your home – you’re going to be relentlessly worried for years to come regardless, and kids always find a way to get up to no good regardless of your best efforts sometimes! So, with that fabulous news out of the way, here are some simple, effective ways to baby proof your home. 

Apply the baby-gate philosophy everywhere 

It would be dangerously easy to tell you to install baby gates all over the place, so instead – consider what that baby gate actually is. This simple, effective method of stopping baby getting from a safer place to a potentially more hazardous one is the essence of baby-proofing any home. 

So, within even the ‘safer’ room, what could the little lady or chap crawl or stumble into that’s not safe? Think about tall or heavy items of furniture – are they secured to walls or fixed in place on the floor? Crawling babies love to pull themselves up with whatever’s nearest, whether it’s a bookcase, shelving unit, or table. 

On tables, and other items of furniture that may traditionally have sharper edges, soft plastic corner protectors can simply turn dangerous and pointy objects into less hazardous, baby-safe features too. Then, in terms of what’s left on the table, mantelpiece, or bookcase, tuck any glass, porcelain, or heavy ornaments, like book ends, away for a year or two. But remember – you may be prone to forgetting these items ever existed, and find them in your loft decades later, baby brain isn't just for those newborn days! 

Big dangers for little fingers 

Something you don’t need to worry about – but you will – is baby getting an electric shock by investigating a plug socket with a curious finger. British plug sockets are designed not to shock people who manage to get their fingers inside, however if you are concerned about your sockets you could always ask an electrician to come out to your home and check your sockets or safe. Or you could even consider having any sockets you are worried about moved to a different place in the home or higher up on the walls so that they are out of reach. 

Along with plug sockets, bin liners, pens, pot pourri, cutlery, and anything resembling a rope (a lampshade chord, for instance), they are risks that can easily be avoided with simple changes and rearrangements. This also goes for smaller toy parts, loose change, batteries, and even shoelaces – anything the feels interesting an unusual to an inexperienced hand can become a hazard and is best to be removed temporarily until the child is older to avoid temptation. 

So, it goes without saying that little fingers should be kept completely out of the rooms that are much harder to completely baby proof when unsupervised. With the kitchen traditionally being the most hazard-packed area for a baby (or adult, to be fair), the rise of home-working also means that home offices should be complete no-go-zones until baby understands that Ethernet cables aren’t for eating. 

Finally, one problem that owners of older properties may be more likely to encounter, is that of room design itself. It’s not uncommon for people to refurbish areas of the home now, in preparation for starting a family, or add a purpose-built nursery to a home extension. If your home does need a little work before baby arrives, choose a reliable, multi-skilled building contractor, like Durham roofing and building specialists, Findley, who will ensure an ultra-safe new environment in which baby can safely thrive and your family can grow in creating plenty of precious family memories for years to come. 

Do you have any top tips for keeping your home safe for baby? 


**This is a collaborative post in which I received a fee.**

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