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Essential Home Safety Tips for Baby

 

As your baby grows, you will soon find that you spend the majority of your day preventing him from injuring himself. Most parents are savvy enough to get the basics of baby and child proofing, but here we will provide you with a detailed list of tips to increase safety in the home.

Home Safety: Kitchen Nightmares

Of all rooms in the house, the kitchen is perhaps the most dangerous one for babies and young children. Here are the best ways to keep it safe:

  • Always opt for the back burners of the stove, when possible.
  • Always make sure all handles are turned inwards. <
  • Make sure coffee makers, toasters, and other appliances are kept away from the counter's edge.
  • Tablecloths and runners can be pulled down and bring heavy objects crashing onto your child. Consider skipping them for a few years.
  • Never walk or step around your child with hot food or liquid.
  • Install locks and latches on all cabinet doors, drawers, and appliances that you don't want your baby to access.
  • Pay particular attention to where you store your cleaning chemicals and solutions. In addition to fitting a child proof lock on that cupboard, think about moving everything to a cupboard high up in the kitchen.

Home Safety: The Bathroom

  • As with the kitchen, keep cleaning products locked away at all times. If your bathroom offers storage high up, take advantage of it.
  • Most of us store medicines in our bathroom, and these can be deadly to babies and children. Again, store them as high as possible, and always keep them locked up.
  • Lower the temperature of your hot water heater.
  • Install a toilet lock. Babies who are just learning to walk are unsteady and very top heavy. They can easily topple in and drown. Attaching a toilet lock also stops your child from playing with the water.

  • Absolutely never leave your baby alone in a tub of water, not even for a second. The phone can wait, and no one ringing your doorbell is as important as your baby. Even with anti-slip mats, a baby or young child can slip and drown in a matter of seconds, and in just a few inches of water.

Baby Safety in the Rest of the House

  • Have a gate at both the top and bottom of all sets of stairs
  • Cover all unused sockets.
  • If there is any non safety glass in your home, cover it with protective film.
  • Remove or reroute any cables to prevent strangulation
  • Install locks on all windows.
  • Attach non-slip padding to any rugs that move.
  • As with the kitchen, attach locks on all cupboards and doors that you don't want your child to access.
  • All fireplaces should be fitted with a fireguard, but even fireguards can get hot and cause minor burns. Never leave a mobile child unsupervised with a lit fire.
  • You should also install smoke detectors in every room other than the kitchen. Service them regularly.
  • Carbon monoxide is a silent killer. A detector is easy and cheap to install, and could save your family.
  • Have a fire extinguisher on hand for emergencies.
  • It's wise to have a well-stocked first-aid kit in the home.
  • Don't forget to ensure baby safety any other house your baby or child spends a lot of time at, such as at grandparents' homes.

The world can be a dangerous place for a baby on the move. Before your little one takes off crawling, you'll want to do some serious babyproofing to make your house a safe place for your curious new explorer. Get started by tackling these 10 baby hazards. Then get down on your hands and knees to see the world from your baby's eye view, and make sure you haven't missed anything. And finally, prepare yourself: Expect to spend the next couple of years watching that little crawler-walker-runner's every move!

1. Plug Electrical Outlets

plugging an electrical outlet

No little one can resist sticking her fingers in those tiny, dangerous holes in the wall. Plug up the temptation with plastic outlet covers—the ones that require two hands to pry off. Or go even safer by replacing your current electrical plates with ones that have spring-loaded outlet covers. Arrange furniture in front of outlets to further diminish the temptation.

2. Babyproof You

a dad playing with his baby

You'll probably need to change your habits once your baby can grab and move—everything within reach is game for her, so it's your job to keep things out of the way.

Water glasses, dinner plates, and silverware need to be set far back on the table, so your little one can't pull on them from your lap. Keep your cell phone out of reach too or your babe might send it flying. Swap out your dangly earrings for studs and skip the necklaces entirely for awhile. If you wear glasses, you might want to switch to contacts until your baby has outgrown this grabby phase.

3. Barricade the Stairs

a baby leaning on a baby gate

If your little one can crawl to the stairs, she can tumble down them as well. Install baby gates at the top of staircases at the minimum. A gate at the bottom is helpful to prevent adventurous climbers from starting to scale the stairs and tumbling backward down them. Baby gates can be useful for blocking off-limits rooms or areas as well.

4. Remove Plants and Planters

a group of indoor planters

Some house plants are poisonous when eaten, so you'll want to move those tasty-looking-to-a-baby treats up to a very high shelf or ledge. Relocate any large floor planters to an off-limits room even if the plants they house are harmless—your baby might just decide to fling around or feast on that dirt one day.

5. Keep Floors Clean

a baby helping mom clean the floors

With that tiny baby zooming along the floors, it's important to keep them clean and free of any hazards. All objects smaller than a tangerine need to be up and out of reach of your little one, who will put anything and everything in his mouth. Instigate a no-shoes policy in your home, which will help prevent fertilizer residue and germs from making their way indoors. Also sweep, mop, and vacuum regularly.

6. Steady Furniture

a baby crawling on the floor

Your baby will soon use the furniture as her own personal walker, so make sure all heavy pieces are stable and not at risk of toppling over on her. Use furniture straps or brackets to secure bookcases, dressers, and side tables to the wall. Apply corner guards to coffee tables, TV stands, windowsills, and anything else with sharp corners.

7. Lock Up Hazardous Products

a bunch of house cleaning products

Absolutely everything that presents a danger to your baby if ingested—from toxic household products like cleaners, dishwasher tablets, paint, and laundry soap to all medicine and vitamins to alcohol—should be relocated out of baby's reach and secured in a high, locked cabinet.

8. Install Cabinet Locks

closeup of a cabinet lock

Your little one will soon be displaying an amazing ability to open drawers and cabinets, and also to empty them. Cabinet locks are essential for keeping your crawler out of places he shouldn't be. Consider creating a baby-friendly cabinet in a safe spot in your kitchen—away from the stove—and fill it with plastic containers, wooden spoons, and stacking cups for your baby to empty to his heart's content.

9. Banish Small Toys

a chocking hazard warning label

Your older child's toys are likely a wonderland of choking hazards for your baby. Anything that can fit into a toilet paper tube presents a risk, so stash all small objects in a room that's off-limits for your baby. Teach your big kids about the dangers of leaving their tiny toys in an area where their curious, crawling sibling could find them.

10. Clear Away Cords

electrical chords lying on the ground

Household cords can present a serious danger to babies, because they can quickly get tangled up in them and choke. Remove all hanging mobiles from baby's crib when your little one can sit up. Appliance and other electrical cords need to be covered, contained and out of reach of your baby, who might pull or chew on them. And all cords from window treatments should be wrapped up and secured tightly to the wall.

Check this cable management tool at Amazon

A beach day or week is a beautiful thing. And it's now altered by your little one's presence, which you will track like a hawk, making sure she does't get burned, eat a gallon of sand, or crawl off to play with dolphins. But the beach can still be a blast—not an "hours of reading US Weekly and dozing off" type of blast, but still, fun. Maybe even more fun than ever. Here's how to enjoy it all and be safe on the beach with baby.

  1. Be Flexible
  2. Babygirl and babyboy kissing on the beach

    First of all, adjust your expectations of the phrase "beach day." It might be "beach hour" or "beach five minutes" or "beach you are never allowed to leave." Whatever it is, know that you probably will be baby-chasing or baby-rocking or baby-feeding more than you will be diving into the new Jennifer Weiner novel. And that's OK. Accepting this will help.

  3. Dig a Shallow Pit
  4. mom digging sand at beach

    Uh-huh, it sounds nutty, but some moms swear this is the way to go—dig a circular "pit" about eight inches deep and a few feet wide, toss a giant sheet over it and voila—instant playpen. That's not to say you can leave baby there while you get a bomb pop, but it will buy you some moments in which he is not actively trying to eat sand or beeline for the sea.

  5. Bring Lots of Sunscreen
  6. Mother putting sun screen on baby

    If your baby is older than six months, go heavy on the sunscreen. Make sure it's safe for baby. The Skin Deep database has some great info—Think for baby and Blue Lizard for baby rank well there. Apply 15 minutes before, and reapply after baby goes into water, and often in between. If baby is younger than six months, skip the sunscreen and just keep her out of the sun—think tent, hat, and full-body baby rash guard.

  7. Grab a Really Big Blanket
  8. a beach blanket on the sand

    You'll want to have room to sprawl out as a family, and a nice giant blanket (like this one at Amazon) will do the trick.

  9. Bring Some Gear
  10. Colorful baby sand toys on the beach

    Moms love the following for getting through a baby beach day happy:

    A sunhat with a wide brim for baby

    A beach tent. Baby can even nap in here if you keep it well-ventilated and cool.

    Watershoes. If baby is walking either with or without you, shoes can help protect those tender toes.<br> -

    Swim diapers. You can go the disposable route or try these popular Bummies.  

    A swimsuit that's a full-body SPF-heavy rash guard—more coverage = less sunscreen.

    A baby carrier. Wearing your baby for beach strolls is one of parenting's finer pleasures.

    Sand toys. If baby is playing with toys, get baby-sized stacking pails—we like these from Melissa & Doug.

  11. Go at Off-Hours
  12. mom and baby at the beach at dusk

    If you get to the beach before 10am or after 2pm you'll be skipping the day's most powerful rays. Bonus: You may get the beach to yourselves.

  13. Take Photos (with a Waterproof Camera/Case)
  14. a little boy sitting on the beach

    You'll want to document this trip, especially if it's baby's first beach visit. Just make sure your camera is waterproof, or if you're using your phone, that it has a rock-solid waterproof cover like the Lifeproof case.

  15. Pack Snacks
  16. Healthy sandwich on the beach

    If baby is drinking straight from the breast, a light sarong will do as a cover-up if you want one. If baby is hitting the bottle, place supplies in a cooler. If baby has started solids, bring enough puree or finger-foods. Also, if baby's older than six months, bring that sippy cup—you'll want him to stay extra-hydrated. And remember, a fed and hydrated mama is a happy one—pack snacks and water for yourself too!

  17. Dress Bright
  18. Little baby boy on tropical beach

    If your babe is mobile enough to scramble out of your line of vision, even for a second, consider neon your new best friend. Dress your baby loud and you'll be able to spot her no matter how crowded the beach.

  19. Keep an Eye Out/Relax
  20. Human feet buried in sand.

    We know, contradictory! But you'll want to make sure your baby doesn't eat too much sand. (Turns out it creates sandy poo, which leads to diaper rash. But as far as we can tell, as long as baby eats a few grains and not fistfuls, and the sand isn't contaminated, which it usually isn't, all will be well.) Also, fully supervise baby in and near the water. That said, it's the beach! Smell the salty air, be soothed by the blue sea, feel the sun on your skin and enjoy—and enjoy watching your baby discover a world of sights, sounds, and textures.

 

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