When you’re living alone or with your partner, there’s a good chance that you’ve established your home to be fit for adults, that is you’ve got unsecured chemicals in easy-to-reach cupboards, uncovered electrical outlets to plug your phone charger in, and countless breakable decorative pieces lying around, right?
Of course you do, we all do! You’ve probably never seen any of this as an issues because, well, you’re an adult. You’ve probably become knowledgeable enough to not drink or eat chemicals, stick inappropriate objects in electrical outlets, and you know quite well that gravity works, there’s no need for you to test Newton’s law by pushing that vase off the living room ottoman.
Unfortunately, now that you’re going to be bringing a new baby home, who doesn’t come ingrained with that same knowledge, you’re going to have to start preparing your home for your new life as a dad.
Below we’ve compiled a list of things to do in order to make your home baby proof before the birth of your child.
Do a home “Safety Exam”
Do you know what objects in your home pose a safety risk for your baby? There are some obvious things like electrical outlets and cupboard doors, but what about other common place household items like trashcans or potpourri?
The truth is, there’s a lot around your house that could pose a significant health or safety hazard for your newborn. We recommend going room by room in your house with your partner and taking a close look at what’s in there and what can be done to baby proof it.
Screw everything to the wall
This may seem obvious for some things, but once your child starts to crawl, climb, and walk and become curious about his or her surroundings, you’ll be surprised just what that little human being is capable of doing. We like to say, “if it can move, it can fall” and don’t second guess your baby’s ability to put that to the test.
Install baby gates
Baby gates are great tools for corralling kids and keeping them out of places they shouldn’t be. The obvious, and most common, place to put these barriers are at the top and bottom of the stairs, to make sure your adventurous little bundle of joy doesn’t take the long tumble.
Another great use for these gates is to use them to keep kids out of particular rooms where baby proofing isn’t simple, like in an office.
Decide where to put guests
For many new parents, replacing the guest bedroom in favor of a new nursery is a no-brainer. But what many parents don’t take into consideration is where guests will stay – from grandparents to good friends, you’ll probably get several guests who’ll stop by to see and help around the house once the baby is born.
If you don’t have another room to quarter these visitors, consider investing in a pull-out couch. It’s not a five-star resort, but it’ll get the job done, and perhaps it’ll be just uncomfortable enough that guests won’t overstay their welcome!
Protect the power!
You can probably check this one up to another one in the “duh!” category, but we’d be remiss if we didn’t mention it. Kids are very curious critters who love to imitate what you do. So, if he or she sees you plugging something in to the power outlet, like your phone charger, there’s a good chance your little one will want to do the same.
Pad the Fireplace
If you have a fireplace, you’ll absolutely want to do everything you can to prevent your child from climbing and playing inside of it. Not only could there be things inside which could hurt the baby, if you haven’t had it cleaned in a while there are probably some pretty dangerous chemicals in there.
The first thing you should do is to secure a gate around the fireplace to make sure your baby can’t get in. Also, if your fireplace is on a raised hearth, putting some padding on the sharp stone corners can help prevent injury.