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Getting Your Home Ready For A New Baby, Childproofing Measures
childproof outlet cover
If you are expecting a new arrival and are wondering what steps you need to take to make your home ready for a new baby here are some suggestions on how to make your home child safe .
If you have a two storey home you will want to install baby gates both at the top and bottom of the stairs. Preventing falls is a very important part of making your home ready for a new baby.
If your home is older and especially if you have loose and chipping paint on floors and walls you will want to have it tested for lead. Contact your local city government building and safety department for instructions on where to send paint chips or have a home inspector come to check your paint for lead. Lead based paint is a leading cause of childhood poisoning in the home. Toddlers will tend to put paint chips in their mouths.
Next Step In Preparing Your Home For A New Baby, Childproofing Outlets
Install outlet covers. These are inexpensive and available at all major hardware stores and they prevent toddlers from sticking objects into plugs. Also, make sure that you have GFCI breakers installed. These can be installed at each plug, or one GFCI can serve several plugs. In addition you can install GFCI breakers at the main breaker panel that serve whole circuits. These shut the circuit down if a person is being shocked. Put away or tack down electrical cords.
Make sure TV's on stands or other items that may be knocked over are secured or placed on a more stable platform.
Childproofing The Aquarium
Keep aquariums up out of a child's reach. They can be very tempting but if they are on a low table a child could knock them over.
Childproofing The Kitchen
Switch out your glassware to unbreakable plastic ones.
Secure wall mirrors. Mirrors are baby magnets and can fall and break into dangerous jagged glass pieces.
Make a habit of turning pot handles on the stove away from the front. A toddler may be tempted to reach up and pull down a hot pot or pan that is cooking on the stove.
Install locks on toilet lids. They are a a bit of an inconvenience for adults and take some getting used to but can prevent a child from falling in and drowning in the bowl.
Childproofing The Windows
Make sure you close windows or if you use open windows for ventilation place guards on them to prevent children from falling out.
Childproofing The Bath.
Never leave a tub full of water that a toddler could fall into and drown and never leave your child unattended in the bath.
Turn down your hot water heater to the lowest setting that is still comfortable to bathe with. It will save energy too. You don't want or need hot scalding water coming out of your tap. Always check the temperature of the bath water before bathing your baby.
When preparing your home for a new baby make sure you have a newer crib with slats less than 2 3/8 inch between and meeting government safety standards. Many old cribs, though they might be family heirlooms are not safe for your child.
An audio - video baby monitor can help you keep an eye on your toddler.
Childproofing The Baby's Room
Install a baby monitor to listen in on your infant at all times. Many newer baby monitors have two way audio and video.
Keep all plastic bags and sheeting put away as well as mop buckets and pails that they may fall into.
Finally, get on your hands and knees and crawl around your home as a baby would, looking at things from their perspective and look for anything their curious hands might reach out and grab or remove and put in their mouths.
Put all cords, including drapery cords up and away out of a child's reach. Make sure mobiles above the crib do not have parts that can come off.
When your prepare your home for a new baby, inspect all toys for broken parts and pieces that your baby could remove. It might be sentimental to pass on a favorite teddy bear to your infant but there is a good chance it may have buttons that will come off easily and which could be swallowed.
Put houseplants up out of reach. Some house and garden plants, such as oleander are toxic to children and adults.
Put away dangerous mouse traps and scrub clean baseboards that may have been treated with toxic roach and ant sprays. Vacuum up roach powder that may be reachable behind objects.
Keep bedding in the crib to a minimum. Soft bedding such as sheepskin and thick quilts leads to many suffocations each year.
Put chains on exterior doors at a height your toddler can't open to prevent them from leaving the home and heading for the street.
When preparing your home for a new baby place child proof latches on all cabinets, especially ones where you keep toxic substances like cleaners. Keep all cleaners and laundry soaps and products up and out of a toddler's reach. Keep washer and dryer lids and lock the laundry room if possible.
Pets and Newborns. Use Good Judgment
If you have pets that have not been around children before and you suspect they may pose a danger consult a qualified dog trainer and learn what strategies you can use in introducing your pet to a new baby.
If you already have children try and include them in the excitement of bringing home a new baby and get them involved in getting the home ready and looking for ways to keep things safe for little brother or sister.
Finally, when preparing your home for a new baby, get on your hands and knees and crawl around your home as a baby would, looking at things from their perspective and look for anything their curious hands might reach out and grab or remove and put in their mouths. Use common sense and look at every object in your home and how it could pose a hazard to your child.
This isn't by any means an all inclusive list tips on childproofing your home. Keep an eye out for things not mentioned here that pose a danger to your baby in the home. Keeping your home safe for a new baby is a never ending job.