Bringing home a new baby fills every home with excitement and anticipation. And even though a crawling and getting-into-everything babe will seem so far away, your little one might grow faster (and more quickly) than you expect. Do the baby proofing before baby arrives so you can stress less once you bring your sweet one home.
We spoke with Lisa Trofe, Managing Director of Juvenile Products Manufacturers Association, for her list of things that are easy to do in advance of baby’s arrival that will ensure all those transitional milestones (crawling, walking, pulling themselves to stand) will come with less worry if your home is already prepared for it. “While you may not anticipate baby to be moving around and getting into stuff right away, once baby is home and starts to settle in and get busy, baby proofing the house can be something that’s easily forgotten,” she says.
First, make sure the entire set of caregivers in the home are involved in the baby proofing process. “Folks see different things,” says Trophe. “One parent or caregiver might see one thing that the other doesn’t and vice versa, so extra eyes on the situation are great.”
Here’s a quick checklist of immediate safety concerns you’ll want to address.
- Cover all outlets.
- Cover sharp corners that are lower to the ground, like a coffee table, end table or stair corners.
- Lock all cabinets where cleaning chemicals are stored.
- Lock and secure doorknobs where you don’t want baby to have access.
- Install gates at the top and bottom of stairs if your home has a second floor.
- Store all older sibling toys that have small pieces in places only they can reach.
- Keep baby’s sleep environment free of any toys or blankets. “A newborn’s bed, whether it’s their crib or a bassinet of Mom and Dad’s room needs to be free of stuffed animals or blankets. That fun stuff can come later,” says Trophe.
- Make sure the carseat is installed correctly. Pay close attention to your state’s car seat laws. Once you’ve installed your rear-facing car seat, call a local fire department or hospital to see if they do car seat checks to ensure it’s been installed properly.
Remember that babies grow in the blink of an eye and it’s important to keep a constant watch on what changes need to be made in your home. Sometimes it’s hard to keep up with baby’s milestones, but being vigilant as a family will ensure that your little stays safe and secure as they grow.