Getting Ready for Baby – Baby-Proofing Your Home
Although a baby can’t get around on its own during the first few months, it is a good idea to baby-proof your home before or as soon as the baby is born. It can be surprising how quickly they will start getting around. Preparing ahead of time ensures that everything is safe even if it starts to happen before you were expecting it.
Make sure the crib is safe. The slats on the crib should be no more than 2 3/8 inches apart because a baby can get their head through and stuck in an opening larger than that. Make sure the mattress fits snugly, and there are no gaps. Tuck bedding tightly onto the mattress, and do not put pillows, soft blankets or stuffed animals into the crib with the baby. Look for loose screws or anything that could be sticking out on the frame.
As the baby gets older, it is important to keep small items out of baby’s reach. Small toys, marbles, coins – or any number of the small items that can be found in a home – can be a choking risk to a baby. And, since babies tend to put everything into their mouths, it is best to keep everything like this out of reach.
Use safety locks on cupboard and closet doors. Keep all poisonous or dangerous materials up out of reach in a locked cupboard. It is also a good idea to get a lock for fridges and freezers.
Shorten strings on blinds and curtains, or remove them altogether. These strings can become a choking hazard as the child gets bigger.
Cover electrical outlets with plastic safety covers and put safety gates at the bottom and tops of stairways.
Secure bookshelves, dressers and electronics to the walls to avoid having the baby pull them over on top of them as they learn to stand. It is also a good idea to pad sharp edges on furniture or fireplace surrounds.
These are just some of the necessary steps you need to take to baby proof your home.