It can be difficult to imagine your newborn infant getting into any trouble or causing any danger to themselves. However, in the blink of an eye, babies turn into little crawling machines who want to explore anything and everything within reach.
Just as you’ve just gotten used to them crawling, suddenly they’re toddling around on wobbly legs, pulling and eating anything they can. Your best defense against these adorable little (danger to themselves) explorers? Baby-proofing.
Whether you’re preparing for your adoption home study or getting ready to welcome a new bundle of joy, baby-proofing your home is the way to go! Here are eleven of the most important safety tips that you need to know.
1. Secure Your Furniture
The furniture in your home is likely functional. Your bookshelf holds books, your dresser holds your clothing, etc. However, none of this furniture is likely equipped to hold the weight of a toddler trying to pull themselves up.
Securing furniture against a wall ensures that even if it is tugged on by a child, it will not tumble over. It will stay firmly attached to the wall. These days, furniture comes with mounts that are specifically geared toward this purpose. However, if you don’t have any of these mounts on hand, they can be found at your local hardware store and are simple to install.
2. Use Baby Gates
If your home has stairs or any other areas that pose a potential risk to a toddler, then baby gates are your best bet. They can securely fit into doorways, hallways, and other small areas to block off access to dangerous spaces in your home. Your child will eventually outgrow them, but they are perfect for crawlers and toddlers.
3. Properly Story Dangerous Items
What do medications, guns, and cleaning supplies all have in common? They need to be locked up or out of the reach of children because of the potential danger they pose to children. Guns must be stored separate from ammunition in a locked gun safe with trigger locks.
4. Keep Your Eyes Sharp, Not Your Furniture
Babies are clumsy and their unsteady legs make the sharp corners of furniture hazardous. Thankfully, there are bumpers made to protect babies, by fastening to the corners of your furniture and softening them.
5. Car Safety Matters
The invention of the child-lock on car doors and windows caused millions of parents to sigh in relief.
Locks make it difficult for tiny roaming fingers to accidentally open the car door or play with the car’s window. This helps to prevent any injuries caused by a child falling out of a moving vehicle or being harmed by the window being rolled up.
Bonus points for properly installing your baby’s car seat the first time around, any “Baby on Board” signs, or window shades to block excessive sunlight.
6. Don’t Turn a Blind Eye To Your Blinds
Speaking of windows, the cords that hang from blinds are a potential choking hazard. Young children have gotten tangled up in them and suffocated. Safety tassels and cord stops help to keep these cords out of reach.
7. Check for Lead Paint
Lead paint is toxic and can poison children. If your home was built before 1978, then you should have your home tested for lead paint by a professional. They can help to determine if your home is contaminated and remove the lead paint well before the baby arrives.
8. Keep Everything Closed
Any drawers or cupboard doors in your home that are within the reach of children should be secured using child-proof latches. These latches help to keep dangerous items out of children’s hands. Also, if your child pulls on the drawers, they won’t open and cause your baby to fall down. Win-win.
9. Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Detectors
Fire safety is imperative. You must make sure that you have working smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors in your home. In the event of a fire, you will be alerted early on, so that you and your family can make a safe exit. Carbon monoxide can be deadly and is undetectable to humans, carbon monoxide detectors save lives.
10. Don’t Land Yourself in Hot Water
Installing temperature guards in all of your faucets can help to prevent burns from water that is too hot. They can be set to make sure that your water doesn’t exceed 120 degrees. Babies and toddlers have skin that is much more sensitive than adults. What feels okay to us can be too hot for children.
11. Pool Safety
If your home has a pool, then it is crucial to have a child-proof gate installed that will inhibit your child from gaining access when you are not around. Toddlers and young children who do not know how to swim must be supervised when they are in or around the pool. It is also recommended that children wear properly-fitted safety vests.
Drowning is a serious hazard to children. To combat this problem, many parents opt to teach their children to swim very early on. Infants can safely be taught to float in water to prevent drowning.
Regardless of whether or not you have a pool, infant CPR is an invaluable skill to have. In a situation when an infant stops breathing, you can administer life-saving CPR until paramedics arrive on the scene.
Adoption Choices of Colorado
For more information on adoption or if you are currently in the process of adopting a baby and have any questions or concerns, feel free to contact Adoption Choices of Colorado. We can be reached via our website or by calling: 303-670-4401.
Make an Impact
Adoption Choices, Inc. is partnering with Crowdrise, a fundraising website for nonprofits, to help our adoptive parents and birth parents with much needed financial assistance. We understand that expenses keep clients from fulfilling their dreams. Both with birth parents making a plan for adoption, and with adoptive parents growing their family. It is our mission to provide financial assistance through grants and scholarships, awarded annually in November, in honor of National Adoption Month. Funds assist adoptive parents with matching and placements, adoption finalization and helping birth mothers improve their lives through higher education — and much more.
However, we can’t do it alone. Please read up on our programs and donate money where you are able. Your donation will make a huge impact.
About the Author
Davina grew up in the outskirts of New York City, before eventually moving to Buffalo, New York at the age of 10. Her passion for adoption comes from her own experiences of being in foster care and being an adoptee herself. She hopes to help others to understand the intricacies of adoption and encourage them to consider it as an option.
Davina is a proud Geneseo Knights alum having graduated in 2018. She has been writing for as long as she can remember and chose to pursue a degree in English with hopes of making her hobby a career. Thus far, she has enjoyed her time as an intern for Adoption Choices Inc. and looks forward to a bright future in writing. When she is not writing, she enjoys spending time with her family, building websites, and making lists.
Strom, Rachel. “Home Study 101.” Adoption Choices of New York. https://www.adoptionchoicesofnevada.org/home-study-101/
Editors, The Bump. “Baby Proofing Checklist: Before Baby Comes Home.” The Bump. https://www.thebump.com/a/checklist-babyproofing-part-1
Diproperzio, Linda. “Baby Proofing for your Crawling Child.” Parents. https://www.parents.com/baby/safety/babyproofing/crawling-baby/
“About Lead-based Paint.” HUD. https://www.hud.gov/program_offices/healthy_homes/healthyhomes/lead