It just doesn’t seem possible…your bundle of joy is slowly becoming a toddler right before your eyes. She’s at the age where she’ll be crawling any time now—and once she starts moving she’ll be into everything, especially when she begins to climb and walk! Oh, boy, and you’ve been putting off babyproofing your home haven’t you? Well, there’s no time like the present! In part one, we discussed babyproofing the living room and kitchen. But we also talked about some important basics you needed to take care of first. To refresh your memory, they are:
- Your water heater must be under 120˚ F so as not to burn her at bath time.
- All floors need carbon monoxide and smoke detectors.
- Plastic caps need to be placed over every electrical outlets.
- A fire extinguisher should be in your kitchen at all times.
- A safety gate should be placed at the top and bottom of all staircases he has access to.
Now let’s move on to the bathroom and baby’s room plus check out some details you shouldn’t miss.
This room is probably more dangerous than the kitchen so don’t ever leave him alone in here—not even for one second! It should go without saying to never leave him in the bathtub to answer the door or do anything else—always take him with you; babies can drown in just a couple of inches of water.
Just like the kitchen, you’ll need to move all appliances like hair dryers off the counter; either hang them high on a wall or store them on a shelf—but don’t let the cords dangle. Also, you’ll need to transfer poisonous items like cleaners to high shelves in your linen closet; store toilet paper, towels and facial tissues on the lower shelves.
Here are more items to help keep your little boy safe:
- You definitely want to keep him out of your medicine cabinet; so you’ll need safety latches in here just as you did in the kitchen.
- At bath time it’s critical that the bathwater isn’t too hot—what’s not hot to you may scald him. So a thermometer is great for telling you the water temperature. If it isn’t any higher than 100˚ F, it’s safe for your child.
- Some babies are curious about toilets and a toilet lock on all your toilets will keep a curious boy at bay.
Most likely you’ve already done your babyproofing for this room. But if you’ve been putting it off, there’s no better time to start than now.
When she was an infant, you knew not to put blankets and such in with her while she’s sleeping because of the suffocation danger. But now that she’s a few months older, maybe you think it’s okay. Yet if she’s not over six months, then you should keep stuffed animals, blankets and pillows out of her sleeping area since these items can still cause suffocation. Once she’s over six months, it’s okay to place these items in her crib. You should also make sure that the mattress and sheets fit snuggly.
If you’ve been laying her in a small crib or cradle to sleep, you may discover she’ll soon outgrow it—if she hasn’t already; she’ll need a full-size crib. Maybe a family member or friend isn’t going to use theirs anymore and wants to pass it on to you. While that’s really nice of them and will save you money, hand-me-down cribs can be dangerous if they’re more than ten years old because they might not meet present safety regulations. You’ll need to check the crib over very carefully before placing it into your baby’s room.
These are fantastic products to add to your must-have list to complete her room:
- An open bin toy box is perfect for storing all her toys. Toy boxes with heavy lids can slam down on her fingers or head possibly trapping her inside or causing serious harm.
- Door hinges are a fascination to toddlers for some reason. So finger-pinch guards are in order.
- Eventually, she’ll be adventurous and try to climb out of her crib, and you might not be there to prevent it or catch her. A thick, soft pile area rug in front of the length of her crib will help cushion her falls.
- Nightlights are terrific to have when you’re checking on her during the night and don’t want to risk waking her. Make sure you have plenty of replacement bulbs and one or two UL-listed nightlights.
Now that you’ve taken care of the large jobs, there are a few little jobs you must tackle. Examine every room in your home and do the following:
- If you have rooms that your tot is forbidden to go in, such as a guest room or formal living room, put a safety gate in the doorway.
- Make sure any tobacco items, lighters, and matches are safely locked away, and all of your ashtrays are emptied immediately after use.
- All alcohol is toxic to little kids so be sure to lock all your liquor cabinets.
- Many doorstops still have those old removable caps. Any loose cap that can be pulled off by tiny hands will go directly into his mouth and could cause him to choke. Check that all caps are on tightly.
- Personal care items, like shampoos and makeup, are poisonous to children. Remove all these items from bathtub ledges and sink counters; store them on a high shelf or in a high cabinet.
- There are some houseplants that are highly toxic. You don’t want your small fry getting sick or needing to be rushed to the hospital so check that your plants are of the non-poisonous variety.
- Your floors and carpets can be a treasure chest of “fun” things for your little one. Vacuuming once or twice a week is essential to pick up paper clips, bits of paper, loose change or anything else that will be a choking hazard for him.
- You don’t want him to get burned so covering your heating vents and/or radiators is a good idea.
- Sometimes batteries will leak acid, and this can cause severe burns to your tot. Always keep your batteries packed safely away high on a shelf in a closet.
So now you have a room-by-room layout of how to babyproof your home. Set aside a weekend to get it done and over with—hey, it may only take you a few hours, you never know. However, making your home safe doesn’t mean your tot won’t ever fall or get hurt in the house or need to be told: “No, don’t do that.” But babyproofing will help minimize it. Just keep in mind that as your child grows you’ll need to update things—but for now you can relax knowing that your toddler will be safe.