So you are a new mom and have read every article and gone to every website to ensure that everything is ready for the little ones arrival. Bags are packed and you are just waiting for the arrival.
Baby arrives and everyone is ecstatic. You have done everything, the nursery is sorted and you are enjoying being a parent. Suddenly baby starts moving and you realise that although you had done everything that you thought was possible, you realise that there are dangers in your house.
You forgot to baby proof. Suddenly the table corner seems too sharp, and the cupboard door that you have meant to fix is no longer just an inconvenience – it is literally a health hazard. Let us not forget the string of the blind that hangs haphazardly, or the fact that exploring little fingers love putting themselves in holes.
To be honest, whether your baby is human or the more furry kind, we all know that you can never be too prepared for their curious and mischievous playtime around the home.
When Kitana started crawling, I started hyperventilating because everything important was within her reach and I hadn’t baby proofed yet. I didn’t think that it was important to babyproof (crazy me right?) until she started investigating the cupboards…
Where do you start?
The kitchen is considered to be one of the most dangerous places in your house. So I suggest you start there.
Latching your cabinets, removing the choking hazards, and plugging the outlets is not the only thing you need to do. There’s more!
www.moderndaymoms.com and www.pishposhbaby.com have teamed up to create an infographic about baby safety, at home and elsewhere. Anyone who has a baby can learn many useful things from this guide to important baby safety information. There are easy-to-understand illustrations and accompanying text on sections about safety indoors, in the nursery, bathroom, kitchen, outdoors, in cars, and on foot.
What else do you need to do?
- Latch your oven.
- Lock Refrigerator and freezer.
- Place fridge magnets up high.
- Never leave your dishwasher open when baby is around and put switches off when not in use so baby doesn’t turn on the machine.
- Please move plastic and paper bags out of low drawers.
- Make sure you use nontoxic cleaners on your floor and do not mop the floor when baby is nearby.
- Do not store your knives on your counters and keep them as high as possible or make sure that cupboard is locked if possible.
- Keep your trashcan outside or make sure it is covered.
- Cook when baby is sleeping or when someone is around if possible otherwise use backburners to cook when baby is around. Always turn pot handles towards the back of the stove.
- Never leave cleaning supplies within reach or around the house.
- Purchase fire extinguishers and have them in the garage, kitchen and laundry room.
- Always use a non-slip mat in the bath tub.
- Never leave baby unattended in the water and make sure you don’t fill the bathtub too much. Water level should be just enough to cover baby’s legs.
- Lock your medicine cabinet and do not leave any toiletries within reach including toilet roll.
- Buy a bathroom thermometer to test the temperature of baby’s bathwater.
- Always empty out buckets and other containers filled with water.
- Always keep the bathroom door closed.
Around your home:
- Make sure all upstairs windows are locked when baby is around.
- Secure tall furniture and ornaments so nothing falls down.
- Tie up blind strings/cords.
- Bundle wires.
- Make sure you cover radiators or heating vents. They can cause serious burns.
- Keep purses, jackets and pocket books up high.
- Ensure that your TV is properly fastened into the wall or steady on the TV stand.
- Check for loose items on shaky tables.
- Bolt bookshelves.
- Use finger guards on doors.
- Keep hot food and drinks away from the edge of the table.
- Apply colourful stickers to glass sliding doors.
- Install smoke detectors and check it monthly to see if it still works.
- Install a pool net or cover.
- Remove tablecloths and place mats because your child can always pull them down.
- Put plastic guards on CDs and DVD players.
- Always use heavy-weight picture hooks to hang pictures and shelves to prevent them from falling.
- Check house plants to see if they non-toxic.
- Always make sure you clean and vacuum under couches, beds and near tables.
- Add non-slip pads to rugs and mats.
- Remove coffee table from lounge and if you keeping it, make sure you get padding for the corners.
- Make sure your fire place is covered and you have a protector or gate when using it.
- Make sure your baby’s crib meets safety requirements and never leave it near furniture that baby can climb on.
- Don’t dress your baby in clothes with drawstrings.
- Inspect baby toys and check batteries.
- Avoid buying toys with small parts.
- Make sure all bedding and mattress is breathable.
- When baby starts sitting, remove mobile.
Now the reality is that I did not realise how many things I had until I started baby proofing. It was around about this time we had to relook at many things, we had to look at our finances, education funds, insurance policies, etc. because just like baby proofing our house – we needed to try and sort out my little madam’s future.
Whilst we were considering our options we came across an article by Dialdirect and I realised that there was a lot about our insurance that I did not know.
I did not realise that I needed to add the new fridge that we had purchased or the upgraded TV. I did not realise that I needed to relook at my contents cover. There was just so much to do.
If you are feeling as overwhelmed as I did? Well… then my Last tip: It’s extremely important to have adequate home insurance.
Not sure where to start? Don’t worry! Dialdirect has got you covered. Get your free online Home Contents Insurance quote www.dial-direct.co.za or call Dialdirect on 0860 10 45 80. You can tailor your home contents insurance cover to your exact needs.
Do you have any tips to add to babyproofing your house?
The information provided in this article is for informational purposes only and do not constitute professional advice.
Dialdirect is an authorised financial services provider (FSP licence number: 15259).