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How to baby-proof your home

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Keep your little one safe and sound with our simple steps to baby-proof your home.

baby proofing your home

For the first few years of your child’s life, their entire world is the home. They’ll explore every nook and cranny and their inquiring hands will get stuck into everything.

There are potential hazards all over the house, and without going overboard, you can reduce the risks with our room-by-room baby-proofing checklist.

The nursery

  • The slats of your cot should be at least 6cm apart so your baby's head won’t get trapped.

  • Don't use soft bedding or pillows as they can be a suffocation hazard.

  • Once your baby can push up onto their hands and knees, remove any hanging mobiles.

  • Put any chords from windows or lights out of reach.

  • Ensure your changing table has guardrails and a safety belt.

It can also be helpful to get down to a child’s-eye level, and look around the room for any potential hazards you might have missed.

Kitchen

 baby proofing your home  - 2

  • Ensure all sharp utensils are out of reach.

  • Store cleaning products and hazardous items in locked cabinets, preferably higher up.

  • Keep pot and pan handles to the side or back of the stovetop.

  • Keep a fire extinguisher close and learn how to use it.

  • Be mindful of your dishwasher when it has sharp knives or washing powders in it.

  • Lock drawers and cabinets to keep baby out, and from slamming fingers in them.

It can also be a good idea to distract toddlers by keeping one cupboard in the kitchen unlocked, and filled with light, baby-safe items.

Living room

  • Tape down electrical cords and other trip and choking hazards.

  • Cover up sharp edges on furniture, such as coffee tables.

  • Secure all free-standing furniture to the walls so they can't be pulled over.

  • Don't use tablecloths – kids can pull them and whatever is on them down.

  • Cover up or hide any unused electrical sockets.

Carpeted floors are less slippery than wood, and can give a softer landing when your child takes a tumble, which will probably be quite regularly.

A top tip from Emily of Twin mummy and Daddy is to invest in some velcro:

"I used Velcro a lot to hang up a sheet in front of our bookcase so our girls couldn’t pull the books off!

"I also used Velcro to keep the table corner covers on as they kept falling off so easily."

Bathroom

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  • Don't set your hot water any higher than 49°C.

  • Install a lid-lock on the toilet and keep it closed when not in use.

  • Store all medication in childproof containers, well out of reach.

  • Keep electricals like hairdryers and shavers unplugged and away from little hands.

  • Use non-slip bath mats – both in and out of the bath – to reduce the risk of slipping.

The hard surfaces in bathrooms make them hotspots for slips, bumps and bruises. So while your child is still finding their feet, bathrooms should be off-limits without you around.

And don't forget...

  • Stairs should be gated at both the top and bottom.

  • Keep an eye out for anything lying around that might pose a choking risk.

  • Move furniture away from windows so children can’t climb and fall out.

  • Either set radiator temperatures to low, or place guards around them to avoid burns.

  • Handbags can contain all sorts of choking hazards, which you should keep out of reach.

You should never leave your baby unsupervised. You might think you’ve taken care of everything, but hazards can present themselves in the unlikeliest of ways.

Bumps and bruises are part of growing up and can never be completely avoided. With these few simple steps you can limit the risk to your child around the home.

Small children exploring and playing can easily cause a lot of mess and damage around the house.

So by baby-proofing your home, you’re helping to keep your house free from damage too.

It's also worth making sure your home insurance policy is up to date to cover paint on walls and carpets or smashed TVs and windows.

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