Six months ago, you received the most exciting news of your life. You’re going to be a first-time parent! And since this magical moment, the days have been filled with doctor’s visits and shopping trips, baby registry list making, and coming up with potential baby names. While checking things off your baby to-do list, you suddenly realize you haven’t addressed one of the most important parts - childproofing your home.
Bringing home baby can be both exciting and overwhelming, so why not set yourself up for success before the big day. Here are a few smart, do-it-yourself (DIY) babyproofing repairs to get started.
1. Transform Your Fireplace into a Fun Station
Does your home contain a stunning, and perhaps substantial fireplace? Now that your family is growing and little ones will soon be sharing the space, there’s no need to regret that character adding feature that can now be described as a safety concern. Thankfully, you can transform that potentially harmful fireplace into a stylish, fun station for your child to enjoy.
Magnetic chalkboards are extremely trendy right now, so try installing one over the opening of your fireplace. This quick home improvement project will not only add a decorative feature to your living room, but also provide your little one a fun place to draw and display artwork, while protecting him or her from danger. Additionally, if your fireplace is raised and made of sharp materials such as brick, you can soften the edges by covering it with soft, interlocking floor pads. You’ll likely need to cut off the edges of the pads to match them to the size of your hearth.
2. Install Baby Gates or Dutch Doors
Even before they start walking, babies manage to move quickly. And you’ll likely want to prevent your bundle of joy from entering certain areas of the house - adventures up the stairs, into the kitchen, or into the laundry room. To regulate these potential adventures and keep your child out of restricted areas, install baby gates or Dutch doors. Avoid free-standing, baby gates. Babies can easily grab onto them and knock them over. Opt for baby gates that attach firmly to your walls with screws. Dutch doors are an attractive alternative to baby gates. Partitioned in half, you can open and close Dutch doors from the bottom or top parts.
3. Cleverly Cover Knobs and Electrical OutletsCurious little ones enjoy investigating their surroundings. Unfortunately, this inquisitiveness often leads them to try sticking their tiny fingers into electrical outlets or play with knobs on appliances like the stove or oven. Place covers, caps, or plugs in all electrical outlets you’re not currently using. Put covers over appliance knobs. You’ll likely prevent your toddler from gripping and turning them.
4. Foster Soft Landings with Carpeting or Rugs
Carpeting in nurseries provides babies with a safe surface to play on and teetering toddlers with a soft place to land on when they fall. When installing carpet in your little one’s nursery, consider investing in a strong water and stain resistant underlayment. This step might save you both money and frustration over time. If your baby’s nursery contains hardwood or tile floors, investing in indoor/outdoor rugs is a smart, inexpensive solution. Pre-treated for the elements, these rugs are often stain and water repellent. Available in numerous colors and textures, indoor/outdoor rugs can be a wonderful, indestructible addition to your baby’s nursery.
5. Take Actions to Prevent Damage from DoorsDo you store laundry and dishwasher detergents, window cleaning products, and other chemicals in lower cabinets? Preventing your little one from accessing these items is crucial. Installing cabinet safety latches is a quick, DIY repair that’ll prevent your child from opening forbidden, cabinet doors. You can easily install these latches with a basic screwdriver. Entry doors are a hazard for smashing fingers. Prevent your child from jamming his or her tiny digits in doors by utilizing door stops or door guards. Another option is to clip a semicircular, foam mold onto the edge of your doors. Ensure all of your doors can be unlocked from the outside. This will keep your kiddo from accidentally locking himself or herself in a bathroom or bedroom.
6. Go Light on the Artwork
Decorating a nursery can be one of the most exciting, memorable, and rewarding events of your life. When completing this fun activity, avoid hanging heavy artwork above your baby’s crib. During an unexpected, weather emergency or a hanging hardware failure, babies can become injured from bulky artwork falling on them. Older babies may also accidentally pull artwork down on top of themselves.
7. Soften Sharp, Furniture Edges
For babies beginning to walk, pulling up on furniture is common. Unfortunately, this innocent gesture can result in a collection of unwelcome bumps and bruises. To soften those sharp furniture edges and help baby go from crawling to walking in comfort, try applying corner cushions. These adhesive, removable cushions can be cut to fit your furniture. Plus, once wobbly toddlers pick up speed, these baby bumper cushions will protect them from collisions with sharp corners.
8. Become a Lean, Mean Cleaning Machine
Small children absolutely adore putting everything they can get their hands on into their mouths. To them, potentially harmful items such as insects and trash are as tempting as mouth-watering, decadent desserts are to adults. Therefore, keeping your home as clean as possible can be a major deterrent from accidents and health hazards. Place items like books and magazines on higher levels to keep them out of reach. When shopping for cleaning products, avoid ones with harsh chemicals. For those interested in going the DIY route, you may consider making your cleaning supplies at home with all-natural ingredients.
A newborn is an amazingly special addition to the family. Whether you’re planning for the arrival of a bundle of joy or already enjoying home life, making your home baby and kid-friendly can help keep everyone safe and sound.