Friday, January 18, 2013

Baby Proofing Your Home

For most of us, home is a kind of sanctuary - a respite from the dangers of the outside world. Then we become parents. All of a sudden, danger is lurking around every corner. You used to love your sunken living room - now those stairs conjure images of tumbling toddlers. Remember how proud you were of the new Pottery Barn coffee table? Now all you see are endless hard edges and corners just waiting to make contact with your precious baby's body. We won't even mention the word "electrical outlets."

Childproofing your home is actually pretty easy to do. We recommend that you begin early, rather than waiting for your child's accidents to prompt the safety proofing. Little ones can jump from one mobile stage to the next (sometimes literally) in the time it takes to fold one more pair of jeans.


Must-have Childproofing Products for New Parents
  1. Baby Gates. Take a look around and list the baby gates you will need to prevent future accidents. All stairways should have their own gate. Install them when you see your baby first begin to scoot so you are adept at operating them one-handed once they're truly necessary. We learned not to skimp on this one - after breaking our third low-priced gate, we regretted not springing for the higher dollar gates from the get go!
  2. Electrical Outlet Covers. Once your baby is born, you will want to cover every exposed electrical outlet with covers and keep cords out of their reach. Babies just love to fiddle with these things until they can be removed so we suggest buying the heavy-duty models which require you to push a "magic" button or lever before it can be taken out. They'll eventually figure that out too, but there is only so much one can do.
  3. Corner Covers. There are multiple sizes, shapes, and colors of padding which can be stuck to the corners of coffee tables, entertainment centers, end tables, and any other hard surface which is right at baby's, "I'm learning to crawl/pull myself up/walk" head and face height. Your child will still obtain his/her fair share of bumps and bruises along the way but these pads work to mitigate the more severe varieties of baby boo boos.
  4. Cabinet door latches. There are multiple versions of these and they are essential unless you plan to spend your child's entire toddler-hood guarding cabinets, saying "NO!" 100 times per hour, and learning the names for the entire volunteer staff of the poison control center. It only takes the first 300 or so times of using them before you learn to open your own cabinets without thinking about it.
  5. Door Knob Covers. These are about as adult proof as they are baby proof but while you keep your sweet angel from entering rooms s/he isn't supposed to, you will also acquire finger, hand, and wrist agility you never knew you had.
These five items will help to get you started along your baby proofing path. And just remember, this too shall pass...

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