Preparing emotionally to be a parent for the first time is nerve-wracking enough without even considering all the physical tasks ahead of you. Baby-proofing your home can feel daunting. You don’t know what is and isn’t necessary, what is being too careful or not careful enough, and this could put a lot of pressure during your final trimester.
To help ensure you cover all of your bases and save money while you are at it, follow this guide and baby-proof your home with confidence before your little one’s big arrival.
Improve Your Home’s Safety
Keep things simple to start and improve your home’s basic safety. This means installing or checking on the battery life of all of your smoke detectors. If you don’t already have them, you will also want to take this time to install carbon monoxide detectors on every level of your home.
More simple safety measures to take are buying a few fire extinguishers for each floor, buying a first aid-kid, and stocking up on some simple medicines and vitamins.
Tip: New parents should consider taking an infant first-aid course that will teach them life-saving skills like how to perform CPR, and other useful skills to know.
Improve Your Home’s Structure
Bring in a specialist to go through your home and check for areas that could pose an issue. Damp could lead to mold, for example, or at the very least cause paint to crack and peel off. Once your baby gets exploring, they could put those paint chips into their mouth unless you seal them.
Tackle the Furniture
Furniture is often what people think about when babyproofing a home. Yes, you won’t need to worry about too much of it until your baby starts walking, but that will come a lot faster than you might think. To save money, however, you do still have time to wait for a sale. Try to invest in:
- Baby-proof cupboard locks (for cupboards, drawers, and your fridge)
- Furniture pads to protect them from sharp corners
- Outlet covers
- Baby gates to place throughout the home (two for the stairs minimum)
Things you can and should do before the baby comes include things like:
- Placing non-slip mats underneath all the rugs in your home.
- Creating baby stations so that you and your partner can easily reach everything they need without danger.
- Ensure all the baby furniture meets current safety suggestions.
Things to Prepare Beforehand
Other things you will want to get done before your baby arrives are things you might never have considered. Painting the baby’s room, for example, should be done two months in advance to ensure any paint fumes are long cleared out.Other things to do include going through your backyard and searching for any poisonous plants. It can take time to successfully remove them due to their root system, so getting a head start is key.
Don’t Forget Your Car
If you intend to ever take your baby out of the house, you are also going to have to baby-proof and prep your vehicle. Having a set of diapers, wipes, and other necessary items at hand’s reach in your car, for example, can make it easy to pack up and go with the new addition to your family, but before you get to that, it’s important to focus on the basics.
Namely, the car seat. A good way to have money is to find the best convertible car seat that can be customized with an infant insert so your baby can continue to use that same car seat as they grow.
Other things to prep with your car are to buy sun shades to keep your baby cool and out of UV rays. Having a “baby on board” sticker can also be beneficial, but it is not necessary.
Get in the Habit of Keeping Clutter-Free
Last but not least, though infants aren’t very mobile, they grow fast and before you know it your little one will be crawling around your home with a hunger for adventure. Before this happens, it’s smart to get in the habit of reducing clutter around your home and putting items away. A pen that has fallen off the coffee table, a small fork, all of these everyday items could pose a danger to your baby should they pick it up and investigate by placing it in their mouths.
Ask for advice and suggestions from friends or family members who already have children for other ways on how to baby-proof before your big arrival. They will have key insights and might even have baby equipment and furniture for you to use instead of buying new ones.