Last updated on January 29, 2019 at 12:27 pm
At 36 weeks pregnant, it has finally hit me that in a few short weeks I will be responsible for a tiny baby. As much as the preparation of changing diapers on baby dolls and practicing my swaddling techniques will hopefully prove handy in my experience as a first-time mom, I can’t help but fast forward to the year ahead when this tiny baby will become very mobile around my house. Looking around with “mommy eyes,” I am starting to notice things that I would never have paid attention to nine months ago. As my husband and I (and now our home) prepare to become first-time parents, here are some tips I have learned in my research and conversations with people far more experienced than myself:
1. Be aware of the toxic materials you are keeping in the home, such as detergents, cleaning products, cosmetics, medicines, pesticides, and petroleum products all can cause serious harm if swallowed by an infant. Store them out of reach from the baby or place the materials in a secure area, such as a shelf a baby can’t possibly reach or in a cabinet with safety latches.
2. Install bump guards on furniture and appliances with sharp edges.
3. Inventory and gather all sporting goods, including bats, balls, ice skates, bowling balls, fishing and hunting equipment, etc., and place the items in a secure area.
4. Purchase protective outlet covers for electrical sockets. These covers prevent children from inserting objects or fingers into the sockets.
5. Use gates with latches to prevent the baby from gaining access to areas that could pose a danger like stairs.
6. Consider safety latches on drawers that contain sharp knives or other utensils that could be dangerous. This will pay off even after the child leaves infancy and you don’t want a five–year-old to have access to knives or scissors unless someone is watching very closely.
7. Lower your water heater thermostat to 120 degrees, as it can take just seconds for a child to sustain a serious burn injury from very hot water. This will also help to lower your utility bill.
8. Make sure that hair dryers and other electric devices are unplugged after use in the bathroom to prevent electrocution from contact with water.
9. Consider installing locks on toilets to keep toilet lids closed. An infant or small child can easily fall into a toilet.
10. If you have a large television, make sure it is secured properly. An adventurous child could topple a large-screen television placed on a stand or table.
11. Heavier furniture like book cases will need to be secured to prevent tipping. Be aware of objects like vases that may need to be moved.
The team at Plymouth Rock thinks that stores like Babies“R“Us, Buy Buy Baby, and Target sell lots of handy gadgets to assist in child proofing your home – but don’t forget to keep a close eye on your little one. If you missed anything, they’re sure to find it!
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