Expectant parents will be tearing out their hair and obsessing over baby proofing their homes. This can be a constant topic of worry and stress, especially when you’re little nippers begin moving, crawling, walking, touching, feeling, tasting!
As normal human beings, there is only so much you as parents can do. Babies will bump and bruise, eat things they shouldn't and break things you wouldn't, but those little rascals are much more durable than you think – they’re a lot closer to the ground for a start.
All you can do is keep a close eye on your little ones when they decide to go wandering off, and take small, inexpensive measures to make your home more child friendly so you can lower that blood pressure a little.
Babies like to touch EVERYTHING! It’s how they learn textures and shapes and assist their development. To keep those little hands protected from nasty burns and scolds, you may want to invest in some radiator guards, oven and stove guards and hot tap protectors for bath time. All of these items are fairly inexpensive, but can save many tears.
Sharp edges, corners and hard surfaces are all common causes of injuries for babies that are just learning to crawl or walk. They’re going to take a lot of tumbles while they get used to being vertical, so make sure table edges, fireplace hearths and counter tops have got rubbery edge guards to act as a cushioning bumper.
Another important safety hazard to consider is open dishwashers. A surprisingly high amount of accidents in the home can be traced back to open dishwashers. Open dishwashers are trip hazards for adults and potentially life-threatening for children – think exposed sharp knives in the cutlery holder. Just make sure to keep your dishwasher door closed when you’re not loading or unloading.
Doors, cupboards, oven doors and pretty much anything that opens and closes can be a potential hazard for catching your toddler’s fingers; and while a sore finger is an effective lesson learnt, it’s what lies behind these cupboard doors that is more concerning.
Any cupboards containing harmful chemicals, such as cleaning supplies, medicines and general household chemicals, should be secured with a cupboard lock.
General doors can usually be fitted with a bumper and oven doors a secure door lock that allows you to easily open the oven door, but proves rather impossible for curious fingers.
Electrical wires should be concealed where possible and tied neatly together with cable ties. The plastic coating on electrical wires is usually fairly thick and durable to try and prevent children and animals from chewing through them, but it’s best to be safe and keep all wires tidy and out of reach of children.
Water is hazardous to your babies for two reasons: drowning and scalding. Handy baby seats that sit in the bath are a great way to bathe your baby without worry. Your little one can splash around quite happily without slipping into the water. On the subject of baths, there are many brands of bath thermometer that can tell you the optimum temperature of your bath; babies have very sensitive skin, so what might feel perfect for yourself, could possibly be a little bit hot for your baby.
The toilet is another drowning hazard that is often forgotten. As soon as your toddler is up on their feet, the toilet becomes another fun thing to try and climb up on and explore. Make sure your little one’s don’t fall in or trap their fingers by using a simple toilet lock, which keeps the lid fastened safely shut.
These are just a handful of suggestions. There are many weird and wonderful gadgets and gizmos out there designed to baby proof your home. Most importantly of all, trust your instincts. You know what is best for your little one. If you've got any favourite gadgets that you'd like to share, feel free to leave a comment, get in touch on Facebook, Twitter or Google+.