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Ever since I brought my baby girl into the world, I’ve had this innate desire and sense of responsibility to keep her safe. What’s the word for that again? Oh yea, I think that’s what they call motherhood. Anyway, up until this point, I think I’ve done a pretty good job at it. It probably has something to do with the fact that I’m a control freak/helicopter/super clingy first-time mom and never leave Riley out of my sight.
Related Reading: Tips For New Moms – How To Survive The First Three Months
Can you blame me though? She’s so stinkin cute!
Anyway, now that my baby girl is 7 months old and starting to go places – and by places I mean all over the floor – it’s time to make sure that our home is a safe place for her. She’s not quite crawling, but she makes her way across the family room floor and dear Lord, all she ever wants to do is get into the TV cords or my shoes or pretty much anything and everything that she needs to stay away from. So today, we’re talking about childproofing because that’s exactly what the hubby and I are going to be up to the next couple of weeks.
Sound like something you need to do soon? Great! Grab a cup of vino and take notes. Here are some pointers on how to childproof your house.
1. Fire & CO Alarms
The very first thing you ought to do when childproofing your house is to check your fire and CO alarms to make sure that they’re working. If you don’t have alarms yet, well, now’s the time to get some.
So first of all, if you don’t know what CO stands for, it stands for carbon monoxide. And what exactly is it? It’s an invisible, odorless and deadly gas that can be produced by any fuel-burning device (furnace, boiler, stove, cars, etc.).
It’s really a scary thing because over 250 people die each year from carbon monoxide poisoning. And on top of that, every year carbon monoxide poisoning is responsible for over 20,000 emergency room visits. With so much technology these days, there’s no reason for that – so make sure your home is equipped with CO alarms. These CO alarms detect this poisonous gas and provide early warning allowing you to keep your family safe.
First Alert has a variety of CO alarms that fit your family’s needs. You just have to choose which one works best for ya.
If you already have one of these, great. Just make sure to replace your alarm as needed. While some alarm batteries can last for 10+ years, others have shorter lifespans so you want to stay on top of that to make sure they’re in working order. Thankfully, First Alert alarms have an end of life warning (one beep every minute), giving you a heads up that it’s time to change them.
This is the alarm we installed in Riley’s room.
Sometimes it can be a little hard to install alarms on your ceiling, but this one plugs right into electrical outlets. So darn easy, I even did it myself! #handymom
Since I installed the alarm in Riley’s nursery, I now have a little peace of mind knowing that if God forbid there was carbon monoxide in her room, we’d be alerted before things got dangerous.
2. Safety Gates
If you live in a two story home, part of childproofing your house means installing safety gates at the top and bottom of the stairs. You’ll also want to consider getting gates for the doorways/hallways or whatever part of your home you don’t want your baby to access. Luckily, we don’t have stairs to worry about, but we do have a family room like I mentioned before with lots of stuff we don’t want Riley getting into. We’ll be buying a baby playpen very soon (I’m looking at this one from Amazon) and then she’ll have a nice safe area to play in. Because these days, honestly, I’m happiest when she’s sitting in her high chair like this. It’s the only way to keep her in one spot for more than 2.5 seconds.
3. Doorknob Covers
Riley can’t stand up yet, but while we’re in the process of childproofing the place, we’re going to buy these doorknob covers just to have them ready. My friend installed them to keep her little one from opening doors (especially doors that lead outside) and yea – it took a little figuring out before I could even open the door myself. Whatever, I’ll deal with difficult doors if it means keeping Riley out of rooms she shouldn’t be in.
4. Keep Candles/Matches Away
As much as I love candles, this is something that I need to be more mindful of. With a little one running around the house, be sure to keep candles and lighters/matches off of surfaces where they can be reached. It seems like a super simple concept. Like, duh, obviously. But when you’re focused on making your home smell nice and preparing for visitors, it’s easy to forget that your little one can grab stuff like this. As Riley gets older, I’ll definitely be teaching her that candles aren’t toys and constantly educating her about fire safety.
5. Plug The Electrical Outlets
I already bought outlet plugs because I’ve already caught Riley staring at the outlets and I know it’s only a matter of time before baby girl gets curious enough and starts touching them. LOL pray for me guys! This little one is going to be a handful. Anyway, outlet plugs are super affordable so get yourself about a thousand of them and you’ll be fine!
6. Keep Photo Frames Out Of Reach
Here’s a tip I came across when I was researching how to childproof my house – one that never occurred to me. You’ll want to keep photo frames out of reach because if for some reason your little one knocks one over, the glass can shatter and cut them. Since that’s not exactly something I want to deal with, once Riley can stand up I’ll definitely be repositioning all of my fames. It’s a simple thing to do that could potentially prevent an emergency room visit. #Ialsohateblood
7. Look For Choking Hazards
When you’re childproofing your house, assume that anything and everything can wind up in your baby’s mouth. With that being said, spend a few hours looking at every single thing you have out that could potentially be a choking hazard and put all those things away in a safe place. Riley has a thing for teeny tiny objects so I know that I need to be super careful about this. She loves hanging out on the rug, which I’m fine with, but I’m always checking to make sure there isn’t anything dangerous lying around.
So anyway, you want to know what I did? I’m ridiculous, I know. I spent a whole afternoon crawling around on my hands and knees trying to look at things from a baby’s perspective to make sure I didn’t miss anything.
Hey – you gotta do what you gotta do.
8. Cabinet Locks
Another thing you’ll want to do is lock your kitchen cabinets so your baby can’t get into them. I keep all my cleaning supplies under my kitchen cabinets, so the last thing I need is for Riley to get into those products. They sell locks like these and they’re supposedly really easy to install, so I’m adding them to my childproofing order list and should get them pretty soon.
9. Put Away Empty Plastic Bags
Here’s another thing I never would have thought of – plastic bags. Plastic bags can be a suffocation hazard if your little one manages to put it over their head. It’s crazy, I know. And it’s so easy to think “that’ll never happen to me…I’m watching my baby all the time” but you guys…it happens. One second your baby could be hanging out like this, and the next thing you know…quiet. And quiet, as I’m sure you already know, is usually a bad sign.
I actually have a small garbage can in my bathroom and to make the cleanup process easier, I throw a regular Publix shopping bag in there and then throw all my garbage inside it. When it’s full, I grab the bag and throw it out. Easy peasy. Well, not anymore. Can’t take that risk. I’ll have to dump the garbage into a bag when it comes time to take it out.
10. Corner & Edge Bumpers
I know Riley will inevitably bump her head from time to time, but if I can do anything to prevent it, I’m all about that. We have a bunch of tables all over the family room where she spends most of her time at, so we’ll be buying edge bumpers to put on all of our tables and furniture to keep her from hurting herself with sharp edges. I vividly recall bumping the corner of my eye on a table when I was younger, and boy was that NOT fun.
Alright you guys, so I think that’s a good start! Honestly, there are so many things you need to think about when you’re childproofing your house and it can be a little overwhelming. Just take it a day at a time and try to do it well before your little one is mobile so you’re not panicking at the last minute and potentially putting them in harm’s way. Here’s a great article that walks you through childproofing your home – room by room. I was amazed by how many little details you have to pay attention to, so definitely check it out!
After all, safe baby = happy mom and dad.
Any other tips you can share? What were the first few things you did to childproof your home? Let me know down below in the comments!
Learn more about First Alert and how they can keep your home safe here.
I was selected for this opportunity as a member of CLEVER and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.