You don’t want to wait till little tyke’s ready to crawl before you start baby proofing your home. With lots to prepare, having a baby around wouldn’t be the most conducive environment to get things sorted and ready.
The best time to baby proof your home? A couple of months before the due date. This allows you and your partner time to get used to the arrangements. As your baby starts to grow and reach their milestones, you will want to do periodic checks around the house to make adjustments if necessary.
Here’s a handy checklist to help you keep on top of things:
Design: KWYM Interior
- Organise electrical cables with cable management boxes. These help to keep the cables out of sight and prevent your child from being tempted to pull on them.
- Cover unused outlet plugs that are within reach with clear outlet covers.
- Check for sharp edges and corners. Install corner guards on them.
- Consider installing window grilles to prevent accidental falls through open windows. Invisible grilles afford protection without too much visual obstruction.
- Tie blinds and curtain cords high enough so that little hands cannot reach.
- Get a working fire extinguisher around.
- Is your first-aid kit stocked? Make sure you throw out expired supplies and replenish them.
- If you live with stairs, install safety gates on the top and bottom of your stairs.
Living Room/Dining Room
Design: Authors Interior & Styling
- If your TV’s on a stand or console, it’s best to secure it to the wall to prevent it from toppling over.
- Secure any other heavy furniture e.g. bookshelves onto the wall.
- Remove climbable furniture near the windows.
- Consider replacing your glass tabletop with a sturdy one made from wood.
- Coffee tables are usually at the height of your baby so you will want to make sure they are completely safe. Think about replacing your hard table with a soft ottoman.
- You don’t want too many cushions or throws around due to risk of suffocation.
- Place anti-slip mats on rugs.
- Remove any tablecloths if you use them.
- Make sure your houseplants are safe and of the non-toxic variety. To prevent them from playing in the dirt, consider wrapping the top of your planter with a removable cloth or plastic wrap.
- Place smaller décor objects on higher shelves.
Design: 13th Design Studio
- The kitchen can be a dangerous place for babies, especially if your attention’s elsewhere. You will want to place them in a secured playpen when you are busy cooking.
- Use safety latches on bottom cabinets, as well as your built-in oven, dishwasher and refrigerator. If you prefer not to, make sure you keep dangerous objects e.g. knives, cling wrap or foil boxes with sharp, jagged edges, and breakable wares and china away from bottom drawers or cupboards.
- Consider having a dedicated drawer filled with safe tools for your little one. This keeps them busy (and distracted) and prevents them from fiddling with the rest of the things in the kitchen.
- Install safety knob covers that can be fitted on the knobs of your hob.
- If you have any freestanding storage pieces (like a pantry cabinet), make sure it’s secured to the walls.
- Those NTUC plastic bags you like to recycle? Don’t leave them around as they can be suffocation hazards.
- Keep medicines, vitamins or supplements locked away in high cabinets or drawers. They can look like sweets!
Design: The Interior Lab
- Mirrors, chest of drawers or dressers should be mounted securely onto the wall.
- Pull furniture away from the windows.
- Move the bed (and crib) away from the window. If space is limited and you have to place the crib near the window, make sure there are window grilles in place and the windows are securely fastened. Also, keep the crib clear from any blinds or curtains cords.
- Avoid placing too many blankets or soft toys on baby’s bed.
- If buying a crib, make sure the bars of the crib aren’t too wide. You don’t want your baby to get their head stuck in between.
- Keep picture frames or any wall decor away from the crib.
Design: D’ Initial Concept
- Keep cleaning supplies (like the toilet brush), toiletries or grooming products/appliances out of reach and away from the bathroom vanity counter.
- Get a toilet seat lock that will prevent any accidental drowning.
- If you have a bathtub, make sure there’s an anti-slip mat inside to prevent accidental falls.
- Use slip-resistant mats near the sink and outside the bathroom.
- Get rid of step stools as they encourage climbing and reaching for things they aren’t supposed to.
Design: Jesswan Interior
- Keep your service yard a no-baby zone with a safety gate if you can.
- Keep cleaning and laundry chemicals out of reach and secured behind cabinets.
- Detergent pods are particularly hazardous since they look like candy.
- Hide your iron and ironing board away from sight. Unplug your iron when not in use and don’t leave the cord hanging about.
- Stow away collapsible drying racks after use. These can topple over easily.
- If you have a ceiling-mounted drying rack, make sure the cords are tied up and kept away from reach.
- Use safety latches for your front-load washer and dryer.
This article was originally posted on Renonation.sg, Singapore’s leading renovation and interior design site.