This is one of the most exciting times – anticipating the arrival of a newborn! Even if you're prepping your heart and home for a grand baby, you want to make sure you've covered all the bases. The last thing you want to do is worry about missed outlets or possible dangers when you should be enjoying every second with your sweet baby. For pregnant mamas, you can go ahead and proof the house as part of your nesting because the day your tiny newborn decides to roll across the living room floor while you're in the bathroom will happen before you know it! Time to take care of business, and you can do it all in one day. While you're at it, kid-proof the car!
ROOM BY ROOM
Living room: This is where you and your baby will spend a lot of time. Most likely, you have the Rock n Play or swing set up there, the pack n play in the corner. Here's what you need to be aware of for this room:
- Furniture: For any hard edges, pick up some furniture corner guards. You can swap out the coffee table for a soft ottoman. Glass tops need to be completely secured to the stand or replaced with a different piece. Furniture should be placed away from windows in case baby wants to climb up the arm chair and lean over the back. Crazier things have happened.
- TV: If the TV is on a stand, push it back far enough so that baby's little arms cannot reach it.
- Cords: Neatly zip-tie electrical cords or use electrical tape and tuck them away.
- Outlets: Plug them up!
- Accessories and decor: Any heavy picture frames, vases or artwork resting on surfaces or against walls need to be placed higher or completely secured.
- Windows and blinds: Curl up the cords and hang them up out of baby's reach. You can pick up a cleat or hook for a couple bucks.
- Fireplace: Use a baby gate that will wrap around it and adhere to the walls. You can also add cushions or mats to the bench of the fireplace. Lock up the screen or doors. Get inspired via Pinterest.
Nursery: For the time spent in your child's nursery, or even your bedroom, you'll want to make sure it's a calm and safe place to be. The main activities in here will be sleeping, changing diapers and clothing, folding laundry and eventually introducing some toys.
- Bedding: Make sure the bed is covered with a breathable fitted sheet. Keep pillows out of the crib for now and if your baby is in your bed without you, there's no need for a pillow under the head just yet. The mattress should be firm enough that the baby can easily roll side to side, back to front to back without melting into it. Save the memory foam for later years. Keep blankets light and breathable.
- Furniture: You probably have a chest of drawers or a dresser along with a bookshelf, maybe a storage unit or toy chest. Make sure these pieces are adhered to the wall in case baby decides to scale them. Add soft close hinges to any lids or heavy drawers.
- Outlets: Plug them up!
- Electrical: Make sure lamps, fans, white noise makers, cords and lightbulbs are all baby proofed. You don't want them knocking over the floor lamp with a glass shade, putting their finger through a fan, tripping or chewing on cords or touching a hot bulb.
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Kitchen: A mobile kid is going to cruise through the kitchen pretty frequently. Time to proof this room!
- Drawers and cabinets: Add baby-proof latches to all of the lower cabinets and drawers. Fill the bottom drawers with baby-friendly items like Tupperware, pots and pans, plastic utensils, towels and mitts and so forth. Save the sharp utensils, machines like blenders (anything you plug in), gadgets that shave, cut, slice and dice as well as ceramic or breakable dinnerware for the higher spots.
- Appliances: For the oven and dishwasher especially, you'll want to add a safety lock so baby can't pull on the handle to open them up. Have stove knob covers on hand in case baby gets curious and you can pop those on without hesitation.
- Cleaning supplies: If they've been located under the sink up until now, they might enjoy a view from a higher cabinet. At the same time, you might want to reconsider a few of the products you're using and replace them with less toxic versions. Check out a few of these products you can use every day.
- Outlets: Plug them up!
Everything in between: This includes the stairs, hallways, sibling's rooms, pet areas and more. Do a quick walk-through of your home and double check these trouble spots:
- Steps: Get a solid baby gate, preferably one you can easily pass through (instead of over) and place it at the bottom or top of the steps, depending where baby has access. If you have a custom width or a step-down into another room, it can be difficult to proof those steps. Instead, take the time to teach your kiddo how to scale that step without any trouble: feet first, belly to the steps.
- House plants: Try to keep these out of reach for the most part. If you have larger house plants, make sure they're not toxic for baby. Oleanders, peace lilies, ivies and poinsettias are all toxic, including the other common plants on this list. For fake plants, make sure any moss, rocks or other removable parts are secured to the plant or container.
- Doors: Secure the doors with knob protectors and sliding doors with safety bars. If your back door leads out to a high deck or pool, you really don't want your baby's curiosity to send them outside!
- Air quality: Change out filters and add a purifier to baby's room, especially if you have an older home.
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IN CASE OF EMERGENCY
- Phone numbers: Have your emergency phone numbers posted somewhere easily accessible. When your baby needs help, you don't want to be scrolling through your contacts for the right number. Write these down, then put them in your phone: Pediatrician: Include after-hours number Poison Control: (800) 222-1222 FDA for Medication: (800) 463-6332 Nearby Hospitals: Have at least three with the correct departments (labor and delivery, children's, etc...) Animal Control: Have at least two companies listed Power Company: For outages, loose wires, blown fuses and more Water Company: For sudden leaks or breaks in lines; water quality Police Non-Emergency: To report incidents not requiring immediate attention Neighbors: Have at least one neighbor's cell phone and home phone
- Infant CPR: If your child is choking or experiencing a medical emergency, you can act as the first responder. Check out one-day workshops where you can become certified within a few hours.
- First-aid and medication: Stock your medicine cabinet with baby medications (you can count these on one hand) and supplements (like vitamin D) as well as band-aids, quick-stop bleeding products, clean gauzes and aloe. Check out a baby's first-aid kit here.
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