How to Make Your Home Safe for Baby

There’s nothing more exciting than bringing home a new member of the family. But whether your baby is happy to sit in one place or is quite adventurous, you’ll need to take the time to anticipate dangerous situations in the home and prevent them. Here’s a few things to consider when making your home safer for your new baby–but of course, nothing can replace the careful supervision necessary for your little loved one.

Gate up the house

You’ll want to securely install baby gates at the tops and the bottoms of all staircases in your home. Bathrooms and fireplaces should also be barred from access, as these places are potentially dangerous. It’s advisable to install window guards on any low windows as well. Position your furniture away from windows so your baby can’t climb up and make any unexpected–and dangerous–escapes.

If you have any easily-accessible bodies of water (such as an in-ground pool or spa), gate their perimeters so the baby can’t get in.

Lock the doors

Keep doors and cabinets locked. This will keep your baby from slipping into rooms or out the house, and keep him or her away from harmful things like poisons, medication and sharp objects. You may also want to consider installing alarms on doors or windows, just in case.

Make sure baby equipment is safe

You might have received a lot of used equipment for your baby from from friends or yard sales, but what’s good for the wallet isn’t always what’s safest for the baby. Be sure to check if cribs or other equipment you’ve received have ever been recalled in the past. You can do this at the Consumer Product Safety Commission website. If there’s no history of recalls, your used equipment is good to go.

Prevent crib suffocation and SIDS

It’s advisable to keep the crib free of stuffed animals, pillows and baby bumpers in your baby’s first 12 months, as these can cause suffocation and run the increased risk of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS). It’s best to have your baby sleep in the same room as you, but not on your mattress, as that can also increase SIDS risk.

Install handrails along stairways

This might not be so obvious before the baby’s arrival, but handrails are essential when carrying your baby up and down the stairs. Keep the both of you safe by having something to hold on to.

Beware electricity and cords

Your baby might want to chew on electrical cords, so keep those out of reach to avoid injury. Cords can also present the danger of strangulation, so you’ll want to keep cords that hang from the window far out of reach as well. Cover any unused sockets to alleviate the risk of electrical shock.

Put plants out of reach

Your houseplants may look beautiful, but some of them are deadly, and a curious child might want to have a taste of a harmful leaf. Look up whether your plants are poisonous–aloe vera and crotons are just a couple examples–and put any that raise alarm out of your baby’s reach.