Babies are great explorers and it’s a natural part of your baby’s development.
As your baby becomes more active, you might feel like you’re racing to grab things out of their hands or prevent them from climbing on things.
Knowing how to babyproof an apartment keeps you two steps ahead of them!
Get Down to Baby’s Level
The first thing you should do is get down on the ground to the baby’s eye level. Look around each room from this perspective. What is there that you can pull yourself up
If you see shelves, a television, potted plants, low-hanging curtains, and tower fans, you can guarantee your baby sees them, too. For a baby, they look like something worth exploring.
While you’re down there on the ground, take a look under furniture. Has dust collected? Are there choking hazards on the ground?
Your baby will breathe in and try to eat anything on the floor, so keep it clean and clutter-free.
The Most Important Stuff
Right away, you should see some apparent dangers in your apartment. Electrical outlets, balconies, and sharp edges are prime culprits.
Make sure your baby stays safe in your apartment by taking precautions as soon as you can and preferably before they’re mobile.
Your kitchen is one of the most exciting and most dangerous rooms in your entire apartment to a baby.
Your bathroom is also full of wonders. Things like cleaners and kitty litter are baby magnets.
Keep your baby safe by blocking access to these rooms. Get in the habit of closing your bathroom door. Put a baby gate up to block off your kitchen.
A quality baby gate will keep your little one out of trouble. They’re easy to install and they don’t get in the way.
More than 24,000 children end up in the hospital every year because they jammed something into an electrical socket. Don’t let your baby be one of them.
Cover up all of the electrical sockets in your apartment.
Electrical outlet covers are relatively cheap and easy to install. Get some.
No Sharp Edges
Tables, furniture, cabinets, and shelves often have unforgiving edges.
For a baby, they pose a serious danger. If you’ve ever bashed your shin on the corner of a coffee table, you’ll understand.
Babies can hurt their heads on these sharp edges. That’s why you should remove any furniture with sharp edges.
Invest in a round coffee table, and cover all sharp edges with corner guards.
If you have IKEA-style square shelving, your baby will eventually want to attempt to climb it. If you can’t get rid of this shelving, then you’ll need different strategies.
For starters, you should anchor every shelf to the wall to ensure they don’t tip.
You can teach your baby that no means no. Take the baby outside for a walk, or distract them with something different.
Great distractions include directing your baby’s attention to a designated play area or making a shelf just for them.
If you have cabinetry in your apartment, you should lock it all up. Low cupboards in your kitchen and washroom should also be locked.
You can use safety locks to keep these doors closed.
Child safety locks come in all different styles and sizes. The three main types are magnetic locks, spring locks, and sliding locks.
Magnetic locks get installed inside the door and require a bit of arm muscle to open. Spring locks require more installation.
They allow the door to open an inch, and then a latch stops it.
Sliding locks, meanwhile, are simple affairs that fit over the knobs or handles and block the doors from opening. You can even get safety locks for toilet seats!
More Important Precautions to Consider
There’s more to baby-proofing an apartment than electrical outlets and baby gates. Infants and toddlers have a way of finding trouble you never thought about.
Did you know that more than 14,000 children are injured every year from furniture tip-overs? This includes things such as shelving units and televisions.
You can protect your baby by securing anything that can fall. Here’s what to do.
Secure the TV
Unless you have a wall-mounted television, you’ll need to secure your television. Babies will pull on televisions and smack the screens.
You want to make sure the tv won’t tip over on them.
The easiest way to do this is with a TV strap.
These attach to the back of your tv and the wall or entertainment stand. Best of all, they’re affordable and easy to install.
Bookcases should always be anchored, even if you don’t have children. More so if you do. Thankfully it’s easy and affordable to keep them from tipping over.
Buy some bookcase anchors. These work by screwing a piece of metal into the back of the bookcase and the other end into the wall.
Some of them use metal wiring, but the concept is the same.
Keep Books out of Reach
If you have shelves with lots of books, you will want to move those books up to higher shelves.
Babies can pull books down on top of them, or get paper cuts, or simply destroy your collection.
You can create a baby-safe book collection just for them, which they can access and explore whenever they like.
Cacti, poisonous plants, and other flowers are not safe for babies.
In addition, babies are not safe for your house plants, and larger plants can pose a tripping risk to a baby.
Move all your houseplants out of reach from tiny fingers.
While you’re on the floor at baby level, you’ll be able to see how high up you need to place your plants. Get rid of plants that you can’t put anywhere else.
Secure Pet Supplies
Babies love pet food, water dishes, and litter boxes. They’ll return to these items time and again. The best thing you can do is baby-proof your pet supplies.
A baby-proof water bowl has a smaller opening that dogs can fit their snouts in, but is too small for a baby’s head. This will protect your child from drowning (yes, it happens).
An automatic feeder will open and close on a set timer. Your pets are smart, and they’ll know when it’s dinner time. Baby, meanwhile, won’t be able to get into the food.
When it comes to your cat, you can find a baby-proof litter box.
The Stuff You Never Thought About
Not everyone can think of everything.
Babyproof your apartment completely by tackling some things you probably didn’t think about.
Face it, your baby is going to be hanging around table legs. Infants love crawling under tables and chairs, and there’s no way to stop them.
You can stop them from hurting their heads on these table legs by covering them in soft fabric.
Believe it or not, but socks will do the trick! Buy some cheap socks and cover up those hard legs.
Chipping Paint and Broken Tiles
Older apartments are often covered in lead paint.
The paint on your walls can easily chip and peel, making an inviting treat for your baby to taste. Broken tiles can pose a choking hazard.
If you see paint peeling or chipped tiles at baby level, get in touch with your landlord immediately.
Cords of All Kinds
Do you have wires all over the place? Is it a jungle behind your tv or computer desk? Do you have long Venetian blinds with cords dangling down to the floor?
If so, you need to tidy that up. Babies love pulling on cords.
You can start with a cord organizer. This will bunch all your cords together into neat, organized bundles. Another method is to bundle them up over a paper towel holder.
In addition, look out for power cables that feed into laptops or computer monitors. One tug can send a heavy piece of hardware down on a baby’s head.
Does your apartment have wood floors?
If so, it can pose a splinter risk to your baby. As babies crawl around, they can end up getting tiny slivers embedded in their knees and hands.
You can avoid this with throw rugs or play mats. Interlocking foam play mats are great because you can cover as much area as you need, and they’re easy to keep clean.
Screws and Nails
Check around for any screw and nail heads sticking out. Anything that isn’t flush with the wall or floor represents a tearing danger to your baby.
Either hammer or screw them in tightly, or remove them completely.
Eventually, your baby is going to be in the bath. You need to be with them at all times while they’re in there.
For extra security, you should install spout buffers and anti-slip mats.
Cover the hard, metal water spout with a soft (and cute) safety guard. These often come in the shape of ducks or frogs.
Next, install a suction-cup anti-slip mat on the bottom of the tub. This is good for adults, as well. Nobody should fall in the bathtub, regardless of age.
Finally, move all fridge magnets to the top of the refrigerator.
If you can’t do that, then put them away. Babies can easily choke on magnets. The colorful ones are especially appealing!
Safety First, Always
Babies bring such joy to a family. Make their safety your number one priority.
Once you baby-proof your apartment, you’ll be able to enjoy every one of those moments with your little one!
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