After those first exciting moments of mobility anywhere from 4- to 10-months, you will start to notice that your home is full of dangerous baby bait. No matter how many stimulating toys you offer your baby, they are way more interested in chewing on the lamp cord. The baby industry has a gadget to baby proof just about anything, and there are also creative solutions families can utilize if they like to DIY. In order to prepare my home for family home daycare, my husband and I baby-proofed things that might make you think we’re paranoid. We’re not, we’re just making sure the state gives me a license! I’ve thought up many items in the home that you might want to baby-proof and am including products or DIY solutions, just to get the gears turning for you…
- Bedroom Doors – Most doors in the house have knob covers, which will keep tiny hands from opening the doors until children are big enough to know what is dangerous. We also wanted to keep the nursery door open, so we created our own out-of-reach doorstop with a hook and eye door latch (door stops near or on the ground are completely vulnerable to surprisingly strong infants). I’ve seen some clever parents using pool noodles to avoid squishing fingers, as well.
- Sliding Closet – Our nursery closet is a mysterious place for our child, and we intend to keep it that way with a hole and dowel pin.
- Bifold Closet – Our laundry closet has become the place where all the noxious materials are kept, from detergents to dirty diapers, medicines to Windex. We have placed all these poisons under lock-and-key with a locking hinge.
- Screens or open windows – a locked window is the safest and most cost effective way to avoid accidents, but there are also “window guards” on the market. A search on Amazon will provide a plethora of options.
- Blind Cords – Aside from the tried and true “tuck-the-cord-into-the-blinds” method, there are a number of products under the title “blind cord wind ups” that effectively and affordably put these asphyxiation hazards out of the way.
- TV/Heavy Items – If your TV isn’t up and away, you’ll soon learn that curious toddlers will want to tug at it. An effective way to avoid accidents with the TV is to anchor it to the wall.
- Outlets – Outlet plugs are affordable and effective. Can’t think of a DIY that would do it better!
- Cords – Our beloved electronics are absolute baby/toddler bait, and particularly the power cords seem to attract curious mouths. Our favorite method is to stow cords behind furniture (which also meant, in many cases, rearranging our electronics and furniture, so that cords could hide behind). In desperate cases, we have cut out a hole in our furniture for our plugs. So far, so good.
- Cabinets – For all cabinet and drawer types, there are cabinet latches, which offer an inconspicuous sense of security.
- Oven/Stove – There are two ways I see to handle stove knobs: you either pull the knobs off and put them on the counter/out of reach when not in use, or you can invest in some knob covers.
- Trash Can – We purchased a handy pull out trash can that goes under our sink. In other words, behind the security of a cabinet latch.
Absolutely anything noxious is in our laundry closet. This is why we have a locking latch placed at the top of the closet door (a bifold door). The major chemicals/substances that should be placed under lock and key (or highly inaccessible areas at least) are:
- Cleaning Supplies
- Diaper Pail
- Litter Box