Anyway, now that I'm back home for the weekend let's get down to business. Madelyn is going to start crawling any day. Right now she can spin in a circle and crawl backwards but hasn't figured out forward motion. I know it will be any day, and, well, the house isn't ready for that at all. I want to do everything possible to keep my little angel safe. I thought I'd check out some websites to get some ideas about baby proofing (about.com and parenthood.com). OMG, the list is daunting! Thank God for playpens and dads!
|Emma teaching Madelyn to crawl|
- Safe crib. check.
- Safe playpen. check.
- Install and use a safety belt's on changing table, swing, bouncy chair, high chair. check.
- Place a rug under the changing table and crib, which will offer some cushion in case of a fall. check.
- Keep nightlights at least three feet away from the crib, bedding, and draperies to prevent fire. check.
- Set your water heater to 120 degrees F or below. Did you know: At 130 degrees F, it only takes 30 seconds for a serious burn to occur and at 140 degrees F, it takes just five seconds. Oops...forgot that one.
- Install smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors on every floor of your home, with detectors outside every bedroom door as well. Check your smoke detector’s battery twice a year ("change your clock, change your battery"). check.
- Take a baby first aid course to learn infant CPR. check.
- Keep coins, small toys, nail scissors, and balloons -- any item that is small enough to fit inside a cardboard toilet paper roll -- out of infant's reach. I think we need to crawl around the house to check this one...
- Remove mobiles and other hanging toys from the crib as soon as baby can reach up and touch them. Is this really necessary? We lowered the crib so she can't touch them instead.
- Shorten drapery and blind cords. check.
- Remove the plastic end caps on doorstops, or replace the stops with a one-piece design. Add to the list.
- Drill breathing holes into any trunk you are using as a toy box in case a child gets trapped inside. (And install safety hinges, or buy one with a removable lid to prevent pinched fingers.) We don't have a toy box. check.
- Lock any potentially dangerous substance in an upper-level cabinet. This includes alcoholic beverages, household cleaning formulas, laundry supplies, medications (including nonprescription varieties like vitamins or Advil), paint, kerosene, gasoline, charcoal, lighter fluid, bug spray, pesticides, and fertilizers. Huge TO DO item.
- Place houseplants out of baby's reach; know the names of all plants in case a child eats one of them. I only have one plant, this should be easy...actually does anyone want a plant?
- Keep a bottle of Ipecac and activated charcoal in your home, but use only when instructed by a medical professional. Okay...what's this for?
- Cover every electrical outlet in your home with a child/tamper-resistant outlet cover (the plastic plugs are easy to pry out). Also make sure power strips/powerbars are covered with a safety device. We did this when she was 2 weeks old, but we need to double check the entire house.
- Install ground fault circuit interrupters on outlets near sinks and bathtubs since they stop the electrical current when an appliance gets wet. Say what? Dad job!
- Place screened barriers around fireplaces, radiators, and portable space heaters. Gas heat, check.
- Install hardware-mounted safety gates at the top and bottom of stairways with two or more steps. Pressure-mounted models may not be strong enough. Huge TO DO item - need to find a custom company for our open concept stairs.
- Pad the edges of coffee tables and brick or tile fireplaces. Hmm....what happened to baby learning the hard way?
- Remove the crib bumper pad as soon as your infant can get up on all fours since baby may use it as a step to climb out. 8 months and she still can't do that...will keep on our radar.
- Position audio/video equipment so baby cannot pull televisions or stereos off furniture. Dad item.
- Keep appliance cords wrapped short so children cannot pull coffee makers, toasters, and other appliances. check.
- Secure bookshelves, entertainment centers, and bureaus to walls since they can topple onto children who use furniture to pull up and stand. Dad item.
- Install locking latches on all appliances that open and close (oven, fridge, dishwasher). Install knob covers to prevent a child from turning on burners and a stove guard to protect hands. Always keep pot handles turned inward while cooking. Huge TO DO item.
- Install latches to the insides of drawers and cabinets. Use knob latches on doors with knobs, if necessary. If you have an irregular cabinet and you can’t find a latch that fits, consider emptying the cabinet or making it a spot for toys and other safe objects. Keep poisons and chemicals completely out of a baby’s reach and locked away. Huge TO DO item.
- Put all vases and other dangerous decorations out of the reach of children. It may be tempting to leave some items out in order to “teach” your child about off-limits objects, but it’s safer (and less frustrating) in the long run to just remove them. Mom item.
- Buy electrical cord bundlers and secure cords to furniture so that they cannot be pulled. Buy cord shorteners for cords that babies can frequently reach (such as a baby monitor near a changing table). Watch teething babies very carefully, since cords are a tempting treat. Make sure all electrical cords are free of breaks, kinks and holes. Add to the list.
- Buy and install door alarm system for front, back and sliding doors. Dad item.
- Check all windows to make sure guards are on. Dad item.
- Buy and install toilet lid locks on all toilets. Dad item.
- Baby proof my purse. Make it a habit to keep purse elevated away from baby, and always hang car keys (ew germs) away from baby's reach. Mom item.
- Kitchen: Get down on the floor and check for items regularly. Keep the floor swept and vacuumed and make sure any pasta or other spills are cleaned up immediately. Keep pet food and bowls inaccessible to children. Hmmm...what should we do about Mason's food?