Here is a childproofing your home checklist for your room by room changes. When you receive the joyous news that your little bundle of joy is finally on the way, your first instinct is probably to start preparing for his arrival by painting the nursery and purchasing all the furniture, clothing, and toys he will need. In short, you’ll quickly go into nesting mode, with all the attendant feathering that this activity requires.
However, something you may not immediately consider is just how hazardous your space could be to an infant as he rolls, scoots, crawls, and takes his first steps towards toddlerhood. There could be all kinds of hidden dangers lurking at your knee level, where the little people in your household spend most of their time. And considering that infants and toddlers are a curious lot; opening doors, climbing stationary (but maybe not so stable) objects, and putting everything they find into their mouths in order to experience the world fully; you should probably check out your entire house from their level (and their mindset) to determine potential pitfalls.
The first thing to look at when childproofing your home is your flooring. Both carpeted and hard surfaces could be detrimental to the tots in your home. The obvious difficulty with hard floors is that toddlers tend to take quite a few spills, resulting in bruises. But this isn’t the end of the world. The greater potential for harm comes from what you put on your floor, namely chemical cleaners. Keep in mind that for at least a while your baby will be walking with his hands and knees, and at least two of these extremities are frequently in his mouth. So you might want to switch to non-toxic, green cleaning solvents until he has outgrown the desire to put his hands in his mouth. As for carpeting, it’s generally safer, but it does have the capacity to trap allergens, so you may want to look for a hypoallergenic blend if you happen to be adding or replacing carpeting.
Of course, your major problems likely won’t surface until your child starts to crawl, climb, and walk, at which point you have to worry about absolutely everything he can reach. This stage will require you to thoroughly pad or block off nearly everything below waist level. Hard edges can be dulled with bumpers, cabinets and drawers that contain dangerous items (chemicals, cutlery, etc.) should get the child safety treatment with latches or locks, and rooms that are full of pointy-edged furnishings or nice items that you don’t want handled and broken should also be closed off, along with stairwells. You can either close and lock interior doors or simply put up baby gates for this purpose.
The next step is to secure anything that could be pulled down by the weight of a climbing toddler, including chairs, side tables, shelving units, and even the entertainment center. You can add safety straps (that attach to the wall on one end and the object on the other) to keep these items upright. And remember to affix any pieces that are on top of these furnishings as well, either with additional straps (for heavier items) or Velcro tape. You don’t need to go so far as purchasing coverage from a site like PublicLiabilityInsurance.org in case something goes wrong, but you should definitely look at some of the many ways that you can keep the latest addition to your family safe in his own home.