Baby proofing has been basically a choice for a lot of mothers or parents. For some, it means total baby watch all throughout the day. Some of us may even skip buying baby proofing products or improvising our own safety devices. For others, alternately, baby proofing would mean installing devices for our homes’ nooks and crannies. However, this should not substitute for parental supervision. The point is, we need to watch over our babies without compromising on buying baby proofing essentials.
There is a lot that the market is selling to us for the process of baby proofing. These items for sale all come with their own specific purpose that addresses the variety of concerns we might have. However, this does not mean that we have to buy them all. We may just need to buy the most basic, and then we can leave the rest for our parental instincts and eyes.
These are what we need to buy for baby proofing:
- For the general home, we need to have door stops, window guards, safety gates, rail guards, and baby floor mats. We should also need covers for scattered outlets, electrical cords, and sharp furniture corners and edges.
- Then for the bathroom, we need at least a non-slip bathtub mat and a bathtub spout softcover. The bath time is probably still dangerous, even with our strict mommy supervision.
- The kitchen and the dining room, on the other hand, require door locks and latches for cabinets and some appliances. We should also need to have stove knob covers, and most importantly, a highchair or hook-on chair for baby meals.
- Lastly, we should buy baby car seats as we bring our babies with us around our states.
Baby proofing should not be one to intimidate us, demanding both our attention and hard work. After all, the point of it is to make our lives easier as we are raising our babies. Also, it does not even demand that we do a hundred reading and research. Still, there may be a lot that we can come across while trying to learn about it. But here is a shortlist of the most basic baby proofing essentials.
What to Buy for the Home in General
This item is needed for parents who have babies that are crawlers, standers, or toddlers. Apparently, in the eyes of our babies, the doors around our homes could look like the wardrobe to Narnia. Everything beyond a door is a whole new world with a lot of strange, wonderful things. Also, the door could really be used as a great toy. It opens, closes, swings, and makes weird sounds.
However, along the door’s many appealing qualities for our babies is its threat to their fingers. In a snap, it can pinch and make tiny fingers look as flat as paper. But actually, who knows what else a door is capable of pinching or hurting? Therefore, we should include in our shortlist of baby proofing essentials door stops. As the name suggests, they stop our doors from totally closing, especially suddenly. Then, our babies’ fingers are safe.
Outlets are all over our home for our multiple appliances and electronics. And as they are a recurring sight to our babies, they might as well be as good as attractions. Babies may come at them inserting their toys or their fingers, perhaps. So, we should cover them as needed. Usually, we can save some money in purchasing outlet covers by hiding them behind furniture. However, for those that cannot do with mere furniture covering, we will need to buy legit outlet covers.
As our outlets, chords are also all over our homes. And as we cannot pinpoint what goes on in the head of our babies, they are as good as threat as many other things. As they lie around several places in our house, our babies may grab them and put them in their mouths. And worst of all, our babies may get stuck in their tangles and pose a strangulation hazard. Usually, we can just keep them hidden and tucked away if not in use. However, for our appliances that are constantly plugged in, we may need to hide them using cord covering devices.
As a door, a window could also be an attractive hole leading to an interesting other world. And what do we do when we find a world more beautiful and interesting than ours? We try to explore it, don’t we? So windows, as they should, attract our babies that they may stick their heads through in wonder. When worse comes to worst, not only will their heads be what will stick through but their entire weight.
Surely, we do not want such a cruel scenario to scare us. So, we should protect our babies by installing window guards or stops. We can either use safety netting or steel material for a better guarantee. Some parents also address the concern by just keeping furniture off windows so that babies have nothing to climb on. However, who knows when an older sibling or anyone may carry our babies standing by the window?
Apparently, safety gates are a definite must-have for households that have staircases. Yes, we may say that we have our eyes on our babies all the time. But babies are quick, mischievous creatures. In a second, they may transport themselves to the stairs and climb up and down to their delight. This shall pose, obviously, risk of falling and getting our tiny baby bones hurt.
For this reason, there is a need to install safety gates both at the top and bottom of our stairs. Some parents will improvise their own safety gates using a fabric. However, sometimes a fabric may come at fault and will fail the purpose it has been made to do. It may not hold enough of our growing babies’ weight. This tells us, thus, to buy legit safety gates, actually made to hold our babies off our stairs.
Rails are usually present in homes that have stairs and balconies. They are designed to frame our homes and provide either or both aesthetic and protective barriers for us. Apparently, the gaps between the posts are enough that we may not slip through them. But not our babies. And as tiny, tricky creatures they are, they may come around exploring through our rails.
This tells us the need to install rail guards. They are needed, especially for openings that are at least four inches wide and wider. Rail guards can be made of plastic garden fencing, Plexiglass, or other materials. What is important is that they have to hold babies’ weight in case our babies are at risk of falling.
Corner and Edge Guards
We are adults and still hurt and bruise ourselves on the corners of our furniture. What more is the possibility that our babies are going to experience the same? They may hurt themselves by climbing larger furniture that may tip over and risk a fall. Or they may slip on the floor and accidentally bump their heads or body on the sharp corners and edges. We do not want to experience the severity of such a possible injury.
Therefore, we should keep our furniture corners and edges safe for our babies by covering them. We can do this by installing bumpers or guards that can be purchased from baby stores. Otherwise, we can utilize pipe insulations or pool noodles to do the same job. However, they may not stick as well as legit bumpers and are less aesthetic. Nonetheless, the important thing is that our babies are safe from bruises and other injuries from sharp corners or edges. These can be found in our kitchen table and counter, and coffee table.
Foam or Rubber Mat
This item is especially essential for crawling and walking babies. Our hardwood or tiled floors are horrible materials for delicate baby heads and skin. Crawlers are likely to bruise their knees while practicing their crawl on our bare floor. Toddlers, on the other hand, may possibly slip and bump their heads.
For both cases, we are thus required to have foam or rubber mats on our floor. Usually, the babies’ rooms have these floor mats in case babies may fall during their sleep. Their rooms are also the safest place that they practice their new crawling or walking skills. Rubber mats usually come in fun colors and prints to stimulate our babies’ visuals. However, they may not be as soft as the foam floor mats. Either way, what we are aiming for is that our babies get protected from our bare floors.
What to Buy for the Bathroom
Non-Slip Bathtub Mat
This product is probably also one of the baby proofing essentials for babies that are able to stand or toddle. They may stand or walk around the tub to have fun or out of hate for baths. Either way, they are vulnerable to slipping in it and possibly hurting their head with the hard tub material. The tub especially gets slippery when it gets soapy.
Therefore, to address this concern, we should buy a non-slip bathtub mat that is made of rubber material. This is placed at the bottom of the tub so babies can stand on them, providing enough friction. This may come in the form of a single long one that is the length of the bathtub. Otherwise, it may come in multiple stickers with all the fun colors and shapes which babies will surely love.
Bathtub Spout Soft Cover
Ever notice how the bathtub spout is the height of babies’ heads when we put them in the tub? If so, then our babies are sure at another risk for hurting their heads. It may cause possible bruises or burns to our babies’ delicate head and skin. However, this can be prevented by this next item in our baby proofing essentials list.
A bathtub spout cover is made for the purpose of addressing the particular concerns mentioned. But besides that, it also can come in a lot of shape and color options. This can make bath time more interesting for babies. Thus, we are given a little help in case our babies are not really into water and bathing.
What to Buy for the Kitchen and the Dining Room
Door Locks and Latches
Our kitchen houses a couple of the most dangerous items for babies. First of all, it has hot appliances that are most frequently used. Then, it has our sharp knives, forks, and breakable tableware we use at least three times a day. Lastly, it has a variety of toxic substances, from spices to cleaning chemicals. Also, it has our trash cans of raw cuts of meat, spoiled food, and big plastic shopping bags. All these dangers make locks and latches some of the most important baby proofing essentials.
All the items mentioned as they are indeed dangerous should ideally be kept inside cabinets or drawers. But not because they are kept in storage does not make them safe from babies’ grasp. Our babies will figure out a way to maneuver cabinet doors and drawers sooner than we can think. That is why we have to install door locks and latches to save us our sanity from constantly worrying. We should also similarly attach door locks to our appliances with doors like the fridge, dishwasher, and oven.
Stove Knob Covers
Our babies may observe us turning stove knobs a couple of times in the day. This may spark their interest and, therefore, would urge them to try to do the same. Obviously, we do not want unsupervised turning the stove on. For long, it might cause a fire, risking the entire house. Most importantly, it risks our babies from getting burns. This is why we have to protect our stove knobs using stove knob covers.
Highchair or Hook-on Chair
Secure baby chairs are definitely an automatic add-on in our baby proofing essentials list. Apparently, we eat at least three to five times a day, our babies, more. Often, we choose to do the feeding to our babies for convenience and less stuff to clean up. However, letting babies to self-feed is actually essential for their learning and growth. That is why we do need to give them time alone to feed themselves.
In line with self-feeding, our babies will need support on this materially speaking. Of course, it is impossible that they reach our level in the meal table. Thus, they have to be in a highchair that is secure with safety straps. Otherwise, they should be on a hook-on chair, clamp securely to a table that will not tip over. Besides allowing our babies ample height to level with us, these items also allow them from slipping off.
What to Buy for the Car
Even the traffic department cares for our baby. They require that our babies be placed in car seats until at least they are four. More specifically, the requirement is until they are at least in the ideal height and weight limits. So until then, we have to buy a baby car seat as among our baby proofing essentials.
A car seat should ideally be installed in the middle of the backseat. This is facing the rear and off the airbags. Most of the car seats that can be purchased anywhere can accommodate children that are up to forty pounds or more.
How do we protect our babies from bugs?
As for us adults, we can protect our babies from bugs using bug spray or insect repellents. As the CDC or US Centers for Disease Control and EPA, Environmental Protection Agency, repellents are good at two months. This is if the repellents are EPA-registered, even with DEET, picaridin, 2-undercanone, or IR3535. For our babies that are three years and older, we can use those that have the oil of lemon eucalyptus (OLE) or para-menthane-diol (PMD). However, we should make sure that our repellents are not containing DEET with greater than thirty percent concentration.
Moreover, we may explore the options of natural insect repellents like an EPA-registered citronella product. We do still need to read the label, though, so that we are sure that it is safe for babies. Usually, insect repellents state age restrictions, if any. The thing about natural insect repellents, however, is that they do not last as long as the chemical repellents. Therefore, we may have to reapply more often to keep our babies protected all the time.
Why are some households repainting their homes when they are having babies?
If we see households that are repainting at the same time welcoming a baby, chances are they are baby proofing. The thing is houses that were built before 1978 are most likely painted with paints with lead as a component. This means that houses that are built after the year may not worry us of lead in paint. Lead is a metal from the ground, maybe in the air, or in our food and water. High levels of it can cause a host of health problems for us. This is why we need to get our homes off the stuff.