Up until the arrival of your firstborn, and even afterwards, you will be given advice as to how to take care of your baby, what to do and what not to do. It can become overwhelming to say the least, but don’t get discouraged. Grin and nod when given advice, and throw out most of what you hear—except, of course, what you will read in this article.
Every birth is different and every baby is different… and every parent is different. However, in the course of taking care of your child, there are some things to do around the home to not only maintain the baby’s safety, but also to give you peace of mind. Here are five tips to prep the home for your first born:
Prepare Baby’s Sleeping Space
My first tip would be to prepare the nursery. A healthy baby under the age of one should sleep on their backs with a firm mattress and fitted sheet. Keep blankets, crib bumpers, pillows, and quilts out of the crib to avoid sudden infant death syndrome. When you’re assembling the crib, make sure to tighten all the hardware to ensure its sturdy and prevent tiny fingers from getting caught.
Before purchasing a crib, make sure it hasn’t had a Product Recall. If you’re using older or borrowed furniture double check the crib slats. The space between each bar should not be more than 2 3/8 inches apart. If you have a soda can, it shouldn’t be able to fit through the slats.
Invest in an Alarm System
Before the baby comes, make sure to install smoke alarms throughout your house. Not only should you have a smoke alarm on every level of your house, but in furnace areas and outside every bedroom. You’ll also want to install carbon monoxide detectors on every floor.
Test these systems regularly and add it to your monthly homeowner checklist. Nothing is worse than a low battery fire alarm chirping and a screaming new born!
If you have a large house, baby monitors allow you to go about your day (or catch up on sleep) without needing to check in every few minutes. Now, there are a variety of baby monitors on the market for your budget!
Put Safety Measures in Place
As your first born starts to grow—and they grow fast, he or she will be crawling all over the place discovering new worlds. Put safety measures in place such as installing child-safety latches on all cupboard doors, closet doors, or any door your baby could unwittingly open during the journey of discovery. This also goes for bathroom doors. You would be surprised by the horror stories from parents whose babies accidentally locked themselves in the bathroom!
Cover Sharp Edges and Electrical Outlets
According to the CDC, one of the leading causes (non-fatal) baby injuries being struck by or against an object. Cover sharp edges such as glass or metal. Move the glass table to a safe area if they cannot be properly covered. In the same breath, cover all electrical outlets with childproof sockets, and fasten dangling and loose electrical cords. This may seem as a no-brainer, but every year over 2,000 children are treated for wall outlet shock accidents.
Hang ‘Em High
Baby-proofing your home also includes placing dangerous materials including chemicals in a high cupboard or closet. The same goes for any breakable items. Your grandmother’s knick knacks may look cute on the center table, but they can also be a choking hazard for little ones.
Baby-proofing your home may seem like a daunting task, but it doesn’t have to be. Imagine you are a baby and crawl around on the floor. You may feel foolish doing it, but your baby’s safety is worth it. Try to do this prior to the arrival of your newborn, as once the baby has arrived, chances are you won’t have a lot of spare time on your hands.
There are many other tips for preparing the home for your first born, but hopefully these five tips to prep your home for your first born will get you started. Did you think of any more tips while reading? Let us know, in the comments box below.
Elizabeth is on the content team for Dynasty Partners, which builds high quality, architecturally rich homes with innovated designs. She enjoys decorating homes, hiking, hanging out with her family, and volunteering at the animal shelter in Des Moines, Iowa.
Disclaimer: This is a collaborative guest post.