How to Baby Proof Your Apartment
As a new parent, you have noticed how quickly your child begins to grow. When you finally get used to your child’s feeding schedule and diaper changes, it seems as if you need to accommodate his or her ever-changing routine. When your child begins to crawl, his or her curiosity to explore all of your apartments amenities may be a sign that it is time to baby proof your apartment. Here are a few of the challenges renters face when baby proofing their apartments and how to overcome them.
Challenge No. 1: Blocking off the potentially dangerous rooms
The open floor plan of your apartment may be great to walk freely into each room; however, there may be some rooms you may not want your new child to enter. Installing baby gates is a great concern for renters. To gate a room off from the rest of the apartment, a “pressure-mounted” or “no-drill” gate is your best friend. The gate is easy to use and does not require any drilling into the wall. Discs on the gate screw out to hold the gate against the wall. But, what if your rental has stairs? Then it is time to speak to your landlord! To properly block off the stairs, a permanent or hardware-mounted gate must be drilled into the wall for safety. You must be aware that you will have to pay for any wall repairs once the gate is removed, but that is a small price to pay when your child could potentially fall down the stairs without such gate. At the top of the stairs, this permanent gate should be used, but at the bottom, it is perfectly okay to use a pressure-mounted one. Experts recommend that stair gates should be used from 0 to 2 years old.
Challenge No. 2: Remove or cover sharp edges
When babies crawl, they tend to hit their head on furniture. This only gets worse when they are starting to learn how to stand or walk. Furniture with sharp corners and clumsy babies do not mix! It is best to exchange any of your furniture that is square or rectangular, like a coffee table, for one that is round. Or you can even get rid of the coffee table so that your child has room to move around the floor. However, parting with furniture is often more easily said than done. If you cannot part with it, or sharp edges are simply unavoidable, safety guards are your best option! They turn your sharp corners into soft ones! While they are not very stylish, but you might as well learn now that with a child, your apartment is probably not going to look stylish for the next few years.
Challenge No. 3: Cover electrical outlets
When you inspect your home through your child’s eye level, you will begin to notice several items that may be dangerous. One of the most important aspects of your home to baby proof is electrical outlets! Electrical outlets that are on the floor should all have covers on them, only if they are currently not being used. If they are being used, they should be blocked from access to prevent your child from playing with electrical plugs! Baby-safe outlet covers can be easily found in most online stores. One of the most popular outlet covers on the market is the sliding panel outlet cover. It allows for you to automatically slide over the outlet when the plug is pulled out and, thus, protecting your baby from an exposed outlet.
Challenge No. 4: Install baby locks for cabinets
Kitchens and bathrooms tend to be the most dangerous rooms in the house, especially for babies. No baby should be crawling around the kitchen floor alone! Even if you are keeping a close eye on your child, it is best to secure your bottom cabinets with baby-proof locks. It is best to keep the lower cabinets filled with pots, pans, and other plastic items whereas breakables and any other dangerous goods like medicines and cleaning products should be kept far out of reach! The very last thing you want is for your child to get into cleaning chemicals under the sink or cut him or herself on any sharp appliance.
Challenge No. 5: Keep it organized and be prepared
This is an often overlooked aspect of baby proofing. Be sure to keep your household items organized in a rightful place. As mentioned, there is a higher chance for your child to get into harmful items when the items are all over the place. You will need to plan out where you are going to put your cleaning products, your kitchen silverware and any stationary items placed on your desk like pens and pencils. In addition, you may want to make sure you have some extra space for more items. With a child, it is best to stock up on baby products that you will use often. Babes grow quickly, therefore, some of the best items to buy in stock are diapers, lotions, and bottles, snacks, and toys.
These are just a few points to consider when baby proofing your entire apartment. It may be hard to do at first, but by putting yourself in the mind of your curious child, you are able to get ahead of the game and create a baby-safe apartment. With these few tips, you can allow your child to grow up in a safe environment!