Five tips for effectively babyproofing your house

With pregnancy comes numerous changes to the lives of parents. Not only do these individuals need to care for themselves, but the new life that will soon be in their hands.

If you've recently found out that you're expecting your first child, you may not be up to speed on the changes you need to make to your living space. Obvious alterations include the incorporation of a crib and changing table, but have you thought about potential dangers to your child around the house?

Before you know it, your pregnancy will be over, your little one will be home and he or she will begin crawling everywhere. That being said, it's crucial for new parents to educate themselves on baby proofing and how to keep their child safe once he or she starts moving. Here are some tips on how to keep your infant safe as you prepare your home for the new member of the family.

1. Consider the basics.
First and foremost, the environment your baby lives in should be the priority as you look to improve the safety of your household. This means ensuring your smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors are operational and running smoothly (in actuality, this should be at the top of your list for ensuring your own well-being).

Another must is setting your water heater to a standard of 120 degrees Fahrenheit or lower. This is to make sure your child doesn't become scalded during bathtime. Covering the basics is a great place to start as you babyproof your home.

2. Plug your outlets.
Kids are known to have a certain sense of curiosity starting at a young age. As soon as your infant learns to crawl, he or she will likely be trying to touch everything in sight and experience new sensations. That being said, it's a good idea to cover your unused electrical outlets with plugs to prevent injury. Similarly, try to keep long wires tied up to prevent any strangulation hazards.

3. Know your baby's perspective.
One way to can eliminate any hazards that may pose a threat to your infant is by getting down on his or her level. As silly as it may sound, crawling on the ground and gaining a baby's point of view can help you hone in on any potentially unsafe items. Try this tactic in rooms your child frequents most to make sure all threats are out of the way.

4. Cover sharp edges.
We've all heard stories of children slipping, falling and accidentally hitting their soft heads on the corners of furniture - but this doesn't have to happen to you and your little one. Before your baby starts crawling, make it a point to cover the corners of furnishings with sharp edges. This can give you some peace of mind once your baby starts crawling.

Still not feeling confident in your efforts to provide protection? Get rid of your hazardous furniture altogether and bring in more baby-friendly pieces with soft, non-threatening edges.

5. Keep poisonous chemicals out of reach.
This one should be obvious, but try to keep all of your chemical cleaners out of the reach of your little one by storing them in high shelves or cabinets. There are also cabinet locks you can purchase and apply around your home to keep your kids from opening drawers that contain hazardous materials.

How do you plan to babyproof your home before your little bundle of joy arrives? What tips do you plan to use throughout your house? Leave your feedback in the comments section!