After your pregnancy, you'll find that your baby will be crawling around in no time. This is why you need to take time before your baby can crawl or walk to make sure that your home is safe for an infant once he or she becomes mobile.
You and your partner may have done a lot to baby proof your home before you gave birth, or maybe you were so busy decorating the nursery that you forgot about the rest of the house. Either way, it's important for you to make sure that you've done everything you can to make the environment safe for a child.
Look out for water - WebMD spoke to Kate Cronan, M.D., chief of pediatric emergency services at A.I. DuPont Hospital for Children in Delaware, who explained that babies and toddlers are fascinated by water, which is why you should install lid locks to your toilet seat to avoid a child from putting his or her hands in the water or even drinking it. Furthermore, you should turn down the temperature on your water heater, since a baby could easily touch it and burn his or her skin. Keep the temperature set to 110 degrees Fahrenheit to avoid accidental burns. Also, it's important to remember to never leave your baby alone in the bath - even just to answer the phone or to grab a towel from another room. A baby can get injured in the bathroom in seconds and always needs to be watched.
Secure everything to the walls - Bookshelves, TV stands, dressers and other large objects that may tip over should be secured to the walls, according to the University of Michigan Health System. Your baby may try to climb these objects, which is why it's important to make sure that they cannot fall over.
Be careful where you place the crib - Make sure that your baby's crib is in a safe spot in his or her room. This means keeping it away from windows, since your toddler may try to open it and fall out, or your baby may accidentally get hurt by the cords on the blinds.
Install gates in front of your stairs - Once your baby starts crawling, you should install gates to keep him or her from trying to go up the stairs, according to Cronan.
"Put them at the bottom of stairways to prevent them from getting up the stairs. And if you are worried about them getting out of a bedroom, put a gate on that doorway," Cronan told WebMD. "Don't put a gate at the top of the steps, because some babies can climb up a gate and fall from an even higher height."
Check the paint - While house paint no longer contains lead, if your home was built before 1978, there is a chance that you have lead paint on your walls. Even a little amount of lead can harm your baby, which is why you should make sure that the paint is safe. If you think you may have lead paint, have it removed by a professional painter.
Always watch your child - Remember, the only way to truly keep your baby safe is to watch him or her at all times.
"You cannot create an environment that's 100 percent safe. Baby proofing goes hand-in-hand with close supervision," Cronan told WebMD. "There's no substitute for somebody watching your child - that's the best way to prevent an injury in babyhood and childhood."
Do you have tips for making a home safe for babies? Leave them here!