Bringing a baby home for the first time can be a nerve wracking experience, especially if you're a first time parent. Having a helpless infant to care for suddenly makes you see every nook and cranny of your home as a potential threat to your baby's safety. It's not all worrisome thinking. There really are many household dangers to a new baby, and not all of them are obvious to new parents. To make sure you and your house are ready to take on an inquisitive baby, here some tips on how to baby proof your home.

Babies see the world differently from grown ups. They're shorter and more curious, so your first step should always be to get down to their level and look for anything dangling or enticing. Crawl around on the floor and look for anything that can be pulled on, knocked over, put into the mouth, or have fingers and heads stuck into it, because these are your baby's natural exploration instincts. Remove or secure anything that could pose a danger with gates, ties, or covers. When it doubt, secure it. Remember: babies know nothing about anything.

It's not necessary or even possible to baby proof every room in your home. Some rooms can be left alone and designated off limits for baby. This might include your bedroom, the garage, or the storage shed where you keep chemicals for the swimming pool. (Visit here to ask about proper pool chemical storage). Kitchens, with their multitude of appliances, outlets, and hot surfaces, should always be off limits to babies. Keep these rooms separate by using baby gates or closing and securing doors with knob guards or latches.

In rooms where baby is allowed, remove breakable objects such as glass vases, ceramics, and picture frames holding your vacation photos or at least put them out of reach lest they be knocked over and shattered into dangerous shards. Secure all chemicals in high locked cupboards to keep baby from accidentally touching or ingesting something poisonous. When possible, use only natural cleaners in rooms baby will visit.

There are some household fixtures that pose a danger to your baby and cannot be gotten rid of. These include stairs, electrical outlets, fireplaces, and toilets. Babies can easily fall down stairs or get into fireplaces, so secure them with baby gates. Unused outlets not occupied by the cords should be plugged with plastic guards to thwart questing fingers. Electrical cords should be secured against pulling with plastic ties or duct tape, otherwise baby can pull lamps and toasters down on his or her head. Toilers should also have lid locks to prevent drowning.

Go to Amazon for baby proofing products and ideas.

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