When preparing for the arrival of a baby, most of us plan for cribs, playpens, toys, baby blankets, prams and so on. Not many of us give a lot of thought to one of the most important aspects - safety.
You may think you have enough time before your newborn starts crawling
and getting herself into trouble, but newborns too can get themselves
in tight spots. Once the baby comes, you're going to have little time
if any to go around baby proofing your home. Before you realise it, months would have flown past and your baby will be sticking her chubby finger in all the electric sockets within her reach. So start planning early.
If you are going to be putting your baby in a crib, make sure the
mattress fits snugly. There should be no open spaces between the
mattress and the edge of the crib. Your child's head should not under
any circumstances be able to slip between the mattress and the crib, as
this can lead to suffocation. Make sure the slats of the crib are close
enough so your newborn's head doesn't get caught between them. You
could also get bumpers to prevent your baby's head getting stuck
between the slats. Bumpers are thin, lightly padded mats that you tie
to the walls of the crib. Cut bumper ties short though, so your baby
doesn't get entagled in the long bows.
As soon as your baby can pull himself up, you may want to
consider removing the bumpers as he may use the bumpers as support to
get out of the crib.
Use a firm mattress. Your child's bedding should not be too
soft. Although stuffed toys look incredibly cute in a crib, they can
cause your child to suffocate, because if your newborn's head gets
under a stuffed toy, he will not be able to move it off him.
Do you have stairs at home? The first thing you need to do is
to place a gate at the top of the stairs, so your toddler doesn't
tumble down. Keep the gate shut and latched at all times. A latch that
clicks shuts into place is better than a manual latch, as you or
someone else may neglect latching the gate closed every time.
Are your windows at home grilled? If you don't have grills,
it's time to put them on now. Babies like nothing more than climbing up
and looking out of windows.
Make sure the walls of your balconies are sufficiently
high so your baby cannot reach the edge. Also, don't keep anything your
baby can climb on, close to balcony walls. If you feel the walls are
low, consider getting them made higher. If you don't want to block to
view, you can always add decorative wrought iron rods to extend the height of the wall. If you have very small balconies
that you don't use, now is the time to get them enclosed.
Keep all medicines out of your baby's reach. You never know
when a bright coloured pill catches her eye and she pops it into her