If you have a baby on the way, you want to make sure your home is prepared and free from anything that may cause harm to your new addition.
Baby proofing your home can take a lot of time and effort and require some creative imagining of what seemingly innocuous items might suddenly become a problem with a crawling child in the house.
What might they try to climb on? What could they fall off of or pull onto themselves? What could they put in their mouths or get tangled in? The list may seem endless, and the task before you daunting.
But rest assured, many parents have come before you, and there are a whole host of items on the market designed with your baby’s safety in mind.
In this guide, you will learn the basics of baby proofing your home, as well as how a smart home security system and other devices can make your life as a new parent that much easier.
Start With a Secure and Safe Home
The first step in making your home safe for your baby is to make your home secure and safe in general. When your home is protected from both would-be intruders, as well as fire, flood, and other possible disasters, then that’s one less thing to worry about as you begin your journey as a new parent.
And with the sleepless nights and exhaustion that come with having a new child, the less you have to worry about, the better. Consider the following when making your home safe and secure:
Home security system: ADT provides professional installation and 24/7 monitoring to keep your home safe from break-ins.
Smoke detectors: To alert you if there is a fire and allow you time to get you and your baby to safety, you should install a smoke detector in every room. Smart smoke detectors can even be integrated as part of your smart home security system and notify you and emergency personnel of fire when you are away.
Carbon monoxide detectors: You should have carbon monoxide detectors, particularly if you have a fireplace in your home.
Flood detectors: These can alert you if any appliances, such as a dishwasher or laundry machine floods, or if there is ground-level or basement flooding in your home.
Smart home automation: You can install smart home devices that integrate seamlessly with your security system for added safety and convenience.
Once your home is safe for all who live there, big and small, you can start focusing on the small and begin the process of baby proofing.
Keep Your Newborn Safe
Although they are tiny and fragile-looking, keeping your newborn safe is often easier than keeping a crawling 8-month-old out of trouble.
One of the biggest things to be aware of with newborns is their sleep situation. You want to make sure they sleep on their backs and with minimal risk of ending up with bedding covering their face. A sleep sack or swaddling is often recommended. The mattress should be firm, and the crib sheet properly secured. Crib bumpers should be avoided, as they pose a suffocation risk, as well.
As it is difficult to tell how suddenly or quickly a new baby will learn to roll over, it is never a good idea to place them on a couch or bed that they could roll off of. Their crib should have sides that keep them safe, and their changing table should have a belt to prevent them from rolling off, as well.
If your baby will be sleeping in a room without you, whether just for naps or at night, a baby monitor is a must. Modern baby monitors have cameras that allow you to both watch and hear your baby.
You might also consider adding a baby breathing and movement monitor to the list. These often come in the form of a sock or small sensor you wrap around the baby’s foot and can alert you if their oxygen levels are too low.
When Your Baby Becomes Mobile
Ideally, you should have your house fully baby-proofed before your child learns to crawl. This is because you can’t always predict how quickly they might figure out how to move. One day, you leave them on the floor for tummy time, step out of the room for a moment, and return only to find them mysteriously 5 feet away from where you left them.
There are many, many items to consider when proofing your house for a mobile baby. Among them are the following:
Stairs: A baby gate should be placed at the top and bottom of any stairs your baby might have access to.
Window blinds and cords: These should be secured in such a way that your baby can’t grab the strings and become tangled. You might even consider replacing your blinds with models that don’t have cords.
Sharp corners: Any sharp corners on coffee tables or other furniture items should have foam bumpers placed on them to prevent serious injury if your baby falls and bumps their head.
Outlets: All electrical outlets should be covered, and all cords should be inaccessible to a crawling baby.
Fireplace: If you have a fireplace, it should not be used, or it should be barricaded in some way.
Tall things that can tip over: Bookcases and dressers and other similar furniture items that can tip over should be anchored to the wall.
Cabinets, cupboards, and drawers: Especially in kitchens and bathrooms, these can pose a hazard. Use baby proof locks on all such storage places your child might try to open.
Backyard pool: The pool should be covered and fenced in so that a curious toddler cannot accidentally access it.
Poisons: Cleaning products and other poisonous substances should be in locked cabinets and out of reach.
Small objects: Get down on the floor level and look around for small items that will look like treasure to a curious crawler and remove them.
Windows: Secure any windows so that they cannot be accidentally or easily opened.
Houseplants: Plants may not only become a giant mess if knocked over; they could be harmful if ingested, as well.
In addition, you might consider gating rooms you don’t want your child to have access to. Also, take into consideration any pets you might have. Larger dogs could become aggressive around a crawling child, and a pet’s food and toys and even the litter box might look very appealing.
It’s a very good idea to watch your child closely when they first become mobile. If there is anything you forgot to baby proof, they have their own way of showing you what you missed.
How to Use Indoor Cameras as an Additional Set of Eyes
Indoor security cameras can be a great asset when you have small children. Not only can they work as baby monitors, but also by installing a camera in any room where you might leave your child alone for a few minutes, you will be able to keep tabs on them through a smartphone app.
When they’re very little, you might not leave them alone for more than the few seconds it takes for a quick restroom trip, but as they get older and more independent, leaving them in the playroom while you make dinner can make life more convenient for you both.
There will be no need to wonder what they’re up to when they’ve gone quiet because you can have them live-streamed at all times. You can even make use of two-way communication features to interact with them.
Many indoor security cameras come equipped with two-way communication capabilities as well, which means that if one or both parents have gone back to work, they can still check in and say “hi” to their baby from afar, or even just watch their baby play and learn to crawl while on their lunch break.
Indoor security cameras can also give you peace of mind if you hire a nanny or caregiver who is with your child at home while you are away. You will be able to check in at any time and see what’s going on when you’re not around and have recorded evidence should anything unfortunate occur.
Use Smart Devices to Keep Your Baby Safe
Aside from cameras, there are many other smart devices that you can make use of to keep your child safe as they grow and explore their world.
Entryway sensors, such as those used on doors and windows as part of your home security system, can be added to interior doors so that you can be alerted if your child sneaks into your office or anywhere else they shouldn’t be.
Motion-sensing cameras can be used similarly, alerting you if your toddler is trying to climb the stairs and somehow broke past the baby gate.
Flood and leak sensors can be used to prevent drowning accidents. They can be placed around a pool or near a bathtub so that they can detect splashing.
Any of these devices can be added to your smart home security system, and you can customize when they are active and when and what type of alerts you want to get from each one. (That way, you’re not getting dozens of alerts of potential drowning during bath time, for example.)
Teach Them as They Grow
Even with modern technology, smart home devices, and all of the careful baby proofing in the world, it isn’t possible to always watch and protect your growing child from everything. This is why it is important to begin teaching them about safety as soon as they are old enough to understand.
Even very young crawlers can learn what “no” means and know that there are certain items they should stay away from (although they may not understand why or always listen).
By teaching your child about what is and isn’t safe and why, they can learn to make safe choices even when you’re not around. The best protection you can provide them is this education in safety. It should start early and continue throughout their childhood.
For When They’re Older
As children grow older, you never stop worrying about them. While you are likely no longer concerned about them swallowing a button or getting into the dog’s food when they’re 10 years old, you might then be focused on making sure they are safe when home alone and staying out of trouble on the internet.
The good news is that if you install a good smart home security system when they are a baby, you can continue to make use of the ability to monitor them through cameras when away or communicate with them from the other side of the house. You can even set up front door cameras to send you an alert when your kid gets off the school bus and enters the house.
Get Started With Home Security
If you are ready to install a home security system for your kids that will minimize your worry and maximize your peace of mind from cradle to college, ADT can help.
With 145 years in the business, ADT has the experience you can trust. We can work with you to customize a system that fits your family and your budget because we help save lives for a living. That is just who we are, and our people are passionate about what they do.
All security systems are professionally installed by industry experts and come with a free six-month warranty, as well as a theft protection guarantee: If a burglary occurs while your ADT security system is armed, weʼll pay up to $500 of your insurance deductible.
Our same-day or next-day service means we can get started helping you protect your home and family right away. Our relentlessly tested products can be counted on to do their job when it counts. Literally, billions of signals are sent and managed within the ADT infrastructure to help keep customers safe while providing the greater convenience of a protected, connected home. Contact an ADT representative today to get started.