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Waiting for Baby: Baby Proofing Checklist

curious crawling baby The adoption process is both joyful and stressful, and these feelings can quickly become overwhelming.

If you are facing your first adoption, it is normal that you feel worried about what will come next. One way to keep your mind busy before the arrival of your newborn baby is to baby proof your home. Your baby will be crawling around before you know it, so by going through your baby proofing checklist in advance, you are just getting yourself ready to be a parent.

Our basic baby proofing checklist below is a great way to start, although you’ll likely need to do a bit more work once your baby starts to crawl.

General Safety

☐ Check the batteries of your carbon monoxide and smoke detectors. If you don’t own either of these, now is the time to purchase them!

☐ Buy baby-specific supplies for your medicine cabinet and the first-aid kit.

☐ Thoroughly examine your home for any peeling or flaking paint. If you find any, have it removed since it can be harmful if your baby tries to peel it off.

☐ Cover all sharp furniture and edges with bumpers and safety paddings.

☐ Use outlet safety plugs or block wall sockets with furniture.

☐ Replace any blind or curtain cords with looped cords and install safety tassels and cord stops.

☐ Remove all poisonous liquids, cleaning products, knives, and heavy items out of your baby’s reach, or put them in cabinets or closets fitted with locks.

☐ As soon as your baby starts to crawl, putting locks or latches on cabinets and drawers should be number one on your baby proofing checklist.

Bathroom

☐ Put a non-slip mat in the bath tub and/or purchase an infant tub.

☐ Cover the bath tub spout just to be sure that your baby is not going to knock her or his head on it.

☐ Set your water heater to a maximum of 120 degrees.

☐ Install a toilet seat lock.

☐ Invest in a lockable medicine safe to store your medicines and supplements.

Nursery

☐ Position the crib away from the windows, lamps, and tethers.

☐ According to crib safety standards, a drop-side crib is no longer considered safe, so be sure your crib has fixed sides. Also, crib slats should be no more than 2 3/8 inches apart.

☐ Remove all stuffed animals, unnecessary pillows, and blankets from the crib. Use only tight-fitting crib sheets. As soon as your baby can pull herself upright, you’ll need to remove toys with hanging parts above the crib.

☐ To store toys, an open box is the best solution since there is no lid to slam baby’s fingers.

☐ Try to finish all painting and wallpapering at least a few months before your baby arrives.

Living Room

☐ If you have stairs, a baby gate is a must-have.

☐ The fireplace, if you have one, should be shielded with a guard door.

☐ Place your TV behind closed doors, install a flat-panel model to the wall, or install furniture straps to keep it from tipping.

☐ Put tall lamps behind furniture.

If you really want to do this right and without any concerns that you are going to forget something, make a complete and thorough baby proofing checklist for each room of your home, including all the baby proofing supplies you’ll need to purchase. Try getting down on your hands and knees to look for possible hazards you may otherwise have missed.