Between birthing classes and baby name books, expecting parents have a lot on their minds. To help make sure everything is ready for your upcoming bundle (or bundles!) of joy, try to keep things simple and stress-free. When it comes to childproofing your apartment, work smarter not harder. Follow our simple guidelines on how to make your apartment safer for its newest, and smallest, resident without giving yourself a headache in the process.
Keep It Clean.
Kids love to put anything and everything in their mouths…except maybe vegetables. Unfortunately, that includes toxic things like medicines, chemicals, and chipping paint. Store hazardous items, such as household cleaning products, immediately after use and keep tempting items, like plants, where they cannot be easily grabbed by wandering hands (or mouths!). Keep an eye out for the little things you may have previously not worried about too, like bobby pins, hair ties, paper clips, and even scented candles. By keeping an out for little dangers along the way, you can save yourself big problems later on.
Keep Them Out.
While most of us appreciate a good dose of curiosity, we know that there are some places curiosity definitely shouldn’t be expressed, like the kitchen knife block! There are certain things kids just shouldn’t be messing with. Luckily for parents, there are a number of easy and inexpensive solutions for keeping kids out of cabinets and drawers. Use special latches, appliance locks, and cabinet closures to keep kids from exploring spaces containing harmful objects or substances. (Bonus: you can also childproof drawers containing valuables to ensure your favorite silk blouse doesn’t magically become your newest dish rag.)
Keep Them Contained.
The most difficult part of making your apartment safe for your child is realizing that not everything can be made, well, safe. At some point, your child will have to enter the decidedly not childproofed world. Until then, though, you can keep them safer by blocking off certain parts of the apartment.
There are two primary ways to do this: gates and locks. Gates are a simple way to keep your child contained whether they’re novice rollers, crawlers, or toddling toddlers, and gates can be easily placed in any doorway or entrance you don’t want them to wander through just yet. Consider placing a gate near the front door, on large windows, and at the entrance of your balcony, if your apartment or condo has one.
You can also use locks to make some spaces off-limits. Since children typically begin pulling themselves up and gaining mobility around 6 to 9 months, it’s important to get ready early. Keeping windows and doors (interior and exterior) locked is a simple way to prevent accidental injury when your child starts exploring. If your apartment’s windows do not come equipped with locks, you can purchase an easy to install option at your local hardware store (such as this sash lock from Home Depot). Or, explain the situation to your landlord. They may be more than willing to install childproof window locks at no cost to you, especially if they have little ones of their own. Your landlord may even gates and drawer locks they’re willing to pass down to you. It never hurts to ask!
Other ways to maximize apartment security for kiddos:
- Use a doorstop to keep doors from a) slamming on your child and b) closing so loudly that it scares them. You can purchase a pre-made “finger guard” or make your own with an old pool noodle.
- Cover all sockets to keep kids from accidentally electrocuting themselves. Keep cords against the wall and as hidden as possible to avoid curious hands from prying them loose.
- Fill unused sockets with outlet plugs.
- Keep your child, and your apartment, safe by childproofing your kitchen. By covering oven and stove dials with simple covers, you can prevent burns and fires while still channeling your inner Wolfgang Puck. By placing knives out of reach, either in drawers or towards the back of your countertops, you can likewise prevent some pretty serious injuries from occurring.
When it comes to our kids, we can never be too careful. Check out more awesome apartment safety tips in ApartmentSearch.com‘s resources for renters, where you’ll find safety tips for vacations, severe weather, and more!