When your baby starts crawling, then you need to consider childproofing or containment for your home. Soon, your little one will begin walking. When the child starts moving on their own, they become exposed to a variety of potential dangers. Childproofing entails a lot of precautionary measures to improve the safety of your child and avoid any risks. It is essential to childproof the entire home or contain your child in an area where the child plays. So, the question then arises, which is the best approach for your child?
Home proofing involves removing all the harmful items around the house to make the home a safe place for the baby.
Steps involved in home proofing:
Childproofing electric gadgets
- Electric cords may look like a rope to play with, which can strangle your baby so you should keep all electrical cables out of reach.
- You can move the cords behind furniture since they cannot push furniture around to get to the wires or use cord fasteners to fasten them against the wall.
- Cover sockets to avoid your baby from putting their ﬁngers inside the sockets, which can cause electrocution.
Childprooﬁng the kitchen
- Turn the handles of cooking pots towards the wall and use back burners to keep hot cooking pots away from baby's reach.
- Avoid tablecloths since if the baby pulls at them, everything will fall, including any hot food or drink which can scald them.
- Install safety latches on freezers, refrigerators and oven door.
- Install covers on oven and stove knobs, as well as a stove guard, which blocks the burners. You may opt to buy a stove which has touch control and removable knobs.
- Install smoke and carbon monoxide detectors in the kitchen, where smoke and the poisonous gas are most prevalent, but also install the alarms in other areas since ﬁres can start anywhere in the home.
Childproofing the nursery
- As much as you want your baby to have fun, you should remove any hanging toys above the crib.
- Secure all furniture such as dressers onto the wall.
- Move away any furniture near the cradle that the baby can use to climb into it.
- You should lower the mattress in the crib so the baby cannot climb out.
- Keep soft items such as pillows and stuffed toys out of the crib to avoid suffocation risks.
- Ensure the rails on the cradle are ﬁxed to keep your baby from falling out.
- The gaps between the rails should be small enough that even a sofa cannot ﬁt in, to prevent your baby's head from getting stuck.
Childprooﬁng the bathroom
- Place non-slip mats in the bathroom, as well as in the bathtub.
- Install a grip handle on the wall so your child can hold onto it when getting out of the tub.
- Store all medicines out of baby’s reach and childproof the bottle tops of the medications.
- Install safety locks on covers of toilet seats, and never leave the baby in the tub alone.
- Always unplug hot items and store them out of baby's reach.
- Reduce the temperature of the water heater to prevent scalding.
Childprooﬁng the laundry/balcony area
- Make sure that the laundry area is dry and the heavy appliances like washing machine are placed securely and do not easily tip over.
- For those living in a condo or landed property, ensure the door leading to the balcony is locked. Window grilles are also a good idea.
- Ensure all dangerous appliances such as clothing iron are far from reach. Make sure that all liquid detergents, sprays, and chemicals are kept out of reach and safely stored as well.
- Ensure laundry area fences are secure and that gates latch securely.
Advantages of home prooﬁng
- Safety of baby - the main point of childprooﬁng is to keep your baby safe, and although you can never keep your baby from falling or stumbling over, it will minimize the chances of your baby getting injured.
- Safety of the house - babyprooﬁng protects the items in the house such as ﬂower vases, the tablecloth, plates, and glassware since your child will not have access to them.
- Room for adventure - home prooﬁng allows the baby the space and freedom to explore the environment.
Disadvantages of home prooﬁng
- Expensive - it is costly to buy new items to assist in baby prooﬁng the home, such as installing baby alarms, locks, non-slip mats among other expenses.
- Time-consuming - it takes time to childproof the entire home, covering the various areas both outside and inside the house.
- Higher Risk - There is still a risk of your child getting hurt even after all the home prooﬁng efforts since your child might still make an unexpected move that you didn't foresee when conjuring all possible risky or dangerous scenarios within the home. The more surface your child has access to, the more risk they are exposed to.
Containment is placing your child in a safe zone where you can keep an eye on them. Getting a playpen is a straightforward and affordable option to contain your child.
Steps involved in containment
- Install small gates at the bottom and top of staircases, and other doorways to rooms in which you do not want your baby to crawl.
- Install child-safety knobs on doors leading to the outside and once they ﬁgure out how to open them, install a different design.
- Place a playpen in the living area or any other place in the home such as outdoors in the backyard. Place some books and safe toys in the playpen to keep the baby from getting bored.
- In the kitchen, you should strap the baby to a high chair so that you can do your chores, but remember to also keep him or her busy with colorful toys or learning materials if the baby is old enough.
Advantages of containment
- Safety - Risk of baby getting hurt is lower as compared to home prooﬁng since the covered surface area is much smaller. Keeping a baby in a safe area will prevent him or her from danger since the baby is not at risk of running into sharp corners, hot soup, knives and other hazards.
- Versatility - you have the option of taking the playpen outside and letting the baby play while you work out. This way, the baby gets fresh air while the parent may have some exercise.
- Affordability - Unlike babyprooﬁng, child containment is a less costly and effortless process. All you need to buy is a playpen, which is affordable, and set it up in a matter of minutes.
- Portability - you can carry it with you when traveling to ensure your baby safety and avoid the fuss over childproofing a place that you will only stay temporarily every time you go overseas.
Disadvantages of containment
- Restricts mobility of children - babies are born adventurers, and they want to reach out to anything that interests them, but a playpen limits their movements, which can make them feel helpless and become anxious.
- Psychological trauma - if you place the baby in the playpen by force, the child will be afraid and develop shock. You should therefore gradually introduce the containment and make the area fun. Also, put some bright toys that are big enough to avoid choking, or fill it with ice cream balls to enhance the playpen experience. Containment can be both safe and fun for your child.
Containment and home prooﬁng are both options to keep your baby safe, but they have different pros and cons such as mobility, ﬂexibility, and cost, which you must consider before settling for either. However, with the high cost of living, and considering that your baby will soon learn what a hazard is and how to avoid it, containment is a much cheaper option. It is also easier to buy a playpen instead of buying all the various items needed to baby proof the house. You can explore how a playpen and play mat will contain your baby on https://adertek.com/collections/play-yard and https://adertek.com/collections/baby-play-mat, respectively.