Baby-Proofing Your Home
Learn how to baby-proof your home to create a safer environment for your baby
If you're expecting a baby, you'll want to baby-proof your home before he or she arrives. And it's not just the nursery that will need baby-proofing; you'll have to child-proof the entire house, specifically the kitchen, bathroom, stairs and any fireplaces. But any area of your home may have elements of danger for your baby, especially as they grow and are able to get into more things.
Child-proofing can be expensive, so before you begin, open a checking account online from Citizens Bank and start setting aside funds to budget for the cost. Even if you already have a checking account, setting one up just for baby-related expenses can help you allocate and manage funds more easily. Then use your debit card associated with the account for baby-proofing purchases and services whenever possible to avoid going over budget. Use the guide below for tips on how to baby-proof your home and the costs associated so you can plan ahead.
Baby-proof your nursery
While you'll find the majority of the considerations you need to baby-proof both your nursery and your home below, here are a few specific things to note when remodeling for a nursery:
- Use toxic-free, kid-friendly paint.
- Consider placing your baby's crib away from a window to restrict access and avoid curtain cords for safety when your little one starts crawling.
- Avoid using blankets or soft bedding in the crib.
- Secure all furniture and electrical cables - including baby monitor cables.
- Consider adding a large area rug or installing carpet. The extra padding will protect your baby when he or she begins to crawl as well as soften noises.
- Keep all toys, especially those with strings on them, in a toy box.
Baby-proofing your whole home
When it comes to the rest of the house, the average cost of child-proofing is about $500. It may be wise to ask for some of these items as gifts if you'll be doing a baby registry; otherwise, careful budgeting can help you set aside what you need. Also, make sure you shop around - these costs are provided to help you create an initial budget, but the actual prices you find may be more or less depending on brand and model.
- Outlet covers. The cost of outlet covers varies depending on the brand and style. You can choose classic plastic plugs for individual outlets or new sliding covers that are just as safe for the baby, but easier for you to use. The simple, plastic plugs generally start around $2 for several and go up from there. If you use power strips in your home, you'll also want to cover these. Power strip covers start at around $6 per strip.
- Curtains, blinds and electrical cords. You'll want to cover or secure all electric cords and cords for curtains or blinds, especially when your little one starts crawling. Cord shorteners are available to keep longer cords away from the baby. Molded safety covers are also available to place over the top of electrical cords on the floor. Sometimes tying cords out of reach is all you need to do, but when that's not an option, cord shorteners start around $5 and cord covers start around $16.
- Safety gates. Make sure you place a safety gate wherever you have stairs. You may also want to use safety gates around doorways, heaters or radiators, so when your baby starts crawling, he or she won't wander into unsafe or unsupervised areas. Safety gates start around $32 but can be much more expensive depending on the size, brand and model.
- Door knob covers, locks, stoppers and straps. You'll want to install door knob covers and stoppers, locks for cabinets and drawers, and straps for the dishwasher, fridge, etc. to keep them from swinging open too far. You'll especially want to lock away any medicines, dangerous chemicals or cleaning supplies. Each of these locks, covers or straps will be about $1 each, and you can often find them in multi-packs.
- Furniture anchors and padding for corners. To ensure that heavy furniture pieces such as dressers, floor lamps, and tables are safe and secure, install anchors and pad the corners of low furniture like coffee tables. The cost for these starts around $3.
- Safety net for balconies and decks. Keep your baby safe by installing safety netting around the railings of decks and balconies so your little ones don't get caught or slip. These cost around $26 and up.
- Fireplace cover. If you have one or more fireplaces, make sure they're completely covered and tools are stowed away safely. You can find covers for around $17 and up, depending on the style of your fireplace(s).
- Window guards. Protect your toddler by keeping windows locked when possible and installing window guards. These start around $9 or more depending on how many windows you have and the style of those windows.
- Fence around a pool. If you have an above- or in-ground pool, you'll want to install a fence to keep your baby from wandering in to the pool area. For removable, mesh safety fences, costs start at around $129, and vinyl pool fences start around $70. Fences for above-ground pools start around $80. Regardless of the type of pool you have, you may also want to buy a pool cover, which could cost around $400, so budget accordingly.
Open a checking account online with Citizens Bank to manage your baby-proofing funds
Baby-proofing your home before your baby arrives will give you peace of mind that your child will have a safer environment to live, grow and play. To pay for the costs associated with baby-proofing, consider opening a joint One Deposit Checking account from Citizens Bank. Deposit any amount each statement period and the maintenance fee is waived. After you open your account, there is no minimum balance requirement, so it's simple and easy to manage. Contact us today so we can be with you every step of the way as you prepare for the arrival of your baby.