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Cleaning and Childproofing the Home for a Newborn
Published on Monday, 17 September 2012

A baby in the house is always a joy. No matter how much work is involved in raising the newborn, it is always worth it, when the child is growing up in a happy, stable and safe home. However the last few weeks of a pregnancy, right before the baby is born, are vital times. A lot has to be done before a baby can be welcomed into its new home, especially if it is the first child in the family. Things like clothes and accessories shopping, learning how to take care of an infant, practicing diaper changing and folding a stroller, finding the right pediatrician - all of these things can be thrilling for the expectant parents. Near the top of the priority list is also childproofing the home. While babies are completely helpless and cannot move out of their crib or cot in their first few weeks of life, it won't be long before the little one is up and exploring its surroundings. When this happens, you have to make sure that every room the baby might wonder into is completely safe for the brave little explorer - no sharp edges, broken furniture, high steps. Nothing dangling or stacked precariously. No chemicals and strong cleaning products and nothing  flammable - you'd be surprised at the number of things that have to be kept out of a child's reach. So, to help you better prepare for your baby's crucial first year, this article outlines some steps and simple tips for childproofing any home.
As the little one begins to crawl and eventually walk, you have to figure out how your home looks from their view.

In the first weeks of your child's life you're going to have to reconsider a lot of your habits. The temperature in your home is one example. While you may be used to a cooler temperature, a newborn requires the thermostat to register about 23 degrees Celsius.

Most notably, your cleaning routine will have to change. Dusting will have to be more frequent, as dust can cause allergies and aggravate a newborn's lungs. You will also have to switch some of the household chemicals you use for non-toxic alternatives as the fumes are more harmful to the vulnerable young organism.

The first thing to do once your toddler starts crawling is to remove any cleaning products and other household chemicals from their reach. Bleach, floor polish, bug spray - all of these have to be moved from the standard cupboard under the stairs to a higher one - where your child can't reach them and, ideally, can't even see them. Bottles with bright labels look attractive to children and are more likely to entice them to climb and possibly hurt themselves. Another thing to look out for are small bits and pieces lying around the floor, the tables or the soft furniture - anything that can be swallowed easily is to be avoided.  
Some other things to look out for are sharp corners and rapid drops, such as steep staircases. The toddler's access to these should be cut off.

Lastly, when you have a little one crawling around, it naturally follows that the floors should be spotless. A baby's hands and feet go everywhere and then eventually wind up in their mouths - it is the parent's job to make sure that everything is as hygienic and germ free as possible.

These are just a few suggestions to get you on the right track. The thing to remember is that keeping your child safe even at home is a full-time job and requires constant vigilance.

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