Adding a new family member is such an exciting part of life. But, of course, life is turned upside down in so many ways when a new baby arrives at home. Baby-proofing your apartment in advance can provide some peace of mind during a time that has the potential to be a little bit hectic!

Apartments typically have less square footage than the average single-family or town home. This means that most, if not all, rooms will need some modifications. Now, your infant isn’t going to be moving around enough to need immediate baby-proofing of every space, but it’s never too soon to put up some protective measures. This way, you know you’re covered once your little one is on the move.

Prepare for your baby’s reaching, crawling and walking stages with these tips for how to baby proof your apartment.

6 Steps to Babyproofing Your Apartment

1. Clean Up

You’ll be surprised at the number of small items you have around your apartment. Very quickly your baby will be reaching for items to put in his mouth, or finding her hands in places you never imagined! As you figure out how to baby proof your apartment, you’ll realize you can’t just baby proof a small portion — you have to baby proof anywhere and everywhere your baby will eventually spend time.

Keep a special eye out for any potential hazards around the floor and at the baby’s eye level. This includes dog dishes, exposed nails, pet hair, cords, sharp corners, etc. Look for anything that can fit into a tiny mouth and items that could be pulled on or knocked over — especially anything connected to electricity.

2. Cover All Electrical Outlets

Speaking of electricity…when baby proofing your apartment, addressing electrical outlets is an absolute must. All outlets out of use and within your baby’s reach should be covered with plastic inserts. Any outlets in use should be blocked from your baby’s reach. You want to prevent your baby from playing with electrical outlets and plugs at all costs. Tiny fingers can fit in the smallest of places, and outlets can cause serious harm.

3. Pad Or Remove All Sharp Edges

As your baby learns to crawl, stand, and walk, they’re bound to be clumsy. They’ll fall a lot, but they’ll also climb on more items than you might expect.

This presents a problem if you have furniture with sharp edges or corners. Consider replacing your square, sharp-edged coffee table with a round one – or better yet, a cushioned ottoman. If you don’t want to go the replacement route, try padding the edges of your table and chairs with safety guards to soften the corners. These temporary precautions certainly won’t be the most stylish of additions to your furniture, but keeping that little noggin safe is certainly well worth it.

4. Close Doors or Add Baby Gates

While you’ve always left your bathroom door wide open without thinking twice, it’s time to change that habit now that you’re baby proofing your apartment. You don’t want your baby wandering into the bathroom unsupervised under any circumstances.

Next to kitchens, bathrooms are the most dangerous place for a toddler to be. Bathrooms are full of potential hazards. With medicine cabinets, running water, cleaning solutions, and plenty of other colorful items to put in his or her mouth, your baby will love the bathroom.  As many an internet meme has proven, an unsupervised baby plus a bathroom can equal a major mess. And of course, this can be a major hazard as well. Make sure to keep the bathroom door closed to prevent your baby from creating a giant mess for you to clean up, or worse.

As mentioned, the kitchen is also a dangerous place for a baby to explore unsupervised. Invest in baby gates to keep your toddler safe from cleaning supplies, sharp objects, electrical appliances, and more. Baby gates are one of the best investments you can make to be sure your toddler doesn’t get into the areas of your apartment that are unsafe.

5. Put Away Fragile Items

Obviously, you’re not going to be handing breakables to your baby deliberately, but have you considered the fragile items around your home? A collection of china or ceramics, valuable artwork, potted plants, small decorations or antiques –  these are all items you’ll want to keep out of baby’s hands. You don’t have to remove them altogether. Simply place them in locations that are harder for a little one to reach. Move that antique vase from the coffee table to the dining table. Hang mirrors instead of leaning them against walls. Little changes can have a big impact!

6. Install Baby Locks

It’s vital to install baby proof locks on cabinets and drawers that your child will be able to reach — that goes for kitchens, bathrooms, bedrooms, and anywhere else that you have doors or drawers you don’t want little hands to open. Even if you’re keeping a close eye on your baby, it only takes a couple of seconds to open a cabinet and turn a seemingly harmless object into a hazard. Securing these potential hazards will provide protection for your baby and peace of mind for you.

Bring Your Newborn Home To A Southern Management Community

Being a new parent isn’t easy. We want to ensure that moving is as stress-free as possible, especially during an already stressful (and exciting!) life phase. The Southern Management team works hard to make the moving process straightforward and simple.

With no hidden fees or unpleasant surprises, you’ll have peace of mind moving into one of our 25,000 apartment homes with your little one. Contact us to talk about one of our apartment communities and how we can accommodate your growing family.