You have plenty on your plate as a new parent; an apartment safety checklist can help keep your mind at ease and your little one safe.
Every parent has been there. The brain fog from sleep deprivation becomes part of your personal identity. And "baby-proofing" starts to sound like a major home renovation the more you talk to parents with older kids. With a new baby or toddler in the house, it's hard enough to take a shower on a regular basis; how can you remember all the baby-proofing tips that well-intentioned friends overwhelm you with? It's time for an apartment safety checklist.
To be clear, though, an apartment safety checklist isn't just for keeping your child out of trouble; it's also to help you remember basic safety tips that a tired brain just can't keep up with.
The New Parent Apartment Safety Checklist
First, a note. This list is geared toward apartments, but it is entirely usable for home owners, as well. The biggest difference is in the assumption that you can't make major changes in an apartment, like changing locks or replacing old windows.
The first thing to understand is that you don't have to undertake major changes all at once. As your baby gets more mobile, you can build more safety features into your apartment.
1. Take an infant CPR class offered by the American Red Cross.
2. Don't carry hot foods or drinks and your baby at the same time. It's far too easy to trip or slip and burn your child—or yourself.
3. For the same reason, don't hold your baby while you're cooking.
4. Don't leave your baby unattended on a changing table, bed, couch, or high chair.
5. Check your smoke detector and carbon monoxide detector on the first of each month (or another date, but the first is easier to remember). Change the batteries twice per year.
6. Make and practice a fire safety plan. You don't want to have to "think" about ways to get out; you want it to be a reflex.
7. Follow all the safety instructions on baby furniture and toys.
8. Cover electrical outlets.
1. Take an infant CPR class from the American Heart Association.
2. Install toddler-proof locks on your cabinets and drawers.
3. Install appliance locks on your refrigerator, oven, and dishwasher.
4. Use knob locks to secure your oven.
5. Start a timer when you turn on the oven so you remember to turn it off.
1. Install a toilet seat lock.
2. Secure cabinets, just like in the kitchen.
3. Move cleaning supplies, medicines, soaps, and shampoos to a high shelf if you can't lock them in a cabinet. (Kids get into everything.)
4. Turn your water heater down to a maximum of 120º.
5. Never, ever leave your child unattended in the bath.
1. Tie up or trim any long cords on blinds and drapes.
2. Remove pillows, toys, and blankets from the crib.
3. If you are using a second-hand crib, check www.recalls.gov for recalls and safety information.
4. Don't place the crib, bed, or furniture near a window. An active toddler can easily climb and fall through a screen.
Bonus Safety Tips for Parents
As much as these apartment safety tips revolve around keeping your child out of danger, it's equally important to take care of yourself as a parent.
1. Ask for help. Whether it's an hour each week to take a yoga class or just 20 minutes to take an uninterrupted shower, get some help. Being a parent is one of the most challenging—and rewarding—jobs around.
2. Leave notes for yourself. No, a sticky note on the door reminding you to put your keys in the same place every time isn't an ideal interior decoration move. Keeping yourself sane and not losing your keys makes your day that much better.
And one last tip: make sure your insurance is up to date. A lot changes when you have a child, and you want your insurance to keep up. Check with your Pekin Insurance agent to make sure you have the life and renters insurance that's right for you.