Sharp.  Small.  Secure.  Start.  Think of these four S’s when baby-proofing your home for your soon to be crawling bundle of joy.

The best single piece of advice for our Crown Point, St. John, and Valparaiso parents baby-proofing their home in anticipation of their child starting to crawl is to approach the project from the baby’s perspective.  That is to say, get down on all fours and crawl around on the floor yourself looking for possible safety hazards.  Be sure to look for anything sharp.  Put smaller sharp items up high, and well out of baby reaching distance, or lock them up in a drawer or cabinet.  Add padding to sharp furniture corners, or consider moving that particular piece into another room restricted from access by the baby.  Complete your baby bird’s eye view in every room of the house.  You don’t know what you’ll find until you take a look.

Choking hazards are particularly worrisome especially if there are older children in the home who enjoy playing with smaller toys.  Restrict baby’s access to older brother’s and sister’s rooms that are already themselves a challenge keeping picked up and put away.  An old rule of thumb is “If it fits through a toilet paper cardboard tube it is a choking hazard.”

Electric outlet covers.  Tiny fingers can find small holes just as easily as tiny toys.  Cover up electric outlets.

Secure.  Use safety latches on all cabinets and drawers, keeping household chemicals, knives, and all other safety threats securely out of little hands.  Use baby gates to restrict baby’s access to not only older siblings’ rooms, but stairways, laundry rooms, etc.  Keep furniture like TV stands, dressers, and bookcases from toppling by securing to walls.

Start before the baby is born.  Your hands will be plenty full when you come home with your newborn.  Implement your safety plan well before that glorious day.  Here’s another great video on the basics.