Growing families are one of the largest demographics hunting for a new home. Whether you’ve got a new bundle of joy on the way or your little ones aren’t so little anymore, it’s important for your family to have plenty of space to thrive.
But a new home also means making sure your new space is safe for kids. Luckily, with a new construction home, many of the concerns that parents need to address when moving with kids are already taken care of. You can choose a house perfect for your children and ensure that it includes all the latest safety features.
But before you move in, you’ll still want to make sure all your bases are covered. This guide will help you go the extra mile when it comes to childproofing a new home.
If you have little ones who are still unsteady on their feet, you’ll want to make sure they can’t go up or down the stairs without you. By installing a baby gate, you can keep kids from taking a tumble on unfamiliar steps.
Some things to consider when picking a baby gate:
Most gates can fit a range of openings. For the sturdiest fit, make sure the smallest measurement of the gate's width range is close to the width measurement of your opening. A gate that is fully extended is not as sturdy.
Ease of opening
Many gates have a simple walk-through option, so the whole gate doesn’t have to be removed when an adult wants to walk through.
While the simplicity of pressure-mounted gates sounds helpful, they can often do as much damage to your wall as screwing in a permanent gate—plus, your baby could learn to push it over in time! Make sure your wall-mounted gate comes with drywall anchors to keep it steady throughout your baby's growth stages.
Though there are many options for outlet covers, the same simple plastic plugs your mom used to have still work perfectly. Keep a few dozen handy as you're figuring out where your favorite lamps should go, and fill in any outlets that aren't currently in use.
Cabinets and Drawers
Babies and toddlers are natural explorers, so put a lock on every cabinet and drawer until your child understands what "no" means. As your child gets older, you can remove a few of the locks on areas where the contents aren’t dangerous, like the towel drawer or the pots and pans cabinet.
Kitchen Appliances and Utensils
Find a hard-to-reach spot to store kitchen knives and other sharps, like scissors and meat thermometers. A magnetic strip hung on the backsplash is a space-saving way to keep these things out of toddlers' reach.
Appliances can be childproofed as well. Many ovens have a lock so you can walk away from the kitchen without worrying about your child opening a hot oven. Some people even install fridge locks to keep toddlers from grabbing their own snacks.
Consider buying a screen to put around your fireplace. Not only can these be unique pieces of décor in their own right, but they’ll also keep curious kids away from leftover ash, soot, and charcoal when your fireplace isn’t in use. If you're concerned about a brick or stone hearth with sharp corners, add a layer of throw pillows in front or drape a blanket over the corners when the fireplace isn’t lit.
Children love to climb—even older kids sometimes give in to the temptation of climbing up a tall piece of furniture. But even the sturdiest furniture, like bookshelves or dressers, can topple over if not anchored to the wall.
If an item of furniture has a greater height than width, it can be a risk—something to consider as you’re purchasing new furniture for your new home. If these pieces are must-haves, they should be anchored.n Anchoring kits are cheap and simple to use, so you can easily DIY your way to safer furniture.
Doors and Windows
Bathroom doors and adults’ bedroom doors are a great place for child locks. Usually, large outer doors are too difficult for small kids to open on their own anyway, but sometimes screen doors do need child locks.
If your window blinds have strings to pull, install small hooks to hang the strings out of the reach of curious kids.
Consider installing a video monitor in your nursery or playroom to keep an eye on the kids when you're in another room. This is one of many smart devices that can add convenience as well as safety to your home.
Final Words on Childproofing
New construction offers some significant benefits in terms of childproofing. You don't have to worry about cleaning the carpets and disinfecting everything in your child's reach, and you know that your house has all the market’s latest safety measures.
Having a clean, up-to-code, and well-built home gives you a giant head start in making your space safe for your kids. That way, you can get to work making your home your own, and know your family is safe and sound.