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Babyproofing

I’m in my second trimester and feeling pretty good! What should I be doing now to get ready for the baby?

Our Mommy MD Guide’s reply: Before your baby is born, you’ll want to cover the basics, such as installing hard-mounted baby gates at the top and bottom of stairs, covering outlets with outlet protectors, putting child proof covers on doors to rooms you’ll want to keep the baby out of and doors that lead to the outside, putting locks on toilets so the baby can’t play in—or fall in—the toilet, and putting latches on cabinet doors in both your kitchen and bathrooms.

Also, consider baby furniture collections when decorating your new nursery, with child proof corners and edges. Be sure to turn down your home’s hot water heater to lower than 120°F and install fire and carbon monoxide alarms at least on every floor of your home and outside every bedroom, if you don’t already have them.

—Rallie McAllister, MD, MPH, a mom of three sons, a family physician, and the coauthor of The Mommy MD Guide to Pregnancy and Birth and The Mommy MD Guide to Your Baby’s First Year, in Lexington, KY

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Our Mommy MD Guide’s reply: Spend some time baby proofing while you have time and can still think. Once the baby comes, you’ll be completely exhausted and have no brain power for at least six months.

My husband and I completely baby proofed our home before our oldest was even born. We even installed the baby gates. And I was so glad we did. My husband and I both knew we wouldn’t have a lot of time after the baby came, so we baby proofed as much in advance as we could. But what we didn’t expect is that you just can’t think right for the first six months after the baby is born.

The easiest way to start baby proofing is go to a baby store (like Babies R Us) and spend some time in their baby proofing section. That’ll give you lots of ideas on all the things your child can get into and how to prevent that from happening.

Before your baby is born, you’ll want to cover the basics, such as installing hard-mounted baby gates at the top and bottom of stairs, covering outlets with outlet protectors, putting child-proof covers on doors to rooms you’ll want to keep the baby out of and doors that lead to the outside, putting locks on toilets so the baby can’t play in—or fall in—the toilet, and putting latches on cabinet doors in both your kitchen and bathrooms. Also, be sure to turn down your home’s hot water heater to lower than 120°F and install fire and carbon monoxide alarms at least on every room of your home if you don’t already have them.

Kristin C. Lyle, MD, FAAP, a mom of three girls and disaster medical director at Arkansas Children’s Hospital and assistant professor of pediatrics at University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences, both in Little Rock


The information on MommyMDGuides.com is not intended to replace the diagnosis, treatment, and services of a physician. Always consult your physician or child care expert if you have any questions concerning your family's health. For severe or life-threatening conditions, seek immediate medical attention.