If you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant, then you may already be thinking about the ways that you should adjust your home to make it safer and more friendly for your child. Babies quickly grow into curious toddlers, and one of the most important aspects of keeping them safe while they grow and start exploring is to make sure that you child-proof all electrical sources in your home. Before you go out and purchase caps and covers, though, you should consider making an appointment with your electrician to discuss your current electrical system.
Consider Whether You Should Update Your Electrical System
If you live in an older house, there is a good chance that your current electrical system cannot handle the demands of modern appliances. Modern homes often run multiple appliances at the same time, such as air conditioning units, a washing machine, and a television. On top of that, parents often utilize several small appliances for babies, such as wipe warmers, video systems, and baby swings. If all of these items are on one circuit breaker, you could experience electrical shortages. This can be frustrating, and you will not want to deal with resetting your circuit breaker every day while you are watching a newborn.
You should consult with an electrician to make sure your current system can handle your additional electric needs once your baby is born.
Add More Outlets Where Necessary
It is common for some rooms in the modern home to utilize power strips for the entertainment center and the computer. However, power strips require extra child proofing as you will have to cover where the strip is plugged into the wall outlet as well as covering the power strip itself. So it is a better idea to keep your cords off the floor and reduce the amount of child-proofing you need to do by having an electrician install extra outlets directly where you need them. This can also allow you to shorten the cords of your electronics, which can reduce tripping hazards.
If your electrician is installing extra outlets for entertainment centers and computers, make sure that they install outlets with a built-in surge protector to help keep your more sensitive electronics safe from power surges.
Upgrade Your Outlets
While your electrician is installing new outlets, you should also have them upgrade your existing outlets. Older outlets are easy for children to stick items in and often require extra caps. However, newer outlets, known as tamper resistant receptacles, come with a spring-loaded protective film already in place, meaning that you will not have to add extra child-proofing measures to your outlets.
Install Dimmers or Additional Light Switches for Nighttime Feedings
Your electrician can help make your life with a newborn more convenient, not just safer. For example, you may want to have them install dimmer switches on the lights in your bedroom and/or the nursery to allow you to conduct nighttime feedings and changes in dim light. Keeping the room dark during nighttime feedings and changes can help your baby learn when to sleep and when to wake up to play.
Alternatively, you may want to install a second light switch in the room that is connected to red lighting for nighttime use, which will also help reduce nighttime wakings.
Consider Installing Child-friendly Light Switches
As your child grows, they will want to mimic all of your behaviors and begin doing things on their own. One of the things they may want to do is to turn on and off lights by themselves. With standard light switches, this can lead to your child pushing chairs or furniture towards the light switch and climbing up to reach it. Instead, consider installing a low light switch that your toddler can reach in the nursery and in the bathroom.