We have an amazing nephew that comes to visit us once in awhile. Every time he comes, I'm filled with a mix of anxiety and nervousness, as we are not “kid people” so baby proofing our home has never been a consideration. So many articles talk about safety gates and how to make a kid-safe house, but not many of them talk about how to temporarily baby proof your home.
If you're in this boat, where you've got a little one coming to stay, and you'd like to have them leave without getting electrocuted, check out my tips below.
Baby Proofing Your Home Temporarily: Get Started
First, get down low and crawl around your home. What's around that a baby or toddler might put in their mouth, or trip on as they're stumbling around? Are there sharp corners that might need a buffer or two? Try to see your home from the eyes of a little one making their way around for the first time.
Store medicines up high and out of reach. For cleaning chemicals or other toxic items, get some cabinet locks which aren't expensive.
If the parents aren't bringing safety gates and you've got some treacherous stairs, there are companies that will rent them out to you for a small fee. If the toddler will be around multiple times, though, safety gates also aren't crazy expensive and would save you or the parents money in the long run.
Cover any outlets with covers and make sure any cords around aren't in open spaces that the child can pull on or trip over.
Keep any sort of medical info on the fridge so it's easily accessible, like you would for a babysitter. That way, if you're alone with the kid and something happens, you'll have easy access to their allergies, poison control's number, etc.
If you've got pets, make sure to store their dry food away from where little hands can grab them, as they can be a choking hazard. Also, this is probably weird, but when our nephew comes into town, we have him re-introduce himself to the cats by putting his hand out for them to sniff. This teaches him a little patience with the cats, and gives them a little time to acclimate to the tornado of energy that's about to come their way.
Baby proofing a home that doesn't permanently have a baby can feel like a whole thing, but taking the steps above will make sure the stay goes as smoothly as possible. Good luck!