Posted by Sedgwick’s temporary housing division on
Did you know that the United States has sustained 298 weather and climate disasters since 1980 where the overall costs exceeded 1 billion dollars? Even if you aren’t concerned with hurricanes or other disasters, many different emergencies force families into temporary housing situations.
If you are the parent of a baby or toddler and have to move into a short-term rental, the first thing you need to focus on is babyproofing that home.
Not sure where to start? Read our guide below on getting a home ready for a baby in the easiest manner possible.
Babyproofing the nursery
You probably have one particular room that you have designated as the baby’s room. Or maybe the baby is still sleeping with you. In any case, the room that the baby is going to spend the most time in needs to be babyproofed first.
As this is a short-term rental, there are some quick and inexpensive ways you can add babyproofing to a home.
Ensure that you have a thick rug or carpet in the nursery to cushion falls. It’s easy to buy and move around with you when you go back to your real home.
If you have a baby that’s old enough to play with toys, then have an open bin (no heavy lids) for all the toys. Make sure it has soft corners so the little one can’t hurt itself when touching it or bumping against it. Again, this is easy to move into your temporary housing and back into your home once your home is livable again.
Ensure that you have finger-pinch guards for hinges on the doors. These are easy to install and uninstall but are very important for the room of a curious baby.
Finally, ensure that your nursery area has a UL-listed nightlight, so your little one always has some light around them, in case they wake up in the middle of the night or get scared by some loud noises in the night.
Babyproofing your home living area
Your living area probably has quite a few bits of furniture that have sharp edges, and that can seriously hurt a baby if they bump up against them. Make sure to babyproof all furniture. Also, add stick-on corner cards to all corners.
Remember to cover all upholstery with fabrics that are high-performance, meant for everyday use, and clean well. The best option for this is to purchase slipcovers for all the couches and armchairs.
Cover all electrical outlets with childproof coverings (this applies to all the rooms in your home). And get rid of all blinds with cords, or replace them with cordless blinds, as they can be a strangling hazard. You can always put them back when you are ready to move out of your short-term rental.
Babyproofing the kitchen
Most kitchens nowadays are open-concept, which means that a mobile baby can easily find its way to cabinets, fridges, and other harmful appliances. The most important thing to do with a kitchen is to add modern childproof cabinet locks to everything that can be opened by a curious baby. Consider using stick-on plastic latch locks as a temporary solution.
Also, add in stove-knob covers to prevent your baby from touching or turning on the stove by mistake, especially if he or she is standing already.
Move all cleaning products to somewhere high up where the baby cannot reach them. This is important because cleaning products usually come in bright colors that will entice and delight a baby.
Finally, ensure that you have skid-proof rugs or nonskid pads for rugs that you would place under the table where you would normally eat. Also, make sure these rugs you use are easy to clean so spills and messes don’t become a huge problem.
Other things to consider when babyproofing a home
Depending on how many rooms you have in your short-term rental, babyproofing a home could seem like a monumental task. But don’t panic. Here are some things that you need to remember when getting a home ready for a baby.
Cabinet locks and drawer locks are crucial (especially in the kitchen, bathroom, and liquor cabinet)
Cover all electrical outlets with childproof coverings
Place safety gates at the entrance or exit of all rooms that are out of bounds to a baby
Make sure all houseplants are of the non-toxic variety
Vacuum regularly to pick up loose change, pins, or anything else that a baby could put in their mouth
Cover all radiators and heating vents to avoid burns
Remove all caps from doorstops to prevent a choking hazard
Place all cleaning products, cosmetics, and other such items out of reach of a baby (high up on a cabinet or a locked cabinet is a great idea)
If you put your mind to it, you can get all these tasks done in a matter of hours. And once you are done, your new temporary housing will be safe and ready for your little one.
The good thing is that once you do this once, you are so used to it, that you will be more than prepared for your next baby or your next move. Good luck to you!
Temporary housing can be babyproofed easily
Now that you have the list of steps to babyproof a home, you are well on your way to getting your temporary housing ready for your baby. It doesn’t need to be a nightmarish situation. Step by step, you will get there.
If you are an insurance adjuster or a family looking for temporary housing after a house fire or some other disaster, contact Sedgwick’s temporary housing division! Our mission is to serve the insurance industry and its displaced policyholders by finding the most comfortable and cost-effective temporary housing for you.