Keeping your baby safe takes care and knowledge to ensure the first years are happy and healthy. It’s important to know how to properly use any baby product, new or used, including cautiously following product instructions and using keenly attuned instincts when caring for your baby at all times.

What to watch for

Spare change floating around in pockets or purses may wind up on tables around the house, where curious children may be attracted to the shiny coins and ingest them. A great way to ensure this doesn’t happen is to assign a tray or jar for loose change and keep it out of a child’s reach.

"The best way to safeguard? Get down on your hands and knees and think like a baby."

Other hidden hazards include loose carpets that are tripping hazards for unsteady walkers, liquid laundry and detergent packets (they look like candy), hot mugs and pot handles that stick out over the counter and heavy furniture like dressers and TVs that can be easily pulled over if not properly anchored.

Safeguarding against hidden hazards in your home goes beyond baby-proofing. It’s about constantly being aware of what everyday items look like to curious climbers who like to touch and taste everything.

STOP, DROP AND CRAWL: Getting on your hands and knees is one of the best ways to come across any unforeseen dangers that only your baby could get into. Get on their level, and you'll get them out of trouble.

When to watch out

Ideally, the best time to prepare your home for your baby is early in your pregnancy before you register, so you can include needed safety items on your registry list.

The best way to safeguard? Get down on your hands and knees and think like a baby. This is a great activity for both mom and dad since males and females tend to look and inspect different aspects of the home and safety measures in general.

Babies at any age are curious and want to touch, feel, lick, smell and listen to everything and anything they can get their little hands on. Your job is to make him or her part of your home as much as possible. After all, this new addition is not a temporary guest and should be able to safely explore every room in your home.

This means putting away the fancy décor you got as wedding gifts and preparing for the “invasion of the little people” and all the stuff that comes with them.

Consider safeguarding an ongoing process. Monitor your child’s growth and development and always try to stay one step ahead.