Having a new baby can be stressful in more ways than one. You want to provide the best for your little one. You might worry about managing your finances with a new family member and how to keep your baby safe at home.

Contrary to what many marketers might have you believe, you don’t have to spend a lot of money on keeping your baby safe. Understanding what is essential to babyproofing your environment can prevent you from spending needlessly while also keeping your infant safe.

1. Crib

Parents should put babies to sleep in a crib or bassinet with a bottom sheet that fits tightly, according to the American Academy of Pediatrics.

Don’t use a bassinet or playpen with low sides once a child can sit up. Many cribs have adjustable rails that can be extended as your little one grows. You should place a baby in a safe location with appropriate side rails when you’re not able to watch them.

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You don’t need to purchase fancy bedding for a baby’s nursery. In fact, avoid using soft, plush blankets and pillows, as they pose a suffocation hazard. The cost of a crib sheet ranges from about $5 to $200 on Amazon.

Cribs themselves cost about $100 to $500 on Amazon. Purchasing a new one is preferable to using a hand-me-down, as new cribs sold through reputable retailers are required to adhere to the most current safety standards.

Basic cribs are generally safer for babies than ornate ones because they are less likely to snag clothing or bedding, which could create a strangulation hazard, according to Consumer Reports.

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2. Baby Gate

Falls are the primary cause of non-deadly injury for those under the age of 19, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

You don’t need to purchase any equipment to take measures that keep your child safe.

Never leave a child alone on a changing table, sofa, bed, or other high surface. And organization is key. Clean toys and clutter off of stairs to avoid tripping hazards for both you and the baby.

A baby gate can help you close off areas that are unsafe for children. This will come in handy once your infant becomes mobile. That said, a pressure-mounted gate may not be secure enough for use near stairs. Permanent gates that are properly installed can help avoid nasty tumbles.

A good-quality child safety gate usually costs between $25 and $80 on Amazon. Make sure you shop around to get the best fit for you.

3. Window Locks

Your window might have locks that prevent access from the outside. But what if you need to open a window to get some air?

Installing mechanisms that prevent windows from opening more than about five inches can help prevent falls and keep your baby safe at home. This is especially important for windows on the upper stories of a building. You should even safeguard windows with screens, which can be pushed out easily.

Some window guards must be installed in the opening and have bars. Others are more subtle and hold the window down from above using a wedge-like action. Depending on the type of window guard that you use, you might spend anywhere from $10 to $70 on Amazon.

If you don’t plan to open your windows, though, you might not need an additional safety lock. And, you should avoid adding an extra lock to windows that serve as emergency exits.

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4. Infant Safety Seat

Many hospitals won’t release a baby if their parents don’t have an appropriate child safety seat or car seat installed in the vehicle.

Although you may be tempted to purchase a secondhand car seat, that may not be the best way to keep your baby safe.

You need to know the seat’s history and make sure that there are no recalls, that the seat’s not damaged, and that it is no more than six years old. A used car seat should have the model number and manufacturing date. Check for recalls before buying any infant safety seat here.

Instead of looking for a car seat with plenty of bells and whistles, ensure that you purchase one that meets federal safety standards. Newborn babies should be in a rear-facing seat, and they should ride in a car seat every single time they’re in the vehicle.

Infant car seats generally cost between about $60 and $250 on Amazon. Check with your local fire department to find out whether an expert can evaluate the accuracy of the installation for free.

5. Fire Alarm and Fire Extinguisher

When your mind is on being a new parent, you might forget about the measures that you take to maintain your home’s general safety. Make sure that your fire alarms are in working order.

Smoke alarms should be installed in every bedroom as well as outside of sleeping areas on every level of the home, according to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA). Maintain your alarms according to the manufacturer’s recommendations, and test them at least once a month, replacing the battery at least once a year.

You should also keep a fire extinguisher on every floor, as well as create and share a fire escape plan with other adults and children in the household.

A smoke alarm typically costs between $15 to $60 on Amazon, and the price of a home fire extinguisher ranges from about $15 to $50.

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6. Tub Safety

The bathroom can be a hazardous place for a little one. Water poses a burning and drowning risk, according to BabyZeen, a blog for parenting.

A child can drown in fewer than two inches of water, so be careful.

A bath safety thermometer gauges the water temperature to prevent burns. Some sound an alarm if the water is too hot or too cold. With prices ranging from about $10 to $20, these products are fairly affordable and can be essential for keeping your baby safe at home.

To prevent drowning, don’t leave standing water in tubs, buckets, or sinks. Close the toilet lid, and consider installing a toilet lock, which generally costs less than $10.

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7. Cabinet and Door Locks

A curious crawler can easily access floor-level cabinets. Given that, you should keep cleaning products at levels that only adults can reach. Better yet, install locks on your cabinets.

A variety of cabinet locks and latches are available. Some are easier for children to open than others. Depending on the style that you choose, this baby safety item costs from $3 for a pack of four to $20 for a set that secures eight drawers or cabinets.

Final Thoughts on Keeping Your Baby Safe at Home

Overall, the range of different items on this list totals between $255 and $1,260 on Amazon.

Working the cost of essential items into your budget before bringing your little one home is helpful. You’ll be ready for all of your baby’s milestones, and you shouldn’t feel a significant hit to your wallet if you prepare ahead of time. Happy parenting!

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