Creating a safe environment for your baby is an important part of parenthood and helps to ensure the first years are happy and healthy. 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.

While preparing for your baby can be overwhelming, these 12 tips will get you started. Consider safeguarding an ongoing process directly linked to your baby's routine development. Nothing is baby proof so modify and address risks along with your baby's development:

1. Get down

Crawling on your hands and knees will help you evaluate safety needs from your baby’s perspective.

2. Read closely

Always follow all manufacturers’ instructions, plus age and weight or height limitations.

3. Recycle wisely

If you must use older or second-hand products, make sure they meet current safety standards and have not been recalled.

4. Don’t forget your foliage

Place household plants out of your baby’s reach and know their names in case your baby ingests them.

5. Spot all bodies of water

Ensure your baby does not have access to swimming pools, toilets, cleaning buckets, bathtubs, showers, or hot tubs. A baby can drown in as little as one inch of water.

6. Baby-proof

Keep cleaning products, dish detergent pods and medicine in high, locked cabinets.

7. Invest in barriers

Safety locks, outlet covers and gates can be helpful.

8. Update your contacts

Keep the poison control center number in your phone so you can call for emergency first-aid advice.

9. Unplug

Small appliances, including blow dryers and irons, should be unplugged when not in use and out of your baby’s reach.

10. Tidy up

Keep all magnets, coins, and batteries away from your baby’s reach.

11. Leave nothing to chance

Always pull drape or blind cords, monitor cords and decorative wall hangings with strings out of your baby’s crib and reach.

12. Cut no corners

Get in the habit before your baby arrives to close all toilet lids, keep bathroom doors shut and sharp or hot kitchen utensils away from the edge of the counters.