Because babies are naturally born curious, they tend to stick their chubby little fingers everywhere ― by everywhere, we mean everywhere, and in all sorts of places that we could never imagine.
The best way to ensure their safety and health is by baby-proofing the house. Learn tips and tricks, and follow our exclusive step-by-step guide.
Yes, You Absolutely Need to Baby Proof Your Home
The question is, “Is baby-proofing really necessary?”
If you’ve read the header title above, then it’s an obvious yes.
Baby-proofing involves having to make any changes inside your home to be more child or infant-friendly. Doing so reduces the risk of bumping and other accidents.
Don’t we all want that?
Baby-proofing gives us parents peace of mind.
So, When’s the Best Time to Babyproof?
Once your baby starts to crawl in his or her 6th month, that’s the BEST TIME to get the work done. This is when they can become a very curious baby.
They can fall, be hit by hard objects, and many more. While not all injuries are fatal, it still puts them in harm.
Experts recommend baby-proofing your house 3 months before delivery and 6 months after your pregnancy. From then on, it’s a matter of checking in and adjusting as your child grows.
General Baby Proofing Tips
We’re sure this isn’t the first time you’ve read an article about baby-proofing and felt overwhelmed by a bunch of things.
CONSIDER YOURSELF LUCKY.
We’re here to tell you that baby-proofing doesn’t have to be difficult. Although it’s a lot of work and home renovations, it’s not something to stress about.
Some parents can go overboard with it, but these simple steps will do the trick. Learn more about it by scrolling down.
1. Prevent Shocks
The number 1 threat to your baby’s safety is electrical outlets and anything that emits an electric current.
Young children, especially babies, experience electric shock when they bite into electrical cords or poke their fingers in an outlet whenever their back is turned.
To prevent this, these tools will help you:
- Plastic outlet covers
- Power strip covers (for extension cords)
Place them on EVERY VISIBLE OUTLET in all of the rooms inside the house.
For the power strip cover, you can try the one that we’ve found. It’s such a steal!
Besides electrical outlets, you’ll also have to be wary about tangled electrical cords from appliances and phone chargers. They’re small stuff, but nonetheless can be a choking hazard.
What to do about it?
Use a simple cord wrap and cord holder which can easily be fastened against the wall. That way, your little one can’t tug on it or play around with the electrical wirings.
And of course, let’s not forget to save electricity and unplug all appliances when we’re not using them.
2. Block Off Stairs
There’s nothing scarier than seeing your toddler tumble down the stairs. It’s one sure way to land in the emergency room.
The solution? Install baby gates on top and below of each staircase inside your house. Safety gates will stop infants from crawling down on their own.
You can choose from many products at your local hardware store or do a little DIY home project.
3. Beware of Corners
Children are clumsy and carefree. It’s not a wonder when you find scratches and bruises on their arms and face.
And one of the biggest culprits behind it is table corners. A toddler frequently bumps his or her head on the sharp edges of counters, tables, and chairs. Ouch!
Luckily, there are corner guards to help soften the blow and prevent any boo-boos.
They come in different designs and colors. You can find many products that’ll suit your tastes. Personally, these transparent corner guards are our favorites!
Another brilliant method to protect your kid from the dangers of sharp corners is purchasing tables with rounded edges.
4. Stash Breakables and Liquids
Anything that’s in harm’s way, STORE. IT.
Whether it’s your precious antique vase, kitchenware, or cleaning supplies, hide them from plain sight and store them out of your baby’s reach.
5. Practice Door Safety
The sound of slamming doors immediately set off the warning bells inside any parent’s head.
If you’re concerned about your toddler jamming their fingers on doors and knobs, we’re with you. But there’s GOOD NEWS!
We have many options to choose from: safety covers on door knobs, pinch guards, and even a door stopper.
They keep children from opening certain rooms. The best part? The products are easy to use. You won’t need tape or other tools to install it. Simply stick it in.
Something you and your partner should also consider having is chimes or bells on doors.
They’re a good practice and will easily tell you if anyone’s opening the doors. You can reach your baby before disaster strikes.
6. Watch Out for Windows, Cabinets, & Drawers
Locked and sealed.
That’s how windows, cabinets, and drawers should be in your home if you have a newborn baby.
Your ordinary window screen just won’t do once you become a parent. Window screens are only meant to keep insects out and don’t do much to prevent falls.
The better choice is to put up window guards. They’re child-proof and are a more stable structure that is proven to keep children in.
For cabinets and drawers, you’ll need cabinet locks and drawer locks. An ordinary lock and key are enough, but if you decide to take it up a notch, magnetic safety locks are it.
A locked cabinet and drawer will help ease your mind by a TON.
7. Mount It Up
If you have picture frames lying around with your other furniture, it’s better to hang them in the wall, where they’ll be out of your baby’s reach.
And…AVOID. LONG. STRIPS.
It’s about time you start using cordless windows. While window blinds with long, dangling cords might fit your living room design better, they’re hazards for babies and children whose hands won’t stop fretting around.
And babies just love to pull anything. Long ribbons, ties, they’re all tempting!
If you’re hesitant to make a change, an excellent alternative is safety tassels. They’re meant to pull and tuck away the looped cords together.
8. Set Up Alarms
It would be nice to be Spiderman for a day, but, sadly, we can’t.
While we don’t have his spidey-senses, however, alarms will let us know when there’s trouble.
Add an extra layer of protection for your baby with pool covers, carbon monoxide detectors, and smoke detectors. It’s highly suggested to put one in every room inside your house.
9. Be Alert
Whether you’re at home or away from your baby, you should always be vigilant.
It wouldn’t hurt to list down emergency numbers for your babysitter to call in case something happens.
10. Take it Room by Room
Don’t overwhelm yourself into making the renovations right away. Go easy.
A helpful tip we learned was to proceed room by room. The checklist below will tell you how.
Baby Proofing 101: A Checklist for Every Room
Tips aside, here’s how you can babyproof every room and every corner of your house. Our checklist is complete, from the living room, nursery room, and down to the family car.
Baby Proofing the Kitchen
Let’s start it off with the kitchen, where everything screams of danger.
With sharp knives, cooking pots, and strange appliances, a million things can go wrong inside the room. That’s why baby-proofing it is a must.
- Keep knives, scissors, potato peelers, or any sharp items away within the baby’s reach.
- Place dishwashing soaps and other cleaning supplies on high shelves.
- Lock up multivitamins and other supplements in a medicine box.
- Install child-proof locks on cabinets, doors, appliances, and trash can.
- Secure a safety latch on the refrigerator.
- Store food in airtight food canisters.
While making a tasty meal, make it a habit to turn handles of cooking pans towards the back of the stove so that babies can’t easily reach.
- Ditch the tablecloth and use placemats instead. Tablecloths are easy to pull and will send your kitchenware tumbling down with a loud thud.
- Replace glass or fragile utensils with silicone or BPA-free ones. Invest in only the best baby feeding essential products available.
- Cover the sharp edges of the dining table with corner guards. Or, if the budget fits, invest in a round table.
- Consider using safer or all natural dishwashing soaps.
Baby Proofing the Living Room
The next on our list is the living room, the heart of the house. Young children will often play around this area, so make sure to put in some extra effort here!
- Safeguard against the corners of coffee tables.
- Baby-proof carpeting to cushion falls.
- Move tall wobbly items such as lamps behind other furniture.
- Switch to a flat-screen T.V. mounted on the wall.
- Use cordless windows.
- Hang heavy picture frames on the wall or place them on high shelves out of the reach of your toddler.
- If you have a fireplace at home, it’s a good idea to install a childproof fireplace gate. Babies are creatures of curiosity, so it’s not a wonder that flames can easily catch their attention. You can also take a look at our article on babyproofing your fireplace for a more detailed guide.
- Whenever you have visitors over at home, place their things on top of a high table or furniture where babies can’t reach.
- Place food and water for pets outside or somewhere your baby can’t find them.
- Stash houseplants away. Falling leaves can be poisonous for children.
Baby Proofing the Nursery Room
You’d be surprised at how much trouble small children can cause even when they’re supposed to be sleeping. When baby-proofing the nursery, here are tips to keep in mind:
- Position the crib away from the window and from anything that can be used to climb such as the chair and your changing table.
- Lower the mattress inside the crib, so that your little one won’t escape his baby prison.
- Check whether bolts and screws on your baby’s crib are tight enough.
- Crib slats shouldn’t be more than 2 and 3/8 inches apart. Widely spaced slats are spaces where an infant’s legs can fall through and trap their heads.
- Keep the crib free of small items (i.e. small toys, safety pins, etc.). Toddlers and infants can nibble and choke on them.
- Install a window guard.
- Baby-proof your carpet. You can never go wrong with a nursery floor mat. They come in many designs and patterns that are sure to catch your baby’s eye.
- Remove mobiles and hanging decorations such as long strings and ribbons.
- Choose the right changing table.
- Don’t hang furniture or anything directly over the baby crib, especially mirrors, picture frames, or any heavy objects. They can cause serious injury and nasty cuts.
- Secure dressers and furniture to the wall to avoid tip-overs.
- Use baby monitors with low radiation to help you watch your baby safely.
Baby Proofing the Bathroom
Another place where disaster can strike is the bathroom. Wet and slippery, the bathroom is where accidents are waiting to happen:
- Attach a toilet lid lock on your toilet lid to keep your child’s hands and their toilet-clogging toys away from the dirty bowl.
- Secure toilet paper rolls with a hair tie to prevent a toilet paper hazard.
- Keep your hair dryers and curling irons on a high shelf or better yet store them inside a drawer or cabinet instead.
- While your child is still small, it’s better to stash your skincare and ointment inside the medicine cabinet or a drawer. Ensure your medicine cabinet is locked and sealed tightly.
- Place a non-slip mat inside the baby tubs or hot tubs.
- Pre-adjust the hot water heater at a maximum of 120 degrees to prevent scalding.
- Fasten a command hook beside the adult toilet to hold your children’s toilet seat. This will clear the floor and prevent the baby from tripping over it. Not to mention, it also promotes good hygiene.
Baby Proofing the Laundry Room
The laundry room seems like a fun hiding spot inside your home, but it’s a nightmare for parents with a playful toddler. Here’s how you can safeguard them.
- Keep detergent and other cleaning supplies in one cabinet and out of sight and of reach.
- Lock washer and dryer doors.
Baby Proofing the Car
Once you’re finished baby-proofing the house, it’s time to prepare the family car.
- Don’t leave keys in the car. (Or don’t leave your baby alone in the car at all)
- Install your favorite non-toxic baby car seat correctly.
- Activate child lock at all times.
- Clear the car of any small items that could be choking hazards. These are your spare coins, candies, and even pens.
Now, that was quite a bit, wasn’t it? We understand where you’re coming from. Creating a baby-safe environment inside your home is a lot of work, but it pays off.
Moving your furniture around, installing new tools, replacing old stuff, there are so many baby-proofing ways.
But, despite the hassle of it all, it’s good to remember that we’re doing this because we want our baby to be safe and grow happy and healthy.
You might be asking yourself: When can you stop baby proofing?
That’s entirely up to you, but if you ask us, the safest time to stop is if your little one is old enough to walk up and down the stairs with no worries.
FINAL TIP: If you want to cover ALL the bases for the safety of your child, you can take a look at our Guide on Infant Safety to help you out.
August 13, 2021 – made minor updates to article links
July 22, 2021 – Reviewed and updated article links