Welcoming a new baby into your home is one of the most exciting things you can do. As your home fills with the giggles and babbling of babies, you may find that keeping your new addition safe and happy is now your top priority. A few easy babyproofing tips can help you do just that so you can focus your attention on getting to know the newest, most important person in your life.
One of the first things you should do when babyproofing a home is to walk around your home and take a list of any hazards you see. Keep in mind that babyproofing isn’t just for babies—your little one will be crawling, standing, and walking before you know it, so keep that in mind as you look around. Switch on the water heater and make sure the temperature is not too hot during bath time. Count up all the outlets on the baby or toddler’s level to get an idea of how many covers you’ll need to buy. Have sharp corners on furniture that could be dangerous if an unsteady child could fall into them.
You may also want to counter the lower cabinet doors in your kitchen and interior doors by purchasing babyproof locks to keep your little one out of trouble. However, if you find that locks are cumbersome for the adults in the household, you may want to consider getting a gate, bouncy seat, and playpen. These will keep your child safe and away from danger.
You’ll also want to check to see if there is any furniture that needs to be attached to the wall and remove heavy objects that could be pulled down by a curious child’s grasp.
On the other hand, keep an eye out for small items that could be a choking hazard. A good rule of thumb is that if an object can fit inside a toilet paper tube, it is a suffocation hazard.
You’ll also want to pay attention to all stairways in your home, as they can quickly become dangerous if not sealed.
Once you’ve taken inventory and noted hazards in your home, it’s time to explore babyproofing ideas for each room.
Babyproofing Tips by Room
An easy way to make sure you don’t miss anything when babyproofing is by creating a babyproofing checklist. You may find it helpful to babyproof all the rooms at once rather than babyproofing them at once. However, it’s important to have freestanding or tall furniture, such as a dresser or bookshelves, for every room in the house, and to cover all outlets.
Depending on where your little one sleeps first, these tips can work for your bedroom, their nursery, or both.
- Make sure the baby monitor cord is not within grabbing distance.
- Make sure your crib meets the latest standards from the Consumer Product Safety Commission.
- Make sure the slats on the crib are too narrow for any appendages to fit through.
- Move cords out of reach at blind and lamp plugs and disconnect any looped cords.
- Place the crib away from a window where a baby learning to stand can pull on the curtains for support.
- Use cord holders to keep as many cords above and away from baby’s level as possible.
- Move small items and breakables up and out of reach.
- Make sure any houseplants aren’t poisonous and consider moving plants to a baby-free area in the house where they can’t get into the mess.
- Cushions sharp edges for babyproofing coffee tables, fireplaces and other furniture.
- Secure your television so that it cannot be pulled.
- Install a lid lock on your toilet to keep curious little ones out.
- Store medicines in babyproof containers and keep out of reach.
- Keep chemicals in a locked cabinet.
- Put a non-slip mat in the bathtub.
- Use a spout protector to protect your child from hitting his head on a sharp metal faucet during bath time. Keep any cords in the bathroom up and out of reach.
- Make sure all kitchen cabinets and drawers are secured with safety locks.
- Consider precut tablecloths to prevent your child from pulling them down from the table.
- If possible, keep chemicals out of reach, even if they are in a locked cabinet.
- Make sure your fire extinguisher is either out of reach or securely attached to the wall.
- Place kitchen magnets on the top half of your fridge to eliminate choking hazards.
- Pools, hot tubs, ponds, fountains and any other water feature should be cordoned off, covered if possible and splash alarms installed.
- Check your yard for toxic plants and remove them.
- Be careful about using herbicides and pesticides, as they can be dangerous if ingested.
- Put guards on your grill to keep your child from accidentally turning the knobs.
- Consider putting up a fence to keep your child safe in your yard.
While babyproofing usually focuses on protecting your baby, there are some babyproofing ideas that can make a parent’s life easier, too. For example, you might consider removing rugs from the dining room (or wherever your child will be eating). That way when your kid inevitably throws sauce-covered spaghetti on the ground, it’ll be a much easier cleanup.
Before baby comes home, you may also want to spend some time tackling projects around the house. For example, now is the time to fix that window and replace any old smoke and carbon monoxide detectors. Not only will this improve your home’s security, but you won’t have to worry about a low-battery smoke detector beeping and waking your little one up from a much-needed nap.
If you live in an older home, you might want to consider getting your paint tested for lead, as chipping and peeling paint can become an exciting toy for a newly crawling baby.
You may also want to consider purchasing slipcovers for your furniture. Messes are just part of life when you have a baby, so a slipcover is a great way to help keep your sofa clean because you can just toss it right in the wash.
Of course, one of the most effective babyproofing tips is to keep a close eye on your baby. Try not to multitask if you can help it, and don’t leave your child alone in the room.
Starting babyproofing before your baby arrives can help reduce stress. With a simple checklist, you can make sure your home is as safe as possible for your new bundle of joy.