Congratulations! Your baby is now mobile! Whether they’re crawling, walking or just running, your little one will inevitably get into everything and anything within reach. They don’t do it to be mischievous—instead, it’s simply their natural curiosity taking over. They’re born learners. They have a need to explore and discover everything in their path. And honestly, it’s the way they learn best, with hands-on experimentation.
But of course, most homes have certain places and items that we don’t want our little ones getting into, for their own safety. So when people recommend that you “baby proof” your home, it really is a good idea. And believe it or not, it’s not that hard. Take a look at some of the easiest and most creative ways for baby proofing your home.
We’ve all seen them at friends houses and if we’re being honest, we’ve probably struggled with opening these little devices ourselves! These even work for older toddlers. Doorknob covers require the user to squeeze and twist the device simultaneously to gain access to the room. If your little one is able to pull themselves up onto the door, they can make quick work of entering the doorway. This is especially dangerous if you have a basement or other area where a door leads to a set of steps. These doorknob covers are inexpensive and super easy to install. What’s so great about these products is that they are made for both round and lever style knobs.
The bathroom is the place where you and your child enjoy bath time and explore the world of potty training! Unfortunately, it can also be a room that contains some pretty dangerous objects and recipes for disaster. If you’ve already used a doorknob lock on your bathroom door, you’re ahead of the game. But it’s not always practical to make the entrance into the bathroom more difficult when family members really need to go. So what can you do to secure the items in your bathroom?
The first thing you’ll want to address is baby-proofing your toilet. As most parents know, a small child can drown in as little as 2 inches of water. That’s a scary but very real fact that needs to be considered. Not only can your baby drown in the toilet, but it’s also filled with a host of germs and bacteria that we don’t want our little ones exposed too. But there’s good news! Purchasing a simple and inexpensive seat-lid lock can keep your child out of the toilet and away from germs. You might also consider not leaving the toilet bowl brush beside the John, within reach.
Remove any chemical products or other toxic materials or medications from underneath your sink. These items can be harmful to your child. Try storing these items on higher shelves or in medicine cabinets, out of a child’s reach.
Cabinets & Drawers
Securing cabinets and drawers throughout your home is important, especially if you have any type of chemicals or cleaning supplies stored there. But the good news is, cabinets and drawers are some of the easiest areas in your home to baby proof. There is also a long list of options. Here is a break down of just a few:
Magnetic locks require hardware for installation and a key for unlocking but can easily be disabled;
Adhesive locks are mounted using adhesive strips, a strap joins two anchors together preventing a child from gaining access;
Cord locks are used only on cabinets with round knobs designed close together, a cord and push release button to allow adults easy access and keep kids out.
It’s important to only use safety locks that are sold for this purpose. Never use a rubber band or other type of rope or string to replace an approved child lock on your drawers or cabinets. Not only can your child remove these items more easily, but once they do, the items themselves can become safety hazards for choking.
Stairs were mentioned earlier when discussing doorknobs, but what if your stairs don’t have a doorway blocking them? Then it’s important to find a security gate for the top of your stairs. If you don’t want your little one getting up the stairs either, purchase a gate for the bottom also. It’s important to measure the width of the space before choosing a gate. You want one that fits securely, in case your child decides to lean on it. Pressure mounted gates are a good choice because they are versatile and will fit almost any staircase or doorway.
The corners of furniture, especially in your living room, can cause bumps, bruises and some serious injuries if they aren’t protected properly. If your little one is crawling, pulling themselves up or taking their first steps, they are bound to stumble and fall. Make sure any sharp corners on coffee tables, TV stands, tables or other furniture are covered. You can buy corner covers made of soft, cushioned material that are easy to place where needed.
When discussing child-proofing your furniture, corners aren’t the only thing you need to worry about. Any tall pieces of heavy furniture can accidentally fall down on top of your child, as can any items placed on top of these pieces. This means securing any televisions or other heavy items on top of your furniture using straps. Better yet, don’t place any heavy items on your dressers. A simple bump from your child could cause something to fall down on top of them.
By securing drawers on these items, your little one can’t pull them out and use them as a ladder. If a child tries to climb tall furniture using the drawers as “stairs” the weight of their little bodies is enough to pull the furniture down. Furniture anchors are another great option for securing large pieces to either the floor or walls.
All the Small Stuff
There are a few more things to consider when thinking of baby safety in your home. These might be things that are overlooked but are still important for keeping your little one happy and healthy!
If you have plants in your home, make sure they are the non-toxic variety. Check your floors for any small objects or toys that your baby might accidentally place in their mouth. Your baby spends a lot of time on the floor, so asking guests to remove their shoes is another way to keep bacteria and germs out of your home.
Covering all electrical outlets is important, as a baby might find those tiny holes in the wall fascinating. Also, ensure that there are no lamp cords or other electrical wires within your child’s reach. If you have exposed radiators or heating vents, cover them to prevent accidental burns.
Think Like a Baby
That’s right: one of the best ways to baby proof your home is too look around and think about what would look interesting to you if you were a baby. Get down on their level and examine your surroundings. You might see things you didn’t realize were there before. All of these precautions will help keep your baby safe and allow them to explore your home and their independence without worry!