It is so fun watching your little baby learn to crawl and walk. If you are anything like me, you were probably cheering him or her on while (not so) patiently waiting for them to start crawling or walking. But, as soon as they become mobile, they turn into very eager explorers, which is so exciting to see but you will soon realize just how unsafe everything is for babies. Baby proofing your home is so important to keeping your now mobile and curious baby safe.
What is baby proofing?
Baby proofing is also commonly referred to as child proofing and both are a simple concept. Basically you remove, lock up or secure any items that can hurt your baby.
This sounds like a very easy process, but it can be time consuming and you would be surprised at how much is actually unsafe for your child. Don’t worry though, this post will guide you and you can learn through all my mistakes!
Why should i baby proof my home?
Before I had my daughter I had heard about baby proofing but I didn’t really understand why it was necessary. I kind of had the mindset of “if you watch your kid, they won’t get hurt”, yeah, I know, I was totally unaware of what it was like to have a baby!
Now that I have a daughter though, I realized (the hard way) once they start moving they don’t stop and babies don’t understand what is and isn’t safe to play with. It only takes a second for them to move and get something that could be potentially dangerous, so baby proofing is just so important to do. Baby proofing is not a substitute for watching your child like I previously thought, but baby proofing is a way to help you protect your child.
When should I baby proof my home?
This will totally differ based on every ones unique situation. Personally we waited until my daughter was close to crawling but I have had a few friends who baby proofed at the end of your pregnancy, Do what works best for you, but the key thing to make sure is that you baby proof before your baby is mobile.
How Do I baby proof my home?
To effectively baby proof your home you need to get down to your babies level. Sure the items on the shelf above your refrigerator might be dangerous for your baby, but it would be impossible for them to get to. By getting on the ground at your babies level you can really look around and see what your baby can get into. It is safe to assume that everything down there, your baby will explore.
Now that you have done that and identified some possibly dangerous areas, let’s get into some more specific areas to focus your baby proofing efforts:
Block Off Stairs
If you have stairs in your home, you need to block them off. Stairs are a huge falling hazard for your baby until they learn to properly navigate them with your assistance first.
The best way to baby proof your stairs is with a baby gate. Before you rush out and purchase one though, know that they are not all made equally. Make sure that whatever gate you purchase specifically states it is safe for use above stairs. This is the gate we use and LOVE. It installed easily and works great.
Once installed make sure you inspect your gate because your little one will be all over it, trying to climb it and push it down. So, put your gate through this test yourself first so you know it is safe.
Keep your baby out of Unsafe Rooms
Some rooms of your house might be too hard to make safe for your baby. Using a baby gate to keep your baby out of these unsafe rooms can solve the problem in an instant.
Cover Electrical outlets
Babies will stick their fingers and toys into them faster than you can take them away, which is a scary thought. Using electrical outlet plugs will make it so they cant do that!
Make sure electrical cords are out of reach
When we started baby proofing we were honestly shocked by how many things had to be plugged in. Seriously, there is so many cords: computers, phone chargers, lamps, the tv; everything is electrical these days! And a curious baby loved grabbing at cords which is a huge strangulation and electrical risk so you need to get them out of reach.
Unplugging every item in your home simply isn’t realistic, but there are some things you can do to make it safer for your baby:
- Tuck dangling cords behind furniture out of reach
- Use Command hooks or Secure loose wires with these cord covers
- Cover up any power bars with these handy covers
Deal With Blind Cords
Did you know that your baby can strangle themselves with the cords of blinds? I totally didn’t even think of this as a risk factor until my dad brought it up to me. Thankfully we didn’t have many to worry about. These work wonders for making the cord less of a hazard for your baby.
Secure Large Furniture and Heavy items
Did you know that every year children are seriously injured or even die from large heavy objects accidentally falling on them? The though of that just terrifies me. But babies just love climbing onto things or pulling themselves up, so it is a very real danger to them. Large T.V.’s or furniture are the main culprits.
Before having a baby I had no idea that safety straps for a T.V. even existed, but they do. They are simple to use and it just attaches your T.V. to your stand preventing it from coming crashing down on your child if they decide to pull on it.
Securing your furniture with furniture straps will prevent any accidental tipping. They are pretty easy to use, but you will likely need a drill to secure them into the wall. This way if your child climbs onto the furniture that has been anchored, if it does tip it will stop it from falling over onto of them. It is well worth it in my mind.
Baby Proof Edges
Think of the height of your coffee table, tv stand, corners of bookshelves, etc., they are all about the same height as your babies head. Now think of how unsteady your baby is when they learn to pull up or walk around these items – they fall A LOT. Thankfully you can protect their heads by using baby proofing edge covers. They make them to fit all different types of furniture. These are the corner and edge protectors we used and they have been great.
Keep Chemicals Out of Reach
Just like me, I am sure you keep cleaners under your sink or in a laundry room in your house. What about Tylenol in a bathroom drawer? Well, chemicals and medications are all harmful if ingested by your baby. Save yourself any trips to the emergency department by making sure they are completely out of reach. We keep our medications above our fridge in the kitchen. Any cleaners are on high in the laundry room now. Wherever you decide to put it, consider if there is any way your child may be able to climb to access it. I have seen young children use cabinet pulls like a ladder so keep that in mind!
Speaking of medications, do you have a baby medicine kit ready? CHECK OUT THIS POST TO FIND OUT HOW TO MAKE A BABY MEDICINE KIT NOW!
Put Locks on Drawers and Cabinets
It is unrealistic to think you will be able to move everything out of lower drawers and cabinets. If you cannot do that and they contain anything that may be harmful to your baby, make sure you lock them with baby proof locks so your child can’t access them.
Baby Proof Doors
The last thing you want is your baby wondering out of the house in the middle of the night once they learn to walk. Baby proofing the door handles or ensuring your child cannot reach the lock is essential to ensuring their safety. If you have other children and can’t secure all the doors you can use the Toddlermonitor. It will alert you if the door is opened, this is especially useful on your toddler’s bedroom door at night!\
Secure Any Pools or Large Bodies Of Water
Did you know that several children drown in pools each year? It is terrifying to think of that curious little toddler playing outside and accidentally falling in. If you have a pool or other body of water putting a locking fence around it to keep your child out will prevent any accidental drownings from happening.
Have You Baby Proofed Your Home Yet?
I would love to hear from you in the comments if you have! If you haven’t had a chance to just yet, consider using the above tips to keep your little one safe and sound!