As cute as they are, babies are capable of getting into a lot of mischief around the home. In mere seconds of you turning your back on them, your darling baby can get their hands on some dangerous items, crawl where they shouldn’t be going, and make a whole lot of mess.
The key to a safe home and a relaxed parent is with baby proofing, a term used to describe products and practices designed to keep your little one safe.
With your home converted to an area where risks are kept low, you don’t have to stress so much about the potential risks in the house, and you can focus instead on the fun stuff.
How do you baby proof your home?
There are hundreds of products out there that offer baby proofing, but at the most basic level, you need to protect against burns, electricity, poisons, trips and falls. Products like electrical socket covers, child-safe locks, and gates should be utilized in homes with babies and small children to ensure it’s been baby proofed.
If you’re an expectant parent or just want to step up your baby proofing game at home, we know how daunting the process can be.
We’ve compiled some simple baby proofing tips to help you make your way through the unnecessary and expensive to find the core products you absolutely can’t do without.
If you’d like to see a graphical breakdown how to baby proof your house, we got you covered:
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Tips for Baby Proofing Your Home
Baby proofing your home doesn’t have to be hard work, and you’ll find that most rooms can use the same kind of products and techniques to keep your children safe. Follow our simple baby proofing tips to get started and give yourself the peace of mind you need when little ones are around.
#1: Get Down Low
As fully grown adults, it can be hard to see the true sense of what dangers are lurking in the house when we’re not down at the baby’s height.
To figure out what could be posing a risk to your babies and children, get down low on the floor and crawl around. You’ll be surprised at the hazards you find when you get onto their level, and it’ll give you a whole new perspective to be aware of.
#2: Watch the Doorknobs
If you’re worried about a particular room and don’t want to spend a fortune baby proofing everything in it, you can close the entire space off.
As babies turn into toddlers, it’s natural that they also learn how to open the door, so keep it protected with a doorknob safety cover. These are like child locks for doorknobs, and only the adults in the house will know how to turn them the right way.
#3: Cover All the Sockets
A quick look around the house and you’ll be surprised at just how many electrical sockets there are, each one posing a very serious threat to your baby.
Thankfully, they’re incredibly easy to baby proof and you can purchase a set of baby proof outlet plugs for very cheap, so you’ll have enough to protect the entire house.
These small, transparent plastic devices slot right into the powerpoint and prevent your little one from sticking fingers and other objects inside.
#4: A Safer Fireplace
A baby proof fireplace is key if you live in colder climates and often rely on your fire for warmth, but even for older kids, they can still be a worry if they’ve recently been used.
Although there are loads of baby proofing tools that could help with a fireplace, the most effective and simple measure is to use a baby gate.
Thanks to the huge range of baby gates you can find today, you’ll even be able to choose one that matches the look of your fireplace, so it doesn’t have to ruin the ambiance.
#5: Color Matching
Most people put off babyproofing cabinets and doors because they don’t want to ruin the look of their décor, especially if you’ve recently renovated or built a new home. Thanks to advancements in babyproofing products and the need for something more stylish, you can choose ones that enhance it instead.
There are mesh and steel baby proofing gates, transparent covers and shields that can’t be seen, and drawer locks that can be custom made in any color you choose, so you can feel good about protecting your baby without sacrificing on good taste.
#6: Create an Object Tester
Sometimes the smallest objects in the house are the most dangerous, as babies and toddlers love to pick up everything they find on the floor to inspect it.
Using an old toilet paper roll, you can figure out what’s dangerous and what’s okay by seeing which items fit inside. If it easily slots into the hole in the tube, it needs to be kept out of baby’s reach, and anything larger is probably okay to leave lying around.
#7: Simplify Things With a Kit
If you’re feeling overwhelmed with all of the products out there, why not invest in one of the baby proofing kits that make it easier? The kits come in all shapes and sizes, and you can find one that will have an answer to everything.
A standard kit comes with products for baby proofing cabinets, covering electrical sockets, anchoring furniture, and softening edges, and some even have upwards of 100 pieces included.
#8: Crib Safety
Although it can seem like an innocent enough place, your baby’s crib is one that needs to be given special attention.
One of the most important things to ensure with the crib is that it’s kept at the right height for their age and development, with the older they get the lower down the crib rail should be.
Also avoid putting any objects inside the crib, like stuffed toys and pillows, as not only are they suffocation hazards, they can also be used by babies as a boost and a way to climb up over the rail.
#9: Storage Counts
While we have to pay close attention to baby proofing drawers and cabinets on the outside, we should also be looking at what’s inside them.
Any poisonous chemicals, sharp objects, or other dangerous items should be kept in the highest shelves out of baby’s reach so that even if they manage to get past the safety locks and other mechanisms, there’s nothing overly dangerous that they can grab onto.
#10: Cord Safety
Hanging blind cords are one of the biggest hazards for babies and toddlers and most people don’t realize just how often they can cause harm or even death.
Rather than trying to tie up your blind cords in a big ball or not knowing where to hang them, you can invest in cord safety wraps that attach to the wall and let you wrap the cord around them neatly.
They come in a range of colors to suit the paint on your wall, and also transparent designs that can hardly be seen at all.
#11: Create a Safe Space
For those times when you can’t watch the baby as closely as you’d like to, having a safe space to place them in will be a lifesaver. This safe space could be as basic as a baby bouncer that keeps them buckled in or perhaps a closed-off area like a playpen, made easy with baby gates and barriers.
When you’re busy with things like putting on a load of washing or stacking the dishwasher, you don’t have to watch them intently, as you know everything within their safe space is okay for them to be around.
Babyproofing your home is all part of the journey of parenthood, but for expectant parents, it can be overwhelming just looking at the range of products out there.
If you’re brand new to parenting and not sure how to get started with babyproofing your home, check out the answers to some commonly asked questions about the process.
How Do I Childproof My Oven?
The oven is one of the most dangerous places in the house due to radiating heat, as well as gas and electricity supplies that power them.
Even modern ovens that have heat resistant glass can still pose a threat to kids, so you can do a few things to make them safer, including getting an oven guard, protecting the knobs, and keeping a lock on the door so it can’t be opened by children.
Do I Have to Babyproof My House?
Some people assume that they can do without babyproofing products as they’ll always be around to watch their children, but it’s far too risky not to.
It only takes seconds for a child to get in harm’s way, so creating a safe space in your home, even just in one room, with some carefully chosen babyproofing products is the best thing you can do for your little one.