Your baby has reached the milestone of scooting and crawling, and it happened in what seems like the blink of an eye. It’s time to start baby-proofing and quick! But what/where/how? We’ve got this quick and easy guide to get you started on the basics of baby-proofing!
Baby Proofing Essentials Checklist
Below you will find a list of items that will make it simple and easy to baby proof your home. However, you must keep in mind that no matter how well you baby-proof, you must always keep a watchful eye to ensure your little one is safe!
Rule #1, you need to create safe spaces within your house and you do this by putting up baby gates that keep your little one confined to where you want them. If you have stairs or rooms that you’d like to keep off-limits, a baby gate (or 2 or 3) is a must.
If you have stairs, the last thing you want is your baby crawling up them only to tumble down. You will need to teach them how to get up and down the stairs, but this should be done under close watch. Any other time, the gate should be closed to prevent accidents. Keep in mind, you’ll want a gate at the top AND the bottom of your stairs.
Here are some gates we recommend:
Gates can be hard to shop for. You really need to pay attention to the width of your opening, whether you want one you can walk through, and how important aesthetics are to you. Some gates are pressure mounted, and some are screwed into the wall. You will have to consider your door frame or banisters (if any) when deciding on the gate to buy. We highly recommend getting one that is adjustable in width and has a walkthrough option.
A well priced easy to mount option is the Regalo Easy Step Walk Thru Gate (also available in an extra-wide option).
If home decor is your thing, and you want something stylish, you may consider a wooden gate-like The Evenflo Barn Door Walk-Thru Gate (Farmhouse Collection). You’ll pay a little bit more, but it’s something that you have to live with for months, even years, so it’s important that you can live with the look of it.
While we’re on the topic of stairs, here is another thing you need to consider! If you have a two-story home with a banister that is open to below, you’ll want to make sure you have a banister guard.
Our Top Pick: Rolling Cove Bannister Safety Net
Cupboard Safety Latches
Alright, this one is for both your sanity and your baby’s safety. Bathroom and kitchen cabinets are an absurdly enticing sight to crawling and walking babies. You’ll want to make sure any cabinets that have poisonous cleaners, breakables, or anything else hazardous all have safety latches on them.
Better yet, if possible, move everything questionable that is in a lower cabinet/drawer/shelf to higher ground.
An Easy to Install Recommendation: CUTESAFETY Cabinet Locks
*Rookie Mom Tip: Twist a hair tie into an infinity shape and place it over the cabinet for a makeshift cabinet lock. While you should use the real thing for hazardous materials, this hack will work for the Tupperware cabinet that your 1 year old just can’t resist throwing everything out of.
Oven, Closets, Refrigerator, Garbage Can + Toilet Latches
Securing the oven door is self-explanatory, but If you have sliding doors on your closets, you will want to think about latching these as well. The same goes for the fridge and garbage cans. There is nothing worse than a tipped and spilled garbage can with a baby in the middle of it. These latches work great on the toilet lid too!
The Latch That Works for Pretty Much Everything: Child Safety Strap Locks
Range Knob Covers for the Stove
While you’re in the kitchen, go ahead and cover those knobs on the range too! You definitely want to keep your stove knobs off-limits for many years to come.
An Option That Fits on Most Stoves: Safety First Knob Covers
Door Pinch Guards
Door Pinch Guards are a lifesaver! They will help to prevent slamming and smashing little hands. Also, they help prevent babies from shutting and locking the door from the inside. They can easily be moved off and hung around the doorknob when you don’t want to use them.
Product Recommendation: Wittle Finger Pinch Guards
If you have a coffee table, TV console, hearth… basically any furniture with corners, you will want to grab some of these to protect your baby in case of tumbling. We kept ours on our coffee table through the toddler years, just in case.
Here’s What We Used: Roving Cove Baby Proofing Edge Corner Protector
Properly Securing Furniture
If your baby is crawling, then climbing is not far behind. You’ll want to make sure any furniture that could tip over is secured to the wall. This includes dressers, TV stands, bookshelves, and more.
Here are the Ones We Used: Furniture Anchors
If your TV sits on top of a console, you are going to want to have it mounted down.
Here’s an easy to install option: The Baby Lodge TV and Furniture Anti-Tip Straps
Many newer homes now come with tamper-resistant outlets (thank gosh!). However, if this is not the case for your home, you’ll want to get outlet covers and lots of them! Tiny fingers like to stick things right in those outlet holes, which is extremely dangerous.
A Popular & Well-Trusted Option: Safety First Plug Protectors
Curtains and Blinds
Babies love to pull themselves up on curtains, so if you have any that are floor-length, consider removing them or pulling them up somehow. You will want to do the same for blinds that have long cords so that they don’t get wound around your baby’s neck.
Product Recommendation: Dreambaby Blind Cord Wraps
Baby Proofing Reminders You Need to Know
Along with baby-proofing your house with the items above, keep the following reminders in mind.
1. Turn Down the Hot Water Heater
A hot water burn can happen in just 2 seconds. This is easily preventable by setting your hot water heater to 120 degrees Fahrenheit.
2. Pick a Safe Spot for all Cleaning Supplies
If you have an upper cabinet space available, put all cleaning supplies up and locked away. This also goes for medicine and alcohol.
3. Take into Consideration the Specifics of Your Home
Every home is different, so it will be important that you take a close look at your home for potential hazards like cords, floor lamps, etc. If you have a floor heater or radiator you’ll want to block access to this. The same goes for your fireplace.
Also, if you have animals, be aware of their food placement on the floor. Crawling babies love to play with and taste kibble. The kitchen opening might be another necessary spot for a gate.
4. Check Things Out from Their Level
Now, this might sound silly, but try getting down on your baby’s level and crawling around. Look around at the things that are at their level. Taking an inventory from this perspective will help you to see anything we have missed on this list.
5. Unplug Electronics and Cords
Many accidents can happen if phone cords and laptop chargers are plugged in, so it is best to unplug them when they are not in use. Also, make sure all cords are at least 3 feet away from your baby’s crib, including the monitor.
6. Lower the Crib Mattress
A crawling baby means it’s time to lower that crib mattress to the lowest setting. Follow the instructions for your specific crib.
7. Test Small Items Using the Paper Towel Roll Trick
Crawling babies are also teething babies, and they are at the stage of development where they put EVERYTHING in their mouths. Choking hazards become a real concern. But how do you know if something is a choking hazard or not? If you aren’t sure, use a paper towel roll. If an object fits inside of it, then it’s a choking hazard.
8. Think About Pool Safety
This is a bigger purchase and an important one! Contact a local and trusted pool builder to help with installing a secure gate around your pool to prevent drowning accidents. Also, be sure to check out our article on pool safety here.
If you feel overwhelmed, there are baby-proofing experts in most major cities who will come to your home and help. You can check yelp, homeadvisor.com, or chat with other moms in your neighborhood for recommendations. Don’t worry, you got this mama!
While this is by no means an exhaustive list, it will hopefully get you started. Since every baby and home is different, spend some time observing and you will be able to see exactly what the specific needs are for your family. Enjoy this stage of your baby’s life!
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