When you are pregnant, there are certain things that must happen in the process, and being well prepared and having done these things will ensure that the whole process of having a kid is less stressful. You’ve probably read a lot of books and tips to better prepare you for what is coming up ahead, and yet when you experience it, it will not just be wonderful, it will also also be stressful.
The more you get done before the baby is born, the less stressful your situation will be once your baby starts crawling. One of the big steps you will need to take is to baby-proof your home, and make sure it’s a safe place for a little person. There are different aspects of your house that could hurt your baby in one way or another, and until he is big enough to understand consequences and what he is allowed to do, you will need to take actions to ensure their safety.
Some of the places you will need to baby-proof include the bathroom, living room, fireplace, kitchen and nursery. All of the sudden he starts getting very mobile and gets curious about all the different things, and it’s best to be prepared for this well in advance of it happening.
As well as creating a long article on the topic, we also created an infographic which we have included within each section of the article. To see the full version of the infographic, visit this link.
The Importance of Baby Proofing
There are a lot of articles explaining the importance of baby-proofing, including this Medium article, KidsHealth and Green Mom. With so many articles on the topic, it’s one that you should take seriously. Safety is an issue you cannot take too seriously, and you should start addressing some of these concerns even before the baby is born, so you know the right food to feed them, how they should sleep and more.
Here are the reasons why baby-proofing is so important.
When you see babies and small kids engaging with the world, it’s obvious that they are relatively clumsy, and getting hurt is therefore possibility. As they age, they not only become less clumsy, they also learn what they can and cannot do. It is therefore important that they do not interact with utensils and other dangerous objects in your home before they’re ready for it. Sharp objects pose a danger to a baby who doesn’t know any better.
Babies are fragile, despite the fact that they may have a lot of energy. Furniture and other things that they like climbing should preferably have mats underneath so that you shield them from a fall that hurts too much.
While electricity helps you with a lot of every day activities, it can also be dangerous if you little one manages to get electrocuted and you should address this danger. In fact, 100 kids die by electrocution each year. Make sure that electrical installations are done by a licensed electrician.
Hear from a professional why it’s so important to check your home for dangers.
There are a lot of products in the market that help keep your baby safe. Here are some of them. With the aid of these different products, baby-proofing all of the sudden becomes not too difficult to do.
Baby proofing your home is not that difficult, especially with the help of these products.
There will come a time when your little one is no longer that little and will no longer be able to sleep in a crib. At this point you will want to make sure that the toddler bed you move him over to is safe. Check out this post with a list of your best options.
To make it more convenient for you, different companies have created baby-proofing kits that you can use. The one we linked to includes doorknob covers, latches and plug protectors, but there are other ones out there too.
When your kid becomes so tall he can reach the door lock, it’s important to have one that will not make it easy for him to get out.
Cabinet locks ensure that your kids don’t get access to, or get stuck in a cabinet. There are also often things inside cabinets that a kid will want to play with but shouldn’t.
Outlet covers help make sure that your kid does not get electrocuted. We previously mentioned how there are too many kids each year that suffer that fate, and you don’t want your to do that too. Naturally you should be telling your kids that they can’t play with the outlets, but since you can’t watch them every second of every day, make sure they’re safe.
Fireplace screens will make sure your kid does not end up getting burned accidentally. With their curious nature, they may be interested in what flames are, and that could lead to horrible accidents. There are fire safety measures you can take to help protect your kid.
While not crucial, a light switch that is child-proof will make sure you’re the one controlling the lights in the home.
Locks for refrigerators can keep them out of there. They may want to have a treat of some kind, and they could also knock something over.
You don’t want your kid to get into the trash can. You can get a lock to stop that from happening, as you don’t want them digging through the trash, and this stops it.
Taking the wrong pills can be dangerous both for you and for your kid. While most medicine tends to have child-proof opening mechanisms, some don’t. You can get a medicine box that is sure to keep your children away from it.
Gas stove knobs will ensure that they don’t accidentally turn on the gas, which could be dangerous. They see you operating it every single day, and it is not unlikely that they’re curious to find out exactly how it works.
For any items you do not wish for your kids to get access to, you can get special containers that they won’t be able to open.
It’s not fun to be driving if your kid keeps figuring out how to unbuckle themselves, and that’s why you need a car seat chest clip. There are some people that are skeptical, but they do work if you get a good one. It is not just important that your child is safe at home, but also while you are driving.
Pinch guards can come in different varieties, but they will make sure that the door doesn’t accidentally close on your little one’s fragile fingers, and they don’t even cost much either.
Got an electric fan at home? If so, you will want to make sure that their small fingers do not get anywhere near the rotating blades. A cover can help you ensure that, or you can simply put the fan away while they’re young.
Swimming pools are dangerous for kids, which is one of the reasons you need to teach them to swim. In fact, there are about 10 people that drown every day, and if you have a pool, you need to make sure that it is fenced off. Get the help of fence installers and make sure it doesn’t pose a threat.
Babies’ ears are sensitive, and if you anticipate going to a place where loud noises will be present, you should get them earmuffs that help eliminate that issue. If you feel that your baby cannot sleep and is easily annoyed by outside noise, they can also be used at that point.
Some coffee tables pose a bigger threat than others, and the one in the picture is actually relatively safe for kids as there are no sharp corners, no glass that could break and no possibility of making it fall over with its sturdy build. A lot of kids end up in emergency rooms each year because of table accidents, and that number could be even higher than 140,000. Of those, a good amount of the injuries are due to coffee tables.
Baby-proofing a coffee table involves the same as with other types of tables, but what you will want to do is to make sure that sharp edges aren’t a problem. You can either install bumpers or corner guards which will drastically lower the risk of your little one getting hurt.
Electrical Outlets and Cords
Kids not only love the things that you give them to play with, they also love cords and where they lead to, which unfortunately is the electrical outlet. There is a serious risk associated with this that should not be taken lightly. Securing your outlets should be one of your main priorities.
There are different options you can look into, that include outlet caps, which are simple and cheap to use. They come in different types and shapes. When the outlet is not being used, this will cover it, and they’re usually made out of plastic in a way that is not easy for a baby to simply pull out.
Kids are curious and this is why they get easily drawn to something interesting on their eyes, such as the electrical outlets. The danger of items and fingers getting stuck into the outlets is no joke. This could lead to serious injuries, electrocution, burns and even death! So how do you secure your outlets at home? There are actually lots of options available for you and here are two of them.
Another option is to use plate covers. They’re extremely easy for you to use a little more expensive than the caps, but will also provide great protection, and there’s the advantage with these that you do not need to remove them every time you need to use the plug. The springs will automatically make sure the plug is covered when they are not being used.
Inside your drawers you tend to store a variety of things, some of them being sharp, and many of them being ones you don’t want a baby playing around with. They have a lot of use for you, but kids will try to open them and access their contents. Drawers need to be off limits for your little one, and this is how you do it.
You can use magnetic drawer locks. You will want to read the reviews of different product so that you find the ones that have good magnets, because weaker ones just might not suffice. Weak magnets will make it difficult for you to open the drawer when there’s a need for it.
Drawers might be one of the most useful objects inside your home. They help keep things organized and secure, making your home look neat. But if you have small kids at home, then drawers can become one of the most hazardous objects in your house.
When you just leave your child to open the drawer, the entire contents could be strewn all over the room or worse, it could land right into their face. And if there are some sharp objects inside, such as a knife, then this could lead to a really serious injury. So here’s how to baby proof your drawers at home.
A lot of Americans have fireplaces that either use wood or gas in their homes. With it, there is a lot of risk of your kid accidentally burning himself. It doesn’t matter which type of fuel you use for it, fire is still hot, and you should ensure that your kid does not get access to the fireplace before he realizes the potential danger that comes along with it. He could even fall into it, which could lead to some serious burns. When the fire is on, you can either use a screen or a play yard.
A play yard would confine your child to a specific area, which they cannot leave while the fire is on. It is not just an idea that works for fires, but in general when you are not in a position to closely monitor what your baby is doing.
A fireplace screen has to be secured to the wall to prevent a child pulling it over onto themselves. Any fireplace tools must be relocated behind the screen or removed from the area.
The edge of a fireplace hearth can be dangerous, cushion the sharp edges of bricks or stonework to ensure you have childproof fireplace.
If you don’t want your kids to potentially fall down the stairs, you should use a baby gate, so they simply won’t be able to get to it without your help, and then when they’re old enough, you can teach them how to use the stairs safely and not playing around on them. Kids are curious and since they see everyone else using the stairs, they might be tempted to try also, to show that they are capable of doing it, while they aren’t.
They come in many different shapes and forms and you can read these reviews to find the one that best suit your needs.
TV, Stand and Other Components
Depending on the setup that you have, the TV, stand and entertainment system can be a dangerous area that needs to be baby-proofed. For one, it often includes things like batteries and other small objects that a baby could choke on. Make sure to get these out of sight and out reach of your baby.
If you see your baby being curious about different objects, take the time to organize them somewhere else. While it may be fun the first time you need to look for the remote, it quickly gets tiring that you have no idea where your kid put it.
You also need to secure your television if it is just standing on top of a table. Failure to do so may mean that you re-enter just to find your TV lying on the floor. Since TVs are now lighter than ever, this is an even bigger possibility than it used to be.
Just like with the rest of the areas and objects in your house, the TV is one of the most dangerous places for your child, most especially if you will not child proof it.
So to start with, clear the area near your TV set. Take away all of the objects near the TV that might look appealing to your little ones. Things like remote controls, game cases, DVD and room decorations must be kept hidden, far from your children’s reach. None of these things must be installed anywhere near your TV.
Next, secure your television. According to experts, there are about ten kids who die each year as a result of falling televisions. If you are thinking of mounting your flat screen TV in a wall, then make sure that you do it securely and that you are certain that it will not make the TV fall in any way.
Using a TV anchor will help make it less likely to fall over. While there may not be visible batteries lying around, another reason to keep remotes out of reach is because the batteries inside of them are very accessible.
Windows may seem innocent, but there’s a reason to baby-proof them. Not only so your kid doesn’t play around with them, but you don’t want them to either fall out of a window or run through one, which can happen. To help ensure this does not happen, you need to find out the specific type of window that is installed and how to protect it, since different ones will require different things.
For hung windows you can either use a window guard or a window stop.
For sliding windows, you will need to use a charley bar or window stop. This will be mounted at a height that your kid can’t reach, and should they successfully be able to unlock the door, then they won’t be able to open it with the window being jammed by the bar.
An additional measure is to not put anything that can be climbed near the windows. It could take some time to do all these readjustments, but kids like climbing, and it could have horrible consequences if they’re given the tools to explore the area near the window.
Different Types of Doors
With doors, one of the major things that you want to achieve is to make sure your child isn’t able to operate it, which can be done using different options. Secondly, there are hinges and other things that could potentially squeeze little fingers very seriously and cause a lot of pain for a kid as well as adults. Early on in your child’s life, you tend to find out which things he is more drawn to, and one of them could potentially be the door. Doors could in fact be causing as many as 300,000 accidents per year.
Doors also come in different types and the type will have an impact on how you go about securing it. The type of doorknob that door has will impact the way it is made safe for kids.
There are two important things that you should keep in mind when it comes to child proofing your door. First, you should not allow your child to use the door as his or her own. Next, you should prevent your child against any injury as a result of the moving parts, like the hinges.
Kids are curious by nature. You might find that you will need to use locking mechanisms on the hinged doors in order to prevent unsafe exploration of your kids.
Just like with the windows, the manner in which you make a door safe will depend on what type of door it is, more specifically the type of doorknob and lock that the door has.
KidCo makes great doorlocks for ones with round doorknobs that go above your existing doorknob. To open them, you will need to pinch to activate the underlying mechanism, which makes it difficult for kids to figure out.
For lever handles, you also get something that goes on top of your existing doorknob. They fit most lever handles, and in the same way as the ones for round doorknobs, these need a squeezing motion for someone to open the door.
For internal doors, if you want air to flow freely throughout your house to improve circulation, closing all the doors is obviously not an option. An alternative is the door monkey, which keeps the door a bit open. If you have a big kid, or one with a lot of energy, you should know that this solution could break if too much pressure is applied.
Sliding Glass Door
The sliding doors will need to use the same mechanisms to stay safe as a sliding window would. You need to make sure your little one can’t open them and run off where you don’t want them to run off to.
Security bars require drilling, but ensures that one track of the sliding door cannot be moved, unless the bar is removed.
Your bookshelf could be one of the last things you think about baby-proofing, but you could not only have expensive books in there that you do not want your little one to play with. There’s an easy DIY solution you could try out. You probably never imagined that you were going to use bicycle inner tuber for baby-proofing, but what you need to do is tie them to each side of the bookshelf, making it hard to pull out the books. It’s fast, easy and you won’t have your kid playing with the books.
You can also simply go ahead and make sure that access to the room that has the bookshelf is restricted to adults only.
The bookcase itself should also be secured to the wall
A Fish Tank
When it comes to making sure that your fish is safe, the best advice is for you to place it safely out of reach. If you live in an area that is prone to earthquakes, you will also want to make sure that everything is fastened responsibly. If you have a tank that cannot be moved by a child, which can quickly become the case due to weight, you should hopefully not experience any accidents. However, you may want to make sure that there is no furniture around to climb on in order to reach into the tank.
You can get a plastic lid to cover the tank for that purpose. To get a better understanding of the steps required, go ahead and visit Instructables.
Radiators are an easy source for burn marks, especially for kids with sensitive skin, which is why you will want to make sure they’re kept away from radiators when they’re turned on. Help ensure that your kid is not in danger when it gets cold outside and you need to turn up the radiator.
The same way you did with the fireplace, you can actually use pet playpens. They’re great for putting around a radiator and ensuring that they cannot be approached by small kids. You can get them in different sizes that will work for the desired area you wish to limit access to.
If you are capable of doing things with your hands, you can easily create a cover that keeps kids safe in the process. This might be the cheaper option but will also take you some time to put together yourself. Here’s a good video on how you can make your own.
Floor lamps are also things in your home that you need to give careful consideration to when you are baby-proofing, especially since the light bulbs can get very hot. Kids run around without thinking much about whether or not they are going to run into things, and it can therefore be a good idea to shield off lamps. Put them so they’re not overly exposed.
With their wobbly nature and electrical cords, they easily become a target for small kids to play with and try to climb. Make sure cords are taped to the wall, or you can tie them to furniture, so they can’t easily be pulled. Do you best to ensure that there is no loose cord lying around. They should generally be put in a way so they discourage your kid from playing with them, and if you are remodeling, you could have ones installed that are integrated into the wall instead. Wall-mounted lamps won’t be able to be tipped over the same way as normal lamps.
Your kids will not only go after TVs and furniture that could be fun to climb. Anything that sticks out of the ordinary looks like an adventure to them, and the vents are no different. The sharp metal on them can be an easy way for someone with little fingers to cut themselves.
If the registers aren’t already attached to the wall, they should be so that they can’t just be lifted up to open another door for an adventure. If they’re not, have you ever opened up the vent simply to find out it seemed like all the toys you got your child for Christmas ended up in the vent? You will either need to drill holes in them, which can be done if they’re made of wood, or at least fasten them with Velcro or something similar.
Did you know that you can get registers made from plastic instead of either metal or wood? These will not have the tendency to cut little fingers, so changing your registers is a good thing to do. They’re pretty easy to find, all you’ll need is to go here or go to Home Depot. They’ll generally cost somewhere between $5-10 each.
Generally it is advisable that you start child-proofing your home very early, and usually earlier than you thought would be needed. You never know when they start being able to crawl and get themselves into trouble. While it does vary among babies, it is usually at 6 to 10 months you’ll want to be ready at.
Walk around your home and figure out which things will potentially need to be fastened with straps. While we have talked about a lot of the different things you should be aware of, you are the person living in your home, and therefore best know its dangers.
Make sure that all the carbon dioxide alarms are working, and check the different fire safety measures to ensure not just your baby, but that everyone in your house is safe. You should also have as many alarms as are good standard.
Be sure that the boxes that your kids have access to, for their toys, or other things, do not have hinged lids. These will hurt an awful bunch if they close on their little fingers. They should also have holes in them, in case you child somehow manages to get trapped inside one.
Do you smoke? If so, you will need to empty ashtrays when you are done, and they should be put out of reach too.
Make sure doorstops don’t have the removable rubber caps as these are a choking hazard.
Sharp edges should get edge bumpers. This is commonly done on tables, but you could have other sharp edges elsewhere.
If your baby starts being able to roll over, the changing table is no longer safe. There is an option to use safety straps when that starts happening.
When kids start turning on the water by themselves, there’s the chance that they’ll end up getting burned if the water is too hot. You should lower the volume on your water heater so it goes nowhere higher than 120 degrees.
Pet food should be stored properly. They have just the right size to be a choking hazard for a baby. When you are done feeding your pet, make it a tradition to remove the remaining food, if any, and you won’t all of a sudden be seeing your kid choking on the dog’s food.
A good rule of thumb is that if it fits inside the cardboard inset of a toilet paper roll, it’s dangers for a baby and they could choke on it. Be aware of that, when you’re securing all the different aspects of your home!
You can install door alarms too, which will give you a notice whenever the door is opened. If your kid runs out, you’ll instantly know it because of the sound it makes.
Even if they claim it’s childproof packaging, you should keep things out of reach that could be dangerous for your kid.
A good strategy for learning about the potential dangers in your home is by lowering yourself down to the level you’re at. You will see things differently, and there simply might be dangers you otherwise wouldn’t have noticed without this strategy.
If you have water elements outside, which include hot tubs, pools, ponds or other places with a lot of water, they should be gated off. You can also get covers and splash alarms which are additional ways to keep your baby safe.
It’s not just pools and other types of water that are off-limit. Balconies are too, and you can use screens or stair gates to achieve this.
Pesticides and herbicides are not good for your kids to consume. If you must use them, make sure to do so according to the recommendations on the bottle, and keep your kid away from the area where it’s been used.
It’s a nasty thought, but not unheard of that kids will pig up pet feces. Make sure they’re removed from the lawn so that won’t happen.
Check the fence in your yard and make sure there are no holes in it. Consider getting a fence installer out and doing necessary repairs to it.
Have a landscaper come out and make sure you don’t have any plants or flowers that are toxic. Kids don’t discriminate between toxic and non-toxic plants when it comes to what they will put in their mouth.
When you’re grilling, you should make sure that your kid doesn’t all of a sudden run towards the grill as it could leave some nasty burn marks.
Consider surface preparation or softer spots if you have playground equipment where a child is more likely to fall.
If the playground equipment starts looking rusty or otherwise in need of maintenance, you should make sure it gets the attention it deserves.
All cords should be taped to the wall, in cord holders and kept out of reach and view, if possible. Cords can seem interesting and may be rather dangerous.
All smull objects should be properly stored so your kid does not end up putting them in the mouth trying to swallow them. It’s better to put them up so high you’re 100% sure your kid can’t reach them.
As well as checking outdoor plants, check indoor ones to ensure none of them are toxic.
Many people forget to secure the cord to the baby monitor, ironically, since it is made to help you with your baby.
When you’re buying a crib, you should make sure it’s not one with drop sides, which are now banned. If you are taking over someone else’s crib, it’s best you make sure it has fixed rails.
The slats should not be spaced too wide apart, or you may find your baby’s head getting stuck in between.
Have either a carpet or mat placed near things you see your baby interested in climbing. You might not always be there to stop him, but at least the fall will be more gentle.
For light in the evening, make sure your choice does not become extremely warm. You should use a cooler LED type that won’t be a burn hazard.
There is a suffocation hazard you may not have thought about when your kid is really small, and that is blankets, pillow, bumpers or stuffed animals.
You’ll want your baby to be away from the blinds when sleeping, otherwise they’re just another interesting thing to try and climb, which can be pulled down.
Hanging toys may seem fun at first, and they can be, but once your kid can stand, they should be moved out of reach to not pose a danger.
All your cabinets that can be reached by an eager child, should have locks or safety hatches on them.
As mentioned above, drawers should be secured too.
To make sure your child does not get access to the trash, you can put it inside cupboards or get a model that is on the wall and out of reach for your child.
Insect traps and mice traps may keep the little buggers away, but they look like toys to your child, and you definitely do not want them playing with them.
You want to avoid using tablecloths because they are very easy to pull, and all of the sudden, all the contents on top of it will be on the floor.
While you will nee to have a fire extinguisher in the kitchen for safety purposes, it should be secured so a baby won’t just be able to take it and play with it.
Ovens should have appliances latches on them as they’re otherwise serious burn hazards.
When you’re cooking, it’s better to minimize the risk of a burn by only using the back burners. It’s just one more measure making it safer to have your kids adventure in the kitchen. Pots and pans should not be looking out over the edge of the stove. Their handles should be turned the other way. While a baby might not be able to reach them already, they grow faster than you think.
Magnets are dangerous and can slide down the refrigerator over time. You should try avoid using them.
Child Safe Bathrooms
While it might sound like a joke, it isn’t. A climbing baby could open the lid on the toilet and fall into it. Get a lid lock to make sure it doesn’t happen.
If you also install knob covers on doors and handles, you won’t have your baby running into the bathroom without your help, and changing the water temperature. Of course, when time comes for your baby to learn to go to the bathroom by themselves, you’ll need to remove those covers.
Your baby needs bathing, but the tub should not be filled with too much water. You’ll want to limit it so it doesn’t cover more than your baby’s legs.
A spout protector can help protect against the metal, and since they come as good looking animals, they can also be fun for your baby to look at.
When you’re done using a curling iron or a hair dryer, it should be put away where your baby can’t access it.
Non-slip mats in tubs and on slippery floors can significantly lower the risk of someone falling. You can even get your floor treated so it is more slip-resistant.
Make sure that you don’t have old medication lying around.
You should never call medication candy. It is also advisable that you take it when your child isn’t looking, so they won’t see that mommy and daddy eat something that they can’t.
Medication needs to be stored out of reach and sight. Always overestimate how high you think your little one can reach.