Baby Proofing Guidelines

In all honesty, there is no amount of baby proofing that will keep your baby/toddler from getting into something. However, there are safety measures you need to take to help ensure your baby’s safety. I’ll take you room by room on what you need to do in order to make your home more baby-friendly.

The only way you can keep your baby safe from absolutely everything would be if you could put them in a bubble! There is just so much you can do, but by taking precautions and securing potential hazards you can greatly reduce the chances of an accident resulting in an emergency room visit. You can begin baby-proofing as early as you want, (even before baby is born if you so chose) but it should be done before your baby becomes mobile. You will also need to update your safety measures as your baby goes from crawling to climbing.

The Living Room
Let’s start with the most common place where you and your baby will be spending a majority of the time.

1) Secure and anchor all big pieces of furniture that can topple over. Make sure the TV is securely anchored to an entertainment center or the wall and bookshelves to the wall so children can’t pull it down if they pull up on it or try to climb)
2) Use outlet covers to cover all exposed outlets and make sure cords are all out of reach or use electrical tape to secure them away.
3) Use cordless blinds or tie the strings to where they are high enough that baby can’t reach them. (I would also suggest using good blinds or shades for privacy and light to omit the use of curtains because babies are tempted to pull on them.)
4) Move any knickknacks or breakables high enough on shelves out of reach, in a locked curio cabinet, or just put them away until the kids are older.
5) If you have end tables, a coffee table, or any piece that has sharp corners you may want to get corner guards to prevent injuries.

The Kitchen
There are many dangers lurking around in the kitchen that can pose a danger to curious tots. Even though we made our best efforts to baby-proof the kitchen we used a safety gate to keep the kids out while we weren’t in there to prevent mishaps from occurring (and because my toddler often helped herself to the fridge but would forget to close the door!) Here are some general safety procedures you should take in the kitchen:
1) Move cleaners, detergents, and any household chemicals high enough to where they are out of reach (in higher cabinets or up on shelves in a room that is usually off-limits from the kitchen such as a utility/laundry room)
2) Place sharp or hazardous items in higher drawers.
3) Make sure plastic and paper bags are out of reach as they can pose a suffocation risk (store in a higher drawer or if you use a holder for plastic bags be sure it is secured with a safety latch or hung high enough to where you can reach but they can’t.)
4) Install safety locks on all cabinets and drawers.
5) Use stove knob covers to protect little ones from turning on burners or the oven.
6) Unplug small appliances (toasters, coffee maker, electric can opener, etc) and make sure cords are not dangling.
7) Be sure any medicine, vitamins or supplements are stored in a high cabinet that is hard for children to reach and secured with a safety lock (because kids can still climb).
8) Remove or place small objects that pose a choking hazard such as magnets high enough out of reach. Also don’t use bait traps or poisons for pests anywhere that a child can reach!

The Nursery
You will probably have taken care of most of the baby proofing when you first set up your baby’s nursery. In case you haven’t, here are some things you should do as well as things you may have missed:

1) Be sure the crib is safe. If you are using a hand-me down crib make sure it meets safety standards as many drop-side cribs have been recalled. Do not place blankets or toys in the crib with baby and always put your baby to sleep on their back. *Note- crib bumpers are strongly advised against using as it poses a risk for SIDS (sudden infant death syndrome) Check out the one mentioned in our Newborn Checklist that is safer to use.
2) As with the living room, make sure all large pieces, such as dressers and bookshelves, are anchored securely to prevent tipping over if a child tries to climb them. There are tethers you can purchase that secure big items like these to the wall.
3) Be sure the toy box (if you have one) is safe such as an open box. Boxes or trunks with heavy lids can smash little fingers and trap children if they climb into them.
4) Make sure night lights and bulbs are UL listed for safety.
5) Be sure any exposed outlets are covered with child-safety covers.
6) Keep all cords out of reach (from lamps, wipes warmer, humidifier, etc.)
7) Use cordless blinds or tie strings high enough to where they are out of reach and do not place the crib right by the window.

The Bathroom
Finally, the bathroom is the last room I’ll discuss safety measures on. You can also find more information on bathroom safety in Bathing Safety Tips. Here are some baby proofing measures to ensure your baby’s safety in the bathroom:

1) Keep all cleaners and chemicals in a higher cabinet out of reach and secure all cabinets with child safety locks.
2) Turn your water heater to 120 (most are set at 140 from the manufacturer) to prevent burns and scalding if your baby should manage to turn on the faucets.
3) Be sure all power cords and electrical appliances (hair dryer, curling iron, etc) are out of reach as well as sharp or hazardous objects such as razors.
4) Do not let your toddler go into the bathroom alone and NEVER leave them alone in the tub. It only takes a couple of minutes for a child to drown in less than an inch of water. In addition to baby proofing, we used a safety gate to the entrance of the hallway that led to our bathroom and bedroom.

We understand you can’t keep your eyes on your children 24/7 but by taking these safety precautions and keeping close supervision you can prevent accidents or injuries from occurring.


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