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Baby-Proofing Guide for New Parents
April 13, 2022
You’ve got a crib and the perfect car seat…but has your house been baby proofed? Today, we’re recapping information from this post, and adding a few additional tips, in order to create the ultimate baby-proofing guide for new parents.
IN THE NURSERY
- Tightly wind baby monitor cords, or choose a cordless option, and keep them away from the crib.
- Keep all other cords behind furniture or in places where baby cannot reach them.
- Instead of plastic outlet covers (which can pose a choking risk), try sliding covers like these.
- Secure dressers and other heavy furniture to the wall.
- Store toys in open boxes or other containers that won’t slam down on your baby’s hands. Avoid materials (like wicker) that can be easily pulled off or worn down.
- Don’t place cribs, pack and plays, or bassinets over a vent or under or next to a window. Make sure blinds cannot be reached from inside the crib.
IN THE KITCHEN
- Store all cleaning supplies out of a child’s reach, or, if that’s not a possibility, in a cabinet with an effective child lock.
- If your oven or stove knobs are within your child’s reach, try these great stove knob covers.
- Try to keep pet food in an area that is not child-accessible, as it can be a choking hazard to your little ones.
- If you have any sharp corners, invest in corner covers. (Especially if you have tall babies like I do.)
- Place child locks on knife drawers, or move knives, scissors, and other sharp objects out of reach.
- Store plastic bags, cling wrap, and aluminum foil out of your child’s reach, or lock them away with a child lock.
- Avoid tablecloths. Babies can grab and pull a cloth—and anything on top of it—down on themselves.
- Make sure all trash cans have a lid that is secured shut with a child lock. If trash cans are located inside drawers, make sure those drawers also have a child safety lock.
IN THE BATHROOM
- Make sure you store all bath products, especially bath and baby oils, in a safe spot in child-resistant packaging. Check the ingredients of your bath and baby oils for liquid hydrocarbons, as these can be very harmful to a baby’s lungs.
- Use non-slip mats in (and out of) the tub. If you have floors that get slippery, this is especially important.
- Cover the tub spout (with a cover like this adorable whale) to protect baby’s head in case she falls.
- To avoid water that is too hot, always test the water temperature first. You can also set your water heater to 120 degrees F, or install an anti-scalding device to your bath spout and sink faucet.
- Keep all cords (from hairdryers, curling irons, etc.) out of reach; they can be a strangulation and burning hazard.
- Store razors, nail clippers, and any sharp objects out of reach.
IN THE FAMILY/LIVING ROOM
- If you have large areas with windows, or sliding glass doors, mark them with stickers to avoid any collisions.
- Cut off or tie up any dangling window cords or curtain sashes.
- Secure TVs and other heavy furniture to the wall.
- Place tall, unsecured lamps or other decorative items behind furniture, where they can’t topple over.
- Keep heavy items on lower, sturdy furniture, in as inaccessible a location as possible (pushed all the way back into a shelf, etc.).
- Place corner covers on coffee tables and entertainment centers.
BY THE STAIRS
- Use a baby gate to limit your child’s accessibility to the stairs. Consider the following when choosing a baby gate:
- Are the stairs heavily used throughout the day?
- Do you carry items like laundry up the stairs?
- Do you need a larger area gated than just the top and bottom of the stairs?
- Do you have any preferences on how the gate appears aesthetically?
- Place a gate at the top and the bottom of each staircase. If possible, choose gates that fasten securely to the wall with hardware to use at the top of the stairs.
- If utilizing a baby gate is not possible, consider placing a temporary barrier, like a solid bench or a chair placed on its side in front of the stair opening.
AROUND THE FIREPLACE
- Put up a baby safety gate (like this one) around the fireplace to protect baby from burns. Make sure the gate secures to the wall on either side of the fireplace.
- For a baby proof fireplace, put all of your sharp fire-burning tools and logs behind the baby gate or in a locked closet.
- Store matches and gas fire keys out of reach.
- If your fireplace is unused, such as during the summer months, you can protect your baby with a cute fireplace cover. Purchase a cover or make yourself—consider a magnetic chalkboard like this one, and use it for decoration or as a place for the kids to be creative.
- Stepped hearths pose a danger to new crawlers and walkers. Create a baby proof fireplace by putting foam padding along the sides and corners of the fireplace.
- Complete your baby proofing fireplace efforts with foam hearth pads that cover the top flat surface of the hearth, protecting baby from falls.
- For a DIY hearth covering solution, place interlocking foam blocks along the top and sides of the hearth.
- Check and clear your fireplace vents regularly, and place a carbon monoxide alarm in the same room as the fireplace. Check and replace the batteries often.
- Secure fireplace gates closed with a specially made gate lock, or for a cheaper option keep them shut with cable ties.
WHEN YOU’RE AWAY FROM HOME
Have we missed anything? What would you add to our baby-proofing guide?
- Check for choking hazards (e.g. small toys, pet food, etc.) and ensure that these items are out of reach.
- Ensure that all cleaning supplies and other chemicals are safely stored.
- Where appropriate, bring and use outlet covers for accessible electrical outlets.
- Move any plants out of your child’s reach, especially if they’re toxic.
- When in doubt, get down on the floor at your baby’s level and examine the area for potential hazards.