Let’s talk about baby proofing. In a word, it’s important … vital, even. While you should always be vigilant about watching your children, accidents can happen, which is why baby proofing is always a good idea. Taking the time to ensure that your space is child-friendly will make your life so much easier, I promise! Because parenting should be enjoyable, not stressful. (Well, most of the time, anyway).
Here is an essential list of baby proofing must do's you may not have thought of (or maybe you’re awesome and have thought of everything, but hey, a reminder is always a good thing, right?) but should know about:
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.
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 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.)
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 he 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 hair dryers, curling irons, etc.) out of reach; they can be a strangulation and a burning hazard.
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.).
And, if all else fails, you can always hire a childproofing expert. (Yes, it’s actually a thing.) Happy babyproofing!