Babyproofing is a crucial step for keeping your crawling baby and mischievous toddlers safe from common hazards around the home. This process is important because little ones love to explore, and these adventures include some dangerous feats.
If you want to know how to babyproof a house as well as the biggest items that most parents overlook, we've secured the details!
When to Babyproof
One of the first things that new parents wonder is when to babyproof. The answer is simple: as soon as your baby starts showing signs of crawling, it's time to start babyproofing your home.
How to Babyproof a House
Here are some of the top ways to protect your baby or toddler throughout the house:
- Cover electrical outlets.
- Anchor furniture and large appliances to the walls.
- Put locks on front-loading washers and dryers.
- Attach toilet locks to all commodes.
- Install baby gates in areas you want to keep your baby out,as well as at the entrances of safe play space. Don't forget gates at both the top and bottom of the stairs.
- Apply corner guards to all sharp edges around the home.
- Place safety gates on upstairs windows.
- Put up cord cleats to safeguard window blind cords.
- Install drawer and cabinet locks. Tip: Magnetic options are expensive, but they are a very convenient choice.
- Add non-slip mats under accent rugs
- Buy safes and securely store all firearm. Remember bullets and ammo should always be safely stored separate from the guns.
- Lock up cleaning and beauty products as well as sharp items you have around the home
10 Important Things to Babyproof That Parents Often Overlook
Even with the best intentions, it's easy for a new parent to overlook items and areas of the house that can be dangerous for babies and toddlers. Here are the spots that most people tend to miss when they babyproof.
Bottom of the Bathtub
Everyone thinks about hot water flowing out of the faucet, which is obviously important, but as soon as your child learns to stand, slipping in the tub becomes a real risk. A non-slip mat for the tub bottom is a simple way to ensure that your child has a solid footing in this sudsy and slippery space.
As the owner of giant dogs, this was always a worry for me, but for those with smaller pups, it's easy to overlook this little exit. Unfortunately, babies and toddlers are quite crafty, and if there is a will, there is a way. Buying products with magnetic doors or doggie doors with dual flaps can make it more difficult for your toddler to push their way through.
Parents can also look for options with alarms or mobile alerts to help them keep track of movement in and out of the house. No matter which option you choose, it's important to find a way to lock this entrance for when you have others watching your child or you know you will be distracted with an activity.
A simple way to help you spot some of the things people often overlook when babyproofing is to get down on your hands and knees and crawl through every area of your home! This gives you a baby's or toddler's eye view of your home and helps you spot problem areas that you may have missed.
Pet Food & Products
We all do it - our pet's food sits in a big bag on the floor, which is the perfect height for a baby or toddler to reach in. While you instinctively think about the mess, the bigger concern is the choking hazard. Depending on the type of kibble you serve, it could pose a large risk. Investing in a large plastic container that seals and snaps shut can protect against this common threat.
Crystallized cat litters should also be stored out of reach. These products contain silica gel, which can not only be a choking hazard, it can also be poisonous.
This seems obvious once it;s pointed out, but babies and toddler love to hide and stick their fingers where they don't belong. Research shows that almost half of finger injuries occur "because of jamming between two closable opposing surfaces." The study also found that 79% of these wounds occurred at home or school and 6% of them required amputation.
These babyproofing items become exceptionally important after having a second child. Toddlers love to slam doors and they do not check for the little fingers of their younger siblings.
Front and Back Doors
Once your child's dexterity begins to improve, the unlocking and opening of doors to the outdoor world becomes a problem. Parents can invest in retractable baby gates for the front and back doors of the home to deter their kids from running out the door or they can install child safety top locks on their doors. This second option is a good choice for sleepwalkers as well.
What kid doesn't love jumping on the bed? Whether you switch your child to a big kid bed at two or 10, one of the best ways to limit fall injuries is the invest in a low profile box spring and a bed frame that sits low to the ground. This babyproofing tip is important to point out before parents start sleep training in the big kid bed.
That beautiful wooden chest that has been in your family for generations should probably stay in the attic until your kids get a bit older. You see, many people don't realize that "death and brain damage have been caused by toy chests and other lids falling on children's heads or necks. Most of the victims were under 2 years of age, although children as old as 10 have also been injured." Entrapment is also a major concern.
This seems far-fetched until you realize how exciting young children find the idea of climbing into things. When choosing toy chests, select options that have no lid or lid supports that prevent the top from slamming shut.
Coolers can also be a dangerous item to leave lying around, especially if they have a heavy lid like a Yeti. Make sure that you store these containers in a safe spot that your toddlers cannot get into.
For all those anthophiles out there, if you have a baby on the way, it's imperative that you check the toxicity of your pretty plants. Since kids love to put things in their mouths, these can be a deadly threat to little ones.
As mentioned, babies and toddlers get into virtually everything. Trash cans are another item that are at the perfect level for a baby or toddler to get into, making babyproofing this item a must! Parents can purchase trash cans with locking tops or they can put their trash receptacles in a babyproofed sink or kitchen cabinet.
For the homes that are adorned with decorative accents like table cloths, clips are a fantastic investment. Toddlers love to pull and that means anything that is sitting on top of the table, like drinks, plates, sharp silverware, and heavy decor can fall directly on their heads. By adhering these accents to the table, you can prevent these types of mishaps.
Babyproofing Can Be Simple and Keep Your Baby Safe
Babyproofing doesn't have to be overly complicated. By considering some of the most critical things that can be dangerous to a crawling baby or curious toddler, you can do a lot to protect your child. From knowing babyproofing basics to some of the typical things people overlook, when you're armed with the knowledge and tips you need, you can keep your little ones as safe as possible.