The Baby Gizmo Baby Proofing Guide

Baby Proofing is one of the most important things you can do for your child. Here are some Baby Proofing tips to get you started and to keep you staying current with some of the baby proofing essentials.

Getting started:

  • It’s best to baby proof your house before the baby is mobile or born! You just never know what your days will be like after baby comes and this is one of the things that is better to not delay.
  • Overdo it!… Just when you think you have everything covered, baby finds a way to prove you wrong. Now, you can be like me and have every square inch of your house baby proofed and your baby can (and probably will) still get hurt. Nothing takes the place of parental/caregiver supervision but creating a safer environment for your child is very important.
  • During pregnancy, put baby proofing items on your baby registry. Like everything else with kids, it adds up quickly!
  • First step? Get on the floor! See the world as your baby sees it, and then work your way up.
  • Ask your friends what they use or suggest (especially if they are neighbors and have a similar or the same house- cabinets, door handles, etc.)

 

Floor/lower areas:

  • Cover all exposed cords with wire guards (also cord control kits) and power strip covers. I’ve found that the only way to protect our plugged in AC adapters is to use a power strip with a power strip cover; then cover the outlet where the power strip is plugged in.
  • Cover all unused outlets with outlet covers but it’s nice to use the slide outlet covers for outlets that get more use– so you don’t break a nail or a sweat trying to remove the individual ones.
  • Get finger guards for high traffic doors and replace coiled doorjamb stops with soft jamb door stops to prevent a choking hazard and pinched fingers.
  • Install door knob locks or lever locks depending on the types of doors you have (install these early so you get used to having them in place).

Houseplants:

  • Here is a list on Baby Center, which has a detailed list of dangerous/poisonous houseplants.

Furniture:

  • Get corner guards for sharp corners and edge guards for edges… and put them up early so baby is used to seeing them in place from an early age. If you place them on furniture when they are beginning to pull up to a standing position/walking along furniture, they are more likely to notice the “new” addition to the room and that will probably be the first thing they try to destroy. In fact, this tip can go for just about anything you use to baby proof your home.
  • Anchor dressers, bookshelves, entertainment centers, etc… to the wall. This is an important step that carries you well into the later childhood years since most kids love to climb and explore.
  • Block or move any pieces of furniture that can’t be anchored to the wall (like freestanding lamps and pedestal tables).

Fireplaces:

  • Install fireplace locks. If you have a step in front of your fireplace, I highly recommend investing in some cushion guards to cover the sharp corners and edges or better yet, a fireplace gate.
  • Keep all matches, lighters and pieces to the fireplace out of reach and locked away.

Appliances:

  • Install anti-tip TV straps (or these) or double check the mount on your wall-mounted TV (and raise it if it’s too low). This is one of the more common household dangers.
  • There are various different kinds of appliance locks and depending on the placement of your appliances, you should look into which ones you need.
  • It’s not a bad idea to install a refrigerator lock early on. Even though you wont need it for a few years, it does take some getting used to- especially for the husbands. (My husband actually got mad and had a one-way verbal confrontation with the fridge lock right after I installed it). It’s one of those things that you never really know if you’ll need it or not, but it’s not necessarily a bad thing to have. My 1st son had no interest in opening the fridge. 2nd son? He likes to pull out wine bottles and pretend they are drumsticks on the tile floor.

Kitchen/Bathroom:

  • I prefer to completely block off these rooms but I also have them fully baby proofed.
  • Make sure you have all cleaning products locked away at all times.
  • Install cabinet and drawer locks. I had a handy-man install cabinet locks on every single kitchen & bathroom drawer and cabinet in our house. There’s no need for baby to be in those drawers or cabinets anyway.
  • Don’t keep any amount of water in buckets, sinks or tubs and install toilet locks.
  • We keep all medicine and prescriptions in the kitchen, not the bathroom. We have a high, locked cabinet (in the kitchen) and store all medications on the top shelf.

Windows:

  • If you have cords on your blinds, install cord shorteners.
  • Another good thing to install early are window guards and locks or wedges (depending on the type of windows you have).

Baby gates:

  • baby gates, and more baby gates! There are baby gates for every doorway imaginable. I love baby gates. Baby gates prevent the 2-year-old and the baby from ganging up on me and getting into trouble.
  • We use the KidCo G15 Center Gateway in a few of our doorways and like the pressure mount installation option.
  • For the top of the stairs, and to block off the kitchen (since it’s an angled doorway), we use the KidCo Angle-Mount Safeway Gate. To match your home decor, you can also check out Evenflo Home Decor Gates that come in a few different wood stains.
  • For the bottom of the stairs we use the KidCo Configuregate because we have steps that extend past the stairwell.
  • To block off the front entry way (along with the shoes, front door, etc.) we use the Summer Infant Sure and Secure Custom Fit Gate which is perfect for hard to fit and wide areas.
  • When looking at gates, make sure they are approved/made for the opening you intend it for (note: not all gates are approved for the top or bottom of stairs). Also, measure your opening, as most gates do not come standard with the extensions that you might need.

Other Ideas and Daily Reminders:

  • Scan the floor: As an extra precaution, I scan the floor each time I put my baby down. This is something I’ve done religiously through the years (I’ve even caught myself doing it when I don’t have a baby with me) but I’m even more fanatical about it right now because I have that 2 year difference between my kids. The 2-year-old will sneak his snack into another room and may or may not notice that some ended up on the floor. Same goes for the small rock that mysteriously appeared in the house when I told him to leave it outside.
  • Separate toys: The 8-year-old plays with all things LEGO and all things “ages 3 and up”. I feel like the Toy Police. Again, constantly scanning the rooms for dropped LEGO pieces, snacks, you name it. I usually have a pack n play set up as a safe, quick place to put the baby. Works great for cleaning up spilled LEGO pieces, bathroom trips, evaluating kamikaze 2-year-old bonks, etc…
  • Go beyond your own home: If baby is at a daycare, babysitter’s house, even grandma and grandpa’s house– do a check! Ask that they provide the necessary materials to keep your baby safe or supply them with the needed materials… and keep an eye on the surroundings each time you come and go. Be an advocate for your baby.
  • Keep and eye on the front (and back) door: Install and use a top lock for the front door and back door if you need one. It doesn’t take long before your baby turns into a toddler and can reach the door handles. Getting in the habit of using a top lock is not a bad thing for parents, either.
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Christina lives in San Diego with her husband, 3 boys and her favorite coffee cup. Christina is a trained Montessori teacher with early childhood education and also has experience in the children’s fashion world as a business owner. While in the children's industry, Christina realized how important it was to research, be ‘in the know’ and one step ahead of the game with the latest and greatest baby gear, toys, clothing and accessories which naturally continued once she became a mom in 2002. Since the birth of her first son, Christina has become a reliable and trustworthy resource to friends, family and other parents on various parenting topics.

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