Babyproofing Your Home, Room by Room

By: Laurnie Wilson

Preparing to welcome a child means also preparing your home to be a safe and nurturing place. Babyproofing actually becomes increasingly necessary as your little one grows from an infant to a toddler and beyond. With this in mind, we have put together an overview of how to babyproof your home, from the inside out. Here’s what we recommend, room by room.

Kitchen

With so many potential hazards in the kitchen (knives, hot appliances, and cabinetry), many parents prefer to put a baby gate at the entrance of the kitchen and make the space entirely off limits. However, if you would like to let your little one have access to the space, you have many options.

  1. The first step is to secure all cabinets, drawers, and even the oven with safety latches.
  2. Next, install childproof covers on stove knobs, or remove the knobs completely.
  3. You’ll also want to unplug appliances when not in use and store them out of reach until you need them.

Living room

Begin by anchoring the TV, furniture, and any bookshelves to reduce their chance of toppling over. Have lengthy cords dangling? Cord holders can tidy up your wires and keep them safely tucked away.

If you have a fireplace, purchase a fireplace cover, or gate off the area so that it doesn’t become an enticing play pen.

Because your baby will be close to the ground, outlets may catch their eye. Fortunately, outlet covers are an easy way to prevent tiny fingers from ending up where they don’t belong. You can also position furniture in front of your outlets to remove the temptation entirely.

Finally, remember to add corner covers to your coffee table to protect your little one’s head.

Bathroom

This is one high-activity room that presents many dangers for a curious child. But, rest assured—babyproofing this space is simple.

  • Begin by securing your toilet with a lid lock so your baby will not be tempted to splash around.
  • To prevent scalding in the bathtub and sink, set your water heater temperature no higher than 120°F. If you live in an apartment and don’t have access to the water heater, you can purchase an anti-scald device that fits over your faucets.
  • In the tub, you’ll want to consider adding no-slip strips or a no-slip mat. You might also buy a cover for the faucet to prevent bumps or injuries.

It’s especially important to keep toiletries out of reach in this room. You may even want to lock cabinets that contain medicines or contact lenses, as these items can pose a choking hazard. By storing them up and out of the way, your bathroom will be a safe space for bathing and potty training your child.

Bedroom

Make sure your crib is up to date (drop-side cribs were banned in the US in June 2017), and that the slats are 2 ⅜-inches apart or less. Although stuffed animals and blankets are wonderful comfort items, it’s important to keep them out of the crib for the first year.

Consider buying cordless blinds in bedrooms (or any room, for that matter) and installing a baby monitor that can be checked from multiple devices around your home.

Backyard

If you’re lucky enough to have a pool, be sure to have a fence surrounding it that’s at least four feet high. For extra protection, you might consider pool covers and alarms for extra monitoring.

Make sure that any related gas for grills and barbecues tanks are stored out of reach. The same goes for any gasoline you may store for your lawnmower or any other lawn maintenance tools.

Garage

If your garage is full of tools, heavy boxes, and car care equipment, now is the time to organize and declutter.

Begin by moving toxic substances, like antifreeze, or sharp items, like saws and tools, out of reach or storing them in locked storage containers. Ensure any stacked boxes or containers are stable and unlikely to tip over.

Driveway

A driveway can be prime real estate for breaking out the sidewalk chalk and creating an artistic masterpiece. However, it’s also a place you’ll want to keep an extra eye on your little one.

When you do use the driveway for play, keep the fun as close to the house as possible. And when you have finished for the day, be sure to remove any toys, scooters, or bikes, to reduce the allure of this high-traffic area.


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