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Once your baby becomes mobile your whole life changes. Parenting becomes an entirely new level of challenging. You can no longer lay your baby down in a safe spot and look away. By the time you looked back they’d be halfway across the room eating yesterday’s crumbs off the floor. Once your child becomes mobile everyday objects become a threat. An end table is no longer a place to set your drinks. Now, it’s a dangerous piece of furniture that your child is sure to hit their head on.
Parenting a child on the move takes a lot of patience, attention, and forgiveness. It’s a fearful time for parents at first. The risk of injury can never be fully removed. After all, kids can still fall and injure themselves in wide open, carpeted rooms. However, it can be significantly lessened by simply baby proofing your home.
Baby proofing can be overwhelming for parents at first. There are so many different recommendations and products on the market today. It can be difficult for a parent to decide exactly how to baby proof and which products to use while doing it. That’s why I created my ultimate guide to baby proofing for you. Today I’m going to talk about everything from bedrooms, to bathrooms, to kitchens, and more. I’ll give you a list of my favorite baby proofing products and how I use them. So, let’s get started.
Baby Gate – One of the most important parts of baby proofing a home is installing a baby gate. This is a simple way to block off the top of a staircase or the entrance of a room. There are a couple of different options you might find when you start searching for baby gates. The first is a pressure mount gate. This is a more temporary solution perfect for renters because it doesn’t leave any holes in the wall. I recommend using this style of gate in between rooms. The second option is a hardware mount. This type of gate will have hardware drilled into wall. I prefer using this option at the top of a staircase.
Outlet Covers – Another important aspect of baby proofing involves those pesky plug ins spread throughout your home. Babies are drawn to to open outlets. They love to stick their tiny fingers, as well as other objects, in them to explore. However, we all know how dangerous that can be. That’s why it’s important to protect your children by purchasing and installing outlet covers into all open outlets. Many outlet covers, like the ones pictured below, are clear and easily blend into your home.
Anchor Furniture – An important part of a baby’s development is learning to pull themselves up to a standing position. In order to do this, they grab onto the furniture around them for leverage. This situation seems innocent, but it can become dangerous quite quickly. Furniture can easily fall over if pulled on hard enough. That’s why it is so important to include anchoring furniture in your baby proofing routine. A few key pieces to consider anchoring include an entertainment center, television, end tables, and dressers. That’s just a start! Be sure to evaluate each room for pieces that could be a fall risk. It’s better to be overly cautious in this situation.
Cabinet & Drawer Locks – Taking the time to ensure your kitchen is safe is an important step in baby proofing a home. One of the best ways to do that is by installing cabinet and drawer locks. This is a great way to keep your baby away from anything dangerous like knives, cleaners, glass, or even food that could become a choking hazard. There are a couple of different types of locks you can purchase for your kitchen. The first type is great for locking single cabinets or drawers. The second type is meant to be used for cabinets with double doors.
Natural Cleaners – One task that was important to me when baby proofing my home was switching to natural cleaners. I didn’t just do this in case our daughter was to ever get into one. I made this decision because every surface she touched would be in contact with these cleaners. It can be overwhelming to make this lifestyle change. That’s why I recommend starting slowly at first. Just try switching out one product at a time. A few that I recommend are surface cleaners, carpet cleaners, dish soap, and laundry detergent. There are many natural cleaning companies out there. We love using Honest Company.
Toilet Seat Locks– I don’t know what it is about toilets that are so fascinating. Truly, I just don’t understand. However, babies are completely obsessed. Step into the shower for one minute and they’ve opened the lid and started splashing around. Trust me, I’m speaking from experience. Toilets are a fairly unhygienic place – even if you clean them frequently. Plus, they are filled with harsh chemicals during cleanings. These two factors equal a dangerous situation for baby. That’s why I recommend installing toilet seat locks. They are a great way to keep baby out of a danger zone and give you some peace of mind. I’ve also used these locks to keep the fridge shut too.
Corner Protectors – The number one thing a baby learning to walk does is fall. Seriously, they fall all the time. It’s one thing when they fall in the middle of a room onto a padded floor like carpet. However, it’s a completely different level of frightening when they fall onto a piece of furniture like an end table. Somehow, the second scenario seems to be more common. That’s why it is so important to install corner protectors when you are baby proofing. This will significantly lessen the danger of a fall. Corner protectors are affordable, easy to infall, and almost unnoticeable.
Drop Crib Mattress – If you chose to have your baby sleep in a crib, then this step in baby proofing is for you. Most people start with their crib mattress on the highest setting when they bring their baby home. It’s so easy to lay them down when you don’t have to reach all the way to the floor. However, once your baby becomes mobile it’s quite easy for them to climb out of the crib when the mattress is that high. That’s why it is so important to drop the mattress to it’s lowest setting. This helps lessen the risk of them climbing out and injuring themselves. Once they can climb out at the lowest setting it’s time to move on to a toddler bed.
Cordless Blinds – The safest blinds to have around children are a cordless option. There is a risk of children strangling themselves in cord blinds. That’s why I recommend removing all blinds with cords during baby proofing and replacing them with a cordless option. However, that isn’t financially realistic for all families. If this is outside of your budget there are other ways to lessen the risk. A temporary option is to tuck cords up high and out of reach. If your cords are looped it is recommended to cut them so that they are two separate strings. Another important step is to keep all furniture (especially beds) away from windows. All of these options are a great step in protecting your child. However, the number one recommendation is still to remove the risk completely by purchasing cordless blinds.
Non Slip Rugs – Adding a rug to your child’s play space can seem like a great idea. They are a great way to add padding to a hard floor in case of falls. They are also a great way to add some personality and color to a space. In order to maximize safety, it’s important to carefully select your rug. Always opt for a rug with a non-slip backing. This will help prevent the rug from sliding around on a slippery floor like tile or hardwood. You will never have to worry about a non-slip rug sliding out from under your child when they run across it. I always like to take it one step further by securing the rug down with a large piece of furniture like a couch or crib. You can easily feel more comfortable adding a rug to your home when using these two methods together.