The best time to baby proof your home is before your baby arrives. While your baby may not be moving around too much for a few months, baby proofing with a newborn in tow is a much more difficult task. Baby proofing in advance also avoids having to baby proof in a panic when suddenly your newborn isn’t a newborn anymore and they are zooming across the floor! While baby proofing might feel like an overwhelming task, it doesn’t have to be! I’ve tracked down the best baby proofing products and developed an easy to follow baby proofing checklist that you can print for free to make your baby proofing experience stress free!
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Need to baby proof a specific room in your home? Use the table of contents below to quickly jump to any part of this post!
General Safety in the Home
Before you begin buying baby proofing products and going through the baby proofing checklist to secure each room in your home, do a quick check of the general safety of your home.
- Make sure you have an adequate number of carbon Monoxide and smoke detectors: Make sure that you have carbon monoxide and smoke detectors on each level of your home. Also make sure that you have smoke detectors in the bedrooms and hallways of your home.
- Make sure to purchase a fire extinguisher: You should always have a fire extinguisher on hand in case there was ever a fire in your home.
- Have proper medical supplies on hand: Purchase or prepare your own first aid kit to keep in your home for when accidents happen. While baby proofing should help prevent life changing injuries, it is unfortunately impossible to prevent every bump and bruise. It is helpful to have a properly outfitted first aid kit in your home for when these things happen.
- Add emergency contacts into your phone– While I hope you never have to use them, it is good to have your pediatrician, poison control, and any other emergency contacts in your phone. Most phones will allow you to access your emergency contacts in lock mode and this will help you to get to these numbers quickly if you ever need them.
- Check your water temperature- Make sure the temperature guard on your water heater does not let the water go beyond 120 degrees. This will help avoid burns when your child is able to reach and turn on faucets on their own.
- Fix any flaking or peeling paint- While lead paint was outlawed in 1978, any house that was built before then may still have lead paint. Fixing any flaking or peeling paint will protect your baby from potential lead poisoning.
- Use the toilet paper tube rule– Any item within your child’s reach that can fit through a toilet paper tube should be removed from the home or placed up high as it may pose a choking hazard.
- Secure any guns in the house- If there are any guns in your home, make sure that they are secured safely and out of reach of children.
Start with a Quick Once Over
Before and after you complete the baby proofing checklist, check over your home for any potential hazards. While it may sound silly, crawling around your home is a great way to see what things will pull the interest of your baby and what might be dangerous.
Begin the Baby Proofing Checklist
This baby proofing checklist will take you through each room and area of your home to remedy any potential hazards to your little one. I’ve also provided a free printable checklist for you!
BABY PROOFING THE KITCHEN
Being a mom, it’s likely that you and your baby will spend some quality time in the kitchen. The kitchen is one of the most important areas in your home to baby proof, as it has items that can cause potentially fatal and severe injuries.
- Put away tablecloths- Tablecloths can be dangerous for babies and toddlers. If they were to pull at it, everything on the table can come down on top of them. Make sure that you either use nothing but a tablecloth on your table or that you store tablecloths away until your child is old enough to understand.
- Make sure glass items are out of reach– Make sure that any plates, bowls, cups, etc. that are breakable are not within the reach of your toddler as broken glass can quickly cause both major and minor injuries.
- Buy stove knob covers- If your stove has knobs on the front where your child will be able to reach them, you will need to purchase stove knob covers. If you don’t want to purchase covers, some stove knobs will also slide on and off and you can simply leave them in a drawer when you aren’t using them.
- Latch the oven door- Ovens have lights and they beep, making them seem like a huge toy for young toddlers. An oven door latch is very important to prevent major burns.
- Cook with handles facing inwards– When you are cooking on the stove top, make sure that the handles of the pots and pans you are using do not stick out beyond the stove. Make sure to face them inward or simply cook on the back burners. Toddlers may be tempted to pull at a handle that is sticking out and dump very hot food on themselves.
- Place a lock on the garbage can– Rather than constantly telling your toddler to stop playing in the trash can, I suggest a lock on your garbage can. A multipurpose child safety strap lock should do the trick. Trust me on this one. This will also help avoid your toddler throwing out other things that don’t belong in the trash.
- Install cabinet latches- Cabinet latches can keep your child from throwing every one of your pots, pans, and tupperware containers on the floor to play with them. But, it is especially important you put a cabinet latch on any cabinet that has cleaning supplies. These magnetic cabinet latches are super easy to use and don’t require screws! They easily attach with command strips! You just keep the magnet on your fridge, microwave, or oven and swipe it over top any time you want to open a cabinet!
- Create a safe cabinet- While this is not a baby proofing must, it has helped me a lot. After my toddler constantly pulled out all my pots and pans, I decided to lock my cabinets and make him his own cabinet. It’s filled with things that are safe for him to play with and it distracts him from trying to get into things in the kitchen that are more dangerous. Check out my Instagram reel to see everything I included in my safe cabinet!
BABY PROOFING THE BATHROOM
The bathroom is another place where people spend a lot of time. Moms need to shower and go to the bathroom too and a lot of times our kids have to come with us. That means it is a very important place to baby proof. The bathroom, just like the kitchen, also has many natural hazards for babies and young toddlers.
- Keep razors out of reach- Do not set your razor on the sink or on the side of the bathtub where your child can reach it.. My husband and I bought these suction cup razor holders to keep ours up and out of reach.
- Install cabinet locks- Make sure that any cabinets or drawers that have cleaning supplies or medicines inside are locked with a cabinet or drawer lock. These invisible locks work on both cabinets and drawers.
- Keep medicines up high- If possible, do your best to keep medicines up high and away from your child.
- Put a lock on the toilet seat– While a toilet lock is annoying when you really have to go, it is critical to the safety of your child. Young toddlers may get curious and reach for the water. If they slip and fall into the toilet head first, they will not be able to get themselves back out and could drown. So a toilet lock is critical.
- Get a soft cover for the bath tub spout– Spout covers are not only helpful for preventing injuries during bath time, but they are also pretty adorable too. I love this whale spout cover!
- Non- slip bathtub bottom- As your toddler gets older, you may want to grab a non-slip bath mat or some non-slip bath stickers for the bottom of your tub.
- Empty the bathtub immediately– Never leave the bathtub full after bath time. This can be a huge drowning hazard if your toddler were to come back into the bathroom later on. Make sure to drain it before you leave the room.
- Sliding Glass Door Lock- If you have a shower with a sliding glass door, you may want to purchase a sliding glass door lock to keep your little one out of your shower. They love to climb in right after they’ve just put on a new outfit that needs a good soaking.
BABY PROOFING THE NURSERY
It may sound crazy to say “you need to baby proof your nursery.” But it can be easy to overlook baby proofing the nursery when you are trying to get to the rest of the house. There are actually many hazards in baby nurseries that parents don’t realize.
- Get rid of the mobile– Mobiles are adorable but they can pose safety issues for babies as they get older. As soon as your child is able to sit up, the mobile should get removed from the crib to avoid your toddler pulling any small pieces from the mobile off or pulling it down on themselves.
- Don’t use any pillows or blankets- While the adorable nursery set ups on Pinterest and Instagram do have pillows and stuffed animals in the crib, babies should not have pillows or blankets until age 1. Having either of these in the crib can increase the risk of accidental suffocation while they are sleeping. If your house is very cold in the winters (like ours is), I suggest purchasing a Merlin’s Magic Sleep Suit or a Merlin’s Magic Dream Sack to keep your little one warm at night. If you do use a sleep suit, make sure to switch to a sleep sack once your child can roll over.
- Check the crib liner- Most crib liners/bumpers pose suffocation risks to young children. If you choose to use a crib liner make sure you choose a mesh crib liner that your child can breath through if they roll up against it. This is the crib liner that I purchased and loved.
- Lower the crib mattress– As your baby starts to progress through the milestones of rolling over, sitting, and standing you will need to keep lowering the crib mattress so that they aren’t falling or climbing out.
- Move the diaper cream- Make sure that diaper creams are up high and out of reach. Believe it or not, diaper cream can be dangerous to young children if swallowed in larger quantities. Make sure to keep it up and out of reach.
- Remove any wall decorations near the crib– Any picture frames or decor hanging on the walls near your child’s crib can be dangerous. If whatever you have up were to fall on its own or get pulled down by your child, would it hurt them? If the answer is yes, get rid of it. I like hanging a tapestry above our crib so that it won’t hurt them if they pull it down, but it still adds some flare to the space.
- Anchor nursery furniture– Make sure that the changing table, book shelves, dressers, etc in the nursery. are all anchored by furniture straps. That way you won’t have to worry when your toddler starts scaling furniture like it’s Mount Everest. If you rent an apartment and cannot drill into the walls, use these no drill wall anchors.
BABY PROOFING THE LAUNDRY ROOM
The laundry room is not a place that we often think about when it comes to baby proofing. There are, however, a few things you will want to keep in mind with your laundry room and a new baby.
- Keep laundry detergent out of sight and out of reach- Tide pods and laundry detergent are always in fun and intriguing colors for little ones. Keeping them out of reach is the best way to keep their curiosity in check.
- Be careful with placement– Make sure that the washer and dryer cords are not in reach and that your child is not able to crawl behind the washer and dryer.
- Consider locks- If you have an old washer and dryer that do not lock automatically, you may want to consider purchasing locks for the doors. Washers and dryers can look like fun places to hide for young toddlers. We use this Multipurpose strap lock on ours.
- Be careful with pre-treated laundry- A shirt that is being soaked in bleach or sitting with stain remover can easily be yanked from the top of your washer or dryer. Try hanging these items up high or lay them on a shelf that is out of reach.
- Consider a lock on the door to the room- It can be very difficult to secure a laundry room. If you have a lot of trouble making sure the room is safe for your child, putting a child lock on the door handle is always a great option. I’ll go through some options for door locks later!
BABY PROOFING THE BEDROOM
When you need to get dressed in the morning, it helps to not have to worry about what your baby or toddler might be getting into. Baby proofing your bedroom will allow you to get ready in the morning with peace of mind.
- Anchor side tables and dressers– Bedside tables are an easy thing to overlook when it comes to baby proofing. However, bedside tables are often some of the easiest furniture for a child to pull down since they are shorter and smaller than most other furniture. In the same way, if a low drawer on a dresser is left open, your child may crawl on top of it. The dresser could then easily tip onto them if it is not held by a furniture strap or no drill wall anchors.
- Get drawer locks- If your bedside table has any small choking hazards in it, make sure that you look into drawer locks. Luckily, these locks do not require you to use screws if you don’t want to mark up your table.
- Keep earrings and jewelry out of reach- Jewelry is another easy item to overlook, but earrings especially can be extremely dangerous if swallowed. I love using my zipper hanging jewelry organizer to keep these things out of reach and super organized.
- Secure mirrors- If you have a full length mirror, make sure that it is secured to the wall or a secure stand. Toddlers like to play with the “other kid” in the mirror and your mirror may fall or break if it is not secured properly. (I learned that one the hard way…luckily mine just fell out of the frame) If you live in an apartment and can’t mount it to the wall, simply use 16 pound velcro command strips.
BABY PROOFING LIVING SPACES
Baby proofing your living spaces will allow those moments you sit down to relax to actually be relaxing. You can enjoy a moment sitting with your husband rather than chase around your child and take things from them.
- Secure TVS to stands or a wall- TVs look like great toys to your toddler so it is important to secure it onto your stand using tv straps or hang them on a wall. This will help prevent any injury to your toddler or your TV.
- Make sure your plants are safe and safely placed– Many common house plants are actually toxic to humans if they are ingested. Since babies and toddlers tend to explore with their hands AND mouths, it is important to make sure that the plants you choose to have in your home are safe for them. Check out my article on “14 Easy to Grow Non-Toxic Indoor Plants,” to see what common houseplants are toxic and beautiful plants that are safe for your little one! Additionally, once you know that your plants are non-toxic you need to be careful with where you place them. Make sure plants are not placed where your toddler could potentially pull them down on top of themselves. Use plant hangers or keep plants up on furniture out of reach.
- Cover those corners- Corners are one of those things you never see before kids and you see everywhere once you have kids. Using gel corner covers is the best way to keep those corners from causing injuries.
- Consider getting rid of your coffee table– If our coffee table wasn’t meaningful to us, it already would be gone. Coffee tables just seem to be sharp cornered trip hazards for children. If you really love it like us, make sure to grab some gel corner covers, but otherwise I suggest replacing your coffee table with a soft ottoman.
- Bumper guard those sharp edges– This is especially important if you have a mantle or fireplace. These bumper guards also come in multiple colors so they don’t stand out too much.
- Make sure your rugs won’t slip– If you have rugs on hard floors, make sure to place rug gripper pads on the corners to keep the rug in place and keep the corners from curling up and becoming tripping hazards! You can also use double sided carpet tape, but this does often leave residue on your carpet. Keeping your carpets from slipping is important to keep you from slipping while holding your baby and so your toddler won’t have a wipe out when they start walking.
- Block any fireplaces– If you have a fireplace in your home that you plan to use, you will need to buy a fireplace door lock or place a fireplace baby gate.
Now that you have gone through the specific hazards of each room in your home, let’s address hazards throughout the home. These include stairs, windows, doors, cords, outlets, and your yard. Luckily these solutions are pretty simple and quick!
BABY PROOFING THE STAIRS
- Buy auto-closing baby gates– If you have stairs in your home, make sure to place baby gates at both the top and the bottom of the staircase. This auto-closing baby gate is extra tall and extends extra wide to accommodate almost any stairway or hallway. I personally love the look of this gate and am relieved to know that the baby gate is always closed, whether I remember to close it or not!
- Block banisters– If you have banisters up your stairway or on an upstairs balcony, you will need to purchase a banister guard. This one is great because it comes in different colors to match the color scheme of your home.
BABY PROOFING WINDOWS & DOORS
- Install blind cord holders– Blind cords are dangerous to babies and toddlers, as they can get wrapped up and not be able to untangle themselves. You can install blind cord cleats which are metal pieces screwed into the window frame or you can buy blind cord winders which don’t require any screws.
- Install window guards– If you plan to leave the windows open often, make sure that you install window guards to avoid falls. On the other hand, if you want to keep your child from opening the windows, you can install a window lock that stops the window from opening.
- Cover door handles– If there are any rooms that you don’t want your toddler getting into on their own or any doors that lead to the outside or basement of your home, a door handle lock is luckily a cheap solution. They make knob covers, door lever locks, and sliding door stoppers to accommodate every type of door handle. There is also the door buddy that goes on with command strips if you are renting. If you have door knobs in your home, you can also purchase knit door knob covers on Etsy for a beautified baby proofing.
- Put on pinch guards– Children are often getting their fingers pinched in drawers and doors. The latter of the two hurts a whole lot more and can result in a potentially larger injury. Pinch guards are soft circular pieces of foam with a notch cut out to slide onto your door. The door will not fully close with it on. If you want to use a pinch guard on your door, but still want that room off limits, I recommend using a pinch guard with a door buddy. If you are looking for a quick and cheap option, a cut up pool noodle does the job too.
BABY PROOFING OUTLETS & CORDS
- Cover outlets– Many people don’t know that there are actually tons of options for outlet covers. The traditional plastic outlet cover is the cheapest option for sure with a 36 pack of them for under five dollars! However, the traditional outlet cover can be frustrating to remove when you need to use the outlet. Outlet covers with hidden pull tabs make getting the cover in and out a whole lot easier! You can also opt to change out the plate and put in self closing wall sockets or use an outlet cover box to make plugging and unplugging cords a whole lot easier.
- Cover the power strip– Power strips are a goldmine to toddlers and it’s difficult to keep kids away from them. I recommend combining a sleek socket power strip with this power strip box for a clean, beautiful look. This will keep your toddler away from both the wall plug and the power strip. You can also buy a simple power strip cover that won’t allow your toddler to pull out any of the cords in the power strip.
- Move cords behind furniture– As much as you can, try to run cords behind furniture. It’s inevitable that your child will pull on or chew on any cord that is out in the open.
BABY PROOFING OUTSIDE THE HOME
- Place gates on decks and porches– If you have a deck or porch, a retractable outdoor baby gate is an easy way to guard the opening of your porch/deck. Even if your porch only has a few steps, that could be a major fall for a young toddler.
- Buy banister guards– If your porch or deck has banisters that are far apart, you may want to look into deck banister guards, as children inevitably try to fit their little bodies through the gaps. This will also help give you some peace of mind while you are enjoying time outside.
- Put away yard tools– Do your best to store your yard tools away from your child. Many yard tools are sharp and could hurt your child.
- Gate and alarm the pool– If you have a pool without a gate, make sure to purchase a pool gate to prevent your child from falling in while you are outside. (you should still always have eyes on them.) If there is a door from your home that goes directly to the pool, you can also put a pool alarm on it to warn you if that door gets opened.
I know all that was a lot and you might be feeling overwhelmed. But, take a deep breath. Go print my free baby proofing checklist and tackle one room at a time! Before you know it, every room in your house will be ready for your little one! You can find my baby proofing checklist available for download on the “free printables,” page of my site!
-Beautifully Busy Mom