When I was expecting my first baby, my parents gave me this helpful baby-proofing list. My husband and I have updated it with a few additional items – that are unique to our home situation. Sara and Madison also contributed to this list when they started baby-proofing their homes.
The two most valuable items on our folks’ list are not related to things we can buy. They are action items.
1. Planning ahead. It’s never too early to baby-proof your home. Start months before they can crawl, before they can grab anything. You will be too busy once your baby is born.
You want to get used to living in a baby-proof environment sooner than later.
2. Toddler’s Eye level. You don’t know exactly what your baby can see – unless you are at their eye level. So, get down on the floor and crawl. There is that electric outlet just behind your cabinet.
Between the ages of six-month to nine-month old, your baby will start sitting up and crawling. Yes, the adventures of the baby explorer begins!
Here’s our baby-proofing checklist – sorted alphabetically.
- Anti-tip furniture straps. Secure your book shelves, entertainment center and furniture. This is most important especially when you live in an earthquake prone area.
- Body of water. Make sure your pool, your ponds, your aquariums, your toilet bowls are well protected from your kids.
- Bugs. Insect bites can potentially be dangerous to your child. Keep your home free of mosquitoes, spiders and insects. If you have to use insect repellents, make sure they are child safe.
- Cabinets and book shelves. They can tip over and hurt your little ones. Secure them to the walls.
- Carbon monoxide detectors. Install these units if you haven’t already. Make sure you have spare batteries.
- Cigars and lighters. Keep them high up and out of reach of your kids.
- Cleaning supplies. Dish detergent, laundry detergent, soaps. Make sure your young toddlers cannot reach or access them.
- Coffee tables. Cover the sharp corners. Your baby might bump into them. Use edge guard or corner protectors.
- Contained area. It’s easier to manage the safety of your child in a contained space. Get a baby gate play yard to create a barrier – and make a safe play area.
- Distilled spirit. Store your whiskey, vodka, scotch, etc., out of reach of your toddler.
- Door holder. Those tiny fingers are delicate. Door holders will prevent the door slamming onto fingers.
- Drawers. Your toddler can open a drawer. The contents inside the drawer may be harmful to your child. Your kid might even climb on an opened drawer. So, use baby-proof locks to prevent your toddler to open them.
- Electric outlets. Use electric plug covers. Outlet protectors will prevent the little ones to stick their fingers into the outlets.
- Electronic gadgets. Keep tablets, smart phones, laptops, computers, etc. out of reach of your kids.
- Faucet in bathtubs. When you bathe your baby, cover the faucet with a soft towel. You don’t want to accidentally bump their head to a metal object.
- Finger Pinch. Don’t let those tiny fingers hurt by a closing door. Finger pinch guards will help.
- Firearms. If you have guns, you must store them in a locked safe.
- Fire extinguisher. It’s always a good idea to have one near your kitchen. Make sure you know how to use it.
- Fire hazard objects. Light bulbs. Night lights. Items that generate heat can potentially be hazardous.
- Fireplace. Get a baby gate designed for fireplace. The barrier will prevent your toddler to crawl to the fireplace hearth.
- Gates. Make use of baby safety gates to fence off non-child-proof areas. Obvious areas to use baby gates: top of stairs, bottom of stairs, hallways, doorways, fireplace.
- Glass. If you have furniture made of glass material, make sure they are tempered glass.
- Jewelry. Babies like to grab things, including jewelry. Unfortunately jewelry can be a choking and strangling hazard.
- Kitchen knives and sharp objects. Keep them out of reach of your curious toddler.
- Medications. Keep them in your medicine cabinet out of the reach of your kids.
- Paint. Make sure the paint in your house is baby safe.
- Pets. We love pets. However, your baby may not be ready to hang out with your big dogs or cats until they are older. Consider a barrier gate for pets.
- Tip: Take into consideration allergies, asthma, phobias, etc. – which might not be obvious to parents.
- Power cords. Make sure they are not dangling which can be a potential straggling hazard. Use Power Strip Cover. Keep them neat inside a power-cord organizer box.
- Smoke detector. Check them and make sure the batteries are good.
- Stove knobs. You don’t want your toddler to accidentally turn on your stove. Cover them with hinged lid protector. You want lids easy for adults to open while being child proof.
- Table Corners. Use corner and edge safety bumpers or protectors. Sharp corners can hurt your little ones.
- Toys. Avoid toys with small components. Small parts can be choking hazard to your child.
- Water heater temperature. Lower your water heater temperature to no more than 120 °F.
- Tip: Your baby skin is delicate. Make sure your bath water is no higher than 97 °F. You want to always check the water temperature (using your hand) before you put your baby in the bath tub.
- Window blind cords. Curtain tassels. Any dangling cords are potential hazards to your toddlers. Keep them out of reach of your children.
- Wine bottles. Store your wines in a wine cooler with lock. Wine bottle is made of glass. The content inside the bottle is not for kids. Both glass and alcohol are dangerous to kids. Store your wine bottles out of reach of your toddler.
- Every home has some unique situations – you may need more or less baby proofing. The key to successful baby proofing is planning and early implementation. The sooner you start the process, the sooner you will discover the additional items.
- Tip: Do a few walk-through with your parents or other parents. They might see items that need baby-proofing that you have missed.
Basic baby-proofing essentials for home:
Eco-Baby Child Safety Magnetic Cabinet and Drawer Locks (View on Amazon). If your baby cannot open your drawers, he or she will not have access to the content of your drawers. Let’s face it – there are many unsafe items to babies in most drawers.
Mommy’s helper outlet plugs (View on Amazon) is an effective tool to cover electric outlets. This simple plug will prevent your baby to stick their little fingers into an outlet holes. So you don’t have to worry about your toddler getting an accidental electric shock.
Munchkin Xtraguard Dual Action Multi Use Latches (View on Amazon). It will be a disaster if a drawer falls onto your baby. Contents inside a cabinet a drawer can cause harm to your little ones. So, please secure your drawers and cabinets.
Evenflo Soft and Wide baby gate (View on Amazon). A portable and retractable baby gate is most useful for travelling to a friend’s house. The Evenflo model does not require any tools to set up or to take it down. It does not damage any walls.
Regalo 192-inch super wide adjustable baby gate and play yard (View on Amazon). A Play Yard makes a contained area. You can create a safe contained area faster than baby proofing the entire house. This Regalo baby gate has the most flexible configuration. You can re-configure its panels into a play yard in 5 minutes. Read our full review.
Life is super busy with a toddler. Like you, we are parents with infants and toddlers ourselves. Do your best to plan ahead. Implement baby proofing for your home as soon as possible – definitely before your baby start crawling.