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Baby Proofing Your House 101: The Ultimate Checklist
It’s never too early to prepare your home for a child. In fact, the sooner you can ensure all those hazards are handled the better. We’ll walk you through how to baby proof your house so that your adventurous little one can explore fearlessly. Keep this safe, baby-proofing checklist handy to make sure your home is ready to welcome your bundle of joy.
Baby Proofing Checklist for the Entire Home
When you’re bringing home a baby, it’s important to remember one thing — children grow up fast. In almost no time at all, babies can go from laying on their back in a crib to walking around the house searching for new things to learn and explore. It’s because of this reason that baby proofing the house entirely is vital for new and expecting parents. When you’re consulting a baby proofing checklist, you’re ensuring the safety and well-being of your child and there’s nothing more important than that.
Place cabinet latches and locks on all cabinets
Install cabinet latches in your bathrooms, kitchen, laundry room and mud room to baby proof your home so your little one can’t open them on their own.
Place chemicals high up and well out of reach
Even with cabinet locks and latches, make sure to move all chemicals to a high location where little hands can’t reach them. Then, make sure that the doors and locks are child-proof.
Cover your electrical outlets with safety covers
To baby proof your home, cover electrical outlets with safety covers. Especially those that a child can reach from the floor.
Always supervise a child near water
Never leave your baby alone with water. Swimming pools and bathtubs may seem obvious — but there’s less obvious things like cleaning buckets or pet water dishes.
Make sure your windows are secured and away from baby’s furniture
Make sure children can’t access windows by crawling to them or climbing on furniture. Keep windows from opening more than 3 inches when they can reach them. If windows are accessible on a second or higher floor, make sure that there’s no way they could push through a window or screen and fall out.
Make a furniture safety checklist
- If you have bookcases, televisions, dressers and other furniture that could topple forward and onto a baby, secure them to the wall so they can’t be pulled over or move them out of your house altogether.
- Furniture with glass doors, shelves and tops shouldn’t be used around children.
- Cover any sharp edges with pads until the child is out of the toddler stage.
Keep pet dishes away from a curious baby
If you can, move pet dishes to an area that isn’t accessible to a crawling baby or a toddler. Keep the child away from the dogs or cats while they are eating.
Hide or secure blind and curtain cords
To protect your child from getting caught, install blinds that can be opened and closed without cords. Breakaway cords have been known to fail, so don’t rely on them when baby proofing your home.
How to Baby Proof the Nursery
The nursery is your child’s first bedroom — and likely to be the one you pay closest attention to. You can never be too careful, however, and following a nursery checklist will ensure that you’re properly baby proofing your home.
Make a crib safety checklist
Make sure your child’s crib follows current safety recommendations and keep soft pillows, soft bedding and stuffed animals away from children when they’re not being supervised. Get more details on child safety in the bedroom.
- If you inherited an older crib, make sure your crib is not using lead paint. Paints made prior to 1978 were often lead based.
- Ensure your crib’s slats are less than 6 centimeters apart. Or, as WebMD suggests, ”if you can slide a soda can between the slats, they’re too wide.”
- Make sure all hardware on the crib is secure.
- Verify that the crib is free of a “drop side,” a side of the crib that slides down for caretakers. This design has been illegal to sell, manufacture or donate since 2011.
Hang window blind and curtain cords well out of reach of children
As previously mentioned, ensure all blinds are cordless; or, if cordless is not an option, keep all cords out of reach of children by using pins, cord clips or other similarly designed product.
Place a thick rug, carpet or cushion below the crib
When baby begins to hone those fine motor skills, be prepared for anything. Children often begin strengthening their legs in their crib by standing, so make sure you place a cushion capable of breaking a fall in the event baby tries to climb out.
Keep nightlights away from flammables like fabric
As a general rule, you should always keep fabrics away from heating and electrical sources, but this is particularly true with bed sheets, curtains and other nursery items.
How to Baby Proof the Bathroom
Perhaps most important place to hone your baby proofing skills is the bathroom. A place that can quickly reveal many hazards to a new parent. The bathroom will be a regular place for a baby in no time, so make sure you’re following safety tips early.
Keep the bathroom door closed
Keep the door closed to your bathroom when you aren’t in it.
Close and lock, if possible, your cabinets and toilet
Make sure cabinets and the toilet are always closed and locked.
Lower the water temperature on your water heater
Don’t rely solely on a feel test to determine if the bathwater is too hot for baby. Lower the temperature of the water on your water heater to a maximum of 120°F and use a thermometer to measure the temperature accurately. Experts suggest going for a temperature of 100° before bathing your baby.
Place nonslip strips or mats around your bathroom and bathtub
This tip is suggested for the safety of both parent and child. Make sure you’re eliminating or reducing the chance you or your child could slip and fall in a wet bathroom.
Put medications away in inaccessible spots
Medications should be stored in the highest, lockable cupboard. Discover more tips for child safety in the bathroom.
How to Baby Proof the Kitchen
How to babyproof your home doesn’t have to be a stressful guessing game. Whether you’re stepping away from a busy toddler or cooking with kids, keep these tips in mind for child proofing your house.
Make sure dishes and glasses are out of reach
Keeping these things out of reach ensures that your child won’t accidentally drop anything on themselves or, worse yet, break glass.
Keep chemicals up high
Contrary to many household habits, keeping your chemicals under the sink is a bad idea when you have wandering children. Even if you have locks on your cabinets, place chemicals and cleaners high up and well out of reach of children.
Lock your drawers
We’ve all pinched or pinned our fingers in a drawer before. It doesn’t feel good to us, so make sure they don’t experience it for themselves. A closed drawer on a little finger could be a very bad situation.
Use knob covers on your stove
Children learn fast. They watch what parents do and they try to mimic that action. Keep your kitchen safe by covering your stove knobs with specially designed covers.
Smart Ways to Baby Proof Your Living Room
How do you baby proof a living room? Simple! By following safety checklists like this one.
Living and family rooms tend to have furniture, fixtures and other things that pose a danger to your little one. Here are some baby proof home tips to mitigate those dangers .
Place corner guards on sharp corners
One of the biggest dangers to a child are sharp corners on furniture and other surfaces. By placing corner guards around your house, you’re making sure your child doesn’t get a nasty cut from a fall and taking great steps in babyproofing your home.
Use mounting hardware on bookshelves and televisions
This one requires a little bit of handy work, but the benefits outweigh the cost. Secure your shelving and television along a sturdy wall to avoid any terrible accidents when baby looks to objects to pick itself up.
Keep cords out of sight
Wrap your cables together in a cable tie and keep them out of reach of your child.
Secure dangling objects from blinds
Once more, keep cords from blinds and other objects out of reach of your baby or toddler. There are products available that allow you to wrap and tie cables out of reach of children.
How to Baby Proof the Garage
The garage can be one of the more dangerous parts of the home for a baby or curious toddler but, with helpful tips, you can reduce safety risks at home. Following this baby proofing house checklist should be a great start on your baby safety journey.
Install a lock on the door leading to the house
The surest way to keep a curious child from the garage is by locking the door. Consider installing a lock on the garage door from the house.
Secure all tools in a locked container
Lock tools, equipment and other hazards away or place them on shelves well beyond reach.
Secure and cover garbage and recycling bins
Ensure disposal bins are covered and out of the way of a roaming toddler.
Hide those chemicals high up
All chemicals should be kept locked away or well out of reach.
Keep washing and drying machine doors fastened and locked
Always keep doors fastened and locked.
Start Baby Proofing and Ensure Safety in Your Home
Take an afternoon to put these safety checks for baby proofing your house in place — it’ll make you feel more ready for baby! Then, start to integrate these habits into your day-to-day life so that when your baby comes home with you it will be second nature.
For more safety tips, visit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Child Safety Network.
If you’re making large investments to baby proof your home, ensure that your homeowners insurance covers any new furniture or supplies. Get in touch with your American Family Insurance agent today.
Related Topics: Home DIY