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Baby-Proofing Guide for New Parents

August 20, 2020

You’ve got a crib and the perfect car seat…but has your house been baby proofed? Today, we’re recapping information from this post, and adding a few additional tips, in order to create the ultimate baby-proofing guide for new parents.

  • Tightly wind baby monitor cords, or choose a cordless option, and keep them away from the crib.
  • Keep all other cords behind furniture or in places where baby cannot reach them.
  • Instead of plastic outlet covers (which can pose a choking risk), try sliding covers like these.
  • Secure dressers and other heavy furniture to the wall.
  • Store toys in open boxes or other containers that won’t slam down on your baby’s hands. Avoid materials (like wicker) that can be easily pulled off or worn down.
  • Don’t place cribs, pack and plays, or bassinets over a vent or under or next to a window. Make sure blinds cannot be reached from inside the crib.
  • Store all cleaning supplies out of a child’s reach, or, if that’s not a possibility, in a cabinet with an effective child lock.
  • If your oven or stove knobs are within your child’s reach, try these great stove knob covers.
  • Try to keep pet food in an area that is not child-accessible, as it can be a choking hazard to your little ones.
  • If you have any sharp corners, invest in corner covers. (Especially if you have tall babies like I do.)
  • Place child locks on knife drawers, or move knives, scissors, and other sharp objects out of reach.
  • Store plastic bags, cling wrap, and aluminum foil out of your child’s reach, or lock them away with a child lock.
  • Avoid tablecloths. Babies can grab and pull a cloth—and anything on top of it—down on themselves.
  • Make sure all trash cans have a lid that is secured shut with a child lock. If trash cans are located inside drawers, make sure those drawers also have a child safety lock.
  • Make sure you store all bath products, especially bath and baby oils, in a safe spot in child-resistant packaging. Check the ingredients of your bath and baby oils for liquid hydrocarbons, as these can be very harmful to a baby’s lungs.
  • Use non-slip mats in (and out of) the tub. If you have floors that get slippery, this is especially important.
  • Cover the tub spout (with a cover like this adorable whale) to protect baby’s head in case she falls.
  • To avoid water that is too hot, always test the water temperature first. You can also set your water heater to 120 degrees F, or install an anti-scalding device to your bath spout and sink faucet.
  • Keep all cords (from hairdryers, curling irons, etc.) out of reach; they can be a strangulation and burning hazard.
  • Store razors, nail clippers, and any sharp objects out of reach.
  • If you have large areas with windows, or sliding glass doors, mark them with stickers to avoid any collisions.
  • Cut off or tie up any dangling window cords or curtain sashes.
  • Secure TVs and other heavy furniture to the wall.
  • Place tall, unsecured lamps or other decorative items behind furniture, where they can’t topple over.
  • Keep heavy items on lower, sturdy furniture, in as inaccessible a location as possible (pushed all the way back into a shelf, etc.).
  • Place corner covers on coffee tables and entertainment centers.
  • Use a baby gate to limit your child’s accessibility to the stairs. Consider the following when choosing a baby gate:
    • Are the stairs heavily used throughout the day?
    • Do you carry items like laundry up the stairs?
    • Do you need a larger area gated than just the top and bottom of the stairs?
    • Do you have any preferences on how the gate appears aesthetically?
  • Place a gate at the top and the bottom of each staircase. If possible, choose gates that fasten securely to the wall with hardware to use at the top of the stairs.
  • If utilizing a baby gate is not possible, consider placing a temporary barrier, like a solid bench or a chair placed on its side in front of the stair opening.
  • Put up a baby safety gate (like this one) around the fireplace to protect baby from burns. Make sure the gate secures to the wall on either side of the fireplace.
  • For a baby proof fireplace, put all of your sharp fire-burning tools and logs behind the baby gate or in a locked closet.
  • Store matches and gas fire keys out of reach.
  • If your fireplace is unused, such as during the summer months, you can protect your baby with a cute fireplace cover. Purchase a cover or make yourself—consider a magnetic chalkboard like this one, and use it for decoration or as a place for the kids to be creative.
  • Stepped hearths pose a danger to new crawlers and walkers. Create a baby proof fireplace by putting foam padding along the sides and corners of the fireplace.
  • Complete your baby proofing fireplace efforts with foam hearth pads that cover the top flat surface of the hearth, protecting baby from falls.
  • For a DIY hearth covering solution, place interlocking foam blocks along the top and sides of the hearth.
  • Check and clear your fireplace vents regularly, and place a carbon monoxide alarm in the same room as the fireplace. Check and replace the batteries often.
  • Secure fireplace gates closed with a specially made gate lock, or for a cheaper option keep them shut with cable ties.
  • Check for choking hazards (e.g. small toys, pet food, etc.) and ensure that these items are out of reach.
  • Ensure that all cleaning supplies and other chemicals are safely stored.
  • Where appropriate, bring and use outlet covers for accessible electrical outlets.
  • Move any plants out of your child’s reach, especially if they’re toxic.
  • When in doubt, get down on the floor at your baby’s level and examine the area for potential hazards.

Have we missed anything? What would you add to our baby-proofing guide?

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Avatar for Lauren Soderberg

Lauren Soderberg

Wife of one tall drink of water. Mama of two spunky kids. Lover of awkwardly long hashtags and unicorn emojis. And babies, obviously.

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