Welcoming a new baby is the most exciting time of your life. CONGRATS! Soak up all of that newborn sweetness and cuddle time you can, because before you know it they will start putting everything in their mouths, and I do mean everything.
And then they start to crawl.
And then they start to walk.
Babies generally begin to crawl at around 8 months of age. That’s not to say that yours won’t crawl at 5 months or at 12 months, or that there is anything wrong if they do. Just about the same time crawling has been mastered, they start pulling up and walking around objects like the couch or the coffee table and around the kitchen – where there are plenty of things baby doesn’t need in his/her mouth.
You’ll want to start baby-proofing every part of your home, not just the cabinet doors and the electrical outlets. What else, you ask?
How to Baby-Proof Your Home
Baby-Proof Your Kitchen
-Do you have household cleaners under the kitchen sink? If this is where you hid all of your cleaning supplies before baby was born, you probably want to find a new area for them (at least for now). Keep the poison control number (1 (800) 222-1222) handy just in case – God forbid you DO need it, but you’ll want it handy if you do.
-Use an appliance latch like this to keep the fridge and stove shut. No broken eggs or spilled milk in your future!
-not only is it smart to remove the chemicals from your kitchen, but any cabinet that can be opened really should have a door stopper inside. These are easy for adults to open, but baby will have a hard time. If you have a handle on each door, you could use these latches to really keep baby out.
This is especially important for heavy pots and pans that could fall and injure a tiny toe.
Have a Baby-Safe Cupboard
-It is no fun for baby not to be able to open ANY of the kitchen cabinets, so maybe (if you have the space) make one that is okay for them to get into? Even turning one into a cupboard full of baby kitchen toys for the first year may be a nice distraction while you cook dinner.
Placemats and tablecloths
-What is one thing baby can reach on the table? Placemats – and most definitely the tablecloth. What will they do when they can reach it? Use it to help pull themselves up to stand, while pulling everything else along with it.
Child resistant trash can lids/locks
-Did you know they make child resistant trash can locks? Yeah, me neither – until I needed one. Along with chemicals, the last thing I wanted in my baby’s mouth was trash and other ickies. Yuck!
Baby-Proof Your Bathroom
Install a toilet seat lock
-Not only do you not want baby playing in the toilet water (have you seen this video?!), it is a drowning hazard as well. Keep a toilet seat lock on every toilet baby can find.
Baby-Proof Your Living Room
-Heavy items like televisions and stereos that could topple on top of baby need to either be anchored to the wall or mounted if possible. A TV anchor like this one works great!
Move your CD players/DVD players (BUTTONS!)
-Something about buttons. Dials, buttons, knobs all gain a baby’s interest. They will push them, turn them, pull them, twist them etc, so keep those DVD players out of reach or behind closed doors.
-When our boys were just learning to walk, we had a wooden coffee table with sharp 90 degree edges. Instead of buying an entirely new coffee table, we bought yet another pool noodle and cut it up the middle. Stuck it around the edges and voila! Safety first.
-Hide what electrical cords you can, and if you simply can not hide them, use these cord covers to remove the temptation for baby to pull on them. Or put them in their mouth.
Have a power strip? You’ll want to get a cover for the power strip too.
Baby-Proof the Rest of Your Home
Tie up (or cut) loose window blind cords
-Instead of cutting mine, I tied them up (WAY high up near the top bar) to keep them completely out of reach, then tucked them behind the top few blinds to keep them out of sight. Nowadays they make these gadgets that make it super simple.
-yes, you want one. At least one, and invest in a decent one at that. Baby gates are great to use at the top of the stairs of course, but also to separate parts of your home, put up in the back door when it is nice outside and you want the door open, to keep toys in the play room, etc. If you have dogs, these could be re-purposed later, or SOLD at a garage sale!
Door knob covers
-There are some doors you don’t want to shut/slam on baby’s fingers, and then there are ones that you don’t want them to be able to open. The cleaning supply closet perhaps? Door knob covers work great at keeping little fingers from opening unwanted doors.
-You’ll want to make sure that all exposed electrical outlets are plugged with outlet plugs. If possible, hide them with your couch or other furniture, but be sure that every outlet baby can reach is either plugged or covered (or both).
What about the outlets you’re actually using?
These outlet covers work great to keep baby away from cords while also leaving your electronics plugged in.
-use door-stops like these. If you want to be super resourceful buy just one pool noodle and cut into 4″ sections. Slice up the center and stick around the top of the door itself. No more door slamming = no more finger jamming!
Keep your purse out of reach
-If you take any kind of medication (even if the lid IS baby-proofed) or if you have hand sanitizer or make up or any other item in your purse that should not be ingested, keep the purse out of reach. More importantly, make sure your guest’s purses are kept out of reach as well.
Baby-Proof Outside Your Home
Guards or mesh on decks and railings
-We have a large deck with plenty of railing, and about a twenty-foot drop. It is imperative that the railing (the balustrade inside as well!) be covered or secured with some kind of mesh, or guard, or plexi-glass (this kind is inexpensive and have good reviews!). Choose what works best for your needs, but make it a priority.
Can you think of anything we missed? Let us know so we can add it!
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