How to Baby-Proof Your House
Before you had kids, you probably never once considered what an obstacle course of hidden dangers and hazardous materials your house was. One minute it’s just your house and the next it’s the Temple of Doom. But that comes with the territory when it comes to parenting – babies are born with an innate curiosity that tends to put them in harm’s way nearly every second of the day.
Whether it’s putting everything they find in their mouth, yanking on every cord or tablecloth they encounter or poking their fingers into those tiny slots in an electrical outlet, what we see as attempted self-destruction is just your baby figuring out how the world works.
So as a parent, it’s your job to defend them by securing your home as best you can. Here’s a room-by-room guide to keeping your baby safe.
• Most blinds are now required to have single-line cords to avoid strangulation, but some older blinds will still have a looped cord that could snare your baby. Either get new blinds or loop the cords up to keep it away from baby height.
• Anchor any bookshelves or entertainment centers to the wall. When your baby reaches a certain age, they’re going to start using them to pull themselves up. Instead, they could pull the whole thing down on top of them.
• Secure any cords, whether it’s TV connections or electrical. You can buy your baby all the toys in the world, and they’ll still just want to play with power cords.
• Did you know that a baby’s first instinct upon grabbing a pile of ashes is to see what it tastes like? Well now you do, so buy a cover for your fireplace.
• Cupboard locks can be a pain if you cook a lot, but they’re worth it. Babies love seeing what prizes await them behind those doors, and they don’t care whether it’s pots and pans or a bottle of bleach. Lock it up. PROTIP – Models that install inside the doors are great at maintaining your kitchen’s aesthetic, but they are super easy to break when you forget they’re in there.
• Remember what we said about tablecloths? Get rid of them. The kid’s just going to spit up all over them anyway.
• Place a lock on the trash can. Not that they can get up there yet, but they can pull the entire trash can down. A lock will keep the trash inside where your baby can’t play with it (and they would. You know they would).
• When cooking on the stove, use the back burners when possible. If you have to use the front burners, make sure pot handles face inward.
• Two words for you: Toilet. Lock. You might view it as just a potty, but to them it’s a treasure box filled with water to splash around in.
• Put cupboard locks in the bathroom as well, especially if you store cleaning products like toilet bowl cleaner or shower scrub.
• Keep personal grooming products as far away from the edge of the basin as possible and keep prescription medications in cabinets far above ground level.
AROUND THE HOUSE
• Install plastic covers on your outlets. Yes, this is obvious, but it only takes one outlet you didn’t think of to seriously harm your child.
• Get two sets of baby gates, one for the top and one for the bottom of the stairs. The collapsible ones work fine, but the ones that you actually install to the wall and open on hinges are infinitely more convenient.
• Put non-skid pads under all of your carpets. This is less a safety concern and more of a helpful way to keep your baby from sliding area rugs around the room. Lord knows why they do it, but they do.