Babies love to explore, but their sense of danger develops more slowly than their crawling skills. So let’s get baby proofing with our ultimate checklist.
Once your baby’s on the move, their world gets a lot bigger.
There’s so much to discover, and unfortunately that includes the delicate vase you inherited from Grandma, the bottle of cleaner under your kitchen sink, and the top of your bookshelf that’s definitely not anchored to the wall.
Thankfully, you don’t have to be a DIY whizz to baby proof a house.
It just takes a bit of organization and a few simple supplies.
So grab a screwdriver, and let’s get baby proofing!
In this article: 📝
- At what age should you start baby proofing?
- How much do you need to baby proof?
- What else could you baby proof?
- Where to buy baby proofing supplies?
- Baby proofing: A final word of advice
At what age should you start baby proofing?
Some parents like to be organized and take on their baby proofing checklist before their little one comes home from the hospital.
If the urge to baby proof your home is part of your nesting instinct and it’s going to make you feel prepared, that’s completely fine.
But the truth is that no newborn is going to open a drawer, and some of the baby proofing solutions, like door locks, can get pretty annoying for adults–especially if you then have to deal with them when you’re warming a bottle for a newborn at 2 AM.
So our advice is this:
Have baby proofing on your radar before your baby gets mobile, but save some of the simple jobs for later.
For example, here are some big things you can take care of before baby is born:
- Take an hour to reorganize some of your cupboards to put your cleaning supplies and medicines out of reach.
- If you have any big baby proofing household purchases to make, like a pool fence or alarm, research those as soon as you can.
- If you’re buying new furniture, secure it to the wall as you assemble it.
Otherwise, save the drawer locks and coffee table bumpers for when baby is more like six months old.
You don’t really have to worry about protecting the corners of your furniture or locking your cutlery drawer until your baby’s somewhere between rolling over and starting to crawl.
How much do you need to baby proof?
When it’s time to start baby proofing your house, your personal checklist depends on your home and your stuff.
But here are some things that you won’t want to miss:
1. Their bed
If your baby is mobile enough that you need to baby proof, they’re strong enough to try to escape from their crib.
So now’s the time to move them out of the bassinet or drop the base of their crib.
2. The changing table
Once babies can roll, they can fall off the changing table.
You can baby proof your changing station by organizing your supplies so that you can change a diaper without ever having to turn your back.
3. The blinds
The cords from window blinds are a strangulation hazard.
Now’s the time to tie them so they’re of reach, or cut the cords completely and use special breakaway tassels.
4. The stairs
If your home has stairs, you’ll need stair gates at the top and bottom.
Even small babies can learn to climb up stairs, but they will probably be toddlers before they can safely come back down on their own.
5. The exits
Whether that’s your garden gate, the fence around your pool, your windows, or any other way they could leave the area while your back is turned.
We’re talking wall sockets and extension cords. It’s easy to buy caps that prevent anyone small and curious from sticking something into the outlet.
And while you’re dealing with electricity, it’s also worth securing cables to the wall – both to avoid a strangulation risk and because a baby tugging on a loose power cord could set off a very expensive chain reaction of things falling off your desk.
7. The stove
If you can’t block their access or keep your baby in a playpen while you cook, you can get an extra “wall” to go around the front of the stove to stop their little hands from reaching up.
It’s also a good idea to consider protectors for the dials so they can’t turn it on, especially if you cook with gas.
8. Hot water
Some systems allow you to adjust the thermostat so that your water can never run over 120 degrees.
9. Anything poisonous
We’re talking medicines, cleaning products, chemicals you might have in a tool kit or for the garden, and even things like hairspray or nail polish remover in the bathroom.
They should be out of reach or, if possible, in a locked cabinet.
10. House plants
Speaking of toxins, a surprising number of plants can make a baby sick, including ZZ plants and Monsteras.
And finally, if you possibly can, you should secure tall pieces of furniture to the wall, especially bookcases and free-standing wardrobes.
Dressers can also be really dangerous to small, climbing children because they become “staircases” when the drawers are pulled out.
What else could you baby proof?
What other baby proofing items might you need?
And what are the best baby proofing products for the things you use every day?
Let’s keep going with some of the easier fixes:
11. Drawers and cupboards
If you can’t move the contents out of reach, secure your drawers and cupboards with magnetic or clicking locks.
Just be warned – you will probably forget that you’ve done this, and the clips can break if you open the locked drawer too quickly on autopilot.
Maybe buy a few spares while you’re at the hardware store.
12. The toilet
You might want to get a clip to secure your toilet seat.
It protects their fingers and keeps them out of the toilet water.
Another top tip from parents who’ve been there – put the toilet brush somewhere they won’t be able to find it.
Pad the corners of your furniture so that when your newly walking toddler falls straight into the pointy edge of the coffee table, the bump on the head is less dramatic.
You can buy foam protectors that slide on and stop doors from slamming.
These are a great idea if there’s a draft in your home, or if your baby has an older sibling who likes to slam doors when they want privacy.
Where to buy baby proofing supplies?
Not sure where to buy baby proofing supplies?
Either from your local hardware store, from your favorite furniture manufacturer (wall fixings are usually included for large items), or, of course, online.
Baby proofing: A final word of advice
This list is the essentials, but you can pretty much guarantee that your little one is going to make some unanticipated mischief out of something that you’d never considered before.
So be ready to adapt your baby proofing every time they learn a new skill.
Likewise, it’s worth constantly checking their toys and the things on the floor, just in case something becomes damaged and turns itself into a choking hazard.
So enjoy this new phase in your little one’s life.
They probably won’t keep you on your toes like this forever, and you’re doing an amazing job.
👶 More baby milestones:
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When Do Babies Lose Their Hair? And Why?
When Do Babies Crawl?
When Do Babies See Color?
When Do Babies Start Talking? A Guide for Mamas
When Do Babies Walk? The Timeline for Toddling
When Do Babies Say Mama?
When do Babies Eyes Change? We Asked the Expert!
When Do Babies Stop Spitting Up?
When Do Babies Start Cooing?
When Do Babies Get Kneecaps?
When Do Babies Grow Hair?
When Do Babies Clap?
When Do Babies Start Dreaming?
When Do Babies Make Eye Contact?
What Are the Different Stages of Crawling?
When Can Babies Eat Baby Food?
When Do Babies Start Laughing?
Baby Growth Spurts: What are the Milestones?