Every first time mom worries about baby proofing their home. They look around their house and wonder “how am I going to protect this baby?”. Mama, relax. Your baby is going to be just fine. I'm going to help you figure out exactly what you need in your baby proofing kit from the newborn stage through toddlerhood.
Instead of stressing out and spending a bunch of money on baby proofing products that you don't need, make your own baby proofing kit with these simple tips.
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Make a Baby Proofing kit
Baby proofing your home is a lot easier than you might think. And even better? It doesn't need to be done all at once.
By the time you bring your baby home, you don't need to inconvenience yourself with baby gates and toilet locks that will only frustrate you and make your life harder. Having a newborn at home is already hard enough. No need to give yourself obstacles that are benefiting no one, right?
That being said, safety measures for baby are absolutely essential! Creating a solid baby proofing kit is a great idea.
To make your life as easy and stress-free as possible (yes, please!), you can put all of these items on your baby registry before baby comes or you can stock up slowly based on what you need at what stage.
for Birth – 3 months
At this stage of your baby's life, all he is doing is being carried around by you and lifting his head off of his tummy time mat. There isn't much that pose a real danger to your babe at this point as long as you have a watchful eye on him, as I know you do.
Babies that are 0-3 months old can't get from one place to another so as long as you place your baby in a safe space, he will stay there! By the way, I am SO not giving you permission to place your newborn somewhere high of the ground because he can't move or fall. No. No, no no. Common sense is still needed at this point in motherhood.
That being said, there are just a couple of things that you'll need out of your baby proofing kit at this point.
Bath Water Thermometer
A baby bath safety thermometer is super-helpful when it comes to getting their bath water just right. A baby should be bathed in water that is between 90 and 102 degrees Fahrenheit. I loved having a bath safety thermometer in the tub for my son. It is an essential item for your baby proofing kit AND a fun bath toy that will entertain your baby in the tub.
Although your baby won't be pulling on furniture any time soon, I would not feel comfortable with a baby lying or playing around furniture that was not anchored to the wall. Make sure all top-heavy furniture like dressers, cabinets, and bookshelves are safely anchored with the appropriate tools so that they cannot fall over and crush your baby.
Most furniture comes with anchoring tools along with the packaging. If it does, make sure you use it. The anchors that come with the furniture are usually the most safe and reliable way to make sure the piece of furniture stays put against the wall.
If your furniture is not new or doesn't have anchors that come with it, you can always buy generic furniture anchors on amazon.
A Safe Sleep Space
One way to baby proof your home is to make sure your baby has a safe place to sleep. There isn't just one way to go about this. You can use a crib, a Pack n' Play, a bassinet, or for some mothers, a co-sleeper.
- Related Read: How and Why To Become a Bed sharing Co-Sleeper
The most important thing is that you can be sure that your baby has a safe place to lay on his back, away from bedding or loose items that pose a suffocation hazzard and away from danger.
Rear-facing Infant Carseat
If you're baby proofing your home, you might as well baby proof your car too. This is probably the most important and essential baby proofing item on the list! You can't go anywhere or do anything outside of your home without a rear-facing carseat that meets all infant safety standards.
Make sure that you have a safe place for your baby to ride and be certain that it is correctly installed before you trust it with your baby's life.
3 – 6 months
Alright, mama, your baby is starting to roll around and might be able to get from one place to another quicker than you anticipate. You baby has more control over his arms and legs and although he can't quite stand yet, he can reach up and pull at things that are in reach.
Cover all outlets that are even remotely within baby's reach. Don't just cover the ones in the nursery, either. Make sure that all outlets in the rooms where your baby ever finds himself are covered. That means the kitchen, bathrooms, playrooms, living room, and any bedrooms that he might end up in.
Cover all outlets within reach with safe and convenient outlet covers that you can buy in bulk. My advice is to buy more than you need! Somehow, these things get misplaced every time I remove one to temporarily plug in a charger or something. I'm always dipping into my stash of outlet covers.
I'm in love with whoever invented baby gates with doors on them. It's so easy to navigate! No longer are the days that you have to remove the gate every time you want to enter into a no-go zone.
All you have to do is install the gate once and then leave it there for the next few years while you are in the “I don't trust you with the stairs” stage. On many baby gates now, there are easy to function, baby-proof doors that allow you to get through a million times a day.
Buy enough baby gates to keep all parts of your home as safe as possible for your baby. The obvious areas for baby gates are at the top and bottom of the stairs. Other important spots to evaluate for the need of a baby gate are the laundry room, the pantry, or any other rooms that are off limits to baby and can't be locked.
My son is almost three years old and I still use these things to this day. I started using them early on when I realized that babies love to put their weight on open doors and scare you half to death when the door slams and almost catches their tiny fingers.
Put the door stoppers on the door when you want to leave easy access to the rooms you want to leave open and keep their fingers safe.
Oven and Dishwasher Locks
When babies start to pull up, they like to grab onto the most dangerous things to leverage themselves.
The last thing that you want is your baby trying to pull on the oven door when you're cooking dinner or the dishwasher door when it's on the steam cycle.
Even if the dishwasher is finished running, if there are knives or other sharp objects left in the dishwasher, they will be at the perfect height for baby as soon as he get's the door open.
These latches were life savers in my family! I love having them latched onto the oven. They keep my son from opening the oven door while I'm cooking and it's really easy to unlock when I need to get into the oven myself. Convenience is key! This is just one of those items in your baby proofing kit that is all-around wonderful.
Your baby is at the perfect height to pull open your kitchen cabinets and start getting into all the most-breakable items.
I would lock all kitchen cabinets so that your baby gets the idea that they are off limits. But if you really just want minimal latches in your kitchen, make sure you are at least latching the cabinets under the sink, any cabinets with chemicals or cleaning products, and cabinets with items that may pose a choking hazard or may cause cuts or burns if baby gets a hold of anything inside. Think about where your glass bowls, knives, the blender blades, pizza cutters, etc are located.
Replace Your Door Stops
Have you ever noticed that the door stops behind your doors have a tiny white piece at the tip? That is what you call a choking accident waiting to happen. These door stops are at the perfect height for little crawlers to get a hold of. All they have to do is get their little fist around the tip and pull it off. Now they've got a piece of plastic that is the perfect size to make your heart skip a beat when it's headed straight for their mouth the moment you look away.
Instead of waiting for this to happen, invest in some solid door stoppers that don't have a removable tip at the end of them. These ones on amazon will do the trick and keep your baby safe.
for 6-12 months
This baby is getting into everything! In this short time frame your baby is speed crawling, standing, and even walking in some instances. They can get into most things and therefore, need a few more things in their baby proofing kit to protect them.
So you might have gone ahead and latched your drawers when you did your cabinets. But you haven't yet, you're in luck. I have a secret weapon baby proofing item that I absolutely love.
I have latched all of my “danger drawers” that have items such as knives, scissors, paint, markers, or anything else that I don't want my baby's little hands on with a magnet latch.
Magnet drawer latches are the best. They come with a little “key” that you can stick to your fridge or any other magnetic surface out of your baby's reach and use it to open the drawer when you need it without worrying about your baby “figuring out” how to unlatch the drawer.
Blind Cord Winder
Blind cords are one of those things that don't seem like they would pose a danger to your child but they can actually be deadly.
Be sure that none of your blinds have long cords that your baby can reach. If when your blinds are pulled up, the cord is long enough for your baby to get a hold of, then you need to wind up your cords to keep your baby protected from strangulation. Even just a little bit of slack can mean the worst day of your life if your baby accidentally gets wrapped up in it when you or the sitter isn't looking.
Don't worry, mama, its an easy fix with these simple winders that you can use.
Bathtub Spout Soft Cover
Before this time, your baby is probably going to be propped safely in an infant tub and unable to hit their head against the bath spout. At this point, however, your baby might be more inclined to move around, lean forward, or tilt backwards as he plays and splashes in the bath.
There is a super-simple and cute solution to this potential problem. They sell tons of different kinds of bath spout covers that are soft yet sturdy enough to protect your baby's little noggin.
Put Non-Slip Pads Under Rugs
Since your baby is learning to walk at this point, it's best to make it as easy and safe for him as possible.
Make sure that all of your rugs are secure with a non-slip mat beneath it. These mats are easy to find, inexpensive, and total life savers that you won't even notice are there. Of course, you won't be able to see the mat once it's placed and they are so thin that you don't feel it either. This is one of those things in your baby proofing kit that is a no-brainer. Win-win all around with literally no down side.
Baby proofing items for toddlers
Here is where the real trouble begins. After your baby turns one or once they are able to get around on two feet, they are suddenly able to get into all of the places that you've been blissfully unaware are unsafe until now.
Soon your baby will learn how to open the doors in your house. They may even be able to figure out how to get out of the house. These little guys might start to find interest in windows if you're not careful, too.
Let's talk about how to keep your baby safe as he enters into toddlerhood.
Door Knob Covers
This is one of those things that everyone has told you that you need from the beginning, right? Well, I'm sure that by this point your glad you didn't use this item out of your baby proofing kit just yet because that would just mean that you would be having to open baby-proofed doors for a year without a baby that could even turn a knob.
Well, now they can.
Put door knob covers on the laundry room door, the bathroom doors, or any other doors that you don't want your baby to be able to go in and out from without your assistance.
For a while, our household had door knob covers on every knob. At this point it is only on a few select doors for specific reasons. Either way, they are a really important way to baby proof that you will probably be using for years to come.
There are many different door knob covers out there. They are probably all the same but these are the ones that I use in my house.
Stove Knob Covers
If you have a stove with knobs on the front like I do, then these are THE BEST. I am thankful for these little suckers every day. Those darn knobs are at the perfect height for play time! It would be so, incredibly easy for your toddler to twist the knob and turn on the stove without you knowing. Even while you are cooking at the stove, you don't want them turning the heat up or down when you are in the middle of making a meal.
All around, you are going to love these awesome pieces of your baby proofing kit. You'll love them for their convenience. You'll love them for their safety. Seriously.
We have a two story home, so this is extremely important for us. Even if you have a one story home, making sure your windows are secure is essential when attempting to keep your baby safe.
So, you can find window locks for any type of window. Whether you have a vertically opening window or a a horizontally sliding window, there are plenty of lock options out there for you to choose from.
What really matters is that you're locking the windows at a point where a baby could not fall out, slip through, or even crawl out of if they are on a mission.
Also look for locks that are easily installed and then allows you to disable the lock easily when it is safe for you to open your window to a wider point.
I know I say it all of the time, but convenience is key. Just not when it sacrifices safety.
Below are a couple good options for window locks depending on what type of window you are trying to secure.
Install Out-Of-Reach Door Locks
During the toddler stage, there is no way to be sure that your baby is safely inside the house unless your eye is physically on them or you have a lock that is completely out of reach. These little trouble makers can open almost any door standing in their way!
I feel that having lock on your door that is out of reach for children is essential for every household, but especially if you have a pool, rowdy dogs, or have other immediate dangers outside.
Sliding glass doors have an easy fix with these sliding glass door locks. They are easy to install, convenient for you, and safe for your kiddos.
Safe Toy Boxes
Safe toy boxes are easy to find now a' days. You can find soft closing toy boxes, toy boxes that leave a gap between the lid and the box to prevent smashing fingers, and of course, you can find cloth toy boxes that have no risk of injury if the lid closes too quickly on their little hands.
I chose a toy box that has the space between the lid and the box. It's functional and large enough to store all of my son's toys and it still looks good with the decor of our living room.
If you already have a toy box in mind and it doesn't fit the bill for safety, not to worry. You can baby proof your toy boxes by buying your own soft close hinges and installing them now!
Other important baby proofing tips
Not all baby proofing advice requires a baby proofing kit. Sometimes it's just common sense, other times it's things that you need to do without having an product to go along with it.
These few reminders are exactly what I'm talking about.
Cutter in all forms can be a danger for little ones. Clutter around the house and on the floor can hide choking hazards that you weren't aware were there. Trust me, babies and toddlers find things you never knew you had until they are trying to put it in their mouth.
Clutter on stairs and in hallways pose falling risks for you while you are holding your babe and for your toddler who's just learning how to keep his balance.
Remember to de-clutter your decor as well. I don't think that you need to get rid of everything that makes your house a home, but you should have a minimalist approach when putting out decor that is breakable or in reach for your little one.
Set Water Heater To Below 120 degrees Fahrenheit
Setting your water heater to a safe temperature prevents accidental scalding during bath time. I know that you bought your bath thermometer as a part of your baby proofing kit, but just in case grandma is giving a bath and forgets to check the temperature before dunking your baby's feet in, it's best to have backup safety measures in place.
Remove Table Cloths
If your table cloth hangs over the edge of the table, it poses a risk for your baby. Your baby or toddler can reach up and pull on a table cloth resulting in broken glass or hot food spilling on and around your unsuspecting child. They don't realize that pulling on a soft cloth is going to result in injury. You might not even realize it.
Don't let the accident happen before you make the change. Get rid of long, hanging table cloths now.
Keep Laundry Room Off-Limits
The laundry room is one of the most dangerous places in your house.
If you have a door on your laundry room, then you're in luck. All you have to do is put a door knob cover on it and you're good-to-go. If there is no door to where you keep your washing machine, dryer, and chemicals, then you're going to need a baby gate to keep baby away.
Why worry about it?
Well, laundry pods are deadly if ingested. It's easy for a child to mistake a colorful pack of laundry detergent as something sweet to eat. The same goes for any type of detergent though. Whether you are using powder, liquid, or packs, make sure that you are storing all laundry room chemicals high up and in a locked cabinet.
Secure all medications and chemicals
The laundry room is not the only place where dangerous chemicals exist. Your every-day medications, supplements, toiletries, and cleaning products can be deadly if your baby gets ahold of them.
Make sure anything that can be ingested and shouldn't be, is put high up and/or in a locked cabinet.
Place Fridge Magnets Up High
Magnets can pose serious risk to babies and children if ingested. Make sure all magnets are placed high up on the fridge where your baby or toddler cannot reach them and get rid of all tiny, swallowable magnets that you might have in the house. There really is no need for mini magnets holding up your to-do list.
Instead, get large magnets that are easily spotted when they fall on the floor or get misplaced.
Store All Batteries Up High or in a Locked Drawer/Cabinet
Batteries should be treated as chemicals. That means stored high or in a locked drawer or cabinet away from your child's reach.
Ways you can stay battery-safe:
- Double check that your TV remotes have safely secured backs
- Ensure that all of your baby's toys have new, working batteries
- Get rid of any baby or toddler toys that require batteries but do not require a screwdriver to access the batteries. If the battery access is easy, the toy isn't worth it.
Use The Toilet Paper Roll Rule
Speaking of toys that aren't worth it, if the item doesn't pass the toilet paper roll test, get rid of it or get it out of your child's reach.
All you have to do is see if the item is small enough to pass through a toilet paper roll. If it can, it's too small and is a choking hazard for your baby.
Store Plastic Bags in an Inaccessible Cabinet
Keep all plastic including plastic bags, plastic wrap and grocery bags in a safe place that your kids cannot access. Plastic may intrigue a fun-loving baby but can be deadly if put over their head or face.
Avoid Latex Balloons
The ironic thing is that latex balloons are commonly around babies and small children. Honestly, latex balloons are one of the most dangerous choking hazards that your baby can get their hands on. If the balloon pops, your baby or toddler can get a piece of the balloon lodged in their throat, cutting off their entire airway. Even if they don't actively choke, a small piece can get inhaled into their lungs causing serious problems.
Make Sure You Have Functioning Alarms
Before you bring baby home, as you get your baby proofing kit ready to go, go ahead and double check your smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors while you're at it. This can save yours and your baby's life in case of an emergency.
Do you know when to get everything done?
There is a lot to think about when preparing for a new baby. Keep track of all of your to-do lists and checklists with The Ultimate Pregnancy Journal and Planner.
Baby Proofing Kit
I hope this helped you put together a baby proofing kit that you can actually use. I don't want you to stress about getting everything perfectly ready before the baby comes but this might help you figure out what is at the top of your priority list.
The most important thing when keeping your baby safe is to keep your watchful eye on them. You are the best thing that they have to keep them away from danger. Everything else that ends up in your baby proofing kit is for your convenience and will absolutely make your life a tiny bit easier.
Don't forget to download your baby proofing kit checklist to make sure you have everything you need ready for when you need it.
What's in your baby proofing kit? Let me know in the comments below!
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