How many times have you asked yourself these questions within the span of your last trimester? – “How to baby proof my home?” or “What are some easy to refer baby proofing ideas?” Have you seen an innocent object around the house and thought, “Is this hazardous to my baby?”
It is not our intention to scare you, but when it comes to our precious little bubs, it is always best to be over-prepared rather than under or even unprepared. So here's a handy baby proof checklist for you to refer to before and after the baby arrives.
How to baby proof my home: Before the baby arrives
Baby proof my home: General
- Make sure all baby products you purchase comply with the government safety guidelines.
- Install Carbon Monoxide and smoke detectors on every floor of the house if you already have not.
- Put safety covers on all electrical outlets.
- Secure the cords of window blinds away from the baby’s reach, or even better, upgrade them to cordless blinds.
- Install fireplace screens.
- Purchase and keep a small fire extinguisher.
- Have emergency contacts in ready to dial mode (even when the phone is locked)
- Fix all peeling paints, scrapped furniture, loose nails, etc.
- Cover sharp furniture edges with padding. Install guards and stops on all drawers and cupboard doors.
- Secure all rugs with non-slip pads.
- Do not leave coins or any small objects around on tables or other easily accessible places.
Baby proof my home: Nursery
- Ensure the baby cot is compliant with the current Australian and New Zealand Standards (AS/NZS 2172) and AS/NZS 2195).
- The crib slats should not be more than 2.5 inches apart, and there should be no gaps between the mattress and the crib.
- Secure all the furniture like dressers and bookshelves onto the wall
- Install safety guards on the windows.
- Keep the blankets, pillows, and toys a safe distance away from the crib.
Baby proof my home: Car
- Hire an expert to install a car seat in your vehicle. We recommend that you go for a rear-facing car seat.
- If you prefer installing the car seat yourself, please refer to the guidelines here and here.
- Affix stick-on sun shades to the windows to block out harsh sunlight.
- Double-check the insides and make sure there are no small objects that can pose as a choking hazard within the baby’s reach.
How to baby proof my home: After the baby starts moving
Baby proof my home: General
- Move all knives, medications, matches, tools, sharp objects, and other dangerous items to drawers and cupboards out of the baby’s reach.
- Put foam door pinch guards on all doors.
- Secure the TV to the wall.
- Hide all electrical cords away from the baby’s reach, preferably behind heavy furniture. Unplug all electrical appliances that are not in use and store them away.
- Move tall, wobbly lamps behind heavier furniture.
- Ensure any container having water in it - glass, buckets, and everything in between - are closed.
- If you have firearms, keep them unloaded, trigger locks activated, and locked in a gun safe.
- Place pet food and water out of the baby’s reach.
- Make sure the photo frames are well out of the baby’s reach.
- While changing batteries on toys, ensure you safely discard the used ones immediately, especially if they are the small round button batteries.
- If you have a non-tempered glass coffee table, it is advisable to put it away or upgrade to a tempered glass top.
- It is crucial not to let the baby use balloons and crayons unsupervised.
- Create a safe spot for the babies within your eyesight when you are on your chores.
Baby proof my home: Kitchen
- Place lockable covers on garbage cans, or move garbage cans inside latched cupboards.
- Install a latch for refrigerator, oven doors, stove guard for burners, and covers for stove & oven knobs.
- Remove tablecloths and table runners.
- Keep all utensils, plates, and cutlery towards the back of the kitchen counter or center of the table.
- Keep the dishwasher locked and all appliances out of reach.
Baby proof my home: Nursery
- Remove all dangling objects from above the crib.
- Keep the mattress low enough to prevent the baby from climbing out.
- The crib should not be near any object that can be used to climb in or out.
- Keep the changing table supplies at a reachable distance from you, but not the baby.
Baby proof my home: Bathroom
- Medicines should be kept in boxes and jars with baby proof tops and stored out of the baby’s reach.
- Place soft or foam covers on the knobs and spouts in the bath.
- Add non-slip mats inside and outside the tub.
- Affix safety locks on toilet seat covers.
- Unplug and store hazardous items like hot dryers, curling iron, straighteners, razors, etc.
- Make sure all puddles are cleaned immediately.
Baby proof my home: Stairs
- Affix baby gates at the top as well as the bottom of every staircase.
- Close open space (more than 4 inches) between railings with plexiglass.
- If you don’t have it, consider carpeting the stairs as it is softer on the baby’s knees and palms than hardwood.
- Do not let toys or any items accumulate on the stairs.
- It is also best to remove any potted plants that you might have on the stairs.
Baby proof my home: House Exterior
- Install sturdy fences and secure gate latches.
- Empty the wading pools and make sure they are stored upright when not in use.
- If you have a pool, affix a fence at least 4 feet in height.
- Run a rain check (literally) and snow check and make sure there’s no water stagnation anywhere.
- Secure all garden tools away from baby’s reach.
- Install safety alarms on the doors leading to outside of the house – both front and back.
Baby proof my home: Car
- Activate child lock and window locks on the doors.
- Make sure the car seat is rotated from rear to front as per the regulations.
- Secure seat belts that are not in use.
- Make sure you take any keys from the car with you when you get out. Even otherwise, ensure no loose keys are around within the baby’s reach.
- Check the working of the garage door safety sensor every day.
- Though obvious, we say it once - Never leave your baby in the car alone.
Baby Proof Checklist - Top 10 Baby Proofing Products
Baby proof carpeting
Tiled and hardwood floors are hard on babies’ soft knees. Provide sufficient cushioning for your crawling baby with carpets soft enough for babies.
We have seen viral videos where babies have stuffed the toilet bowls with their toys. Prevent your baby from getting anywhere near the bowl with a toilet lock that can be easily detached in one hand by the adults.
Baby proof corner guards
Prevent those boo-boos for your little ones when they stumble into the sharp corners of tables and counters as they learn to walk or run. Secure those corners with safe yet trendy corner guards.
Furniture wall anchors
Furniture like bookshelves, tables, chairs, dressers tend to topple over when pulled even by a toddler. Secure them to the wall with heavy-duty metal safety straps.
Childproof light switch
All toddlers are drawn towards those electrical sockets, and they just cannot resist putting their fingers inside. Upgrade to a childproof light switch that comes with a sliding cover that closes immediately on removing a cord. It also doubles up as a sufficiently bright night light.
Magnetic lock system
The cabinets and cupboards we keep our cookware, cleaning supplies, small appliances, and cutlery drawers are extremely dangerous for children as they are always within their reach. Secure them with a magnetic lock system designed to baby proof cabinet & cupboard doors and drawers.
Baby proof doorknob cover
One of the best baby proofing ideas is to keep your child away from the rooms entirely. Secure baby hazardous places like the kitchen, garage, basements, etc., with doorknob covers so that they cannot turn the knob at all.
Door lock & pinch guard
Door locks and pinch guards also block babies’ access to doors. Additionally, they also protect their hands from getting caught between closing doors as they always keep the door from closing fully.
A baby gate is essential if you’re thinking about things that answer that niggling doubt of “how to baby proof my home?”. Affix tall and sturdy gates on top & bottom of staircases, doorways, and hallways to prevent your toddler from walking into places they should not. Retractable gates are another option you can consider too.
Yes, fireplaces are cozy and warm, but babies do not know how close is too close. Add a wall-mounted, heavy-duty, wrought iron fence around the fireplace to prevent your bub from reaching out to the fire while keeping them warm enough.
Should you baby proof your house?
Preventable injuries are among the leading killers of children across the world. Children are very curious and would love to experiment and learn about the world around them. They do not possess the knowledge about danger as we do. And as a parent our foremost thought about our babies is their safety. Baby proofing helps avoid many preventable injuries, so yes it is best to baby proof your homes even as early as halfway through the pregnancy.
How can I safely proof my house with a baby?
Children are inquisitive and want to explore and experience everything around the house. One tip on the best way to see where all you have to baby proof in your home is to get on all fours and crawl around the house to get a perspective of the surroundings in the eyes of your baby. Then follow the baby proof checklist above to ensure all loose ends are tied up, and your baby has a safe haven.
How much does it cost to baby proof a house?
On an average, it costs between $190 to $635 to baby proof a house on your own. You can also set a budget and hire a professional baby proofer to do it for you, like Baby Safe Homes, First Steps Safe Steps, etc.