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I remember before I had a baby, thinking, “I’ll just teach my child not to go into my cupboards or climb on anything. I won’t be baby proofing my home.”
Once I became a mom, everything changed. The safety of this little girl I just brought into the world depended on me. Was I really going to leave it up to her “obedience” as a crawler and toddler to keep her safe? No. Way.
When the baby proofing stage approached, I asked my daughter’s pediatrician what really needed to be changed. She suggested I get on my hands and knees. See the word from by child’s perspective. Look for things they could get into. It helped a lot-and reminded me that I needed to vacuum!
Here I am, sitting in my coffee table-less living room, writing this post. A baby changes everything-including your home. All you need to do is go on Facebook and see horrific new articles about awful ways kids get hurt, or worse. I figure, if I can prevent any of that from happening, I’m going to do it. Of course I am still teaching my daughter to be safe, but my house is pretty much all baby/toddler safe.
Every home is different, but here are some general ways to keep your little ones safe!
- Lock up cupboards and drawers. Keep your kids from getting into poisonous kitchen cleaners, glassware, etc. We use and love these little guys.
- Be cautious when using your oven. If your kiddo is anywhere NEAR the oven, don’t open it.
- Use the child safety lock on your dishwasher. Newer dishwashers come with a child lock button. Use it! Wouldn’t want them to open it and take knives out!
- Place high chair in a safe place. Kids are kickers and sometimes these little kickers like to kick the table with their feet. This could cause them to fall back in their high chair or booster seat. If your high chair has a tray, have your kiddo eat off that far enough away from the table.
- Keep pot handles facing inward. Kids like to reach up and grab things. We don’t want that to be boiling water.
The Living Room
- Cover furniture corners. Kids trip and fall all the time. Even when you think they’ve mastered walking! Keep your kids from poking an eye out or splitting their forehead by putting bumpers on the corners of furniture. Or you could just do what we did and get rid of your coffee table!
- Mount furniture to walls. If you’ve got a climber, or even if you don’t, attach your fall-able furniture to the wall. This could also keep furniture from falling on little ones in the event of an earthquake. We actually have to think about those things here in California!
- Get a screen for your fireplace. If you use your fireplace, make sure there is something around it to prevent your child from getting too close.
- Put a bumper on your fireplace hearth. Our old house had a GIANT fireplace hearth. We put a gate in front of it, but if that’s not an option, attach a cover to keep tripping little walkers from bonking their heads on it like this one!
- Wrap up Blind Cords. I remember seeing a video on Facebook of a little boy who was playing with the super long cord on the blinds and accidentally hung himself on it. Thankfully his mom noticed just in time and he was fine. Scarred for life, I now am so cautious about those cords. Try to shorten them if you can, or wrap them up an put them up high and out of reach.
- Keep babies off of the couch. Thankfully, my little one never fell of the couch, but I know some friends who’s babies did! You think they can’t roll over, but all of a sudden they are on the floor. Never leave a baby unattended on a couch.
- Put up straightener and curling iron cords. I had a friend who’s little one grabbed the hanging cord of her straightener then burned her hand on it. A hospital trip and CPS visit later, all was well. Make sure the chords are all the way on your bathroom counter, not hanging down.
- Lock up your cupboards and drawers. Think of what’s in your bathroom drawers and cupboards. Hairspray, lotions, gel, jewelry cleaner, mouthwash, toilet cleaner, glass cleaner, disinfecting wipes… Lock them up or put them up out of reach! Again, these are great for cupboards and drawers, but we use these guys in the bathroom cabinets.
- Lay down bathmats and dry off your kiddo. Bathroom floors are slippery when wet. Plus, there are lots of nice, hard surfaces for kids to crack their head on. Make sure your kiddo is dry before they walk around the bathroom!
- Get a slow closing toilet lid. If you can, get a slow closing toilet lid that doesn’t slam on little fingers-especially when they are potty training!
- Lock your toilet down. You also should put a lock on your toilet if you have a kid who likes to throw things into it!
- Keep shower doors closed. I always keep our shower doors closed. The track on the bottom could do some damage if my daughter tripped and fell on it!
- Check water temperatures. ALWAYS test the temperature of the water before letting it touch your child and do not let them play with the faucets. You also could adjust the setting of your water temperature on your water heater to be extra cautious.
- Have smart bath-time habits. Do not ever leave your child unattended in the bathtub!! Even for a second!
- Practice safe sleeping. I’m not going to get into the controversial topic of co-sleeping. Whatever you do, be smart and be safe. If your baby sleeps in a crib, make sure they are sleeping on a firm mattress with just a sheet on it. Nothing else in the crib!
- Lower the crib when needed. As your little one learns to stand and grows, you will need to lower the crib so they can’t get out. Thankfully, my almost 2 year old is short and still doesn’t know how to get out of her crib.
- Keep babies off your bed. Don’t leave your little one unattended on a bed, especially if it’s tall. They could easily roll off, just like the couch.
- Attach dressers to walls. Again, we don’t want climbers to get squished by falling furniture.
- Get outlet covers. Maybe their fingers can’t fit in them, but they sure can find other things to stick in them!
- Keep your purse up. I don’t know about you, but I’ve got medicine, pepper-spray, coins and lots of other things in my purse that would not be good for my little one to get their her hands on!
- Put your child in no-slip socks. I you have a lot of hard floors, make sure the socks you buy your kiddo are no-slip. No Tom Cruising just yet!
- Put baby gates on stairs. Turn your back for a second and those little ones will bee-line straight for the stairs! ESPECIALLY have one at the top of the stairs that does not have a bar on the bottom. We love this one by Munchkin. Just make sure you install it low enough so your kiddo can’t crawl underneath! Wouldn’t want to trip and fall down the stairs!
- Put a gate up around your pool. If you have a pool and a little one, PUT UP A GATE! We had a mom in one of our mommy/baby classes who lost a child to drowning. DON’T DEPEND ON OBEDIENCE TO KEEP YOUR CHILD OUT OF THE POOL.
- Get rid of thorny plants. Even I sometimes get pricked by those boogers!
- Keep yard tools put away. Lock them up in the garage or shed.
- Be careful when barbecuing or using a fire pit. Kids shouldn’t learn the hard way to be careful around these!
- Make sure your garage door sensors are working. These things can be annoying, but they are there to keep your kid safe. Test it out every once in a while to make sure it’s working properly.
Accidents happen, but a lot of accidents can be prevented. So, get on your hands an knees and look for hazardous areas in your home. You won’t regret it! If you think of anything else I can add, send me a comment!
As a thank you for reading, here is a 100% free downloadable PDF of my Emergency Information Printable to post in your home. Make sure you let babysitter and guests know it’s there. Enjoy and stay safe!