Preparing for a baby is an exciting time for soon-to-be parents! And while decorating the nursery is one of the tasks new parents often can’t wait to tackle, there are other preparations new parents need to do to create space for their newborns—like baby proofing the home for your baby’s safety. Learn how to keep your new baby safe with these 20 baby proofing tips!
Declutter Your Home
Lots of clutter around the house can cause stress for new parents. Take out any unnecessary furniture and move items you don’t want around your newborn into temporary storage. Not only does this make more space in your home for your new baby, but it can also reduce the chances of injury. Plus, a clean home where everything is in its place will help give you peace of mind when baby proofing!
Protect Your Baby with Gates
Prevent little ones from falling down stairs or entering rooms they shouldn’t by using safety gates for babies. This will help keep tykes away from any potential dangers like climbing on exercise equipment or playing in areas with lots of foot traffic. Pressure-mounted baby gates may work well in some areas, but hardware-mounted gates are the most secure and should always be used by staircases and other places where there’s a greater risk of falling.
Set Up a Safe & Cozy Nursery
When setting up your nursery, review baby crib sets and nursery furniture to ensure they meet required safety regulations. Make sure everything is assembled properly and tighten all screws and hardware. Follow crib safety tips and nix the pillows, stuffed animals, blankets, bumpers, and other soft bedding as these items can lead to suffocation. Instead of loose blankets, opt for swaddles or wearable blankets for babies to keep your little one warm. You’ll also want to set the crib mattress to the appropriate height—and as your baby gets older and more mobile, lower the mattress to at least 26 inches below the crib side rail so they can’t climb over the side.
Use Secure Baby Monitors
Baby monitors are another great way to baby proof your home and ensure your child’s safety. There are a variety of baby monitors to consider—including audio, video, and baby movement monitors. If you want to easily keep an eye on your little one whenever they’re sleeping or playing, choose an option with a camera.
Go with Plush Toys
When designing and baby proofing a room, think about safety first—especially safe baby toys. Avoid including toys that have buttons, beads, ribbons, strings, cords, or other small items that a baby can pull off or choke on. Also, make sure toys are soft and don’t have sharp edges.
Know Ideal Home Temperatures
Your baby isn’t able to tell you when they’re too hot or too cold, so it’s important to know the baby sleep temperature guidelines. Experts say setting the thermostat between 65 and 70 degrees is the ideal room temperature for a newborn when they’re sleeping. You should also be mindful of water temperature for babies and set your hot water heater to 125 degrees to prevent burns.
Remove Peeling Paint & Repaint Walls
Particularly for older homes, it’s crucial to get any flaking or peeling paint removed by a professional before preparing the room for your baby’s arrival. Exposure to lead poisoning from paint can be hazardous to children and families. When selecting the best nursery paint colors, consider purchasing water-based paint products and baby-safe paints that don’t require primers or harmful chemicals.
Latch Doors & Drawers Shut
Child safety locks for doors and drawers are a necessity for preventing exposure to harmful chemicals, injury to your child’s fingers, and keeping your baby away from ingesting small items. You can easily baby proof cabinets and drawers by installing child proof locks on them.
Take Care of the Kitchen
When baby proofing your kitchen, make sure that the refrigerator and freezer are always closed by using a safety latch. It’s also good to ensure that kitchen tools and silverware are in locked cabinets and drawers. Another helpful tip is to use placemats instead of tablecloths at the dinner table to prevent your baby from pulling anything onto the floor.
Child Proof the Windows
Don’t forget about baby proofing the windows! Install window child locks to prevent windows from opening more than four inches—or opt for window guards, with bars spaced no more than four inches apart. Because strings and cords can be a hazard for your children, choose cordless window blinds. If you’re unable to replace your corded blinds or shades, shorten or knot the strings to keep them up where your baby can’t reach.
Baby Proof Furniture
Heavy and tall furniture can pose a great risk to your little ones, which is why you should consider furniture anchors. Whether it’s in the living room, nursery, or dining room, secure any heavy items by anchoring them to the wall. This includes bookcases, dressers, TVs and entertainment stands, free-standing coat racks, and even large wall art.
Add Cushioning to the Floors
Part of baby proofing a home is baby proofing your floor. Carpeting provides a comfortable cushion for babies who may take a small tumble. Use non-slip rugs to prevent your baby from tripping or falling on wood and tile floors. Or add another rug to carpeted areas to give some extra padding when your baby starts to move around more.
Use Caution Around Electricity
Electrical outlets and cords are so low to the ground that children can easily reach them when crawling. Block all open outlets and baby proof cords with electrical cord safety covers in your home to prevent your infant from playing with them. Outlet covers are baby proof products that are easy to install, and some even plug directly into the outlet.
Be Aware of Sharp Furniture
Collisions with furniture are always a danger for little ones, especially as they become more active. When baby proofing your home, child proof edges by adding cushioned corner guards to furniture like coffee tables, desks, and even wooden arms on chairs. Try getting down on a baby’s level to help you find all the sharp edges in your home.
Safeguard Your Fireplace
While the fireplace is a warm and relaxing place to be around, it can be very dangerous for little ones. To baby proof your fireplace, put cushions on any sharp edges of bricks or stone to prevent injuries. Also, invest in a fireplace screen or a safety gate to keep babies from playing by the fire. All fireplace tools should be relocated behind the screen or removed from the area, as well.
Baby Proof the Bathroom, Too
Bathrooms are filled with tons of things that can be dangerous for babies. One bathroom safety tip for babies is to have a toilet seat lock to avoid any accidents. Utilize knob covers or baby safety latches to prevent access into bathroom cabinets or closets. Add a non-slip bath mat to your tub to prevent your baby from slipping during bath time. Other ways to baby proof your bathroom include bathtub faucet and handle safety covers, using a child lock on the bathroom trashcan, and storing away items like pills, nail clippers, scissors, shampoo, conditioner, and such.
Hide Cleaning Supplies
Many parents opt for baby safe cleaning products that are nontoxic and eco-friendly—but even these should be stored somewhere your baby can’t reach them. When baby proofing your home, be sure to move cleaning supplies, laundry detergents, and any hazardous chemicals to higher shelves—or place them in closets with baby locks or latches on them.
Store Pet Items Out of Reach
As your little ones grow, they start to explore around the house and grab things they shouldn’t. If you have a cat or dog at home, make sure you keep pet supplies away from curious infants. A great baby proofing tip is to place pet food, water bowls, and kitty litter in an area that’s out of reach—like a pantry, cabinet, or room that’s locked or gated.
Remove Toxic Houseplants
Some plants in your home could pose a risk for little ones. When preparing for a baby, be sure to get rid of any houseplants that are toxic for children, including pothos, philodendrons, and peace lilies. If you still want to keep certain plants in your home for decor purposes, move them to high-up shelves or suspend them from the ceiling where your baby can’t reach them.
Keep Watch for Small Objects
While heavy furniture, sharp edges, and fireplaces are some obvious things that should be baby proofed, being aware of small objects around the house is just as crucial. Consider using a toilet paper tube to check for potential dangers—if an item can fit through the tube, it could be a choking hazard. Small items like candles, lighters, coins, alcohol, and pins should also be secured somewhere your baby can’t reach them.
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