As babies start to crawl, pull up on furniture, and walk, they become more mobile, and you start to realize all of the potential dangers in your home. Gone are the days when you can lay them somewhere and expect them to stay in the exact same place. It's a good idea to think about what to baby-proof before you get to the point where you HAVE to!
Here are the top 5 spaces in your home that I recommend baby-proofing regardless of your parenting approach + products to help you do it!
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1. Cabinet Locks
"Why baby-proof cabinets? I want my baby to explore!"
I get it, and so do I! However, many cabinets contain products that could greatly harm your child. It's best to ensure those cabinets are properly locked.
My favorite cabinet locks are these magnetic cabinet locks. You have to use the magnet to open it, so there's no chance of your little one figuring out how to open it on their own. It's also completely unseen from the outside of the cabinet. You can put these on any cabinet or drawer that has items inside that are dangerous for your little one (like under-the-sink cleaning supplies)
2. Anchor Furniture
Why should I anchor furniture?
Babies love to explore, tug, and climb, and furniture like bookshelves, dressers, and entertainment centers pose a HUGE tip over risk- and worst of all, they usually have lots of moving parts or products on top of them that can also cause injury.
This one may not be as obvious to some people, but furniture can be a huge safety hazard to toddlers. If furniture isn't secured to the wall, it can topple over on toddlers as they're pulling up. Later on, kids are known to try and climb on shelves as they get more adventurous. It's best to secure all of your heavy furniture to avoid it falling over. These anchors can hold up to 400 lbs and are easy to install with a screwdriver. Another option is these anchors which are damage free and so easy to install! (We used these on any furniture that we didn't want to screw into)
3. Baby Gates
Why should I have baby gates?
All it takes is one second for a baby to sneak around the corner quicker than you and slip down the stairs. It's never planned.. obviously, we make it our goal as parents to always have an eye on our kids, but when there are safety measures to ensure it WON'T happen- we should take those!
Baby gates come in handy to keep your baby from crawling into/out of a designated area. It can be a life-saving baby-proofing item, too, especially if you have stairs in your home. I like this baby gate. To me, it's more sturdy than the traditional gate that uses tension to lock in a doorway which typically ends up scratching up your doorframe.
4. Door Knobs/Oven Knobs
When is it necessary to baby-proof doors?
Well... whatever is on the other side could be a HUGE problem for baby. Do you have an entire room filled with items that could hurt baby (like a craft studio?), or in our case we have a door that leads right to a set of stairs!!
Door Knobs: These door knob covers work by requiring you to press in to grip the doorknob in order to turn it. Kids don't have hands big enough or a grip strength strong enough to be able to turn the door knob with these covers on! This would be useful to use on the inside of their bedroom so they don't leave their rooms while you're asleep or on any door leading outside your home.
Oven Knobs: This is mainly necessary if you have a stove with the knobs on the lower part of your oven. These oven knob covers come in 2 different colors to match your stove top and will keep your child from turning on your gas or electric stovetop.
Why should I baby-proof outlets?
Children can receive a dangerous electrical shock if they tamper with outlets.
Not to mention they are also everywhere, and even if you keep a good eye on baby... accidents could happen FAST.
Outlet covers are typically the first thing that parents think to baby-proof. It's one of the first hazards that are on babies eye level as they learn to crawl and roll around. I really like these outlet covers for baby-proofing. These have a resistant cover that slides over to line up with the outlet and then slides back when not in use. There are cheaper options available for the plastic inserts, but I feel like those are hard to remove when you need to use the outlet and can be easily forgotten to put back after use. Plus, as toddlers get older, it can become a game to remove them, in which case the outlet protector now becomes an interesting game!
As I've mentioned before, we're taking a Montessori approach with Adalynn. We want her to explore and learn through experiences, so we can't protect her from EVERYTHING in life. However, we also recognize the importance of protecting her from dangerous things that she's not old enough to understand could hurt her and be fatal. We don't plan on going overboard baby-proofing our house, but we do intend to implement the things I've mentioned above.
L E T ' S B E F R I E N D S!