Once your little one starts crawling around, you start looking at everything in your house very differently. It seems like every time you turn a corner, you spot another safety risk—the cabinets! The TV! The outlets! The stairs! It’s easy to feel overwhelmed and convince yourself that you need to lock all your stuff down… or up. But don’t worry, you’ll realize pretty quickly what dangerous things your kid is most drawn to, and then you can focus on baby-proofing those.
But in the meantime, here are some basics everyone should start with. It’s best to get these in place BEFORE your baby is fully mobile, so as soon as you think they’re getting close, you might as well go for it. And just remember, these are only temporary fixes—you will get to remove them and switch your home back to “normal” someday, we promise.
Here are 5 simple (and quick!) ways to baby-proof your home.
Put Up Baby Gates
If you have stairs in your home—or any rooms where you really want baby to be off-limits, then baby gates are your new best friend. What kind you decide to buy depends on several different factors, like the size of your door frames, the aesthetic of your home and the material your walls are made of. There are expandable ones you can pressure-mount into place, ones you can screw into place and ones you can simply move around as needed. When adding gates to baby-proof your home, be sure to also consider how easy they are to open/close one-handed and to step through/around when carrying things (like your baby!) up and down the stairs.
Cover The Outlets
This is right up there with removing any blinds with cords from your home (oh, and please make sure you do that, too!). The last thing you want is for your baby to get electrocuted by sticking their finger in an electrical outlet, which warning for you: They will definitely, definitely try to do this. You can get fancy with your covers, or keep it simple. Either way, your baby will be much safer as a result.
Lock Your Cabinets
(At least the ones at their level that you really don’t want them getting into.) The kitchen and bathrooms are good places to start. Again, there are so many different types of locks and latches you can use—some are sturdier and screwed into your cabinets; others are adhesive or magnetically activated. The good news? None of them are really expensive. We honestly think it’s totally a personal preference as to what you want to install, and it depends so much on the kind of doors, drawers and handles you’ve got… and how determined/strong your baby is. These are just a few of our favorites.
Round The Corners
If you have sharp edges in your living room (or kitchen, or bedroom), your baby will find them. It’s inevitable… and unfortunate. Spatial awareness and stability are simply not their strong points right now. But you can lessen the blow of all their bump-ins by rounding out your tables’ corners and adding some extra padding even.
Secure Your Shelves
Again, you don’t need to worry about attaching every single bookshelf and cabinet to the wall, but if there are pieces of furniture that are really unstable, you could see your kid trying to climb, or worry you for whatever reason, you should consider anchoring them down and making them more secure. (This is one are that often gets overlooked when baby-proofing your home.) Some hot spots tend to be TV stands, super-loaded bookshelves and dressers in the baby’s room. The good news is there are kits that will help you attach just about anything to the wall.
Freelance writer/editor and contributor at MamasUncut. West Coast-based, East Coast-raised. Doubled down on the parenting gig last year, with two kids under the age of 3—plus a 2-year-old black shepherd/lab mix who thinks they’re actually his babies. A good day: run, bake, eat, repeat.