When it comes to our curious babies we can never be too cautious. These 25 Baby Proofing hazards may be things that you have forgotten.
25 Baby Proofing Tips
I still remember the day that it happened! That day that I had been hoping to put off for as long as possible came in the blink of an eye. My sweet baby, who was supposed to stay small forever, decided that it was time to branch out and explore the world of crawling. He crawled earlier than my older boys so I found myself frantically baby proofing my house!
Once a baby starts crawling, it is as if a whole new world has been opened up to them and they get into EVERYTHING! And of course, everything goes directly into their mouth as well. My son literally went from rolling around a little bit to full out crawling over night and I was NOT prepared. I found myself rushing to find my outlet covers and cabinet locks but as he has become even more independent I’ve realized I had forgotten A LOT of baby hazards.
Most moms know about covering outlets and placing chemicals and dangerous objects out of arms reach for babies, but there are a lot of dangers that you might not have thought about.
Below you can read 25 Baby proofing tips and print out this free Baby Proofing Checklist to help you stay organized as you prepare your house for a busy baby.
25 Baby Proofing Tips
1-Check your doorstops for choking hazards.
Our doorstops have little plastic white caps that prevent the doorstop from beating up our walls. I saw those and I pulled and tugged to get them off and then figured they would be fine left on. Of course the doorstop was one of the first things baby found and within 5 seconds had the cap off and headed to his mouth. If you can, purchase door stops designed for babies that are one solid piece.
2-Place fridge magnets up high
I didn’t even stop to think about how much my 4-year-old loves to play with magnets and often leaves them low on the fridge. We had to move all of our small magnets and anything that had a small round magnet on the back of it that could potentially come off.
3-Move plastic and paper bags out of low drawers
I know I am not the only person to have a drawer full of grocery bags in my bottom drawer of my kitchen. I know a lot of people who have the same thing. Paper and plastic bags have a huge suffocation risk. You can always put a latch on that drawer but it’s safer just to move them to a higher place.
4-Put non-slip pads under rugs
Once baby is mobile and especially after they start walking you have to be really careful not to have rugs that could potentially slip out from under a toddling baby. An easy fix for any rug is to place a non-slip pad underneath. Also, if baby is wearing socks, make sure they have non-slip bottoms.
Mommys Helper Pack of 3 Soft Jamb Door Stops Blister, WhiteUltra Stop Non-Slip Indoor Rug Pad, Size: 4′ x 6′Wrapables Animal Fun Non-Skid Baby Socks (Set of 5)Baby 6 Pairs Pack Non-Skid Non-Slip Organic Cotton Socks 1Y-3Y
5-Use heavy-weight picture hooks to hang pictures and shelves to prevent them from falling.
We often look down when we are baby-proofing and look for things that are at baby’s level but we need to be concerned at what is above them as well. Never hang anything heavy above a baby’s crib and secure all heavy pictures or mirros with heavy duty picture hooks.
6-Use a safe toy box without a heavy lid
Baby is most likely discovering toys and after awhile will see where those toys are stored. A toy box with a heavy lid has the risk of falling and trapping baby’s neck or slamming down hard on fingers. There are many types of plastic and fabric toy boxes that work great. We have a fabric toy box and love it!
Heavy Duty MIRROR Picture Frame WALL HANGER Brass Plated HOOKHeavy-Duty Drywall Hanger Supports Up to 200 Pounds3 Sprouts Fabric Toy Chest, Elephant, GreyG.U.S. Kids Collapsible Toy Chest – Large – Ivory
7-Check houseplants and make sure they are the non-toxic variety.
8-Inspect hand-me-down baby toys.
Don’t let baby play with toys that are more than a decade old or any toys that may have paint chipping off. Older toys may have high levels of lead. Also, make sure that cords on baby toys are no longer than 7 inches.
9-Be Mindful of Batteries
Many toys have batteries and depending on the type of toy and battery, corrosion can take place a lot sooner than you would think. Make sure that the batteries are changed soon after running out and make sure none of the battery acid has leaked onto the toy.
And understand the serious complications that can occur if a child swallows a battery, especially a button battery since they are the perfect size to get lodged in their throat. I did not realize how harmful and even deadly they can be. Make sure to read up on the dangers of button batteries.
10-Stay away from Latex balloons
Latex balloons are one of the worst choking hazards because if a baby swallows a piece of balloon it can shape to the child’s throat and completely block the airway. These can also be inhaled into their lungs very easily. Make sure older children understand the dangers of latex balloons to babies. They may think they are sharing by giving baby a balloon.
11-Don’t forget about the hazards your dishwasher can pose.
When the dishwasher is open there are often sharp knives and forks at the perfect level for babies to get. Also, when the dishwasher is open it is the perfect height for a new climber to get up onto and if not properly installed, can tip over. Dishwasher soap can irritate skin and is poisonous if ingested, so make sure the soap is kept in a locked place and that any residue is cleaned out of the dishwasher. Also, use safety latches to keep the dishwasher closed.
7th Element Child Safety Locks for Latches, Cabinets, DrawersONME Baby Safety Locks-Safety Child LatchesChild Safety Locks from Safety Bambino – Latches For Baby ProofSafety 1st Multi-Purpose Appliance Latch, Black
12-Clean and Vacuum UNDER couches and side tables
You may vacuum your floor a couple times a day but if you are not cleaning under couches, rugs, tables, bookshelves, etc. you may be missing a lot of potential choking hazards. Things such as popcorn, coins, small toys, dice, game board pieces, etc (especially if you have other young kids) may have gotten lost under your couch and baby is at the perfect level to find them all.
13-Avoid using bath seats and rings
There is absolutely nothing wrong with using a bath seat or ring except that it may give a false sense of security that baby will be fine if you take your eyes off them for a minute. Not true! Once baby discovers independence, they don’t want to sit still and they could easily wiggle out of a bath seat. Babies can drown in as little as 2 inches of water. Scary!
14-Purchase a spout cover for the tub faucet
Like I mentioned in #13, babies are wiggly little things. Even if you are doing you best to hold baby securely they can slip away from you and bump their heads on the hard tub faucet. Spout coverscan be found at pretty much every baby store and are quite inexpensive.
15-Set hot water heater below 120° F to prevent scalding
16-Purchase door pinch guards to prevent fingers getting slammed.
One very simple tip I have seen is to purchase pool noodles and cut them so that you can slide one onto the door preventing it from being able to get slammed. We had to deal with our oldest getting his finger tip cut off in a door and it is NO fun!! This is so important if you have other little kids in your home of if you tend children often. You can also purchase pinch guards for relatively cheap.
17-Make sure your crib meets safety standards
Hand-me-down cribs more than 5 years old might not meet the current safety standards. Slats in cribs should be no more than 2 3/8″ apart and be wary of cribs with a drop-down side. They have actually now been banned from stores because of the number of deaths from babies falling out but if you have an older crib it may still have a drop-down side. You may want to consider getting something different.
18-Make sure to place purses, jackets and pocket books up high.
Purses or pockets of jackets can contain all sorts of poisons and choking hazards. Often we carry medication, hand sanitizer, change, hard candy, safety pins, pen caps, nail clippers, lotions, etc that could be dangerous if baby gets into them. When company comes over also offer to place their purses up high or in another room away from baby.
19-Place cleaning supplies up high but also make sure baby can’t climb to get them down.
Some babies can can climb like baby monkeys. Just because something is up high, doesn’t mean baby will be safe from it. Look in your closet and see if there are shelves, buckets, step stools, etc that baby could use to get to items in the higher shelves. If you have lower shelves, it would be quite easy for some toddlers to climb up.
20-Never leave baby alone with a family dog
We all know that most dogs can become a part of our families but we still need to remember that they are an animal. Each year over 100,000 babies are treated for dog bites and most of those bites come from dogs that are familiar with the child they bite. Never leave a baby alone with a dog and teach them to be gentle with dogs. Also keep hard dog food out of reach of baby and check dog toys for choking hazards.
21-Use a thermometer to test temperature of baby’s bathwater
I was completely surprised at how hot was too hot for baby. The temperature was a lot cooler than I would have expected. You can find simple thermometer (mine is in the shape of a rubber duck) at any store that sells baby items.
22-Purchase a toilet lock
I don’t know what it is about the bathroom but my baby is completely drawn to it. I try and just keep the door closed at all times but with 3 other children at home that’s not always possible. Purchase a toilet lock so baby can’t climb up and lift the lid and fall in. Also, teach younger kids how to use it so they can still use the bathroom.
23-Use the “toilet paper roll” rule
If a toy is small enough to fit in a toilet paper roll, it is too small for baby and can cause a choking hazards.
24-Cover radiators or heating vents which can cause serious burns.
25-Mount bookshelves, entertainment centers and kitchen range to walls.
All of those items have a high risk for tipping over and can be secured using inexpensive safety brackets. Also, secure TVs to entertainment centers and don’t place TVs high on top of bookshelves or tall dressers. Many babies have died when a TV has been tipped over on them.
It doesn’t take a lot of time to do these baby proofing items but can make a world of difference in the safety of our kids. Just in case you are a new mom and this post really stressed you out, don’t worry. Taking just a few simple precautions can help to keep your little one safe. And of course, the #1 way to keep baby safe is just by watching them closely. All the baby proofing in the world can sometimes not be enough and should never replace a parent watching their babies.
Here are some great resources that can also help keep your baby safe:
- Baby Proofing Basics: How To Keep Your Child Safe (Lansky, Vicki)
- Childproofing 101 Manual: Making Homes Safer for Kids
- The Safe Baby
- Baby Safety Book 1: How To Prevent Nursery Injuries, SIDS (Sudden Infant Death Syndrome) And Baby Sleeping Accidents
Baby Proofing Basics: How To Keep Your Child SafeChildproofing 101 Manual: Making Homes SaferThe Safe Baby: A Do-It-Yourself Guide to SafetyBaby Safety Book 1: How To Prevent Nursery InjuriesBaby Safety Book 2: How To Prevent Baby Injuries
That is a pretty extensive list but I know there are things I have missed. What baby-proofing tips do you have that I could add to the list?