Do you ever feel like the baby books didn't prepare you for the havoc that would ensue the moment your sweet little bundle of joy became mobile? Don't you worry, mama; help is on the way! We're about to share some of the most brilliant baby proofing tips of all time.
Recently, a Freeb posted this frantic message on our Facebook page: “I need a baby gate to go around our entertainment center…the problem is I don't want to spend 100+ dollars on it!!! Any tips?”
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As it turns out, we did have a pretty genius tip! So here it is: grab some lattice (it's cheap) from a home improvement store, heat specific points to get it to bend and fit around your entertainment center, and then spray paint it to match your decor if you'd like. Finally, attach it with zip-ties, and ba-da bing, ba-da boom, you're done!
Well, as we were sharing that golden tidbit of advice, we started thinking about more hacks we've tried over the years, and we decided to write a whole post about it. So, whether you're a mom to a new baby or you're in the thick of the toddler years (we're sending you good vibes!), this post is for YOU. Keep on reading for amazing baby proofing tips that work for any budget.
ROOM-BY-ROOM BABY PROOFING TIPS
Okay, it goes without saying that you need to keep cleaning supplies and medicines away from little hands, but keeping a tiny Houdini out of harm's way is easier said than done! There is SO much to think about. So much. That's why we decided to break it down for you room-by-room. First up, let's start in the kitchen!
HOW TO BABY PROOF YOUR KITCHEN
When you're trying to get dinner on the table, and you've got mobile babies roaming around, things can get pretty dang stressful. Take some of the worries away with these baby proofing tips:
- Cabinets – Skip the other cabinet devices and head straight for the magnetic locks. They might cost a little more, but they WORK. You need them. Trust us. Aside from that, designate one cabinet as a baby and toddler-safe zone. Fill it with paper plates, Tupperware, etc., and let them go to town!
- Drawers – Here's a budget-friendly hack: use the velcro strips that work for hanging art to secure your drawers.
- Pantry – We may or may not have found a toddler or two in the pantry trying to snack on dog food. Lesson learned: keep any food that's down low in an airtight, kid-proof container! But another thing? Secure the doorknob. You can buy a cheap doorknob cover on Amazon or use zip-ties in a pinch.
- Fridge – Make sure your fridge is bolted into the wall, and if you have a water dispenser and ice maker on it, lock it!
- Oven – Do yourself a favor and buy one of these $8 oven door locks.
- Stove – This might sound crazy, but take those knobs off! Don't worry; you won't damage your stove! Just screw or pop them off, then keep them in a high cabinet near your stove and attach them when you're cooking. By the way, as you're cooking, be sure to point any pot handles in vs. out. And this goes without saying, but never leave a stove unattended with kids in the house!
Feeling better about the kitchen? Then let's move on to every toddler's favorite room: the bathroom!
BABY PROOFING TIPS FOR THE BATHROOM
Give a toddler access to a roll of toilet paper or a toilet to splash in, and they just can't resist! But since those toilets pose a major safety hazard and toilet paper is dang expensive, here are for baby proofing tips to try:
- Toilet – If you can't keep your bathroom off-limits, then a toilet lid lock is well worth the investment! Have a kid who loves to flush? Amazon sells toilet handle locks, too.
- Bath – Once your kid figures out how to turn on the bathwater, things get really scary! So, here are the top tips for babyproofing that bathtub! First, be sure to put a slip-proof mat on the bottom of your tub to prevent any bathtime falls. Second, put a protective cover over the spout to avoid head injuries. Check out these super cute spout covers! Last but not least, consider covering your bath knobs with plastic doorknob covers. They work like a dream!
- Cabinets – Remember the tip we shared about using magnetic locks in the kitchen? That advice applies to the bathroom, too.
- Trashcan – Actually, this tip also works in the kitchen! Make sure your trash bins have child safety locks. Busy hands + curious minds can spell trouble, so just say no to the open containers!
- Toilet Paper Roll – You could buy a product, but we've yet to find one that works great! Instead, consider moving your toilet paper holder just a bit higher so those tiny hands can't reach it.
HOW TO BABY PROOF YOUR LIVING ROOM & BEDROOMS
Okay, when it comes to the main living spaces, like the family room, living room, or bedrooms, what are the main things to consider? Here are our top tips:
- Outlets – We don't know why, but every kiddo seems to love outlets, so make sure to plug or cover them all! You can get a huge bag of outlet covers from Amazon, your hardware store, or Costco. They're cheap and well worth the peace of mind!
- Window Coverings – Many parents don't think about how hazardous blinds and window coverings can be. Make sure to keep any cords out of reach. Pull-down shades, curtains, or shutters are often the best option for kid's rooms. Be sure to keep the crib away from any dangerous window-coverings.
- Dressers/Entertainment Centers – Try the lattice trick we shared earlier, but also remember to keep your furniture bolted to the wall. Anything that's tempting to climb or prone to tipping should be safely secured. A drill and some screws and bolts work wonders!
- Fireplaces – Is there anything a ltitle duct tape can't fix?! This hack is super low-budget, but it works! Tape those glass doors shut with some duct tape that matches the trim. No one will even notice, and you can stop worrying about your toddler climbing up the chimney.
- Cords – Be sure to secure any exposed cords using zip-ties or velcro wraps!
Pro Tip: Baby gates are the cheapest, most straightforward way to keep babies and toddlers out of harm's way! Set up a baby-safe area of the home and block off access to the rest.
WHAT ABOUT STAIRS?
There's nothing scarier than the first time you watch your littlest family member navigate a staircase. So, what's the best way to keep babies and toddlers safe around stairs? Here are a few tips to remembers:
- Baby Proof Them All – Don't overlook the smaller sets of stairs! If you have two steps leading into the garage or three to four steps leading from the deck, you'll need to baby proof those, too.
- Gates – Properly installed and secure gates are usually your best bet. Place one at the top and one at the bottom if you can!
- Check Your Stairs and Railings – Make sure you don't have a loose railing rung or any tripping hazards such as frayed carpet or nails. The best time to inspect your stairs is before your kids start walking or crawling, but it's a good idea to check things out every year or so for maintenance!
- Banister Guard – If you have an upstairs banister or railing that overlooks your downstairs, beware of climbing monkeys! You can buy inexpensive mesh netting to protect little feet or hands from slipping through!
Pro Tip: Wondering how in the world to teach your toddler to go down the stairs or when to do it? Check out these recommendations from the AAP!
DO YOU HAVE BABY PROOFING TIPS TO SHARE?
There you have it! Just a few tips and tricks we've learned along the way. Hopefully, these will help make your life with a toddler a little more fun and a lot less stressful.
We know you Freebs have some good advice to share, too, so spill the deets! Leave a comment below with your top baby or toddler proofing tips, okay?
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Keep calm and baby proof on!