Baby Proofing House

Updated on January 18, 2016
J.H. asks from Croton, OH
9 answers

My son is starting to walk a few steps, and has been crawling around for quite a while. We have kept him in a gated area or his room, but are now expanding the area of our house that he can explore. I know the basics of baby proofing the house, but I'm wondering if there are any spots I might not have thought of. Does anyone have any baby proofing tips they'd like to share, danger zones they wish they had proofed, products they liked/disliked, etc?

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answers from Los Angeles on

I liked rubber bumpers that you put on corners of the wall, gates for stairs, doors & around the fireplace.
Replace coffee tables w/sharp corners w/rounded corner tables. Put child locks on all bathroom cabinets, put
detergents, poisonous materials up high.


I liked rubber bumpers that you put on corners of the wall, gates for stairs, doors & around the fireplace.
Replace coffee tables w/sharp corners w/rounded corner tables. Put child locks on all bathroom cabinets, put
detergents, poisonous materials up high.

More Answers


answers from Boston on

Most pediatricians will give you a check list. I'm sure you've done the obvious things like outlet guards and cabinet guards and stair gates. Toilet locks are critical, and something to secure venetian blind cords and electrical cords is vital. You want something on the bathtub faucet and the stove knobs. It's a good time to put childproof covers on the door to the basement or the outdoors - you'd be surprised what they can manage to do when they climb up on a step stool! We also used one on the inside of our son's room so he got used to it being there, so when he was 2.5 and able to really reach the knob, he never had the experience of escaping successfully! Then when we put him in for a nap or playtime, he couldn't get out but of course we could easily get in.

Most sources remind you to put a special piece of hardware on sweater chest, cedar chests and toy chests. There was a tragedy in our area a year or so ago when some older kids were playing hide-and-seek and got trapped in a cedar chest of some sort, unable to get out and unable to breathe.

We also had a refrigerator lock and fireplace protection. You'll have to use your judgment about corner guards for the coffee table or fireplace hearth. I've also seen photos on Facebook, of all places, of a simple mesh style laundry basket with straight sides being put in the regular bathtub - the toys don't float away, the child can't really fall over (although of course you watch him) and the sides provide him something to hold on to if he decides to stand up. Pretty cheap alternative that offers more freedom of movement than bath rings and so on.

The other thing people forget about are the bookcases and changing tables and dressers. Kids pull the bottom drawers out and stand on them, or they pull the books down and stand on those - before you know it, they've climbed up the furniture which is now top-heavy, and then it topples over on them. So get the design of the room set, and then anchor the shelves to the wall using angle brackets (that's what we did) or something especially made for kids' furniture. You can peruse the child safety websites/catalogues and make choices that fit your house layout.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from New York on

Locks in bathroom and kitchen cabinets that have "Mr. Yuck" products in them, gate for stairs. Safety knobs if you have a door leading to a basement. As far as fireplaces I just barricaded it. I always had a playpen for those times when you need a safe place. Most of all watch your child and teach him what he can touch and what he cannot.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Portland on

We bought all the safety gear with our first. But we didn't really bother as much after that.

Only thing I would say is hot water heater - turn it down just so when they first use taps they don't get scalded, and baby gates on stairs. The kind that screw it to studs in walls. We spent a lot on ours and they lasted for all our kids. Best investment.

Cat litter box. Just make sure if you have a cat, the food and litter is out of reach.

Cords. Just make sure they don't yank lamps, etc. down on themselves.

Anything they can jam their fingers into. Just remove or move higher.

Electrical outlets - we did use those plugs. In fact, we still have them up after all these years.

We switched out our heaters - ours had sharp metal edges. We had to when we renovated anyways, but just check stuff like that.

I basically just watched them - I think relying on safety items can be hazardous. A friend of mine used those foam things on edges of her coffee table and her child tore them off and chewed them.

I also had safe places to put them in a pinch. So I could stick in a swing if another child was into something and I had to tend to them.

Kitchen cabinets - I actually moved stuff up and put fun stuff in them to keep them occupied when I was cookie. Plastic cups and spoons, etc. pots and pans. I just rearranged. That's what I did mostly when they were little. Revamped. It's only for a short while.

Good luck :)

1 mom found this helpful


answers from San Francisco on

Most of it is just common sense. Keep the sharp, dangerous things up high and you will have a lot less to worry about. This may include some reorganizing, for example, I always kept my cleaning supplies under the sink in the kitchen and bath, but once my son became mobile I moved those items to the cabinet over the fridge and the top shelf of the linen closet. If all your lower cabinets and shelves are filled with safe things like towels, linens, paper products, tupper-wear, pots and pans, etc. then you won't need to worry so much or even bother with latches/locks.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Pittsburgh on

The only thing we did was secure book cases, dresser, etc to the walls. Otherwise, we simply watched him. We have no stairs - if we did we probably would have put up a gate. I don't see how young children can hurt themselves with electrical outlets unless you also give them narrow metal implements that will fit into the outlet. Avoid that.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Lakeland on

Make sure that furniture like bookcases are secure (so they don't tip if pulled on).

After reading through the responses its a wonder how any humans survived if they were born before all this stuff was put on the market. Just use your common sense and if you think your child could get hurt, then remove (or cover) the item.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from New York on

We used cabinet latches on our kitchen and bathroom, a toilet lock and a safety gate at his bedroom door. We secured our flat screen to the wall as well as wardrobes and chests of drawers. Lastly we put something over the spigot in the tub so he wouldn't bang his head.

Best to you. They find trouble even when you've got both eyes on them. Best to use what devices you can and think appropriate


answers from Norfolk on

Keep him out of the kitchen and bathroom(s).
Both places are plenty dangerous for babies and need an adult paying attention to keep them away from harm.

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