As soon as a baby enters the world, every parent starts to wonder when their infant will hit the designated milestones. It’s exciting when your child learns to roll over, and then things get even more fun once they can sit up—but once a child is mobile, everything changes in an instant. That little baby who used to stay in one spot is now a full-blown explorer ready to see, taste, feel, and climb on everything while embracing their newfound independence. It’s now time to baby proof your home. So today, I’m sharing 10 ways to tackle this next phase of parenthood.
Anchor the furniture. Even though this is one of the more labor-intensive tasks, it’s better to be safe than sorry. You can find kits at your hardware store that allow you to anchor furniture to the wall so that your child can’t tip them over. Tall shelves, dressers, television consoles, etc. are all incredibly important to anchor.
Lock those cabinets. Locking up the cleaning supplies and bathroom cabinets is a must for obvious reasons, but it can also be helpful to lock up all cabinets, simply to make your life easier. One way to make your child feel like they aren’t entirely locked out is to make one drawer or small cabinet kid-friendly. Dish towels, food storage containers, a wooden spoon, and a metal bowl are enough to keep a child entertained for a while.
Block the stairs. I have yet to meet a child who can resist the siren call of the stairs. We lived in a 115-year-old historic home when my son was young, and the wooden staircase became his favorite place to hang out. We put up baby gates at the top and bottom of the stairs so that he couldn’t get on them from either direction. Our favorite kind had a latch that allowed you to open and close it like a gate when you needed to get through. They’re pricier than the ones that simply block the entire entry, but we quickly realized it was worth the money.
Secure the doorknobs. Once a toddler is tall enough to reach the doorknobs, you can add knob covers or door lever locks to the rooms you don’t want them to have access to.
Block the closets. We have sliding doors on the closets in our apartment. I never knew they would be an issue until our son started sleeping in a toddler bed and he would go into his closet and pull everything out. We DIYed the solution by purchasing short curtain rods and placing them up high between each door and the frame, but you can also find sliding door locks available online.
Cover the outlets. Once you have a mobile child, those little covers will be on every outlet in your home. There are many different options out there, so make sure you choose one that is parent-friendly. Some can be really tough to remove even as an adult!
Replace furniture that isn’t kid-friendly. In my 20s, I was very passionate about decorating and I told myself I wouldn’t let my kids dictate our furniture choices. Boy, was I wrong. I’ve made a few concessions over the years to better fit our current needs. I replaced our glass coffee table with an ottoman, and it’s been the best solution for us. It provides storage, the kids have a place to perch, and no one is getting a black eye on a corner. I also don’t have to worry about glass breaking. Sometimes it’s just best to embrace the season of life that you’re in to make things easier for everyone.
Clear low surfaces. That bar tray I had before kids? Yeah, it’s nowhere to be seen these days. Toddlers can’t resist shiny things, so if you don’t want to have to tell them “no” repeatedly, then it might be best to just clear off low surfaces. All kids are different, but this was the best solution for our family.
Decorate wisely during the holidays. This is one of my favorite babyproofing tips ever: Don’t just leave the lower half of the Christmas tree bare—put all the breakable ornaments up high and place plush and kid-friendly ornaments down low. Teach them to touch with only one finger, and sometimes they’ll surprise you and actually listen! My kids did, at least. And if they do happen to take an ornament off? It’s no big deal because they’re not breakable. We also keep a basket of assorted sized jingle bells and allow them to place the bells within the branches of the tree. It’s a great way for them to feel involved, but without all the stress!
Be aware of hard corners. The first time your child nails a corner with their face it is absolutely heartbreaking. If you have really sharp corners, you can put those bumpers on them, but if there are corners you can’t babyproof (like some countertops), just make sure the walkway is wide enough for them to navigate around it easily.
Babyproofing is an inevitable rite of passage for all parents. Do what is safe, implement more solutions when problems arise, and just know that you aren’t alone!