This is the babyproofing checklist every parent needs to ensure that your home (inside and outside) is safe for your new baby.
The good news is many of these home improvements can be done during your nesting period. However, it’s okay to wait on some things too if you’re just not up for it.
Personally, I did major home improvements before the baby girl arrived, such as babyproofing windows and outlets, but waited until later to install baby gates, etc.
If you’re a new parent or an expecting parent that hasn’t babyproofed your home yet this babyproofing checklist is going to go room by room to make sure that every area of your home is safe for a newborn and small child.
Let’s get started.
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- Is babyproofing necessary?
- When to start babyproofing?
- What to buy for babyproofing?
- Where to buy baby-proofing products?
- Where to start babyproofing?
- How much babyproofing is necessary?
- When can you stop babyproofing?
- When can you remove baby proofing?
- Baby proofing the nursery
- Baby proofing your bedroom
- Baby proofing the kitchen
- Baby proofing the bathroom
- Baby proofing the living room
- Baby proofing the yard and outside the house
Is babyproofing necessary?
Babyproofing is necessary to keep your small children safe. While the extinct to how much you babyproof your home is going to vary, there, are some things that you’re going to have to babyproof to ensure safety.
As a parent, it’s impossible to be awake and have an eye on your child 24/7. So, during these instances, it’s especially important to make sure that it’s nothing that could cause them danger.
For example, before you know it they’ll be getting out of their bed. Therefore, you want to make sure that their bedroom is babyproofed so that when they do get up before you and are able to get out of their cribs you don’t have to worry about them getting into anything they shouldn’t, having access to any choking hazards, or pulling furniture down on themselves.
When to start babyproofing?
Ideally, you’d want to start babyproofing during your pregnancy.
During the nesting phase of your pregnancy, you’ll probably become obsessed with designing the nursery, which makes it the perfect time to baby-proof the nursery as well.
Then, once your baby starts crawling you can start babyproofing things such as the outlets, the stairs, cords, etc.
What to buy for babyproofing?
What you need to buy to babyproof your home is going to depend on the layout of your home, where your child will be spending time and your current lifestyle.
Here are some babyproofing essentials to help you get started:
Where to buy baby-proofing products?
You can buy baby-proofing products at a variety of stores. Some of my favorite places to buy babyproofing products near me include:
Where to start babyproofing?
Depending on the size of your home, it can seem impossible to have your entire home baby-proofed before your baby arrives.
This is okay, I’m not saying you have to cover every room in your home before they arrive (or even at all for that matter).
When you start baby proofing my recommendation is to start with the rooms that you will be using the most and work your way around from there.
For me, this meant baby-proofing the nursery and my bedroom. Later I moved on to baby-proofing the living and kitchen.
How much babyproofing is necessary?
The amount of babyproofing that you need to do for your home is going to be customized to you.
For me, I already keep doors shut, cleaning supplies up high, and tv’s mounted. Plus, when we closed on our home we installed new babyproofed outlets and our windows were installed with safety guards.
For you, especially, if you’re already settled into your home, you should go room by room and access any potential hazards for your little one.
At a minimum, I recommend reorganizing cleaning supplies so they can be somewhere high and installing baby gates by stairs (if you have them), in front of your room door, and in front of the baby’s nursery.
The reason I recommend doing these things sooner rather than later is so you’ll already be accustomed to these slight adjustments before the baby arrives. It’ll be a routine to already keep the cleaning supplies in their new place and pets (if you have them) can adjust to the gates being installed in certain areas of the home.
When can you stop babyproofing?
When you can stop babyproofing your house is going to vary based on your child’s maturity. In most cases, you’ll be able to stop babyproofing around age 2-3.
With the boys, it was when my youngest was around 3 because he was then able to understand “no” and was used to not going into certain rooms of the house.
When can you remove baby proofing?
As mentioned above, you can usually stop babyproofing around the age of 2-3 and at this time you may also be able to start removing babyproofing from your home as well.
For example, you may be able to get rid of some of the baby gates and not have to unplug items as soon as you’re finished using them (i.e. your phone charger).
Basically, when you’re sure your child knows what not to do, then you can start removing the safeguards that you had in place to prevent them from doing it.
The exact age is going to vary child by child AND leaving items babyproofed isn’t really going to do any harm, especially since you’ve already become accustomed to the items being baby-proofed already.
The baby proofing checklist every parent needs
Now, that we’ve covered all of the most commonly asked questions new parents have about babyproofing, let’s jump into the ultimate babyproofing checklist for new parents.
Baby proofing the nursery
Your baby’s nursery should be a safe, relaxing, environment, where they love spending time.
While you probably already have a nursery checklist for essentials you also want to make sure it’s baby proofed in here.
The good news is since they probably won’t have a lot of hazardous items in here baby proofing the nursery should be easy and take the least amount of time (outside of babyproofing the bathroom).
What to baby proof in the nursery
In the nursery, you want to make sure that you’re babyproofing items that are often overlooked.
- Floor vents (if you have them). In my house, we have ceiling vents, thankfully, but I was able to find a guide that covers how to babyproof floor vents for those who have them.
- Baseboard heaters (if you have them). I don’t have baseboard heaters either, but for those who do this guide discusses how to babyproof baseboard heaters.
- Dresser. There are two things you have to do to babyproof a dresser. First, you want to make sure it is anchored to the wall, so as they get older, they cannot put it down on top of them. Second, if their dresser didn’t come with the magnets installed in them, get some and install them. This will make sure the dresser drawers stay shut, so they cannot open and shut them on their little fingers.
- Glider. To baby-proof the glider it’s more of a memory thing. The main thing is to put the ottoman part up high/in the closet when having baby playtime so they don’t smash their little fingers.
- Windows. If your windows don’t already have safety guards on them, you’ll need to purchase some window safety guards to prevent them from opening past a certain point. It’s important to remember that screens are to keep bugs out not prevent falls, so having screens is great, but they do not count as a babyproofing item. For window coverings, you’ll want to purchase cordless blinds (to eliminate the strangulation hazards from corded blinds) or window film.
- Outlets. For the outlets, you have 2 choices. You could replace all of your home’s outlets with tamper-resistant outlets – I used these with the USB slot – or purchase outlet covers. If you have older kids and can afford it, I recommend replacing the outlets so you don’t have to worry about someone forgetting to put the outlet cover back in after using it.
- Cords. Ideally, there will be few to no cords in your baby’s nursery. If you do have items that have to be plugged in such as baby monitors, lamps, etc, try to have the cords go behind furniture, such as their dresser. Additionally, it’s important to make sure that there are no cords near their crib because as they get older it becomes a strangulation issue if they’re able to pull the cord into their crib through the bars.
- Doors. Babies love opening and shutting doors, which puts them at risk of closing their fingers in the door. To eliminate this hazard you can buy finger pinch guards. You can take it one step further to eliminate a choking hazard by installing one-piece safety door stops instead of the normal ones. Lastly, you’ll want to have a baby gate installed in front of the nursery door.
- Closet. In addition to having the finger-pinch guards installed on the closet, you also want to avoid putting items on the floor. This prevents all choking hazards and by using an easy closet organization system you’re able to keep their closet organized and tidy so you can access the things you need quickly and easily too.
Baby proofing your bedroom
Yes, your baby has their nursery, however, the reality is the nursery probably won’t be used much for the first six months of their lives.
After giving birth, you’ll need to recover, and it’s just easier to spend the majority of your recovery period in your bedroom AND even once they are older (especially if you breastfeed) your bedroom will still be a much-used room by your baby.
What to babyproof in your bedroom
These are the main things that you’ll need to babyproof in your bedroom.
- Doors. As with the nursery, I also recommend having a baby gate installed in front of your bedroom door as well, especially if your bedroom is upstairs. Babies move quickly and that few moments when you’re using the restroom is all that they need to crawl out of the room.
- Cords. Understandably in your bedroom, you’re going to have more cords than in the nursery. While some cords may be able to be hidden behind furniture or hidden in wall boxes, not everything will. Therefore, it’s a good idea to just get in the habit of unplugging things once you’re finished using them and immediately putting those items away so no unexpected accidents happen.
- Dresser. In addition to anchoring your dresser to the wall and having drawer magnets, you’ll also want to make sure that you have edge bumpers on depending on the setup of your dresser. For example, my dresser is oddly shaped so it does have some sharp edges that really hurt if you bump against the corners (I’ve knocked my knee on it more than a few times over the years so I know lol).
- Closet. For the nursery I know I said don’t put anything on the floor. In your bedroom, if you want to keep your closet floor free of items that’s fine. However, another alternative is to get in the habit of keeping your closet door shut. This will buy you a year or so from having to readjust your closet since in the early stages they won’t know how to open doors.
Baby proofing the kitchen
As your baby becomes more mobile, it’s inevitable for them to want to wander into the kitchen. Plus, if you have an open floorplan it may not be so simple for you to just put up a baby gate to keep them out.
What to babyproof in your kitchen
Outside of your bathroom, the kitchen is one of the most dangerous rooms inside of your home for babies.
Here are the items that you’ll need to baby-proof in your kitchen.
- Appliances. Kitchen appliances are dangerous for small children. Make sure you have locks on your fridge, stove, and dishwasher. Additionally, make sure that when cooking, you use the back burners when possible and keep any handles turned to the side. If you have knobs on the front of your stove you’re also going to need to purchase knob covers to prevent them from turning on the oven. Regarding babyproofing the dishwasher, the lock should be enough, however, as an added precaution you can get into the routine of not leaving sharp or breakable items in the washer once it is finished with its cycle. Regarding small appliances, such as toasters, air fryers, blenders, etc, you’ll want to unplug them immediately when not in use and store them up high.
- Cabinets. Like your appliances, you’ll want to install cabinet locks. This will prevent your child from smashing their fingers in their doors and getting into items stored in the cabinets. However, even with the locks, it’s still important to not store chemicals or breakable items in them as your child may learn how to undo the cabinet locks and you don’t want them to have access to choking hazards or dangerous chemicals.
- Trashcan. If possible, you’d want to go with an under the cabinet trash can, and then you’ll have a latch on the cabinet door. Understandably, if you have a big family (like me), small kitchen trash cans just aren’t going to suffice. In this case, you’ll want to get a childproof trash can. Initially, you can childproof your trashcan by getting one with a lid that requires a button to be pressed on top (it should be out of your child’s reach for about a year or so).
- Tables. Tables, like other furniture, can have sharp edges. It’s a good idea to install edge bumpers to your tables – especially when your little one starts walking. Additionally, The Table Tyke is another great product to have once they are sitting at the table for mealtimes. What I like about the Table Tyke is it not only keeps messes off of the floor, but it keeps the baby’s mouth protected from bumps and germs. Since it’s easy to roll up, I also consider it to be a diaper bag essential when traveling or going out to restaurants. It’s made of medical grade silicone, BPA-free, and is even dishwasher safe.
Baby proofing the bathroom
Baby-proofing the bathroom should be fairly easy in the beginning (until potty training starts) as the only time your baby will be in there is during bath times.
What to babyproof in the bathroom
In your bathroom, you should babyproof the following things.
- Door. For your bathroom door, it’s okay to use a door knob lock. Once you start potty training you’ll be able to remove it and swap it out for finger pinch guards.
- Toilet. Yes, playing in the toilet is unhygienic, but for small kids, it also is a potential drowning hazard. Therefore, installing a toilet lock is necessary.
- Bathtub. Whenever your baby is in the tub, you’ll obviously always be around and attentive. Adding in nonslip bathtub mats and spout covers can help avoid accidents – especially once they start standing.
Baby proofing the living room
You’ll probably spend a lot of time in the living room, especially once your baby becomes more mobile. Therefore, it’s important to make sure that your living room is babyproofed so that when you’re in the living room it’s enjoyable and stress-free for you both.
What to babyproof in the living room
When baby-proofing your living room you want to focus on the following things.
- Fireplace. If you have a fireplace in your living room it’s important to make sure that the fireplace tools are kept out of their reach and that you have a gate or glass around it.
Baby proofing the yard and outside the house
Outside time is very important for babies and toddlers. However, the outside world has a ton of potential hazards – even your own yard.
What to babyproof in the yard and outside of the house
To make your yard and outside the house as safe as possible you’ll need to babyproof the following items.
- Outdoor furniture. With outdoor furniture, you probably won’t need to anchor anything. However, it’s important to make sure you have edge guards for any sharp corners.
- Plants. Make sure that you don’t have any dangerous plants in your yard. Additionally, if using pesticides make sure that they are child friendly.
- Block water activities. If you have a pool, hot tub, etc, make sure that you have a gate or other safety measures in place that prevents your child from accessing them.
- Tools. Keep outside tools and hoses stored in a shed or garage.
- Outdoor appliances. When not in use keep grills and firepits covered.
Now that you’re aware of all of the possible hazards both inside and outside of your home, it’s easy to create your personalized babyproofing checklist that will minimize the risks and make your home an enjoyable, safe place for your baby.