Babyproofing Your Home: A Complete Checklist For Parents
A lot of preparation goes into getting your heart and home ready to welcome a new little one. And, shortly after they arrive, you’ll have another task in front of you: babyproofing.
Making your home a safe, secure, and comfortable place for your growing child is essential! Babyproofing your entire house might seem like an overwhelming task, but it doesn’t have to be.
In this post, we’ll give you a room-by-room checklist so you can methodically and effectively make your home safe for your baby.
Let’s start by talking about when to begin the process of babyproofing, then we’ll jump straight into how to do it.
When To Start Babyproofing Your Home
Regarding when to start the babyproofing process, the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends the following:
“Before or as soon as children begin crawling or walking, parents and caregivers need to take extra steps to make sure harmful items are out of reach, out of sight, and locked up if possible.”
Basically, it’s never too early to begin babyproofing your home. But you’ll want to be sure that it’s done by the time your little one starts crawling, scooting, or whatever method they choose to move around!
It’s also important to keep in mind that babyproofing is, in some ways, an ongoing process. You’ll be constantly picking up tiny objects from the living room floor for quite some time to come! There are also a few safety measures you’ll need to take from day one.
For example, your baby may start rolling over just a couple of months into their life. To help prevent an accident, be sure that they’re sleeping on a safe, breathable mattress and always keep a hand on your baby when they’re on the changing table.
All of that being said, let’s get straight to our checklist — the things that must be done by the time your baby is crawling and exploring everything within reach!
The Babyproofing Checklist
We don’t know what your home is like. You might be working with a tiny nursery and no yard or a spacious house with a pool. You might have older kids who love doing crafts with tiny pieces or this could be your first little one.
You’ll need to take stock of your home and your family’s lifestyle and what things might pose potential dangers to your precious little one.
However, there are some babyproofing basics that can apply to most homes. Below, we’ve listed these tips room-by-room.
From the day you bring your baby home from the hospital, they’ll spend a lot of time in their bed! Sleep safety is an important part of keeping your baby safe at home.
This means putting your baby to sleep on a firm crib mattress that fits correctly in the crib so that there are no large gaps between it and the inside of the crib.
For an extra measure of peace of mind when your baby starts rolling over, put them to sleep on a breathable mattress like Newton Baby’s Crib Mattress!
Not only does breathability mean no more sweaty backs, but it also gives you peace of mind that if your baby rolls over in the middle of the night, they’ll be able to breathe straight through the mattress.
As far as the positioning of the crib in the nursery, make sure that the crib is out of arm’s reach of furniture, curtains, or cords. That way your baby can’t reach through the crib slats and get into trouble. You may also need to raise the baby mobile or take it down entirely.
It’s also a good idea to raise curtains, blinds, and cords so that your crawling baby can’t reach them from the floor, and cover all electrical outlets that your little one might try to touch (this applies to all the rooms in your home!).
Finally, you’ll want to keep diaper-changing supplies and any potentially dangerous products out of reach or in a locked drawer.
The kitchen can be full of hazards for curious little hands! First of all, install safety locks on all cabinets and drawers that contain dangerous items. Or store these items well out of the reach of your baby.
This means knives, small or sharp kitchen utensils, seasonings, batteries, button batteries, cleaning supplies, alcohol, dishwashing detergent, and so much more.
And, since all sorts of objects make their way into the trash can, keep it somewhere your baby can’t reach, or use a trash can with a childproof lid. This will keep your baby away from potentially dangerous objects and also save you a big mess!
Move small magnets higher up on the refrigerator and do away with tablecloths for the time being. Your baby might pull on them and, in so doing, pull everything that’s on the table off the table!
Get in the habit of always cooking on the back burner. And, last but not least, in addition to keeping bottles of alcohol locked away or high up, remember to pour any unfinished drinks down the drain rather than leaving them out.
The Living Room
A lot of life happens in the living room, and there are several ways to babyproof so that it’s a place your whole family can enjoy. To get an idea of what your baby might get into, sit or lie down on the floor and take a look around.
As we mentioned for the nursery, raise blinds, cords, and curtains so that they’re out of reach. And when it comes to furniture, cover any sharp edges and screw top-heavy furniture (like bookshelves or tall entertainment centers) into the wall.
Put baby gates at the top and bottom of any stairs. If you have a fireplace, put up a fireguard or screen and cover the sharp edges of the hearth.
And, don’t forget that some houseplants can be poisonous to little ones. Check with Poison Control or consult your pediatrician if you have questions about whether or not your houseplants are OK.
Remember that babyproofing is, to some degree, an ongoing task, so check the floor regularly for tiny objects that could be a choking hazard for your curious baby.
The Garage And Garden
Your baby should never be unsupervised in the garage, garden, or pool area, but even still, safety measures should be taken.
Put all dangerous products like antifreeze, gas, paint, fertilizer, and insecticides on an unreachable top shelf or in a locked cabinet. This goes for any sharp or dangerous garden or lawn tools, too.
Finally, make sure you have a locked gate around a pool or any other water hazard.
The Laundry Room
If you haven’t noticed the pattern yet, keeping things high up or locked away is one of the keys to babyproofing!
The same rule applies to the laundry room and laundry detergent (liquid, powder, and single-use packets), fabric softener, and any other products.
As far as linens for your little one, opt for a soft, safe fitted sheet like Newton Baby’s Breathable, Organic Cotton Sheets. These sheets are 100% breathe-through, which also means that they provide superior airflow, keeping your baby comfortable for better sleep.
Plus, our pre-shrunk, organic muslin cotton is hypoallergenic and machine washable for the most hygienic sleep surface. The cute patterns are just an added plus!
At the risk of sounding like a broken record, we’ll say it again: store products out of reach or in a locked cabinet or drawer. This goes for your bathroom as well as any other bathroom in the house.
It also applies to all sorts of items that might be in your bathroom: cleaning products, mouthwash, cosmetics, perfume, nail polish and remover, aftershave, vitamins, and both prescription and non-prescription medications.
There are also water hazards in the bathroom. Namely, the toilet and the tub. Put a lock on the toilet lid, and never leave your baby alone in the bathtub no matter how well they are sitting up.
Become A Babyproofing Pro
To a degree, how you babyproof your home depends on what your house is like and how your family runs. But you can use the babyproofing checklist above to get an idea of what needs to be done around the house to make it safe for your exploring baby.
Don’t be overwhelmed by the process! Start with safety in the crib, which includes checking the fit of the mattress and putting your baby to sleep on a Newton Baby breathable Crib Mattress.
Then, follow our tips for babyproofing the kitchen, living room, garage, laundry room, and bathrooms, always remembering to keep dangerous items high up or locked away.
You’ll be a babyproofing pro in no time!