At What Age Should You Baby Proof Your Home?

Reviewed on 8/30/2021

When to baby proof

Baby proofing helps protect your child at home. You should baby proof your home before your child starts to crawl.
Baby proofing helps protect your child at home. You should baby proof your home before your child starts to crawl.

Baby proofing may help you prevent most of the injuries that happen to children at home. Most of these accidents are unintentional. In some cases, it may lead to child death. As you are parenting, you will find that children are exposed to many dangers as they crawl around. This means you should babyproof your home before they begin crawling.

While you should baby proof your home before your child starts crawling, it is more helpful to think about this even before they are born. Ensure that the crib and other items around the baby are safe before you bring your baby home. Although most cribs might be safe when you get them, check if the crib meets government safety standards.

Ensure everything that will be around your baby is safe. Get rid of blankets, pillows, and any stuffed animal from the crib. This may help prevent your baby from suffocating while in the crib. Also, install carbon monoxide and smoke detectors in the baby's room and the hall. If you already have them, you should check whether they are working before you bring your baby home.

It is never too early to start baby proofing your house. The dangers are there even before your baby starts crawling or walking. To get an idea of the risks your baby faces when crawling, you may try to crawl around yourself.

Things to use in baby proofing

Baby proofing means that you will have to use some devices around the house to protect your baby from harm. Some of these things include:

  • Locks. Use locks on your drawers.
  • Safety latches. Use safety latches on doors, freezer doors, and cabinets.
  • Bumpers. Bumpers offer protection against sharp edges and corners on your furniture.
  • Window coverings. Cordless window coverings are best to avoid accidental strangulation.
  • Anchors. Anchors may help prevent your baby from accidentally pulling down large furniture (TV, bookcases, or other electronics) that might drop on them.
  • Knob covers. Doorknob covers help prevent your baby from turning them.
  • Outlet Covers. Outlet covers or plugs give protection against electrical sockets not in use.

Baby proofing the home

Successful baby proofing includes your whole house, even the rooms you do not use. Block the entrance to rooms not in use to prevent the baby from crawling in. Baby gates may be effective. Also, do not forget to babyproof staircases, as they can be quite a danger to your baby.

The kitchen. The kitchen can be a dangerous place for your curious baby. Always ensure you secure things like knives, soaps, forks, and scissors in a locked drawer. This will prevent your baby from reaching them and pulling them down on themselves. You can also use placemats instead of tablecloths on the dining table to avoid the same.

Another risky appliance in the kitchen is the stove. Your baby might move around and turn the knobs. To prevent this, you can remove the knobs and place them out of your baby's reach. That way, the baby can’t turn on the stove accidentally.

The bathroom. Although the bathroom is an area your child will never venture alone, it can be pretty dangerous when they do. You should always closely supervise your baby while in the bathroom. Consider using no-slip strips on the bathroom floor. Also, make sure the bathroom water is below 120 degrees Fahrenheit at all times to prevent accidental burning.

The living room. The most significant danger in the living room is furniture. Consider setting up your television and other large furniture high on the wall. That way, the baby won't reach and pull them down. If your baby has just started walking, ensure the rugs in your house cannot skid. Non-skid rugs can prevent accidental falls.

The laundry room. Consider keeping detergents and soaps on a high shelf where your baby will never reach them. Having access to these materials may expose your child to the risk of swallowing.

Baby proofing your house goes a long way in protecting your baby from accidental injuries and potential death. While baby proofing, ensure that you always keep an eye on your child, especially when they begin to crawl and walk.

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References
SOURCES:

National Safety Council: "Childproofing Your Home."

Pathways: "Baby-Proofing: 14 Tips for Your Home."

SafeStars: "Complete Guide to Babyproofing Your Home."

Stanford Children's Health: "Baby on the move? It's never too early to babyproof your home!"

Texas Children's Hospital: "Childproofing Your Home: Tips For Parents."

U.S. Department of Health & Human Services: "Making your home safe for baby."

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