Wednesday, October 13, 2010

How to babyproof?

I never knew that my home was a baby danger zone.

But several months ago, a good friend and her very mobile and curious one-year-old baby visited us and she informed me that my home was not "babyproofed." Whoops.

If you've never lived with an infant, you tend to not consider these things. But if you do live with an infant, you very quickly become an expert on the subject, sometimes inadvertently by trial and error (or so I've heard).

So for the sake of any other clueless hope-to-live-with-an-infant-someday gals like myself, I thought I'd compile a list of the best ways to babyproof your home, straight from the experts.

And by experts, I mean real Moms and Dads I informally polled on Facebook and Twitter who have been deep in the babyproofing trenches.

Here are some pearls of wisdom, on both funny and serious note, in response to: What's the best way to babyproof your home?

@Kalr3 (via twitter) Make sure you have a way to UNLOCK bathroom doors from the outside...should toddler figure out how to LOCK from the INSIDE.

Candace Cockrell Hutto (via facebook) Instead of putting locks on every cabinet, I put harmful cleansers and breakables in higher cabinets and leave pots and pans and Tupperware down low for baby to play with. It's worked well with all 5 of my kids. Plus it gives them something to do in the kitchen while I get dinner ready!

Reace Alvarenga Smith (via facebook) Keep the cat litter away from the toilet. Will save you lots of $ in the long run. To kids, poop should go in toilet. Once that's ingrained, it's only logical kitty litter should too. Sigh.

Jessica Wilson Boyd (via facebook) Don't go overboard with baby-proofing. Obviously, get rid of dangerous things, but leave some things in the baby's reach so that there is an opportunity to teach your baby that they cannot play with everything they can get their hands on. As you pointed out, there are always friends or family members who don't have kids and haven't baby-proofed. So, if your child has learned that certain things are off limits, they will be safer in other homes and public places that aren't baby-proofed.

Kimberly Paddock O'Reilly (via facebook) We put a bumper around the brick fireplace stoop; however, that was not enough. I would suggest some throw pillows that are aesthetically pleasing as well. One of my kids chipped a front tooth before it came in compliments of not having said pillows there. Oh and relax and realize you can't protect them from EVERYTHING.

Sarah Mullins Gray (via facebook) Crawl around like a baby and pick up or put away anything that would fit in your mouth.

Josh Hixson (via facebook)
we installed the door knob in the nursery room with the screws facing out so I could dismantle it quickly in an emergency.

@itsRobynwithay (via twitter) one tip I would offer is that about the worst time seems to be when babies are pulling up on furniture as a precursor to walking. They pull things over on themselves. Also, remember that child proofing is not fool-proof. You need to be with your small child all the time.

@itsRobynwithay (via twitter) I'd also add not to overdo it. Your child has to learn to live in the real world, not a padded, germ-free cell.

Kelly Green Crider (via facebook) It's Fort Knox at the Crider house and we are improving our system daily as the boys figure out everything we've done. My new find is locks that go on top of the doors that I will be installing tomorrow because they've mastered all of the "standard babyproofing door locks" and we're tired of carrying around the tiny pin hole key to unlock each door every time we want to go in a room. AND they locked me in a closet a few weeks ago with the handle lock so it had to go. Slight moment of panic then somehow convinced my son to open the door, whew! Here's the link for the cool new locks:;
Toilet locks are the highest priority right now too, not taking chances on ANYTHING going in there except for what belongs!

Angela Muras Medrano (via facebook) My 20 month old has learned which cabinets are for play and which to stay out of. Of course, we have to watch her a lot more closely to make sure she is OK, but we don't leave anything dangerous out. I would say the most important, pretty obvious, is to make sure there are no chemicals or sharp objects within the toddler's reach.

Eva Oliker (via facebook) unclutter your house. organize and put things away out of your kiddo's reach.

Makala Cole Pollard (via facebook)
Remove all tall vases that little ones can tip/push over and break!

Brian Brooks (via facebook)
Not have children?

Mindy Ward-Guilfoyle (via facebook) I agree with Brian.........just don't have kids! :o)

Joe Ramirez (via facebook) I lay out vegetables, cheerios, and magnetic letters in reachable areas. That way when they go exploring around the house, they're at least running into healthy/educational things lol.

@ssgheislerswife (via twitter) House proof your kids!

Kristina Deutsch (via facebook)
putting bumpers over a door like a bathroom, can also be helpful. It keeps children from closing the door completely while they are toddlers. I've also seen one family install their handle doorknobs upside down after the kids figured out the child proof device they had on their front door.

@txnewsprincess (via twitter) No hand grenades on the floor. Anymore.

Jacqueline Escobedo (via facebook)
Besides the obvious I let my kids help me baby and toddler proof my house. Because they grow and have different interests it seems to change often!!

Barbara Witherspoon Bailey (via facebook)
I'm going to sound like a weird mom, but I didn't childproof much at all. Just the common sense things. We never had baby gates and we've always had stairs in our houses. As soon as my kids could crawl, I taught them how to go up AND down the stairs crawling--Aiden could do it at 6.5 months old. I put up breakable things from shorter shelves (like candles or whatever), and got cabinet locks for the dangerous kitchen cupboards. And we used those childproof doorknob covers on the two exits to the house. But that's really pretty much it!

Kristina Deutsch (via facebook) Vacuum and clean your floors often. Especially when you live next to certain types of trees. Just today, I pulled a quarter of a walnut shell out of a 9 month old's mouth. Someone tracked it in on their shoe and she found it on the floor in the living room.

Amy McCall (via facebook)
watch your child.

Jamie Lange (via facebook) Get down to their level. Crawl around the house on your hands and knees and look around. You'll be amazed at the difference! Then you can see what needs to be padded, locked, roped off, bolted down and put up!

@Eringmill (via twitter)
Locks on the inside of closet doors so they can't get in and make a mess during nap time!

@Eringmill (via twitter) Spring rods for curtains in their rooms. Come down when pulled on without destroying the wall and go back up in a snap!

Thank you to the Moms and Dads who helped write this post!

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