Baby and Kids

Babyproofing: How We Made Our Home Safe for our Baby and Toddler

I knew I’d baby-proof our home but was also the parent that thought I’d just teach my girls to avoid the stairs when they were little. Parents everywhere are laughing at me. Ginger jars are within reach on our console and we’re trying to teach Kate not to touch them – it’s been fun. 🤪 I’m the worrier who arranged the baby-proofer before Margot started crawling but also the super-breezy mom who decided not to gate the fireplace or Peloton. In all seriousness, both of those options were suggested. I like to think I didn’t go too overboard but covered the really important stuff. 

Our home is 3 floors. The main floor (living, kitchen, half bath), second floor (3 bedrooms and 2 full baths), and basement (playroom and laundry).

Right around the time Margot showed interest in crawling, I hired Safety Matters in Chicago to walk through our home and tell us what our options were. I am in no way affiliated with this company. They did not give me a discount and have no idea I’m writing this blog post, but I was happy with their work and would recommend them. Some suggestions felt a little extreme but it’s nice to know what to look out for. 

Baby Gates:

Since Margot showed very little interest in our first level stairway, we held off on gating that for a while. I can’t remember how old she was when I had our baby-proofer come back, but we had a good run without a baby gate on the first floor staircase. I would have 100% needed it for Kate who tries to scale the stairs every chance she gets, so there was no avoiding it.

We have gates at the bottom and top of our first floor staircase, one at the end of our first floor hallway, and another at the bottom of our basement stairs. 

Dressers and cabinets:

We had dressers, the living room console, and dining room cabinets mounted to the wall. This was obviously not something we needed to do when Margot was a baby, but I wanted to make sure it was done since the statistics on these injuries are pretty bad.

Kitchen cabinets:

We added drawer/cabinet locks under the sink and to the knife drawer, kitchen utensil/tool drawer, and the drawer where we keep plastic bags. Cleaning products are kept under the sink, but they are all green and plant-based, but that’s locked, too. 

The girls’ bath:

I added a faucet cover, anti-skid bath mat, and padded bath buddy to the side of her tub. The hot water heater also doesn’t allow the water in her bathroom to get too hot, so burns in her bathtub are not possible.

Misc.

We have the nest alarm system so there are sensors on all the doors that lead outside. Each one beeps if opened, so we’re alerted when anyone comes and goes. When the girls can easily open doors to get outside, I’ll probably add an additional lock to the top of each door.

All outlet covers in our home were changed out for childproof ones, and we added a box over one in Margot’s room so she couldn’t pull any of the plugs out.

Small rugs have rug pads to keep them from sliding.

The runner on the stairs felt essential since Buddy and I both slipped on the stairs before it was installed. 

We don’t have any floor lamps out but if we did, I probably would have put them away for now since babies and toddlers tend to knock them over. Our small martini tables have been put away since Margot could easily knock them over, and our coffee table was switched out for a soft, round ottoman. I also added these bumpers to the media cabinet in the playroom.

We keep our medicine on a top shelf in a hall closet, and all bottles are child-proofed, so I’m not worried about those. The way our bathroom cabinets are built made them tricky to try to childproof, so we’re just careful. 

I do not have links to the exact items Safety Matters used, but looked for similar items to the ones that are in our home. 

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