Baby-proofing Tips and Tricks
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When your baby starts crawling, cruising, and exploring, it’s time to start thinking about baby-proofing! These are some tips and tricks that worked for us, but by no means is this a comprehensive list or guide — every home and family is different and you may have more or less things that you need to think about when baby-proofing your home. I am not a child-proofing expert, I am just a mom sharing what works in our home.
You can find a printable, editable baby-proofing checklist(yours will definitely be different than mine) here! Read on to see which products were my favorites!
When we first started out, the only cabinet locks I knew about were these munchkin latches. They actually worked out perfectly for securing our oven and refrigerator (see photos below), but were quite an eyesore on our sideboard/dresser. So, we eventually replaced them on our dresser with the magnetic cabinet locks (pictured above). Thankfully, we found the magnetic cabinet locks quickly enough to use them in our kitchen and bathroom cabinets, because it was really a pain to remove the munchkin ones. The only negative with the magnetic cabinet locks is that to unlock them you have to use the magnet-key, but we have found magnetic things nearby to keep the keys on for easy access (in the kitchen and bathroom we keep them on the electrical outlets and on the sideboard we keep it on the lamp.)
We used the munchkin latch to secure the oven because our first baby’s favorite thing to do was reach up and try to pull on the oven handle. We had to replace it once because my mom shut the oven with the latch in it… but this problem can easily be solved by always opening the latch that is attached to the wall next to the dishwasher!On our oven, we used these knob covers, the biggest negative is that they are very dirty inside because I am too lazy to clean them. However, they have done their job of keeping little hands from being able to turn on the stove! I actually also saw someone mention yesterday that they just removed the knobs, and this could work too, I guess.
Eventually when our baby became a toddler, we also had to latch the refrigerator. He learned to open it and with a new baby coming, I didn’t want to risk him being able to open it if I wasn’t there. Most of the time we keep it unlocked but it has been very useful to be able to lock it if needed.
For our TV stand (pictured above) I was able to find these darker colored latches so the latch is less noticeable against the dark wood.
To secure our TV, we used TV straps to secure it to the TV stand.They also come in this lighter color that we used on our light-colored furniture. And yes, even though we have that shoe rack, we still always have shoes all over the floor! It drives my husband crazy.
And then, when it came to securing all the furniture to the wall, my husband bolted everything to the baseboards using these free kits provided by IKEA . It’s not how the kit was designed to be used, but it was what worked for us in ensuring that the furniture was securely attached to the wall. We tried using some of the anchor straps and the furniture just wasn’t secure enough and seemed like they could be easily pulled out of the wall. We felt that the baseboards were more secure to attach to, so that’s what we did. Like I said in the beginning, every home is different, and you have to find a solution that works for you!
IKEA has some great tips on their website where you can learn more about securing your furniture to the wall.
Some other things to think about are corner protectors, window safety, cords from blinds and electrical items, and electrical sockets. We found that we didn’t need the corner protectors until our toddler began to hit his head on our kitchen table. As far as window safety, our apartment came with child guards on the windows and we keep the windows locked for the most part. We try our best to keep the cords from blinds and electrical cords out of the way and out of reach of the little hands. Our apartment also came with child-friendly sockets for the most part, but we did need to plug some of them with the outlet plugs. However, our toddler quickly learned to pull them out. So we decided it was safer just to teach him not to touch the outlets. This is another example of how every family is different when it comes to what you need to baby-proof!
And finally – I just want to talk about baby gates…. They are sometimes necessary and we had one blocking off our entire kitchen for over a year. But when we got rid of it recently, (I know bad timing right before our second baby learned to crawl!) it made me so happy! It was really an eyesore and sort of made our kitchen look like a jail. I’m not against them, and I think they definitely serve a purpose, but I’m just happy ours is gone.
What is your favorite baby-proofing product?