Congratulations – your baby has started crawling! And in the blink of an eye, you went from learning how to change diapers, to the entire house being a safety hazard. So naturally, the next question is: what do you need to do to childproof your home?
This post may contain affiliate links, which means I’ll receive a commission if you purchase through my links, at no extra cost to you. Please read the full disclosure for more information.
I hear you. I have been there and tried what feels like everything under the sun to make sure our home was a safe place for our little ones.
Along the way, we have encountered some childproofing products that worked brilliantly and others that just didn’t work. In some instances, we were reactive rather than proactive, and in other cases, we found things that have lasted through three children and are still going strong! Childproofing your home with the proper safety measures can take a certain amount of trial and error. But don’t fret; I have done the hard work and narrowed it down for you.
This post will answer the question: What do you need to childproof your home?
In this post, you will shift your mindset from “what do you need to childproof your home” to “I know exactly what I need to childproof my home.”
Let’s get right to it.
What Do You Need to Childproof Your Home?
There are so many playpens on the market; you might be wondering why this one—a perfectly valid question. And the answer is versatility. This play yard can become whatever you need it to be; a gate, divider, play space, a fort, and the list continues. It’s big enough for the family to enjoy and spacious enough for your little one to play freely. You can readjust it to be smaller or larger, depending on your needs and preferences.
Cabinets are one of the first places a curious crawler will want to explore. It makes sense because they’re generally easy to open and at a height that favors littles. You’ll certainly want to consider cabinet locks so you can ensure your chemicals and hazardous products under your sink and your medicine cabinet are not only out of reach, but inaccessible. Cabinet safety took several tries to get right. We tried so many different styles and most didn’t hold up. Then, we found a few options that worked well and are still working even now! These magnet locks are sturdy, and the magnet casing is safer than the others I tried. Previous magnet locks we tried would break if they hit the ground, which was even more of a safety hazard! We have dropped these magnets many times, and they have not broken, making them a winner for us!
Magnet locks are not for everyone though; a good alternative is these cabinet locks. While these are sturdier, there are some downsides. You need to screw these into the cabinets, and they can still open slightly, which also means little fingers can get caught between the cabinet and the panel. So, be careful.
Cabinet Tip: If possible, leave a lower drawer or cabinet unlocked, so your little one can freely play and feel empowered. It sounds small, but children love playing there while you busy yourself in the kitchen. I assign my plastic Tupperware cabinet to the kids, and they go wild!
The Finger pinch door guard is a must-have. We have saved ourselves so many finger mishaps by using this door guard. The trick is to install this before your child starts crawling, making it a part of the home instead of something new and interesting. Once you put this up, you won’t need to worry about your little one catching their fingers in the door. I highly suggest putting these on all high-traffic door areas.
At some point, as your baby transitions into toddlerhood, they will find ways to climb literally everything and use whatever you use, including the stove. If you have a stove with knobs higher up, you can probably forego this one, but if you have knobs at the edge of your stove, you will want to consider the knob covers. The fear of burns gets me every time, so the obvious solution – stove knob covers. These work wonderfully, but I will caution you that, over time, they will erase the numbers on your stove knobs. I suggest placing clear plastic or tape over the numbers before using these stove knob covers.
CA | US
This one is critical if you have a gas stove. The stovetop can be a dangerous place for a curious toddler. And yes, your toddler will quite likely climb up there at least a couple of times. You want to ensure you have the proper safety measures in place to protect your little ones.
Houses in North America specifically are being increasingly built with high ceilings and a balcony view from the second floor, protected by a railing. Once your little one starts crawling, they will be curious to look down, maybe pop a limb through the bars, throw a toy with a risk of hitting someone, or even experiment with trying to fly. None of these are safe. The child safety net is handy if you have a home like this. You can find the net that best compliments your railings so that it doesn’t stand out too much. Nonetheless, this will give you peace of mind knowing your little one can crawl freely without worrying about railings.
CA | US
None one wants to think their child would do this, and then you glance over and…and that lovely child is playing in the toilet. Even worse, unless you have a soft closing toilet seat, those little fingers are in danger. That’s why the strap lock is so helpful. It allows you to decide whether you want to lock the toilet seat or not. It uses adhesive, so you don’t have to worry about ruining your toilet.
Strap locks are also great for washing machines and dryers if you have side-by-side appliances and no locking mechanism. You can also use these for keeping drawers and the oven shut. There are many different uses for these strap locks, so they’re great to have on hand – especially for those moments where you’re forced to be reactive rather than proactive when it comes to childproofing your home.
When your toddler realizes they are strong enough to open the fridge, that’s all they’ll want to do! Food is on their mind! And while that is great on so many levels, there might be inopportune moments when they want to open the fridge, and you would prefer they didn’t. For times like those, sliding locks for the fridge are a must. These can also double as cabinet locks, but I found they worked far better for my fridge.
CA | US
Toddlers are incredibly resourceful. So much so that I’m constantly amazed by how great they are at problem-solving. We tried several baby gates, and none stood the test until we found this one. But at some point, they will realize that, if they can’t get through it, they can climb over it! Be ready.
If your home has sliding doors, you’ll want to add an extra layer of protection to ensure your toddler doesn’t sneak out without you knowing. Eventually, children learn how to open locks, so adding another mechanism to keep those sliding doors shut, will become necessary. This patio sliding door foot lock certainly does the trick.
These doorknob locks are great for primary and back entry doors, garage doors, and any other door you want to restrict your child from opening. I highly recommend these doorknob locks because the silicone grip is convenient and solidly built. We tested several brands, and these have, by far, lasted the longest and have yet to break.
Door top locks are great if you are okay with making holes in the top of your door, and if you’re tall enough to reach. Height is certainly a consideration in this product. You will likely get the most use out of the door top locks if none of the above is an issue for you. However, putting the locks at the top of the door will keep them out of the reach of little fingers.
If your doors have handles instead of knobs, door lever locks are a good option. However, once your toddler applies a bit of pressure, there is a risk that these will fall off. But they are the best alternative to door top locks, which require making holes in your door.
The most recommended product for electric outlets is electric plug covers, but those are not as durable as they seem. Infants and toddlers can have strong grips, and they can easily pull these out and break them, sometimes even leaving parts in the electric socket. This creates a choking hazard. On top of that, many of these covers are transparent and difficult to see if left on the ground. I have found the electric outlet cover box works best, breaks least, and has kept my children safe.
Fireplace safety is often overlooked. However, when you use your fireplace, you will want to ensure there is a barrier between your littles and the hot area. A fireplace gate provides that barrier so you can keep warm without the risk of burns.
Additional Safety Measures You Don’t Want to Forget:
- According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, setting your hot water temperature to 120 degrees Fahrenheit (48 degrees Celcius) is recommended.
- Secure all large appliances and furniture to the walls to ensure they don’t tip over if your child climbs on them.
- Install hooks or cut blind cords, so infants and toddlers can’t reach, to avoid accidental strangulation.
- Ensure smoke detectors are working, have fresh batteries, and are placed on each level of your home.
- Ensure carbon monoxide detectors are installed near sleeping areas.
- Make sure you pay attention to any small objects or toys that could be a choking hazard for your children.
Childproofing your home is essential. Thankfully, I’ve found several products that do an amazing job of keeping children safe. Everyone’s home is different, and everyone’s comfort level is unique. Be sure to familiarize yourself with your home and potential safety hazards to ensure your home is childproof.
This post answered the question: What do you need to childproof your home?
Have you used any of these products? What did you think of them? Tell me about your experiences in the comments!
“Preventing Waterborne Germs at Home | Drinking Water | Healthy Water | CDC.” Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, www.cdc.gov/healthywater/drinking/preventing-waterborne-germs-at-home.html#:%7E:text=Set%20the%20Water%20Heater%20Temperature&text=A%20hotter%20water%20temperature%20of,or%20shower%20to%20avoid%20scalding. Accessed 21 Dec. 2021.