Baby Proofing the Home

Child Proof Your HouseNow that your bundle of joy is graduated from the ‘eat, sleep, poop’ stages and onto more exciting things like ‘eat more, poop more, sleep less, roll over’ you’ll probably want to start thinking about baby proofing. We recently had my daughter’s 4 month check up. The doctor went on to tell me “oh, now she is going to start learning to move around so you’ll want to start baby proofing…and no more leaving her on the couches.. *giggle* You know all this already huh?” Mind you, my daughter is my second child and I was in the appointment with my daycare kids. Yes doc, I know this already J However don’t bang your head against the wall if you don’t know where to start.

Baby proofing can really be a wide range. In my opinion it’s really dependant on how your house lays out and where your baby will be spending their time. Some people want to do it all at once, that way it’s done, where as other people take the ‘we will get there when he gets there’ approach; why put baby locks on the doors if baby can’t walk for months J Mommy confession: we never really baby proofed. I did a handful of things, but other things just weren’t a problem for us.

Some of the most basic baby proofing things consists of things like baby gates. There are literally HUNDEREDS of gates ranging in pricing and lengths. For traditional sized entry ways, any gate will do. There are gates that screw into the walls to make a hard mounted gate or there are gates that you remove every time you need to go through the entry way. We use Evenflo – Easy Walk-Thru Metal Gate(s). They can be found online and at department stores and it’s not terribly expensive! This one is a pressure mounted gate, so it doesn’t required being screwed into the walls. It did however take our paint off for having it on the wall, so just keep that in mind. If you have an extended sized doorway, there are tons of options for you out there. We had the Summer Infant – Sure & Secure Super-Wide Custom-Fit Gate for our large walk way we had blocked off. Oh and for what it’s worth, we used this gate to keep the dogs locked up in their area at night, but it kept my son out of their dog water, so I suppose it in turn worked as baby proofing also J This gate does mount to the wall so keep that in mind if you’re not wanting to drill. It can be adjusted to go at an angle, but I wouldn’t suggest it. I like the walk through type gates especially if it’s a common walk way. If you’re looking for something simpler, a gate like Evenflo – Position & Lock Tall Gate is an affordable choice. This gate is meant to be removed every time you need to walk through the entry way, however those of you who are not vertically challenged like me, can probably just step over. We did find however these gates don’t last forever and once your kiddo turns into a monkey (which will happen, just wait!) they are less effect as they are easy to climb because of the checkerboard webbing. Make sure you measure your entry way before purchasing a gate. What you think may be a ‘normal’ size, might not. Many additional gates can be found online for cheaper prices, so make sure you shop around!

 

Other simple baby proofing things are outlet plugs. These can be found almost anywhere including hardware stores. They come in massive boxes and are simple to use. Cabinet locks are another quick fix. Some people will lock all cabinets some people will only lock the dangerous ones. My son never had any interest in our cabinets, still doesn’t. We, as most people, housed our cleaning supplies under our kitchen sink and in his two years he has probably opened the cabinet a maximum of 5 times. However, if your little gal is more curious, cabinet locks are highly suggested. The most common type of cabinet lock is something to the effect of the Safety 1st Press N Pivot Latches. In my opinion, these are also the easiest for kids to figure out and learn to use. Being able to pivot these to an ‘off’ position is nice if your kiddo has finally outgrown the need for them yet you’ve got potential future use for them. These do hard mount into your cabinets so if you’d like to avoid damage, or are renting a home, these might not be an option. Another popular choice is the Safety 1st Secure Tech Cabinet Lock. These locks secure themselves around your cabinet hardware and because they are not hard mounted can be removed at any time and cause no damages to your cabinets. Since they are on the outside of your cabinets, they are not a very attractive option. Another type is called the Safety 1st Tot Deluxe Starter Set. These work by a magnet system. You install a magnet activated latch on one side of the cabinet and on the other is the receiving end of the lock. In order to open the cabinet and deactivate the lock you must have the “key” and put it against the outside of the cabinet which disengages the lock and you can open the cabinet. They concept is great. The only time I’ve used these locks was in a friend’s house and I thought they were rotten.  Maybe it was just me, but I couldn’t quite get the hang of them! Perhaps her set was just getting warn out. These also hard mount onto cabinets and if the “key” gets lost it will need to be replaced. Pretty much anything in your house these days can get locked including but not limited to: toilet seats, refrigerators and stove knobs!

Door knobs are another popular one. There are tons of different types of baby proof locks for doors, however, I have also found some of them to be parent proof! The Safety 1st Twist & Grip Knob Cover is a simple way to secure a door knob. These fit round door knobs and are operated by squeezing them against the door knob and turning as you normally would. To me, they can be frustrating if they aren’t gripping the door knob tight enough to enable it to be turned. To fit the more modern door knobs, the oblong ones, Safety 1st Professional Grade Lever Handle Lock is the lock of choice. I’ve not used these myself but my neighbor has and loves them! There are also devices for sliding glass doors and “little moons” as we call them, to help prevent fingers from getting pinched in doors!

The options for baby proofing your house are literally endless, but remember, it’s your house! If all else fails, just wrap everything in bubble wrap and home for the best!




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