When it comes to creating safety in the home, for kids, there is an abundance of tips and “must-have products” out there. Before my first kid was born, I was one of those moms that got into major nesting mode and wanted to have everything ready.
But, now that I have two toddlers, I’ve realized it’s really not that complicated.
So many of those “must-have’s” just aren’t necessary, especially while your baby is in the newborn stage.
So, if you’re anything like I was, please stop stressing.
Here are the bare essentials I’ve found for childproofing and creating safety in a home with kids:
Bare Essential Childproofing Products:
* A quick note about these- none of them are even necessary until your tiny little baby becomes a crawler, scooter, master roller, whatever. If they’re mobile, these are the essentials. Before then, don’t stress too much. You’ll probably have a good 4-6 months before your baby even starts to be on the move.
- Outlet covers – I’ve seen some really fancy ones, but all you really need is something that’s going to block baby from putting their fingers (or mouth) on the outlet and risking electrocution. Some simple plastic inserters will be just fine.
- Baby gate – This is on the essential list if you have stairs that your baby could fall down, or a hazardous area in your home. We actually don’t own a baby gate because neither of those are issues in our home.
- Furniture mounting gear – Super important! This is one of the most important things you can do if you want safety in a home with kids. If you have any dressers, armoires, or other furniture that could fall over on your little sweetheart, make sure it’s secure and mounted to the wall! This one is a nonnegotiable for us.
- Cupboard locks – Kids seem to be drawn to cupboards and drawers, and I usually don’t mind it. If they want to play with the pots and pans, it’s no big deal. But our little guy loooves to play in the trash can. Anyone else? We were always pulling him away from the garbage. Eventually, we put some locks on that cabinet door, and our problem was solved real quick.
- Doorknob covers – This one can wait until your child is tall enough to reach door handles. In other words, you can hold off for a while. But when they do reach that stage, I’d definitely recommend having those simple doorknob covers that make it difficult for a child to open and get into any room or closet where they shouldn’t be hanging out.
Bonus Childproofing Product
Hanging bookshelves vs standing bookcases:
This recommendation has less to do with creating safety in the home for kids, and more to do with protecting your valuables from curious little hands.
Just like kids love cupboards and drawers, bookcases are a child magnet.
And that’s totally okay… if you don’t mind them pulling the books off on a daily basis (just make sure the bookcase is mounted ;)).
When our first child was born, we didn’t have many kid friendly books yet. Meaning, if she pulled the books off, it was probably inevitable that torn pages in our favorite novels and textbooks would follow (along with the mess of course).
A way we chose to combat that issue was by moving all of our books from the bookcase to hanging shelves. Getting everything up off the floor and out of reach.
We actually made our own shelves, and it was super easy! I’ll have a DIY shelves tutorial soon, so you can keep your eye out for that.
But whether you choose to purchase shelves or make your own, having bookshelves vs low easily-accessible bookcases has helped us keep our lovely less-kid-friendly books in good shape.
General Childproofing and Home Safety Tips
*Again, these are mostly for babies and kids that are mobile. They’re going to be pretty stationary for the first several months, so you’ve got plenty of time to prep.
- Keep hazardous products out of reach: This includes anything from household cleaners to tools to kitchen appliances. If you don’t want baby to touch it, don’t put it somewhere they can reach.
- Keep cords out of reach: Same principle as the previous one. If baby shouldn’t touch it, keep it out of reach. Look around for any electrical cords, and consider using electrical tape to keep them in place and make them less accessible, or put them up high. If they’re out in the open, hello child magnet. Your kid will definitely want to play with those cords. Window blind cords/strings can be a major choking hazard too.
- Keep large furniture away from tempting climbing spots: Our first child wasn’t much of a climber, but our second one – oh boy, he’s giving me all sorts of frights lately. He wants to climb up and over everything. If you have a child who is anything like this, I’d recommend keeping your large furniture (like couches or rockers) away from kitchen counters, shelves, or anything else you don’t want baby to reach or climb on.
- Keep video monitors in the bedroom: I guess this is actually another product, but I’ll share it anyways. For mamas who raised their children before the invention of video monitors, kudos to you! I depend so heavily on our baby monitors. It gives me peace of mind to be able to consistently check on my kids when they’re in a different room and see that they’re safe and well. Our little guy (the climber) decided one day that he wanted to try and climb out of his crib, and we would’ve never heard him or known anything was up without catching him on the monitor. We quickly lowered the mattress down a level so he’d stay safe in his bed. I consider baby monitors a major blessing.
Bonus Childproofing Tip
Homeproof your baby:
I’ve heard this suggestion a couple of times from other moms, and I feel like it’s worth mentioning.
No matter how much you strive to create safety in the home for your kids, those munchkins are risky little explorers and can get into trouble. It’s great for their development… but maybe not so much their safety.
So, make sure that you guide your child in learning what is and is not a smart idea.
For example, in our family we’ve seen this come into play multiple times.
In homes without outlet covers, wouldn’t you know it… but the outlets become a magnet for my child!
Obviously, I can’t do anything to childproof someone else’s space.
Instead, I’ll firmly say to my one year old, “No, no. We don’t like that” while using the baby sign (we use baby sign language in our home, but that’s a topic for another day) anytime he crawls over to check it out. If he still wants to touch it, I’ll move him away, and keep repeating the process until he understands that outlets are not something to mess with.
And there you have it! Not too complicated, right?
While you’re in your nesting mode of pregnancy, or just trying to stay ahead of your quickly growing baby, these are the absolute bare essentials we’ve found in childproofing and creating safety in the home for kids.
Relax, do your best, and you’ll be okay. A lot of these things you learn on the go, so even if you’re really nervous right now, I want to reassure you that you’ve got this mama!
Which products or tips do you plan to use for childproofing your home? Are there any other bare essentials that I missed? Go ahead and share them in the comments. As always, I’m alongside you in figuring out this motherhood journey, so I’d love to hear from you, and we can learn together!