I remember waiting for my first child and trying so hard to prepare the house for our new baby. That when I start researching for baby proofing ideas, but no list seems to be complete. That’s why I created this checklist.
Here’s the list of items I’ve used to childproof my home and keep my babies safe. By installing the essential childproofing items, you’ll create a safe home for your family.
BABY PROOFING AROUND THE HOUSE
⚠️⚠️ = High danger
⚠️ = Moderate danger
1. Store away dangerous items ⚠️⚠️
This recommendation may sound obvious but store away all dangerous items. Keep out of baby’s reach anything dangerous, from knives to cleaning products and especially heavy objects.
2. Keep hot food or drink away from baby ⚠️⚠️
Don’t take with you a hot drink or food and your baby at the same time. Push away hot drink and food from the edges of your counter, kitchen island or dining table.
3. Store away plastic bags ⚠️⚠️
Store away all plastic bags, ziplock and aluminum foil. A plastic bag is not a toy, and it could suffocate your kid. Also, the sharp cutting edges of the aluminum foil box can be a danger to your little explorer’s hand.
4. Hide electrical cords ⚠️⚠️
Make it challenging to reach electrical cords by hiding them behind your furniture. To be extra careful secure them to the wall. A cable cover is the most secure way to hide your baby monitor cable.
5. Make sure your home number is visible outside ⚠️⚠️
Make your home number easy to see from the outside. Put more lights, place it in a better location, anything so the first respondents can locate your home quickly.
6. Secure the phone cord ⚠️⚠️
Your kid could get wrap around the phone cord if it’s too long or dangling. You should use this electric cord shorter.
7. Install smoke detectors ⚠️⚠️
Put up smoke detectors on each level of your house. Especially in the kitchen and outside the bedrooms. Also, twice a year, change the batteries.
8. Get a fire extinguisher ⚠️⚠️
Buy a fire extinguisher, make sure everyone knows where it is and how to use it.
9. Store away the candles and matches ⚠️⚠️
Store away any candles and matches. It’s likely for a kid to ignite a match accidentally. Many house fires are unexpectedly light by children. Also, candles can be chew on, and your baby could choke on the wax.
10. Store away your firearm ⚠️⚠️
If you have guns in your home, always keep them unloaded, with the trigger locked and stored in a gun safe. To be extra careful, get rid of them. Kid’s will explore the house and will always be obsessed with what in that lock safe. There is too much chance they find a way into the safe.
11. Install a fireplace gate ⚠️⚠️
Install a fireplace gate and cover it entirely. In my opinion, the metal screen is not right to keep your baby safe, because they can get boiling.
12. Store away firestarter ⚠️⚠️
Store away heavy logs, axe, and matches from your baby’s reach.
13. Store away the gas key ⚠️⚠️
Store away the gas keys of your fireplace.
14. Secure heavy furniture ⚠️⚠️
Secure all heavy furniture to the wall, using safety attach or screw them to the wall. The type of furniture with potential from tipping over are the bookcases, dressers, and cabinets
15. Install baby gates at the top and bottom of the stairs ⚠️⚠️
Every staircase should be gated, no matter the size of it. Install a hardware-mounted baby gate at the top and the bottom of the stairs.
If you want my advice on which baby gate is the best for your home, check out this list I created of the top baby gates.
16. Install a carbon monoxide detector ⚠️⚠️
You should install a carbon monoxide detector on every level of the house. Just like a smoke detector, they are a life saver, but you must replace the batteries twice a year. You can also check for a smoke detector that is a monoxide detector as well.
17. Remove poisonous plants ⚠️⚠️
Do some research on the different plant you have in your house to see if any is poisonous. Also, you should remove any cactus from your baby’s reach.
18. Store away cleaning agents ⚠️⚠️
It is essential that you store away all cleaning agents, hand sanitizer, vitamins, dishwasher pods, and other possibly toxic products from your baby’s reach. Most of those items are as dangerous as medicine, but not contained in a childproof container.
19. Secure the cords from window-blind ⚠️⚠️
If you have horizontal blinds with cords, cut the cords off or use a safety tassel. These cords are a severe strangulation risk to children.
20. Install window guards ⚠️⚠️
Don’t rely on the window screen to protect your kid from falling off the window. Any windows accessible by your kid on the second floor or above should be protected with window guards.
21. Secure windows opening ⚠️⚠️
Another good way to secure window is to limit the opening to a maximum of 4 inches.
22. Store away your purse ⚠️
Purses should always be kept out of your baby reach. Inform your visitor’s that you have a curious baby crawling around the house.
23. Store away your piggy bank ⚠️
Store away your porcelain piggy bank. Your kid could think it’s a toy and try to climb up the library or dresser to grab the bank. There are too many ways to go wrong, from falling to choking on coins.
24. Never let your baby unattended where theirs a falling possibility ⚠️
Be present when your baby is on the bed, sofa, high chair, bouncing chair, changing station, kitchen island, etc. Baby can easily do a fast movement or lose balance. It takes only a second.
25. Secure heavy wall hanging ⚠️
Any heavy wall hangings are a possible threat to the safety of your kid. Even when they are well installed, they could be knockdown by your kid. Also, be extra careful what you put on shelves because they could fall on their little head.
26. Store away the liquor and alcohol ⚠️
The alcohol can be harmful to your baby. Also, most bottles are made of glass and are easily breakable.
27. Gate floor heaters and radiators
Install gates or block access to floor heaters and hot radiators. Baby can get burn or electrify while playing with it.
28. Unplug hot items when not in use
Always unplug hot items such as the curling iron, blow dryers or toaster. Also, put them out of your baby’s reach while they cool down.
29. Install doorstops and door holders
Think about the little fingers of your baby and protect them by installing doorstops and door holders.
30. Place covers over unused electric outlets
Install safety plugs or outlet covers on any unused outlets. In my opinion, the sliding covers are better because they can’t be pulled out and choked on.
31. Stock your medicine cabinet and first-aid kit
Get a first-aid kit and stock our medicine cabinet with the essential.
32. Have a visible emergency phone number list
Create an emergency contact list, along with medical information on your phone. Make it accessible even in lock mode. Teach older your older kid how to use it.
33. Install a landline
It will be a good idea to have a telephone connected by the landline. In case the power is out, or the batteries from your cellphone are dead, you can still place an emergency call from your home.
34. Install non-slip pads under all rugs
Kids will run around the house, and there’s a good chance they will slip on the rug. Also, in my experience, it will prevent from having to replace it every day.
35. Install corner and edge bumpers
Check for sharp edges and corners from your furniture or counter. Cover them with safety padding. Put your self at your kid height and check where he could fall or bump his head.
36. Install latches on doors and drawers
Install safety latches on any cabinets, doors, and drawers. It will prevent pinch fingers from your little explorer.
37. Secure the TV
In my experience, the TV will be a constant attraction for your baby. Therefore put your TVs or any other heavy items on a stable stand, install safety straps and move them as close to the wall as possible. Also, it could be the time to update to a flat screen TV that you could hang on the wall.
38. Secure shaky lamps
Reposition any tall and unsteady lamps behind furniture. Or avoid floor lamps because the can be easily pulled down.
39. Avoid furniture with glass doors
Avoid furniture with glass doors. In my experience, kids can be hard on furniture. Anything with glass can shatter in pieces at any time.
40. Secure glass photo frames
If you have photo frames with glass, make sure they are mounted safely to the wall. Kids can easily knock them down by accident. The shattered glass can be hazardous. Put them in a place where there’s less traffic in the house or replace the glass with plexiglass.
41. Store away the TV remote
Remote control could be mistaken for a toy, and it would be easy for a kid to open the battery compartment. Any kind of battery is dangerous. Baby can chock on them or get severe internal damage. If you kid swallows a battery, go to the ER right away.
42. Remove water and food for pets out of your baby’s reach
If you have a dog or cat around the house, you should place the water and food somewhere your baby can’t reach. First, it will prevent your baby from trying to eat the food and maybe choke on it. Second, you won’t have to clean the mess after your baby plays with it. And believe me, it will happen.
43. Check for peeling paint and wallpaper
Inspect your home for any flaking paint and have it removed. If your house was built before the year 1978, have the paint tested for lead. This element was regularly added to residential paint but has been banned because of the harmful properties.
44. Use safer cleaning supplies
To protect your newborn baby, you should consider using safer cleaning supplies. Most of those hazardous chemicals you clean the house with can be replaced with vinegar, mineral oil and eco-friendly cleaning products.
45. Don’t leave party balloons around the house
A latex balloon can be dangerous to a baby. Once popped, the balloon could be swallow and stock in your baby throat. This is a serious suffocating rick.
46. Don’t leave crayon around the house
Store away your pens and crayons. Your baby could try to chew on it and choke on a small piece.
47. Don’t leave water bucket around the house
After cleaning, always empty the bucket and store away the cleaning solutions. Also, never leave any container. You baby could drown in it.
48. Take a children CPR class ⚠️⚠️
This class could save your kid life.
49. Have a fire escape plan ⚠️⚠️
Make a fire escape plan, share it with other family member and review it each year.
50. Check the water heater temperature
To make sure your kid does not get burn using the hot water, you should go to the source and regulate the temperature of the water tank. Put it to a maximum of 48 degrees Celsius.
51. Keep furniture away from windows ⚠️⚠️
Reposition your furniture away from the windows, because your kid could use it to climb, reach for the window and fall. Window screen is not useful when a baby pushes all his weight again it.
HOW TO BABY PROOF THE BATHROOM
52. Install safety latches and locks into cabinets ⚠️⚠️
Install safety locks on your cabinet and drawer. Especially the one that contains the medicine or any other dangerous products.
53. Never let your baby in the bathtub alone ⚠️⚠️
When you give a bath to your baby, fill the tub with enough water to cover his legs. To a maximum of 3 inches high. Also, never let your baby in the bathtub alone, not even to answer the phone.
54. Store away sharp object ⚠️⚠️
Lock in a cabinet all razors blades, scissors and nail clippers.
55. Store away your medicine ⚠️⚠️
Always check if the medications are inside a childproof content. Also, store them away from your baby’s reach.
56. Use non-slip mats in the bathroom ⚠️
Put a non-slip mat inside the bathtub. You can be extra careful and place the second mat beside the tub.
57. Install toilet seat lock
Install safety latches on the toilet seat cover to make sure that your baby can’t get inside.
58. Check water temperature
Always check the water before bathing your baby. Do a test with your hand or wrist to make sure water is not too hot.
59. Install tub spout cover
Install a tub spout cover to prevent head injuries. It will also prevent your baby from getting burn on the faucet.
60. Store away your contact-lens case
Don’t forget to put away your contact-lens case. The lid can easily be twisted-off, and your kid could choke on them.
61. Secure the screw covers on the base of the toilet
The screw covers can be easy to get off. Those covers are very accessible to a crawling baby. They are serious choking hazards.
BABY PROOF YOUR CAR
62. Secure car seat ⚠️⚠️
Always install the baby’s car seat rear-facing and fix according to the manual.
63. Don’t leave keys in the car ⚠️⚠️
To prevent your kid from getting locked inside the car. Kid love to play with buttons and if they lock the door while your outside, they might not know how to open it back. This can be a stressful situation, especially on a hot summer day.
64. Never let your baby in the car alone ⚠️⚠️
Even for just a second. It will prevent from forgetting your kid in the car or getting intoxicated by monoxide, etc.
65. Engage the rear door child locks ⚠️
Babies love to pull and play with handle. This attraction could be a problem if you are on the highway and suddenly the back door open. Also, your kid could fall off the car trying when to get out.
66. Engage the window locks ⚠️
If the window is open, you don’t know what could get in. From bees, bugs, trash, cigarette buts, rain, etc.
67. Keep your car clean from loose objects ⚠️
Never put grocery bags, tools, toxic items and small objects near your baby. They can be a choking hazard. Store them out of your baby’s reach.
68. Secure unused seat belts
Always secure the loose seat belts. If your kid plays with it, they can be a strangulation hazard.
69. Make sure your garage door safety sensor is working
To prevent your kid from getting crush under the garage door.
A BABY PROOF KITCHEN
70. Store away the knifes ⚠️⚠️
Never leave the cutlery in baby’s reach. Store away that butcher block sitting on your counter. The best place to store the knives is in the upper portion of the cabinets or inside a lock drawers.
71. Install stove covers and oven knobs ⚠️
Kids love to play with button and handle, but it can be dangerous when it’s connected to the oven. That why you should install covers and knobs on your stove.Depending on the type of oven you have, you could remove the knobs and store them in a cabinet beside. Also, you should install a latch on the oven door. This protection will avoid your kid from getting a bump on the head while pulling on the oven door.
72. Don’t leave your baby alone in the kitchen ⚠️
When you are cooking, you can’t be watching your kid correctly and trying to finish as fast as possible the dinner meal. Put your baby in a safe zone. Many parents will have a gate in the entrance to fence the kitchen area while cooking or cleaning in it. Otherwise get a pack and play or a little swing.
73. Keep small magnets off the refrigerator ⚠️
Even if the little magnets are useful to hang paper and other important stuff on the refrigerator, they can also be a serious choking hazard for your baby. Even if you put them high, you could, by accident, let one fall off when you close the refrigerator door.
74. Make sure the dinner table is sturdy and strong
Some parents prefer to hook a highchair to the dining table. If you do so, check first that the table is sturdy and robust enough.
75. Cook on the back burners
You should start cooking with the back burners of the oven. Pot handles can be easily pulldown by a kid, or even you could accidentally burn your children. Also, never hold your baby in your arm while cooking.
76. Install lockable lids on the garbage can
Install latches on the garbage cans, so your kids won’t go through the trash. Many small pieces could be a choking hazard.
77. Install safety latches on the refrigerator
Install a safety latch on your refrigerator doors. This locking mechanism will stop your kid from playing with the food, trying to eat something too big or drop the pickle jar on the floor.
78. Remove tablecloths
Get rid of tablecloths. Your baby could pull on it and everything on top it could come crashing down.
79. Properly use the high chair
Always use the safety straps of the high chair. Never let your baby unattended in the chair.
80. Lock the dishwasher
Never leave detergent in the dishwasher if you are not starting it right away. Every year too many kids go to the ER because they swallow the detergent. Also, you don’t want your baby to crawl on the knives and forks inside the dishwasher. Try to think to put the knifes blades upside down. If your dishwasher has a lock mechanism, use it, otherwise install a safety lock on the door.
81. Put the microwave out of your baby reach
Install the microwave in the upper cabinets. If you can’t and need to place it on the counter, never let food in it because your child could activate it and start a fire. Also, never open the door to grab hot food when your child is beside you. There are too many chances to drop the hot content on your kid.
HOW TO BABY PROOF THE NURSERY
82. Use nonflammable safe sleepwear ⚠️
According to the CPSC, in case of a fire, sleepwear should be fire-resistant or snug-fitting. Loose-Fitting sleepwear can catch flame more easily. The CPSC, record almost 300 incidents per year because of this.
83. Don’t use baby clothes with drawstrings
Drawstrings can look super cute but can also be super dangerous. Your baby could pull it off and choke on it.
84. Secure furniture to the wall ⚠️⚠️
Your kid will be spending a lot of time in his room. Sometime your kid will play alone and could try to explore. Even if you teach your children not to climb on furniture, they could try to do so one day. That why you should make sure the dresser and other large furniture are secured to the wall to avoid tipping over.
85. Remove unsafe toys ⚠️⚠️
Check toys for any small plastic parts or ribbons that your a baby could tear off and choke on. Also, remove any toys with strings longer than 12 inches.
86. Keep bumpers, comforters, pillows and plush toys out of the crib ⚠️
87. Remove mobile above the crib ⚠️
That cute mobile you bought on Etsy might not be suitable to be hung above the crib. The string and little part could be dangerous to your baby.
88. Put your baby to sleep on his back
Put your baby to sleep on his back. Don’t leave your baby sleeping with pillows or heavy blankets.
89. Keep baby wipes and supplies out of baby reach
Have the baby wipes and supplies in a place where it easy to reach for you but not your baby. When you are busy changing the diaper, your baby could be looking for something to play with.
90. Put a thick rug beneath the changing table
In case your baby fall off the changing table, a thick mat can make a huge difference.
91. Place the crib in a safe place
Never place the crib beside windows or heaters, because your baby could overheat. Also, remove all lamps and wall decoration form around the crib, because it could fall on your baby. Finally, move any furniture or toys that could be used to climb out or pulled inside the crib.
For more in-depth information, check out my article on crib safety.
92. Use eco paint in the nursery
Painting the nursery is an essential part of the ritual when you are waiting for a first child. Parents want to create a safe environment for their kids to sleep in. That is why you should only use non-toxic paint. Also, try to finish painting and to put up the wallpaper at least a month before your baby due date. That way you are not exposing your precious baby to paint fumes.
93. Check the slats spacing of the crib
Check for gaps between the crib slats. They should not exceed more than 3 inches apart. Also, check for loose bolts and screws that need tightening.
94. Lower the crib mattress so your baby can’t climb out
Has your baby grow you should lower the mattress. As soon as your baby can pull himself up, you should drop the mattress.
95. Check if your crib follow safety standards
Double check if your crib meets the safety standards. Especially if you get a second-hand crib. Check our article on crib safety here.
96. Use the safety strap of the changing pad
Never let your baby alone, even for a second, on the changing table. Take the time to use the safety strap. It’s better to lose 5 seconds to attach the strap than 5 hours going to the hospital.
97. Don’t use drop-side cribs
Drop-side cribs are known to pinch little fingers. They are also not reliable because the mechanism does tend not to clench all the time.
98. Secure toy chest
Check if the toy chest has a spring-loaded hinge that smoothly closes the top. Otherwise, that toy chest could slam close on your toddler’s head.
99. Buy a baby monitor
A baby monitor is a great way to keep an eye on your kids while you are doing chores around the house. It will alert you the second your baby wakes up.
If you want my advice on which baby monitor is the best for you, check out this list I created of the top baby monitors.
OUTDOOR AND BACKYARD BABY PROOFING
100. Block opening from the balcony railing ⚠️⚠️
Block any openings of the railings that are more than 4 inches wide. Use chicken wire net, Plexiglas or this safety Railnet to cover the balcony opening.
101. Empty kids pool after use ⚠️⚠️
Always empty the kid’s pool when not in use. Also, store upright to avoid rainwater from filling it.
102. Install a fence around the pool ⚠️⚠️
If you are lucky enough to have a pool, make sure is surrounded by a fence and lock door. To be extra careful you could install an alarm on the pool door.
103. Empty open-air drain from excess water ⚠️⚠️
After a rain or snowfall, always check for any accumulations of water and drain it off.
104. Childproof the pool deck ⚠️⚠️
A fence should surround your pool deck. The door leading to the pool should have a lock and should close automatically. The door latch should be childproof, don’t just put a padlock because kids can easily forget open.
105. Don’t leave your baby unattended around the pool ⚠️⚠️
This is important, and we never say it enough. Never, ever, even for a second, let a child by the pool unattended. Too many accidents could have been avoided if parents didn’t take the chance.
106. Install backyard fences and latches ⚠️
Test the sturdiness of your backyard fences and gates. Also, you should install latches and automatic closing mechanism on doors. This gate will prevent your kids from going in the street or beside the pool.
107. Store way gardening tools ⚠️
Store away your gardening tools in a lock shed.
108. Create a kid-safe area
Kids love backyard and they should be allowed to play freely. To do so, you must fence off some area, like bbq, tool shed or other dangerous structure.
109. Keep your baby in the shade
When you are enjoying a sunny day outside, it’s better if your kid is playing in the shade but if you don’t have the choice, don’t forget to put sunscreen on your kid.
110. Make sure the deck is well sanded
Your baby will crawl all over the deck, so you better make sure it’s splinter free. Also, check for loose railing and nails sticking out.
⚠️⚠️ = High danger
⚠️ = Moderate danger