Baby Proof It: A Room-by-Room Guide to Securing Your Home

We understand you don’t want to dampen Junior’s enthusiasm for exploration, but a few sensible baby-proofing measures can protect your child from common household injuries. Our room-by-room guide and list of baby proofing items will turn your home into a safe place for your baby to pull, climb, and inspect every nook and cranny.

While this baby proofing guide will help, there's no substitute for supervision. Even a well-secured space can contain hidden dangers, so keep your eyes open and read on.



nursery for a baby

Nursery

Crib

Best crib
kalani baby crib

*Amazon.com price as of post date. Read full disclaimer.

To ensure your crib meets current child safety standards, always buy new. Old cribs may contain broken parts, toxic materials, or dangerous designs like drop sides.

The crib mattress should fit firmly along all four sides so there are no gaps for the baby to fall into. Mesh liners are safer than crib bumpers for keeping heads and limbs inside the crib.1

We like the DaVinci Kalani 4-in-1 thanks to its hidden hardware, non-toxic materials, four mattress heights, and ability to transform into a toddler bed, day bed, and full-size twin bed. 

See more in our review of the best baby cribs.

Bedding and stuffed animals

Those stuffed animals and handmade quilts are adorable, but for young babies, they’re a suffocation risk. Keep the cozy bling out of the crib until your child is older and able to sit on their own.

Toy box

Hinge guards
Happlife hinge guard (1)

*Amazon.com price as of post date. Read full disclaimer.

If you’ve opted for a tidy box instead of open shelving, you’ll want to make sure your toy storage has hinge guards and soft-close hinges so it doesn’t close automatically, trapping your tyke inside.

Changing table

Changing table with strap

*Amazon.com price as of post date. Read full disclaimer.

We have all done it. You were just out of reach for a moment, grabbing that butt paste. But that was the exact instant your baby chose to demonstrate an ability to roll over.

Attach a changing pad with high sides and a safety strap—like the Summer Infant Contoured Changing Pad—to your changing table to prevent tumbles. But babies are wiggly and wily, so don't walk away from your little one even though they're strapped in.

Keep supplies at the table or move your changing pad to the floor once baby becomes more mobile as an extra precaution against falls.

Mobiles

A gorgeous mobile is the centerpiece of any nursery. It’s also dangling enticingly right above a baby who can now reach for it and pull it down. Move the mobile, or raise it higher to keep it from becoming a hazard.

Living Room

Living room and bedrooms

Windows

Cordless blinds

*Amazon.com price as of post date. Read full disclaimer.

Inspect blinds and window coverings for loose or dangling cords, which pose a strangulation or choking hazard.2

Use cord keepers or switch to cordless blinds like the Redi Shade Easy Lift

Windows also present a fall risk for babies and toddlers. Add extra security to your windows with child-proof aftermarket window locks. To safely enjoy a summer breeze through an open window, install a window guard.

Tables and furniture

Table edge covers
UXU table corner guard (1)
UXU Corner Guard
$6.99
(12 pack)

*Amazon.com price as of post date. Read full disclaimer.

Guard against sharp, head-height edges on your tables and lower pieces of furniture with bumpers and edge covers. Look for corner guards that are non-toxic and large enough not to become choking hazards if they get pried loose by curious fingers.

Bookcases can look like a staircase to little feet eager for a climbing challenge, so be sure they’re secured to the wall with anchors

Knickknacks

Smaller objects, glass figurines, and more probably crowd tabletops and shelves in your living spaces. Even if they’re not going to win you a bundle of money the next time Antiques Roadshow comes to town, you still want to place knickknacks out of reach. Once broken, smaller fragments could cut your young child or cause them to choke. 

Use heavy-duty double-sided tape or a product like Quake Hold to prevent items from falling if their shelf is jostled by a hyper toddler.

TV

TV anchor
Safety 1st tv anchor (1)

*Amazon.com price as of post date. Read full disclaimer.

Flickering lights and curious sounds emit from this enormous box, and most kids are eager to get up close and personal. Secure your TV with an anchoring system and NEVER, EVER place it on top of a dresser where it could tip and tumble onto your toddler.

Fireplace

This part of your home is hot stuff. Keep your little one from toddling into trouble by fencing it off after lighting a fire and protecting any hard edges around the hearth with edge guards.

Electric cords

Cord cover

*Amazon.com price as of post date. Read full disclaimer.

Welcome to the digital age and the ever-expanding issue of cord management. They’re messy and unsightly but even worse for your child, they also pose a strangulation hazard. Get ‘em up and out of the way with ties, tape, or covers designed to keep your cords close and your child safe.

Be ready to prevent your curious kiddo from unplugging cords with an outlet cover box or a surge protector cover.

bathroom

Bathrooms

Bathtub

Tub spout cover

*Amazon.com price as of post date. Read full disclaimer.

Perhaps the most important aspect of bathroom safety involves never, ever leaving your baby unattended in the tub, even for a second. It takes as little as two inches of water for drowning to occur.3

Turn your furnace down to prevent scalds from hot water and get a thermometer for the tub. Around 100°F is a comfy temp for your baby's bath water.4 

Wet babies are slippery babies, so install a nonslip mat to help you get a grip. 

And buffer that bath spout. It’s right at noggin height for your little bather.

Beauty and personal care products

Many of the chemicals in hygiene products are as caustic as those in cleaning supplies if ingested, so clear the bathroom counter of cosmetics and use cabinet locks to keep bathroom drawers shut. Hot irons or other appliances should be unplugged and stowed when not in use.

Medicine cabinet

Medicine lock box

*Amazon.com price as of post date. Read full disclaimer.

Keep medicine, health supplements, and yes, even vitamins out of reach of children. These chewables often look like candy, and too many kids make the mistake of eating a handful of pills. The safest thing to do is lock up medication and other potentially poisonous first-aid items. 

Check out other models in our home safe buyer's guide.

Bell
Poison control hotline

Don’t have the number for Poison Control in your phone? Add it now:

American Association of Poison Control Centers: +1-800-222-1222

Toilets

Toilet lock

*Amazon.com price as of post date. Read full disclaimer.

Get a toilet lock. Seriously. Your kid might mistake that inviting bowl of water as place to play. Ewww!

Kids can also drown in toilet water. Lock it down. 

How to Build a Smart Kitchen

Kitchen

Cupboards

Best cabinet lock
Baby Safety Cabinet Locks

Amazon.com list price as of post date. (See full disclaimer.)

Maybe there are some cupboards you’re willing to let baby explore. After all, banging pots and pans is a sacred rite of childhood. Inspect yours and decide what needs to be moved or locked up. You should definitely consider securing the following items.

• Cleaning products

• Liquor and tobacco products

• Sharp objects

• Anything made out of glass

• Plastic or paper bags

We like Wappa Baby's cabinet locks, but you can see our other recommendations in our full child-proof cabinet lock review.

Magnets

Do you have a few of these on your fridge? Of course you do! Everybody does. But you’ll want to move them. Most magnets are small and easy to swallow, and the stronger ones can wreak havoc if ingested.

Stove and oven

Stove knob covers

Amazon.com list price as of post date. (See full disclaimer.)

Shiny knobs are great fun to turn, and while it’s good motor practice, it is also a terrible risk for your tyke. Knob covers, stove guards, and oven locks are all helpful in keeping little fingers away from the heat.

The clear knob covers from Safety 1st fit all stoves. If you have a certain type of knob, you might also be able to use silicone stoppers for a more discreet look.

Vitamins and supplements

We mentioned this one before, but it’s a risk worth harping on. Kids are used to eating vitamins. They’re cute and colorful, and they come in familiar shapes that look exactly like candy.

In small doses, they bolster health. In large doses, they can cause iron poisoning. Make sure you’re the only person who can hand out the health supplements by keeping them out of reach and locked up.

Fire extinguisher

Accidents happen, even to parents. Especially in the kitchen. There’s a gross bathroom emergency or a screech as someone tumbles down the stairs, and the last thing you’re thinking about is that pot you left on the stove.

Keep a fire extinguisher accessible, but be careful that it’s not within reach of your child. They're heavy and could really clunk a kid if pulled off a counter, and the fire retardant in extinguishers is toxic to ingest even in small doses.

Countertop appliances

Even if they’re out of reach, far back on the counter, you’ll have an adventurous climber sooner than you anticipated. Keep appliances like toasters, mixers, and coffeepots unplugged when not in use.

hallway

Hallways

Doors

You’re probably not ready for the slamming doors that come with raising teenagers, and neither are your little one’s fingers. Use doorknob locks, hinge guards, doorstops, pinch guards, and other simple gadgets to prevent passage and protect your toddler.

If there's no physical door to secure, set up a baby gate to limit your toddler's access.

Stairs

Best gate for stairs

*Amazon.com price as of post date. Read full disclaimer.

Restrict access to these steep challenges with a safety gate. We like the Toddleroo by North States because it installs with sturdy hardware, can be opened with one hand, and doesn't feature a floor bar for everyone to trip over.

You can also consider some common-sense measures like carpeting the stairs, but don’t forget the railings. A banister shield will prevent small appendages from getting wedged into those gaps between the rails.

Rugs

Unless you want to go slip-sliding away, you should make an effort to secure floor rugs and loose carpeting. Grippers and nonstick pads are available to protect your floors and keep your feet from flying out from under you.

garage interior

Garage

Cars

Keep your vehicle doors locked so when your little one decides to become the next Nascar driver, they won’t be able to put the pedal to the metal.

Buckets and bins

Keep receptacles that could gather water turned over so they don’t become small water features that’ll attract your child and pose a drowning risk.

Hazardous and flammable materials

This involves more than just putting all those unused gallons of paint away. Secure cleaning products and other chemicals and lock down tools, especially those with sharp edges.

Use childproof cabinet locks and add door sensors for an extra layer of security. 

laundryroom

Basement and laundry room

Cleaning products

Many people keep cleaning supplies in the basement or laundry room. Make sure they’re in an out-of-reach cabinet or behind a securely locked cupboard. And keep poison control on speed dial regardless.

American Association of Poison Control Centers: +1-800-222-1222

Washer and dryer

Anchor these heavy appliances and ensure they're locked so little hide-and-seekers don’t dive in.

Carbon monoxide

Best carbon monoxide detector
nest protect product

*Amazon.com prices as of post date. Read full disclaimer.

Install several carbon monoxide monitors to ensure levels in your home are safe. There should be an alarm on every floor of your house, primarily near the areas where children and adults might sleep, as well as in the basement or wherever the furnace or gas appliances reside.

Google Nest Protect is our top pick, but you can check out our other recommendations in our full review of the best carbon monoxide detectors.

apartment living room with couches tv books

Everywhere

Electrical outlets

Best outlet covers
Outlet Covers (1)

*Amazon.com price as of post date. Read full disclaimer.

The little holes that accommodate your electrical appliances are unfortunately perfect for tiny digits. Remove temptation with outlet covers but beware of the cheap plastic inserts, which can become choking hazards. We like ParentCo's outlet covers because they're attached to a large plastic rectangle, making them impossible to choke on.

Choking hazards

Look for small objects near the ground that could become potential choking hazards. Buy a choking tester to figure out what's too small to keep around a baby.

Furniture

Furniture anchors
Booda Furniture Anchors
$19.99
(10 pack)

*Amazon.com price as of post date. Read full disclaimer.

A crawling baby constantly uses furniture to get a leg up, but it’s a dangerous endeavor. If you have a heavy piece of furniture or electronic device that isn’t secure, it could topple over and crush your child.

Furniture tip-overs cause around 11,300 childhood injuries each year,5 but it’s easily preventable with furniture anchors. Use two anchors, and make sure they’re screwed into the wall studs so your little sweetie can continue trying to scale every surface safely.

Houseplants

Use the Poison Control Center's illustrated guide to poisonous plants to identify your houseplants. Get rid of any that are poisonous.

Other plants have trailing vines that can be of concern. Keep plants up high and away from prying fingers. 

Lead paint

Lead paint test
SCITUS Lead Test Kit
$16.99
(30 swabs)

*Amazon.com price as of post date. Read full disclaimer.

Your kid probably doesn’t lick the walls much. Thank goodness! But if you have an older home (built before 1978), there could be lead paint chips in places you might not suspect.6 Get your home tested by pros or try a DIY lead test kit

Learn more in our complete guide to lead poisoning in the home.

Pet food

Fido’s food is probably not the best source of nutrition for your baby, and it’s definitely a serious risk for choking. Closely supervise mealtime, and when your pet is done, put their food up.

Batteries

All kinds of batteries are dangerous and can cause internal burns if ingested.7 The small button batteries that are in many small electronics and toys also represent a choking hazard. Check to be sure all the things that talk and tick have batteries secured behind screw-on covers.

Guns

Best gun safe
Barska gun safe

Amazon.com list price as of post date. Read full disclaimer.

Children as young as 3 years old have the strength and dexterity to pull a trigger.8 Take gun safety seriously from day one and lock it up with a gun safe. Don't forget a car gun safe too.

Final word

Remember that child proofing your home is a process, one that you should start early and complete in stages. Every child and every environment has different demands, so take the time to assess your situation and your home carefully before you begin.

Home baby proofing FAQ

How do you baby proof an open floor plan?

Use an extra wide baby gate to block large doorways or to create a safe play pen. Other than that, the guidelines for baby proofing an open floor plan are the same as baby proofing any other home: keep poisons, dangerous objects, and choking hazards out of reach and/or locked up.

How much does it cost to baby proof a house?

Expect to spend several hundred dollars to baby proof your house. We break down the costs of baby proofing in a separate guide.

When do I need to start baby proofing my house?

Once babies turn over onto their stomachs, usually around five to six months old, crawling is just a few months away. This is the best time to start baby proofing. Start some common-sense measures like securing furniture and installing gates before baby starts using every surface as a step up.

Sources

  1. Melissa Jenco, American Academy of Pediatrics, "Report Presents Additional Concerns About Crib Bumpers," May 19, 2017. Accessed December 27, 2021.
  2. Window Covering Safety Council, "Window Covering Cord Safety," Accessed December 27, 2021.
  3. Sarah K. Romero, MD, Nemours Kids Health, "Water Safety," May 2019. Accessed December 27, 2021.
  4. Mayo Clinic, "Baby Bath Basics: A Parent's Guide," Sept 4, 2019. Accessed December 27, 2021.
  5. Adam Suchy, US Consumer Product Safety Commission, "Product Instability or Tip-Over Injuries and Fatalities Associated with Televisions, Furniture, and Appliances: 2020 Report," January 2021. Accessed December 27, 2021.
  6. Environmental Protection Agency, "Protect Your Family From Sources of Lead." Accessed December 27, 2021.
  7. Poison Control, "Batteries Cause Devastating Injuries." Accessed December 27, 2021.
  8. Nichole Michaels, Nationwide Children's, "Gun Safety." Accessed December 27, 2021.

Disclaimer

Product prices and availability are accurate as of the date/time indicated and are subject to change. Any price and availability information displayed on Amazon at the time of purchase will apply to the purchase of this product. Safewise.com utilizes paid Amazon links.

Certain content that appears on this site comes from Amazon. This content is provided “as is” and is subject to change or removal at any time.

Cathy Habas
Written by
Cathy Habas
With over seven years of experience as a content writer, Cathy has a knack for untangling complex information. Her natural curiosity and ability to empathize help Cathy offer insightful, friendly advice. She believes in empowering readers who may not feel confident about a purchase, project, or topic. Cathy earned her Bachelor of Arts degree in English from Indiana University Southeast and began her professional writing career immediately after graduation. She has contributed to sites like Safety.com, Reviews.com, Hunker, and Thumbtack. Cathy’s pride and joy is her Appaloosa “Chacos.” She also likes to crochet while watching stand-up comedy specials on Netflix.

Recent Articles

Neighbourhood homes in the United Kingdom
The Best Home Alarm Systems in the UK
Find the right alarm system to protect your UK home. SafeWise recommends security systems for...
safewise's best home security systems
10 Best Home Security Systems of 2022
After hundreds of hours of tests and research, plus a combined 50+ years of experience,...
Abode, Frontpoint, ADT Safestreets logos as alternatives for Vivint
Alternatives to Vivint
Vivint isn’t for everyone. We researched and found three other home security systems to better...
Senior woman hugging dog
The Best Medical Alert Systems of 2022
See which medical alert system is the best to keep you and your loved one...