Children face safety issues around the house every day. As your toddler continues to grow, so do their senses and natural inclination to want to meddle into everything that they can get their little hands on. You’ll find yourself running around the house after them while your toddler is grabbing, climbing, and making a toy out of anything and everything. One minute your toddler thinks they’re a mountain climber while they ascend your bookshelf and the next minute they think they’re a 5-star chef with a hand held mixer in hand while wearing a great big smile on their face. These scenarios might, or might not have, happened to me…in one day. As cute (and infuriating) as it is, toddler proofing is a must to protect them from themselves.
In order to alleviate some of the heart attacks and headaches that your dear toddler will inevitably give you, here are a few of my top tips for baby proofing, er, I mean toddler proofing, your home.
Tips for Toddler Proofing Your Home
Secure Furniture To Your Wall
This might not be the very first thing on your to do for the home, but take it from my personal experience: Secure your furniture to the wall! You can easily purchase furniture anchor kits online or in the store. Your toddler is going to want to climb on everything and anything, which could be disastrous.
Pay close attention to the following types of furniture:
• Book shelves
• Curio cabinets
• Baker racks
• Wine cabinets
• Really, anything you see your toddler eyeballing
Try Chemical-Free Cleaning
Before my son was born, I never really paid attention to the chemicals we used to clean our house. In fact, I’ll admit that I kind of liked the chemical smell because it (perhaps erroneously) signaled to me that things were clean. Now that we have kids, however, I research household cleaners like a hawk. In some instances, we don’t use harsh cleansers at all and have instead invested in an e-cloth Home Cleaning Set, which is a set of specially-formulated cloth that allows you to clean many household surfaces using nothing more than water. (And yes – they actually work!)
Anchor your TV To The Wall
If you have a wall-mounted flat screen TV, then you’ve already beaten me to the punch – as long as the TV is elevated high enough off of the ground it should be safe from your curious toddler. If your TV is not mounted on the wall, then be sure to get a TV anchor kit. It attaches to the back of your TV and secures it in place on the furniture so your child can’t accidentally pull the TV down on top of him or herself.
Keep Cords and Cables Out of Sight
Have you heard of that expression, “Out of sight. Out of mind.”? It’s completely true, especially with your toddler. As long as they don’t see it, they’re not going to want to plunder around and play with it. Get a few packs of cable and cord organizers. Not only are they more slightly than having to look at a scattered mess of cords, but ideally they will be hidden from your toddler’s line of sight. hey won’t want to pull at the cords, or possibly chew on them.
Make your Window Smarter
We all love window treatments in our homes. It makes everything look prettier while helping to control the amount of sunlight that enters and giving us more privacy. However, let’s let not forget that traditional window blinds can create a huge strangulation issue for your toddler. Again, your toddler’s curiosity is going to be hard at play. They’re going to want to pull at the strings attached to the blind. Heck, even some adults still play with the strings! There are two different methods for toddler proofing your blinds:
- Buy cordless blinds.
- Attach a hook to wrap the string around. Be sure that the hook is high enough that they won’t be able to reach on their tippy toes or with a chair or foot stool.
Use Drawer and Cabinet Catches
Drawer and cabinet catches are going to be your new best friend and save your sanity! Child proof cabinet locks are a necessity for preventing your toddler’s sticky little fingers from exploring places they don’t belong. Besides cabinets and drawers, you can also get locks for stoves, refrigerators, toilets, and various other appliances. You’ll be able to breathe a little bit easier with these items installed in your kitchen.
Install Corner Bumpers
Corner bumpers are fantastic for keeping your toddler’s head from getting scraped up too badly as they careen around the coffee table at full speed.
Outlet Plugs are a Must
Do you know what my son did the second he learned to scoot across the floor? He went RIGHT for the open outlet. I don’t know what it is about outlets, but they draw little ones in like magpies. While I didn’t yet have my outlet covers installed, I did have a stash on hand so I went around installing them the same afternoon that my son became mobile. In terms of baby proofing, some items will be situational depending on just how curious your toddler is, but outlet covers are a must-have for all.
Tip: I LOVE the Kidco Outlet Covers because they have a little bit of a handle on each one, which makes them a little easier for adults to remove. They still fit snugly, so little hands shouldn’t be able to remove them too easily. (No, all outlet plugs are not created equal – ha!)
Use a Tub Mat
Bathtubs can be very slippery when they’re wet. A full-length bath mat will create traction, and you won’t have to worry about your child losing his or her footing and falling when getting in or out of the tub.
Repeat After Me: Door Knob Covers
I kid you not: As soon as my husband gets home from work today I am running out to the store to pick up some more door knob covers. Since my son (sadly) learned how to open doors, he wreaks havoc throughout the entire house. Thankfully, these door knob covers keep him out of the rooms where he doesn’t belong, but I need to get a couple more for the bathrooms, the basement, and our back door.
Install Safety Gates on Stairs
Don’t be afraid to use a safety gate in your home to help protect little ones from climbing up or falling down stairs, and to block off certain areas of your home. Be sure to get a safety gate that your sly youngster can’t easily open. Remember: If you can’t easily open it, then neither will your child. Yes, sometimes they can be a bit of a brain teaser to open, but you’ll be able to breathe a little bit easier knowing that your child is (hopefully) contained.
Invest in a Steam Cleaner
Perhaps this should have gone up with the chemical-free cleaning, but another way we are trying to eliminate our use of harsh chemicals is via steam cleaning. A steam cleaner uses nothing but tap water to deep clean things like our shower stall and oven, and we’ve even used it to refresh our mattresses. It also cleans toys! The Nugeni Steampac+ Portable Handheld Steamer with Extend Reach does double duty in our household; In addition to cleaning, we use it to steam the wrinkles out of my husband’s work clothes!
Start Toddler Proofing Early
I know they call it baby proofing, but babies are sweet innocent creatures who don’t move all that much. Toddlers, on the other hand, are busy little people who never stop moving and getting into whatever crosses their paths. I should have started toddler proofing as soon as we moved into our new house, but I was lazy and have been baby proofing as we go, which I really regret. Baby proofing in a reactive manner is not ideal. For instance, we finally installed our drawer catches when I caught my son pulling a knife out of the silverware drawer. Yikes! Please do yourself a favor and start your toddler proofing early. Don’t follow my lead!
What are some other ways you have child proofed your home?
Thanks to Nugeni, e-cloth, and Kidco for partnering with me on this post!