Babyproofing 101: When Do I Really Need to Babyproof?

One of a parent’s most important jobs is keeping their little ones safe at home and in the world. One of the ways parents keep baby safe at home is taking adequate babyproofing steps to ensure that their home is a safe place for baby to live, learn and grow in.

While some people think of babyproofing as a one-and-done activity, seasoned parents know that babyproofing is an evolving process that changes as a baby grows from immobile infant to curious toddler. Check out the most important babyproofing steps you should be taking at each stage to keep baby safe and happy!

baby proofing
Image via Unsplash/ Kelly Sikkema

Infant:

When a baby first comes into the world there’s not much they can get into. As totally immobile creatures you don’t have to worry about them exploring under the sink or sticking their finger in an electrical socket. At this age, you should be sure that your home is safe for everyone by making sure you have smoke detectors and other home safety devices in working order and that no one brings anything dangerous to baby within their reach.

You should also ensure that their sleeping area is clear of any items like blankets or toys and that they are put to sleep on their backs.  

Crawler:

You should prepare for your crawler and begin babyproofing when they begin rolling or show signs of readiness to move so that by the time they’re crawling the house will be as safe as possible.

Plug all of your electrical sockets, get gates for any stairways, secure padding to any sharp corners or edges, and remove anything dangerous from baby’s reach. Even though you’ll remove any and all dangerous chemicals from underneath sinks or from low cabinets you also might want to secure the doors with cabinet locks to ensure that baby doesn't make a mess of all your belongings.

Before a baby begins to crawl is also a good time to ensure that all furniture is secured to the wall to prevent tip over and that shelves and other things baby might pull themselves up on or attempt to crawl are not at risk of falling. And, if you want to prevent the baby from playing in the toilet, consider locks for the bathrooms as well. 

Walker:

Just as you should plan and babyproof for a crawler before your baby is actually crawling, you’ll want to plan and baby proof for a walker before your baby is actually walking. By the time they start pulling up to stand you need to be working on any new safety concerns.

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At this age, you’ll want to assess what they can reach and move or secure everything in that range (and slightly above) that you don’t want them getting into. Now is also a good time to add secure top latches to any exterior doors to prevent the baby from stepping outside without you!

Toddler and beyond:

The purpose of babyproofing is twofold: first and foremost it’s to keep the baby safe while they are at home. A second purpose is to ensure that your little one can move comfortably through their space without being told ‘no’ or being scolded for touching things you don’t want them to touch.

When a little one can move freely they can learn, grow and explore comfortably! As your child continues to grow, continue to assess what makes their environment a safe one and what makes you say ‘no’ and then remove, secure, or otherwise deal with anything in that category. Assess safety with an eye for making your home their home as well. 

{ MORE: 5 Tips For Working From Home With Baby }

Happy baby proofing parents!  

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Babyproofing 101: When Do I Really Need to Babyproof?

Julia Pelly has a master's degree in public health and works full time in the field of positive youth development. Julia loves hiking after work, swimming during the summer and taking long, cuddly afternoon naps with her two sons on the weekends. Julia lives in North Carolina, with her husband and two young boys. You can find more of her work at JuliaPelly.com ... More

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