Before my oldest was born, I did not do my fair share of baby-proofing. I regretted this decision just a few short, sleep-deprived months later when my son started crawling around and getting into everything he could get his grubby baby hands on. Not prepping ahead of time caused me to rush around plugging up wall outlets and bungee-cording cabinet doors closed. Oh, and blocking the cat door with something obscenely heavy. I had no idea that these 22 baby-proof items every house needs would have saved my sanity if I had done just a bit of research before the crawling phase hit.
Baby-proofing has come a long way since they days when parents just had to cross their fingers and pray for the best while keeping an extra-vigilant eye out for their children. It's still ideal to watch your little ones at all times — especially since babies and toddlers get into absolutely anything and everything — but thankfully there are a few products that can help give parents peace of mind when it comes to home safety. Take a look at these 22 baby-proof items to buy ASAP and help protect your precious babes from hidden dangers all around your home.
1. Magnetic Cabinet Locks
Texas mom Jaime Bohon says these magnetic locks are "so easy to install and they keep the cabinets closed completely unlike the old ones that you opened slightly before unlocking. My kid could definitely have put her hand in the gap and gotten into something she shouldn’t have if I used those." Keep your kids safe in the kitchen and bathroom with these magnetic locking closures for drawers and cabinets.
2. Outlet Covers
Electrical outlets can pose serious dangers to little fingers (and toes, and tongues, and anything else they might stick in there). Buying a bulk pack of these electrical outlet covers that can be on your doorstep tomorrow lets you breeze through your entire house, covering all exposed outlets in one fell swoop. Mom of two and in-home day care owner Crissy Hardin says "Toddlers obsess over trying to electrocute themselves by shoving everything in those," so they're a must-have.
3. Pressure-Mounted Baby Gates
This was my husband's top pick for baby-proofing. He says we absolutely could not have kept our kids safe as babies without using these pressure gates to keep them out of our kitchen when cooking. These are the same ones we used for about three years and they work great in any area where you can use the pressure mounting against two walls.
4. Screw-In Baby Gates For Stairs
If you're securing a stairway for a baby on the move, these screw-in baby gates attach directly to the wall or staircase to allow your baby to be protected from falls down the stairs. Using one gate at the bottom of the stairs and one at the top is definitely the way to go. Jennifer Smith, a mom of two says, "They can be so expensive but so needed, especially at stairways."
5. Furniture Anchors
6. All Purpose Locks
If I personally had to choose my favorite baby-proofing item, this would be it. I have had these same locks on my oven for almost 7 years and they're a gift from above. When your baby learns to pull up, one of the easiest places to reach for is the oven handle. These adjustable locks prevent them from opening it. They can also be used on the refrigerator, garbage can, microwave, and dishwasher.
7. Corner Guards
Protect your little ones from sharp corners by attaching these padded adhesive corner protectors to your furniture. Full confession — I use these on my bed-height nightstand so that I don't bonk my head on the corner if I roll into it in my sleep. They're seriously amazing.
8. Door Lever Locks
If you happen to have door handles in your home with lever handles, your baby will probably try their hardest to grab hold and pull the handle. By using a lever door lock, you can ensure your baby won't be able to turn the handle and escape out of an exterior door or get into a room where they shouldn't be.
9. Sliding Door Lock
10. Door Knob Covers
While these door knob covers take a bit of getting used to for the adults in your home, they will surely help keep your toddler from opening closed doors by encasing the door handle in a child-proof contraption that does not allow the handle to be turned easily.
11. Stove Knob Covers
12. Toilet Seat Lock
The US Consumer Product Safety Commission urges parents to keep locks on toilets in order to prevent accidental drownings that can occur if a child attempts to climb into the toilet bowl. A toilet seat lock will help ensure that the lid stays closed and kids stay safe.
13. Cord Keeper For Blinds
14. Foam Edge Protectors
This foam trim can be used on anything with a hard edge that your baby might bump into — fireplaces, coffee tables, dining room tables, dressers, etc. The great thing about this particular trim is that it comes in a roll and you can cut off as much or as little as you need to put over the edges of whatever you want to cover.
15. Fireplace Door Lock
If you have a glass door covering your fireplace, that is a great starting point for keeping your baby out. But once they learn how to open the door, all bets are off. This fireplace door lock is perfect for keeping your baby from opening a glass fireplace door and getting burned.
16. Fireplace Gate
To safeguard against accidental burns for fireplaces without locked glass doors or built-in screens, be sure to guard your hearth from wandering babies by blocking it with a gate that is designed to surround the exterior of your fireplace and keep your kids from entering the area.
17. Window Stops
18. Power Strip Cover
19. Faucet Cover
20. Bath Temperature Thermometer
21. Non-Skid Rug Stoppers
When your baby is starting to walk, they're probably going to be on pretty unsure footing for a while. Help them avoid slipping on rugs that cover hard floor surfaces by applying non-skid grip pads to the underside of your rugs. I like these because they're removable and can be used on hardwood, tile, or laminate floors.
22. Banister Guard
The openings at the top of stairway banisters or on porches can be wide enough for small children to slip through. You can prevent this by installing a protective safety shield across the openings, like this clear flexible shield from Amazon.