Your kid’s about to be crawling, if they aren’t already, which means you can’t put off the baby-proofing process any longer. The genius home-hackers over at Real Simple have come up with a baby-proofing checklist that runs through the basics room-by-room and makes the whole process, well, yeah. Walked right into that one. Besides the obvious, there are a few precautions you may not have thought of; the key takeaways are listed below. The kid’s been curious, now the kid’s mobile. Batten down the hatches.
- Secure The Crib: Of course your kid sleeps through the night and doesn’t mess around with nearby cords and windows. The rest of us need to guard against those things. Regardless, make sure your crib meets the most current safety standards.
- Install Window Guards: Not to be confused with baby cages. Although the view from there does seem lovely.
- All Latch Everything: Prepare to have to outsmart a baby lock to get anything done in the kitchen, and therefore to start eating more microwave dinners. Stove knobs and garbage disposals get covers, drawers and cabinets containing anything pointy or poisonous get latches, and you get asked, “Why don’t you ever let me play with anything fun?”
- Lock The Throne: And you thought you only had to stop your dog from drinking out of the toilet. Safety latch the bowl. And medicine cabinets and drawers.
- Call A Plumber: Unless you’re comfortable installing your own anti-scald devices for faucets and shower heads … or knew anti-scald devices existed.
- Enemy At The Gates: All stairs get gates, which means your house will finally look like the zoo it’s felt like these last few months. The cool groovy safety experts say you can get away with pressure gates at the bottom, but everyone agrees that if you’re not anchoring top gates into posts or studs, you’re asking to send your baby and your gate down the stairs at the same time.
- Cover Your Corners. And your doors. And your outlets. Curiosity + mobility = little fingers finding sockets and hinges, and wobbly, giant baby heads finding coffee table corners. It’s science.
- Cut The Cord. Or use safety tassels or cord stops on your blinds so Junior can play Tarzan without strangling themselves.
- Harness Screen Time. Literally. Secure TVs and other heavy furniture items to the wall with harnesses so they don’t fall down when Lil’ Tarzan swings over and climbs them.
- Cordon Off A Perimeter. Establish a kid-free zone away from the grill and scary spots like the shed, which will end up regulating itself. Make sure your pool is properly fenced with a gate that’s smart enough to keep them out but easy enough to unlock so that you can get in there during an emergency after they outsmart it.