The Best Baby-Proofing Products, According to a Professional Baby-Proofer

All the locks, latches, guards, covers, and more to keep your kids safe in your home.

by Hudson Lindenberger
Originally Published: 
Baby-proofing outlet covers set against a peach backdrop.

Once a baby becomes mobile, one of the most important tasks a new parent must tackle is baby-proofing the house. As they are, most homes contain tons of hidden dangers for curious infants, so parents rely on baby-proofing devices like cabinet locks, baby gates, and child-proof drawers to minimize risk. Fully baby proofing a house involves much more than you might think. Doors must be latched, corners must be softened, outlet plugs must be covered, and stairs must be blocked. (Whether a baby-proof fireplace exists remains to be seen.) Finding the right materials and knowing what to attend to can be tricky. Staci Baker, a professional baby proofer and the owner of Baby Safe Homes in Denver, Colorado, weighs in.

“Most of your baby-proofing can happen after you bring your child home from the hospital,” says Baker. “It’s not until they start to move around at the 6- to 9-month mark that things get dicey.”

The baby-proofing process forces parents to see their house in a whole new light, ripe with potential dangers. To start baby-proofing, Baker recommends changing your point of view. That is, start looking at things from the ground up so you have a good idea where your child will be living in the immediate future. Assume that anything that looks remotely interesting — electrical plugs, stairs, shelves, and cabinets are prime spots — will beckon to a baby just starting to explore their surroundings. “Create redundancies throughout your house,” Baker says. “And don’t assume anything is safe from little fingers.”

According to Baker, these are the baby-proofing products parents should consider, as well as trouble spots that need to be changed.

The Best Baby-Proofing Kits

The Consumer Product Safety Commission recommends using safety latches and locks for cabinets and drawers in your kitchen, bathrooms, and other areas where tempting medicines and cleaners await. Outlet covers and outlet plates help prevent electrocution. Get ones that cannot be easily removed by children and are large enough so that children cannot choke on them.

The Best Baby-Proof Doorknob Products

Childproof doorknob products can block off entire rooms, or prevent curious toddlers from venturing outside.

The Best Baby-Proofing Cabinet Locks and Baby-Proof Drawers

For the first few years of your child’s life, Baker recommends using baby cabinet locks on any cupboards that are below waist level. Even if cabinets don’t hold anything dangerous, child-proofing them will reduce the parent’s stress level. When installing cabinet locks, Baker recommends using hardware instead of adhesives to ensure that everything stays secure. She particularly likes spring locks since babies and toddlers are not strong enough to move the mechanism that holds everything shut.


The Best Baby-Proofing Electrical Outlet Covers

Child-proofing your outlets is essential. Save your child from electrocuting themselves by ensuring that all of your outlets are inaccessible the moment you, or your child, pull a plug out. While outlet plugs do cover the holes, Baker recommends avoiding them since they can become choking hazards if left unattended or pulled out of the wall by little fingers.

The Best Baby-Proofing Fireplace Products

If you’re lucky enough to have a hearth of your own, you’ll want to secure it from your little one, even during summer months, since its lingering soot and hard surface don’t mix well with babies.

The Best Baby-Proofing Corner Guards

Babies tip over and fall, which makes sharp edges a concern. Baker says parents should use padding to cover all edges that might be an issue.

The Best Baby-Proof Garbage Can

Plastic garbage bags can suffocate little ones. The best way to eliminate this danger is to buy a secure garbage can that locks shut.

The Best Bathwater Thermometer

Putting a newborn into bathwater that’s above 104F is dangerous. Baker suggests parents find a simple way to ensure the bath temperature is correct. The CPSC also urges parents to use anti-scald devices for faucets and showers so kids don’t accidentally burn themselves in hot water.

The Best Baby-Proofing Cord Covers

A large, snaking cord is an easy target for curious hands, one that, if yanked, can cause a large TV to topple over or deliver a jolt of electricity. It’s essential, per Baker, to safely hide cords behind a simple cover.

The Best Baby-Proofing Window-Blind Winder

Window blind cords are infamous for the choking risk they pose to small children, so secure them with a child-proof winder.

The Best Baby-Proofing Wall Anchors for Securing Furniture

One of the most important things a parent can do in their home, per Baker, is secure all large pieces of furniture by attaching them to the wall. It only takes a few moments for a small toddler to tip over a heavy item while trying to climb on to it. Use anchors to make sure your dresser or TV doesn’t tip over.

The Best Baby-Proof Window Bars

Baker recommends securing all windows above ground level. First off, she says to move any furniture that will allow easy access to a window. After that, she suggests either keeping them locked and shut when you are not in the room, or investing in a window guard. Window guards (and not screens) are a must to prevent falls. Make sure you limit window openings to four inches or less, including the space between the window guard bars.

The Best Baby-Proofing Toilet Lid Cover

Children can drown in a little as one inch of water according to Baker, so any freestanding bodies of water in your house should be secured.

The Best Baby Gate for the Top of Stairs

It sounds obvious, but the CPSC urges parents to use safety gates to stop kids from falling down the stairs or from getting into rooms where they aren’t safe. Parents should look for safety gates that children cannot open easily. For the tops of stairs, parents should only use gates that screw to the wall.

The top of a stairway, Baker says, is the single most important area to secure in your home. There are a few things that you should look for when buying a baby gate for the top of the stairs. It should mount directly into a wall or banister with hardware so it can’t be pulled down. Baker says to save the pressure-mounted gates for doorways or the bottom of the stairs. The other thing to look for is that it had a wide-enough gate you can easily go through it, and that the latch is simple to operate with one hand.

The Best Baby Gate for the Bottom of Stairs

The bottom of the stairs needs to be secured too, but you don’t have to go as heavy-duty as the top, according to Baker, since there’s less risk of falling. A well-made pressure gate will stop most kids in their tracks, or at least slow them down enough until you arrive.

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