With our youngest, Judah, now starting to crawl and lift himself up. It’s time to baby proof the house again. Some of the ‘proofing’ is still up from when Nathanael started moving, i.e the safety gate at the top of the stairs and most of the child locks in the kitchen are still in place.
This time around Kiri and I have more to consider when child proofing the house as we can’t just go on lock down like we did with Nathanael as now we have a toddler. Nathanael is toilet trained as has had this luxury in his life of being able to go whenever for over a year now and putting the gates where we had them last time down stairs would stop him getting to the toilet – stopping his independence is not something we want to do.
So here is a list of the best (in my opinion) ways to Baby and Child Proof a home for a baby and toddler.
1. Kitchen Cabinet Locks
We went through a few options with the kitchen cabinets trying to find locks that kept out the little fingers but didn’t hinder the actual usability of the kitchen… you still have to get into these cabinets. These hook style ones seem to be the best, however our 3-year-old does now know how to open them – but doesn’t – I’m taking that as a good parenting achievement for him to know it’s wrong to go into the cupboards.
2. Strategic Safety Gates
I’ve mentioned before about our house being a new build. Well by new build, it was built early 2000s – the design for UK homes hasn’t really changed all that much since then. Most modern houses now seem to be less compatible with baby regalia then some older ones. Our bottom of the stairs is a prime example, the banister on the opposite side to the wall finishes at the second to bottom step, which looks very aesthetically pleasing, however, is pretty impractical for safety gates. With Nathanael when he was starting to move around we went through a few options at the bottom of the stairs but ended up giving up and just putting gates on other rooms down stairs instead. This time around, however now having a toilet trained toddler who we don’t want to block off his independence with regards to the toilet – he NEEDS to be able to go. I’ve built a mount for the bottom step that now will allow a safety gate to work on the bottom of the stairs, which is a lot safety for a climbing baby and still means Nathanael can use the same step to put his shoes on etc.
3. Chimes on the front and back doors
Probably not the above with kids, but that image is better than just a plastic box stuck on the inside of the door… our chimes are part of our house alarm system but you can buy them from stores and fit them pretty easily, very handy when toddlers learn how to open doors.
4. High Up Key Hooks
An obvious choice to keep keys safe, rather than leaving them in the doors, as toddlers learn how to unlock doors around the same time as they learn how to open them. We use Command Hooks that have sticky backs so you can put them anywhere around the home that is easily accessible for you but not so easy for the little fingers to reach.
5. Aesthetically Pleasing Fireplace Guard
A fire guard that doesn’t look like a prison for your fire-place is a must, the only thing with the one we bought that I feel would be helpful would be a section that would open so you can turn the fire on. So please shop around for the best, most appropriate one for your house.
That’s my list of baby and child proofing items that we’ve used in our house, there are many more options out there, but Kiri and I went for child independence and vocal warning which worked with Nathanael so will hopefully work with Judah. I feel that the least amount of proofing is best as you still have to actually ‘live’ with it all on a day-to-day basis – do what works for you and your house.