Being a new parent is overwhelming. In the first few months, you are exhausted, anxious and adjusting to life with a small infant. The thought of babyproofing your home can be completely overwhelming. Many new parents don’t know where to start, so they end up waiting too long to babyproof or never babyproofing at all, leaving their child at risk for serious injury. This site is designed with parents in mind. Our goal is to make babyproofing as simple as possible.
The tips below should help you get started and get in the right mindset to create a safe home for your child. If you have any questions as you read through our site, please don’t hesitate to contact us.
Babyproofing Your Home: WHO (and how much)
Most parents choose to babyproof their home on their own. Once you have a plan and the right products, it’s really just a matter of installing everything correctly. The cost of babyproofing will greatly depend the size and layout of your home. For a typical, 3-4 bedroom home, you should budget at least $200 or so for the appropriate products for your home.
On the other end of the spectrum, some parents choose to hire a professional babyproofer. You can visit the International Association for Child Safety to find a babyproofer in your area. The price varies widely, but you should budget around $100-200 for the initial consultation, and around $1,000+ if you plan on having the babyproofer purchase and install the recommended items in your home.
If you aren’t handy or don’t have the time to install babyproofing products, consider purchasing the products on your own and hiring a handyman to help with the installation. This is generally cheaper than hiring a professional babyproofer. Just be sure that you trust your handyman to carefully read the instructions and properly install everything.
Babyproofing Your Home: WHAT
What you use to babyproof your home will vary depending on your home layout and furnishings. In the guides on this site, we’ve provided product recommendations based on our own experiences. You’ll find that there are a variety of products to fit your home and budget.
A few tips on getting the best products to fit your budget:
- Amazon Prime offers FREE shipping and returns on baby items. Use this to your advantage! If you aren’t sure which product option works best for your home, order a few and send back the ones that don’t work, no questions asked. Just be sure to look for the “Prime + Free Returns” label next to the price. Some products that aren’t categorized on Amazon as Baby items might not allow free returns (for example, cord covers are often categorized as office or home supplies).
- Check local garage sale sites, consignment sales and Craigslist. Many parents over-order babyproofing supplies and you can often find new products at a huge discount. Be wary of used items that don’t include the original hardware or instructions.
Some parents choose to go the DIY route for many babyproofing items. For some parts of your home, this can work very well; for example, doors, drawers and cabinets can often be babyproofed with common household items. Unfortunately, DIY options are generally not as effective as other products. The temperament and curiosity of your child will greatly impact whether or not DIY methods work. When applicable, we’ve included DIY tips in each of our guides.
Babyproofing Your Home: WHEN
When it comes to babyproofing, earlier is always better. When you have a new infant, it’s hard to imagine your child walking around and wrecking havoc on your home, but it will come sooner than you expect. You can save yourself headache and worry by babyproofing as early as possible.
That said, it’s never to late to babyproof. Even if you have an older toddler, your child will still benefit from any safety measures you put in place.
Babyproofing Your Home: WHERE
Many parents ask us where exactly they need to babyproof. Some parents babyproof only a room or two, while others babyproof the entire house. The choice is really up to you. If you babyproof your entire home, your life will definitely be easier as your child grows and explores. At a minimum, be sure to pay attention to the very high risk items that pose a serious hazard to your child, such as pools, firearms, furniture, stairs, medicines and chemicals.
Additionally, remember that your child wants to be wherever you are. Think about your movements throughout the day with your child. Are you cooking dinner most nights with a child nearby? If so, you’ll want to pay attention to the kitchen, even if the child spends most of the day in a playroom.
Babyproofing Your Home: WHY
Why babyproof your home? Two reasons:
- To keep your child safe. You might be the most observant, diligent parent of all time, and your child will still find a way to get themselves into trouble. Although babyproofing is never a substitute for parental supervision, it does provide a layer of protection in case your attention is temporarily diverted elsewhere.
- To keep you sane. Parenting is hard. There are days when you are just trying to make it through to the next nap or to bedtime. Having a safe place for your child to play reduces your mental burden. Trust us, your life will be a million times easier if you aren’t having to constantly pull your child away from one hazard or another.
Babyproofing Your Home: HOW
So you’re ready to get started. You want to babyproof your home and keep your child safe. How should you get started?
We’ve suggested a babyproofing order on our Overview page. To come up with a comprehensive plan for your home, we suggested planning each item one at a time in the following order:
- Read the guide for the selected item to learn why you want to babyproof this area of your home and what to look for.
- Go around your home and note how many of each item you have and any unusual features. Take photos if necessary. For example, if you are working on babyproofing power strips, go through your home and tally how many power strips you have. Don’t forget to get on your hands and knees to find any items that might be right in the eyeliner of a crawling child.
- Using the product recommendations in each guide, determine the best products for your home. Write them down or put them in your shopping cart, including the quantity you need of each item. Keep a list of the items you are purchasing and what you are using them for, so you won’t have to guess when they are delivered.
- You can now consider this item “done” and move on to plan the next item.
Once your products arrive, we recommend installing all similar items at the same time throughout your home, rather than installing by room. This saves time in getting out tools and reading the product instructions.
Ready to dive in? Head over to our overview page to see a list of our guides and recommended order.