advice

safe as houses:
how to baby proof your home

Your home feels like a safe haven, so it's a surprise to find out how much mischief your little one can get into once they become mobile. Most babies start crawling around eight months, although some are up and moving before then. It's a good idea to have a baby proofing checklist to make sure your little one can explore in safety. Here's how to baby proof a house.

get rid of tripping hazards

There are bound to be a few lumps and bumps as your little one learns to walk, but you can do a few things to stop falls becoming really dangerous. Adding soft plastic covers to furniture's sharp corners keeps your baby from getting cut if they take a tumble. Installing baby gates at the top and bottom of stairs mean they can't get up or down without a grown-up.[1] Carpeted stairs soften the blow of a stumble, and keeping your staircase well lit (and free of toys) means everyone's less likely to fall over.

protect little fingers

Popping some hinge protectors on ironing boards, deckchairs and doors can stop tiny fingers from getting trapped or painfully pinched. British plug sockets have shutters to stop your child getting an electric shock if they manage to get a finger inside, but protectors are still worth installing. Sockets are right at eye-level, and it can be tempting to stick things other than fingers (such as bits of metal) into them. You should also try to keep all of your stationery and tools in a high drawer where your little one can't reach them.

anchor your furniture

If you've not done this already, secure any tall or heavy pieces of furniture to the wall. Crawling babies love pulling themselves up on things, and once they get slightly older your adventurer might try to climb up bookcases and chests of drawers too. Fastening your furniture to the wall makes it less likely that they'll pull the whole thing down on top of themselves.[3] It's also best to keep tall lamps sandwiched against the wall by other furniture. Cords should be carefully hidden in case your child decides to give them a good pull.[1]

stay on the ball

Curious babies will try to get into anything you leave lying around. If you're throwing away anything dangerous (batteries, plastic bags or broken bulbs) it's a good idea to take it outside immediately. Or put the bin somewhere your child can't reach. Burns are quite common – tea can scald 15 minutes after it's been made.[4] Keep hot drinks away from the edge of surfaces, and put your cuppa down when playing with baby.[2] Turn pot handles away from the edge of the hob, as toddlers have a tendency to grab at them.


References & Further Reading


[1]. Baby and toddler safety, NHS, February 2019

[2]. Baby and toddler proofing tips for your home, Emma's Diary, [Accessed, May 2019]

[3]. Childproofing around the house, Baby Centre, [Accessed, May 2019]

[4]. Burns and scalds, Child Accident Prevention Trust, [Accessed, May 2019]