A lot of friends have recently asked me how to make their house safer for their young kids without totally destroying their furniture and overall aesthetic. I asked my Dad this same question when my first son started walking. We had just renovated and furnished our new (first) home and already at first crawl, it was an obvious dangerous. Once he started walking, game over. A lot needed to change. My Dad joked ‘don’t baby proof the house. Baby proof him! Put a helmet and knees pads on him’ – honestly, it wouldn’t have been a bad idea.
Here is what we did instead:
This one was HARD. It took me three shots to find the one that would actually work for our oven and surrounding counter situation. This is the one we have, which will work on a variety of different items like a mini-fridge or some media centers as well. There are a few options, so ensure you get the right one for your kitchen.
Stove Knob Protectors
I found this set incredibly easy to install myself (okay, with a little help from the Husband). They are easy to replace and work perfectly for all our lower cabinets.
It was hard to find the right lock for the larger pantry doors, this lock has worked out very well for us for knob handles. Our son can’t reach and he wouldn’t be able to figure it out any way. I then can avoid the magnet lock on these doors which adds an extra step to the process of getting into the cabinet!
I just black corner bumpers for our dark dining room table, on the underside where the kids are more likely to hit their head anyway. I don’t worry about the tape underneath since no one can see it anyway! There are tons of options for bumpers. Protectors for corners are available in clear, black, white, and other colors – I prefer foam over hard plastic.
Chairs that Scratch
Instead of using the felt little circular mats on the bottom of my dining room chains and the kid’s chair’s, I use furniture socks! That’s right! They might look funny once you notice them but I have them in black for our dark chairs and white for our white chairs – people hardly ever notice them. They also have them in brown and gray.
I found that even when I’ve super amazing glue – the circular felt protectors fell off once in a while and my kid’s put everything in their mouth! I wasn’t/am not willing to risk that in our household.
3 Foot Rule
You’d notice at my house that, generally, everything under three feet is kid-friendly. There are no low level picture frames (these ones in the shot above are a tiny bit under my normal requirement but that is all!), no glass or porcelain on lower shelving, no adult-only supplies like scissors or soaps…
Moving everything up or out under three feet has helped a lot in keeping our sanity.
Zip ties come in handy for all sorts of baby proofing things like securing television cord bundles, or securing a lamp to a table leg like in the photo above!
You’ll notice my electrical outlets are NOT covered. We have new outlets and updated electrical, these ones are actually kid-proof from the inside. Make sure to get appropriate covers if you’re outlets are older or do not have this same system in place.
We live in Northern California so we don’t often need to use our fireplace. For this reason, we got a super simple gate to insert at the opening, protecting our children’s from touching the soot and fake logs for our electric fireplace. If you find yourself in a part of the country that needs/want to use your fireplace in the winter – you should explore getting a gate around your mantel.
That random bar above (in the photo of our sliding door/porch) is a retractable shower rod and works PERFECTLY to keep the kids from opening the sliding door and going outside on their own (which they can otherwise do). We also have an alarm on this door to alert us if it opens (and sets the alarm off as needed too!).
These shutters look great but are very “pinchy” to tiny hands – as we have learned. I found that plastic sliding locks for cabinets actually work great to keep the shutters together when open – avoiding the pinching of little curious fingers.
I use the same sliding lock on our media center as I do on our window shutters. There are tons of options depending on your handles!
Cords Near Beds
To protect the kid’s from getting a hold of the cord leading to their monitor camera, I use cable protectors, as in the photo above on the wall. You could find a lot of uses for these protectors, especially along the baseboard line.
Keep It Out of Reach
I keep all cleaning supplies, soaps, wipes, and anything else that could potentially be hazardous out of reach – high up in a cabinet and not underneath the sink.
We have just two doors in our house we needed to protect at the hinges. We used these and they actually blend in pretty well, most people don’t notice them in our otherwise busy household. Most people need to protect from the other side, but our little guy was trying to stick his fingers on the hinge-facing side whenever anyone opened the door. Another option is here!
Stair gates are super important and I am sticker for this with young kids! It is recommended that stair gates should be screwed into the wall, but there are tons of options including custom ones that can be attached to fancy balconies to match! Do whatever makes sense for your house/family/budget to keep your kid’s as safe as possible near staircases.
High Locks & Alarms
We use both locks placed high-up (and way out of reach of young kids) and alarms to keep our kitchen’s super safe from exterior doors (we live on a busy street!), and other places of danger (like the garage and a closet that contains medicine).
If you have a sharp edged table (like our coffee table – oof!) – try these foam bumpers you can measure out to the perfect size.
It is important to securely fasten heavy furniture like dresser, standing mirrors, shelving units and changing tables to the wall. Failing to do this could result in incredibly sad and unfortunate circumstances. Ensure you find the most secure and feasible option for your furniture and household.
I have found these locks super easy and efficient to install and use. I have them installed in the bathrooms and the kid’s bedroom (dresser).