Just when you thought baby proofing was challenging, your baby turned into a toddler. Suddenly, everything you baby proofed in your house no longer applies.
With a child that walks, jumps and climbs it’s time to go through your house once again and toddler proof!
Since my baby became a full fledged toddler he finds something new everyday to get into or destroy. It’s become challenging to keep up with a toddler who’s constantly on the move.
Each day I feel like it’s a race to toddler proof another object in my house to keep everything we own safe and my son safe.
If you’re baby proofing effects are no longer a match for your active toddler, it’s time to go toddler proof room by room! But don’t worry…
Just follow this guide to help you check off everything you need to do to toddler proof your house!
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Start with the bathroom first. You son or daughter (whether potty training or not) will spend a majority of time in the bathroom with bath time alone.
Plus it’s an area that poses a lot of risk for babies and toddlers (mainly from water and falling hazards).
Let’s look at everything that needs to be upgraded for toddler proofing!
Non-Slip Bath Mat
When in the bathtub, toddlers tend to not sit still. Therefore, a non-slip bath mat is best for extra cushion to prevent slipping.
Since toddlers move around quite a bit, it’s best to have a spout cover to prevent bumps to the head.
A toilet lock is a lifesaver! I don’t have to worry about small hands getting into a yucky toilet or toys being thrown in.
The only down side to a toilet lock is when it comes to potty training. If or when your toddler is able to potty on his own… A toilet lock probably needs to stay unlocked to allow for easy access.
We recently remolded our bathroom and specifically installed floating high shelves to put toothbrushes, hair irons, hair dryers, etc. This completely eliminates the risk of potential burns for our toddler.
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Whether you just have cabinets to only store towels or you’re storing bathroom cleaners and medication, it needs to be secured! Cabinet locks completely remove any worry you may have about your toddler getting into bathroom cabinets.
Depending on what type of cabinet hardware and preference you have on locks, there’s an option for cabinet locks for every household!
Whether you need outlet covers or not depends on how high your outlets are. If your toddler can reach the outlet by standing on a stool, it’s probably best to do an update on outlet covers by purchasing a sliding outlet cover.
Similar to bathrooms, there’s many potential dangers lurking in the kitchen. While you could always put up a pressure mounted baby gate and call it good, I’d still recommend toddler proofing for the kitchen.
Stove Top Safety
Whether you have a gas or electric stove, if your toddler can reach knobs, it spells danger. To alleviate this problem, you may need safety knob covers especially if the stove knobs are located on the front of the range.
Of course safety knob covers won’t help when it comes to hot food splatter. For that you may want to try a stove safety guard. It prevents toddlers from touching the hot surface, plus reduces food splatter burns.
Oven Door Lock
I recently had a close call when my toddler decided to open the oven door with the oven on! That was something new. Thankfully, I was right there and quickly closed the door yelled “NO” and shooed him out of the kitchen.
Since then I bought a oven door lock to prevent this from ever happening again!
Put Away Chemicals
Most parents don’t leave anything with chemicals lying around the house. For the kitchen I’ve always kept the chemicals below the sink.
While this is a convenient place to store them, it’s also a potentially dangerous because a bottom cabinet is an easy place for a toddler to reach.
To remove as much danger as possible, you could store cleaning supplies in an upper cabinet. If that doesn’t work for you then do what I do…
- Purchase kitchen storage bins to place all your chemical items in to keep them in one location (you can get these really cheap at a Dollar Store!)
- Push that storage bin with cleaning products to the back of the cabinet
- Install a sliding cabinet lock
Like chemicals, this is a no brainer! Many people keep knives in a butcher block on the counter. But eventually, your toddler might reach that!
I removed the temptation all together for my son by getting rid of the butcher block and placing all the knives in a pull-out drawer (with a drawer lock of course).
All lower cabinets and pull-out drawers should have cabinet locks of them. Locking them also removes the temptation of your toddler opening a cabinet and using the shelves to climb on the counter.
Trust me, I’ve been there!
Another option to keep a toddler entertained while you’re in the kitchen cooking is to designate a specific cabinet for your toddler. Then fill it with toys to keep him or her occupied.
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I have not gotten to the point of buying a refrigerator lock yet, but if your toddler doesn’t stay out of the fridge you may want to invest in one!
You never know what could go wrong sometimes. I’m adding a fire extinguisher to this toddler proofing guide because every kitchen should have one!
You only need a small size fire extinguisher to extinguish grease fires for a kitchen.
Once your child becomes a toddler, everything including furniture needs to be tied down. To do this you need to install an anti-tip anchor or strap to each piece of furniture.
Although you can’t really strap down a toddler bed, it is possible to secure a crib or day bed.
If your toddler’s room has a toybox it’s best to also install anti-straps to secure it. But you can also take it one step further to avoid any smashed fingers by taking of the toybox lid.
That way you just have an open toybox.
If you want to completely avoid smashed fingers or your toddler hiding inside a toybox you can use a multi-bin toy organizer instead.
Even though your toddler is no longer a baby and can sleep with a blanket, all bedding needs to be toddler size. Although my son loves to play with pillows, he still sleeps without one.
If your wondering whether your toddler can or should use a toddler size pillow, read this article to help you decide.
If you choose to have a baby monitor to watch over your toddler at night, it may be time for an upgrade.
Cords from baby monitors pose a strangulation issue for toddler’s (and babies). If your baby monitor is the plug-in type, you can upgrade to a cordless baby monitor.
Again, sliding outlet covers need to be installed in every room of the house.
While you could have simple plug-in outlet covers, toddlers are smart enough to get them out. When they do, plug-in outlet covers then become a choking hazard.
Although some parents completely replace their existing window blinds for cordless blinds, you don’t need to go that far.
Window blind cords are a definite strangulation hazard. But if you take certain precautions you toddler will be safe.
- Open all blinds each day to a height your toddler cannot reach
- Don’t leave the blind cord hanging down (I have installed a small hook at the top of the window to wrap the cord around)
Since a majority of your toddler’s time is spent in the living room, there are many things that need to be toddler proofed.
Take a look around your living room area. Are there any sharp corners on furniture? This my include short book cases, coffee tables, end tables, etc. If so, it’s best to cover them with a corner protector, also known as ‘furniture bumper.’
There are furniture bumpers made of foam… I wouldn’t suggest these! They normally come in a roll and you simply cut off what you need and stick it to a corner.
Yes they are easy to use, but unfortunately they now contain small chew marks from my son taking bites out of them.
Just like in the nursery or kids room, furniture that can be tipped over easily needs to be tethered to the wall.
While you don’t need to secure everything like recliners, couches, coffee and end tables, you do need to secure
- Free standing china cabinets
One of the main things we secured first was four small shelves filled with DVD’s. They’re light weight and tip easily!
To keep our son from constantly taking out DVD’s, we covered the DVD’s with a large bedsheet. Is it pretty? NO! But it works because “out of sight, out of mind.”
I didn’t need to worry about this when baby or toddler proofing. I simply don’t own plants because they all end up dead. Yes… I’m that type of person!
Some houseplants are considered dangerous to children and pets if ingested. And let’s face it… With babies and toddlers, everything goes in the mouth!
But don’t worry, you can still adore houseplants! They just can’t sit on the floor anymore. Move all those plants to a high shelf or (if the plants too big) move it to a different room your toddler doesn’t go into.
Thankfully, I don’t have to worry about stairs.
But if your house has stairs, you need double the amount of baby gates! One gate for the top and one for the bottom.
Better safe than sorry when it comes to stairs!
The fireplace is a concern when it comes to children. Keep your toddler safe by installing bumper pads along the edges of the fireplace base.
Unfortunately, much of the bumper pads on the market are made of foam that doesn’t resist bit marks!
Not only do you have to worry about hard corners, but the fireplace itself because of burns. For babies and toddlers, its recommended to purchase a fireplace guard with a lock!
Of course if you want to forego the guard and bumper pads, just put up a baby gate meant to fit a fireplace!
Say goodbye to your TV freestanding on a stand! The TV needs to tethered to the wall to make sure no falls occur.
We completely removed the entertainment center and replaced it with a wall mount for our TV. It was one of the best decisions we made when it came to toddler proofing our house!
We had two tabletop lamps on each end table in the living room, but those quickly got removed because of toddler hands.
So instead we have a floor lamp in the corner behind a large piece of furniture. I tend to use the overhead lights when I’m needing extra light instead of small lamps.
But I’m sure it’s possible to secure tabletop lamps if you need them in your living room.
Since my baby’s now a toddler, we have no pictures resting on end tables, low bookcases or a coffee table. Now every picture that doesn’t hang on a wall has been moved to an out of reach high shelf.
And since our toddler is in the 99th percentile for height, we had to move hanging pictures higher up on the walls as well.
Some toddlers are notorious for opening doors. This is a definitely probably when it comes to the front or back door.
So far, my son hasn’t figured out how to open the front or back door. But I figure it’s only a matter of time!
If you have a son or daughter who’s really good at turning door knobs or quick to figure things out, you’ll need a door knob cover or lever.
If that still doesn’t keep your toddler from opening doors, you might need to take it a step further with a door alarm.
I warn you now: Door alarms are VERY LOUD! As they should be! You will definitely hear if your little one is trying to escape the house without permission.
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Although much of these precautions may have been done during your baby proofing days… All these areas in your house need to be looked at again.
Toddlers get into everything! They climb, run, skip, jump… With all these new physical developments it’s no wonder many objects in your house are no longer safe.
Now that your baby is not a baby anymore, he or she needs to be protected from falling or sharp objects more than ever.
I thought baby proofing was easy. But once my toddler started walking and moving a lot more after 8 months of age we had to toddler proof.
Now my son is two and a half and every day is a challenge to keep up with toddler proofing. Each day there’s something new my toddler has gotten into prompting me to make constant adjustments around the house.
Whether your baby is just starting to walk or your baby is now a toddler, toddler proofing a house takes a lot of effort and imangitive thinking.
Depending on the size of your home and your toddlers curiosity, the list above might be minimal.
But this guide will give you a great start to toddler proofing your home room to room today!