Bringing home a new addition sets fear and worry into many new (and even seasoned) Mom’s. “Will everything be ready? Will everything be secure? What if this? And what if that?” Use these suggestions to help keep your kids safe and baby-proof your house on a budget.
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Disclaimer: I’m not a handyman or baby proofing expert. I’m a Mom. These items worked for me. Please use them at your own discretion and remember to adhere your heavy furniture directly to the wall. Mom of the Moment is not responsible for any damage or injury caused by implementing these items in your baby proofing strategies.
Upgraded Outlet Covers for Safe Kids
The first thing most Mom’s think about when it comes to baby-proofing, is sticking those little plastic covers into their outlets. But, before you go and buy a case of plastic covers, take a look at these:
These self-closing outlet covers are easy to install and easy to use, if you’re an adult. You just slide the ‘trap door’ to the right and insert the plug. When not in use, the ‘trap door’ automatically slides shut. These are 1,000x better than the plastic caps that can easily be pulled from the outlets.
And, if you’re worried about your child unplugging your electronics, you can purchase some of these. They shut tight and prevent little fingers from unplugging electronics. Keeping kids safe no matter their age. Whoever thought these two inventions up was a genius…and a Mom!
One of the most terrifying threats to me was the loose strings attached to the blinds. Perhaps it’s the tags that come attached with the warning labels, but I was very fearful of little fingers getting too near those darn strings.
I thought knotting them up would work well, however, that limits your opening and closing abilities with the blinds, so I opted for my trusty Command Strip Hooks.
Yes, I use them a lot, but they are lifesavers in rental properties. Each of our windows that has blinds and loose strings has a small hook on each side of the blinds. They are placed high enough that little fingers can’t reach them. I simply loop the strings around the hooks and tada! out of reach and kid-safe.
Locks of All Kinds
Kids get into everything and it can be difficult to keep them safe if you turn your back for even a second. But, thanks to some awesome Mom engineers somewhere, they’ve figured out ways to lock up everything.
This was my favorite oven lock! It comes with super sticky adhesive that attaches directly to your oven. It should be noted that after about a year of use, the adhesive stopped working so well and had to be replaced. (A small price to pay to keep your kids safe.)
With this specific oven lock, you just twist it to lock/unlock the oven door. It even has red and green indicators to let you know if the oven is locked or unlocked.
The hardest part about the toilet lock was remembering to tell guests how to unlock it. Because, despite anyone’s best efforts, if you didn’t open it the correct way, you weren’t going to the bathroom.
Once you knew how the lock worked, it was easy, though. You simply lift up on the two latches on the outside and flip the top back.
Get yours here.
Strap locks come in quite handy when you’re just not sure how to lock something up. We used them on our laundry room door and the doors to our entertainment center. We also used them on #1’s dresser to keep him from getting into the drawers or climbing them.
Plus, they come in a variety of colors (brown, black, white, gray) and you can easily trim them to fit wherever they are needed.
Please note that strap locks are not an alternative to properly adhering your furniture to the wall. These straps will not endure the weight of large pieces of furniture, they are only meant to keep doors shut.
Whatever you do, though, don’t try the strap locks on the refrigerator. At least not if you’re planning to hook one end of the strap to the wall. I can’t tell you the number of times the strap adhesive ripped the paint off our wall. We eventually gave up, but I wish I’d had something like this:
Not only does it appear to be part of the refrigerator, it’s easy to install and use, without tearing up the paint or drywall. Keep your kids safe and get yours here.
The type of child safety locks you’ll want for your cabinets will depend on what type of cabinets you have. If your cabinets of have handles, go for:
These are probably the easiest child safety locks to attach. I definitely recommend using them when and where you can, especially over your other options.
On the contrary, if your cabinets have knobs, you get the hard job of attaching the cabinet catches. While these work great – once they’re installed – installing them is definitely a difficult job. At least it was for me. So much so that I’d rather install handles on all my cabinets than ever have to install these catches again.
Door Pinch Guards
There is nothing worse than the shrill scream of a child that’s just gotten their fingers caught in the door. For that very reason, our doors have these fancy little do-dad’s to prevent smashed digits.
Let’s be real. Baby gates are lifesavers, but store-bought baby gates are the worst! No matter what you do, you or your child is going to knock it down, get your fingers pinched, or slice your toes on the sharp plastic bits.
That being said, the only baby gates I can wholeheartedly recommend are those made by my friends at Oak Grove Woodworks. Their gates are hand made to your custom specifications and absolutely gorgeous! They are the first and only baby gate you’ll ever want or need. So much so, that you won’t even want to remove them when your baby grows up.
Bumps happen, but you can ease the blow by cushioning your sharp corners and edges with these foam sets:
They are available in multiple colors and adhere nicely with their built-in adhesive. Plus, when you need to remove the pieces, they don’t leave a residue. At least not one that you can’t get off with a Magic Eraser. Get yours here.
One of my favorite baby proofing hacks is a little magic. We used to have an entertainment stand that had an open front. Open to where #1 could crawl up to it and pull out wires, routers, DVDs, you name it.
But, with a little Mom ingenuity, a large canvas, and some small hinges later and we had a built-in piece of art that blocked the necessities. #Momwin!
Bonus: Faucet Extender
This isn’t so much a baby proofing tip, as a way to help your kids stay safe in the bathroom. We’ve all seen our children balance precariously on the edge of the sink trying to reach the water from the faucet. At some point in time they slip and fall, or get soaked in the process. But this little invention, the faucet extender, brings the water to them and keeps the mess in the sink.
Naturally, we purchased one that looks like a hippo, because, why not?
The One Thing I Wish I’d Realized
I feel like every Mom knows that at some point their child is going to get hurt. We realize it. It sucks. We don’t want it to happen. So these little suggestions are great ways to limit or avoid it.
But the one thing I didn’t realize, was that I didn’t need to tackle this stuff right away. I recall being several months pregnant attaching outlet covers and door guards, not realizing my baby wouldn’t even be mobile for several months after birth.
I know that’s a silly thought, and you’re thinking, ‘Seriously?’ But, come on, how many of you Mom’s thought you had to have the entire house baby proofed and child safe the day you brought your little bundle of joy home from the hospital?
Well, I’m here to tell you, you don’t. Take your time with it, just make sure it’s all accomplished by the time they’re mobile. And make sure all the heavy furniture is properly adhered to the wall.
Have fun with your new addition and remember to celebrate them on Children’s Day!
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