Baby development

How do I baby-proof?

You want to keep your little one safe, but where do you even start? This handy guide will help you quickly and easily baby-proof your home.


Illustration: Stephanie Baxter

-Use approved, secure baby gates at the top and bottom of stairs—and keep them closed.
-Install outlet covers that are permanently attached to the outlet and have an automatic shield closure, so that it’s foolproof for overtired, forgetful parents.
-Tuck electrical cords under furniture. Out of sight, out of mind.
-Keep accessible drawers locked with baby-proofing devices.
-Store the stepstool away from the counter, and keep the dining room chairs tucked under the table.
-Clear counters and tabletop of dangerous items like knives and scissors—just in case.
-Secure furniture to the wall, including bookcases and chests of drawers.
-Mount your television on a wall, or secure it to a wall or sturdy cabinet with a television anchor.
-Don’t rely on childproof bottles—keep all meds in a cabinet or container out of reach.
-Teach your baby about boundaries—places where you don’t want him to go. A baby won’t completely understand this concept, but if you always say no and move him away from the bookcase he’s trying to shinny up, he’ll eventually catch on.

A version of this article appeared in our April 2015 issue with the headline, “Your top 10 most googled parenting questions,” p.67

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