What is childproofing your home?

When you childproof your home, you make your home as safe as possible for when your baby arrives. How you childproof your home changes as your baby grows up.

How long does it take to childproof my home?

Babyproofing changes over time. As your baby grows and develops new skills, you will need to adjust the level of safety in your home.

How do I childproof my home before my baby learns to crawl?

Babies like to grab onto surfaces, pick up objects and put them in their mouths. They learn to understand the world around them through touch and taste. Here are tips to childproof your home:

Kitchen

  • When you cook or prepare food, keep your baby in a highchair or safely enclosed play area where you can see them.
  • Install locks or stops on drawers, cabinets, switches, the refrigerator door and oven doors. Keep magnets and other small objects out of your baby’s reach.
  • Turn pot handles inward on the stove. Use the burners toward the back wall.
  • Store household cleaners and poisons in locked cabinets that are out of your baby’s reach.
  • Keep small appliances and other items away from the edges of countertops or tables.

Living room, den and bedroom

  • Attach televisions and heavy furniture, like bookshelves, to the wall. This can help prevent the TV or furniture from falling if your baby bumps into it or pushes on it.
  • Secure and hide electrical cords.
  • If you have older children, have them put away their toys out of your baby’s reach.
  • Keep the floors and other surfaces free of items your baby could choke on or break.

Bathroom and laundry room

  • Secure toilet lids.
  • Store cleaners, poisons and laundry products in a locked cabinet out of your child’s reach.
  • Empty the bathtub or other large containers with liquid as soon as you are done using them.

Other tips

  • Use safety covers in electrical outlets.
  • Install safety gates at the top and bottom of every staircase.
  • Cover sharp corners on furniture or household objects.

For more tips, ask the care team or visit the National Safety Council’s website.

Did you know...?

The best to childproof your home is to see the world from your baby’s point of view. Get down on the floor or as close as possible to check for anything your baby could get into.

Rev. 9/2018. Reviewed by the MGHfC Family Advisory Council. MassGeneral Hospital for Children and Massachusetts General Hospital do not endorse any of the brands listed on this handout. This handout is intended to provide health information so that you can be better informed. It is not a substitute for medical advice and should not be used to treatment of any medical conditions.