Toddler boy standing in front of a stair gate

Creating a Safe and Secure Home for Your Toddler

You rush to buy pink and blue clothes; you choose a crib and a stroller. You design a little room in your house and paint colorful animals or stars on the walls. That's it! You're ready to bring your baby home!


But maybe we're forgetting something? 


"I was a wonderful parent before I had children," says Adele Faber in her book "How to Talk so Kids Will Listen & Listen so Kids Will Talk." This short phrase describes how unprepared we actually are to have kids. 


You can never be 100% sure you're ready and prepared. But experience and research bring confidence and readiness to your life. 


Let's start by child-proofing your house and preparing a safe environment for your baby. 


Identify and Learn the High-risk Zones


Toddlers are naturally curious and love to explore their surroundings, which can make them more prone to accidents and injuries.


Before you start child-proofing your house, identify and learn about the zones where the accidents happen the most. 


Be cautious about these areas in your home:


  1. Kitchen - The kitchen can be dangerous for toddlers, as they can easily pull down hot liquids or grab sharp objects. It's where all the knives and sharp objects are, sometimes in reach of children. 
  2. Bathroom - Bathrooms pose a risk of drowning in bathtubs, as well as falling on slippery floors. Since toddlers like exploring drawers, keep your medication sealed and out of reach.
  3. Stairs - Falling down stairs is a common cause of injury for toddlers. Install safety gates at the top and bottom of staircases.
  4. Living Room - Although the risk of a significant injury is small in the living room, children can still trip over objects or pull down heavy items, such as televisions or bookcases. 

You will also want to be cautious with areas that include the possibility of the heat of flames, toxic substances, and choking hazards. 


Don't worry. You can make these places safer with child-proofing, but it's essential to supervise your toddlers. Even if you build unbreakable walls between the hazards and your children, toddlers will still find a way to fall or put the wrong thing in their mouths. 


Accidents will happen, but no need to panic. Prepare yourself by:


  • Learning the CPR technique 
  • Keep the essential numbers near you 
  • Make a first-aid kit and keep it in a safe place 
  • Install smoke and carbon detectors


How to child-proof your house according to your child's age


As children grow and develop, they start exploring new places, new possibilities and have better mobility. It's a good thing their muscle groups are developing, and they can walk and babble now, but different age groups need different child-proofing. 

Child-proofing the house when you have a 0-1-year-old 


Newborns are... well... newborns. They have poor balance, don't have environmental awareness, and entirely depend on you. 


Children learn to roll over at this age, making it easier for them to fall from high surfaces. Supervising them becomes even more challenging once they start crawling. 


Here's what you need to know to secure the environment for your kid:


  • Don't put stuffed animals and pillows in your baby's crib when they're sleeping. You can decorate their bed when the child is awake or when they're just playing, but toys and pillows can pose a suffocation risk; 
  • Use a table with a strap when changing the baby's diaper; 
  • Make sure the crib is made after 1986 to meet modern safety standards. Earlier cribs have bar gaps that can fit the baby's head and become dangerous. 
  • Use closed or splashproof outlets or cover them if they're at the floor level; 
  • If you have stairs, install a baby gate. 


Child-proofing the house when you have a 1-2-year-old 

2-year-olds are the most adventurous creatures in the world. They will crawl, explore, put objects in their mouth, and learn about the environment.


They don't have enough cognitive abilities to assess the risks of such explorations, but their mobility is growing. Improved mobility will allow your toddler to climb objects which can lead to falling. 


Here's what you need to know to secure the environment for your kid:


  • Secure the sharp edges of furniture with safety guards; 
  • Attach large furniture, such as bookcases, to the wall; 
  • Keep hazardous objects locked up in a safe place. Put the cleaning products, medications, and other chemicals somewhere your toddler can't reach or open; 
  • Instal window guards to prevent falling accidents;
  • Put away small items such as coins, buttons, and jewelry out of reach to prevent choking hazards. 


Child-proofing the house when you have a 3-5-year-old


This is a golden period for toddler development. Your kids will follow you more around the house. They will start copying you more and will want to do adult chores.  


Their motor skills improve rapidly, and they have more defined fine-motor skills at this age. It means they'll be able to reach, grab, and climb. 


Here's what you need to know to secure the environment for your kid:


  • Install safety gates and secure the sharp edges of furniture;
  • Use window guards and lock up hazardous items;
  • Keep small items out of reach to prevent chocking hazards;
  • Install door knob covers to prevent your child from accessing rooms that you don't want them in;
  • Teach your child safety rules such as not playing with matches or lighters, not opening the door for strangers, and not running near the pool;
  • Supervise outdoor play and make sure the equipment is age-appropriate. Choose a preschool that follows age-appropriate guidelines
  • Teach your child what to do in case of an emergency, such as calling 911 or contacting a trusted neighbor.


Bringing a newborn to your house can be nerve-wracking. You have to create a safe environment, make sure the baby has everything they need, and even more. But don't let the fear take over you. 


You have this guide and other resources you can use to child-proof your house and keep your toddler safe. 


Start planning child-proofing and have fun creating an obstacle course for your little explorer.