The 7 Ways I’m Childproofing My Home Now That I Have a Second Baby On The Way

published Jun 27, 2022
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The first time I had a baby, “childproof” was a new word to me — it sounded like the title of an action movie. Now, I can look around any house and see a danger factory brimming with risk and potential hospital visits in every direction.

I babyproofed my house for my first child and was able to mostly keep it intact. Yet, over time, I have let my guard down. As he has aged, cleaning supplies have been more easily accessible and the child locks that used to keep the cabinet doors secure have been removed. The safety plugs have been removed from the sockets, and the coffee table my mom suggested we get rid of in the living room has found its way back into place.

Being a parent is petrifying as is, and babyproofing a home is one way to exorcise the things that keep a new parent awake at night (besides a crying baby). Now that baby number two is on the way, I’ll be returning to some of the above mentioned tricks and adding some oldies but goodies back in.

Stair Gates

With kid one, I installed baby gates pretty early on, and I was glad I did. Though babyproofing comes with an inherent set of hassles and slows down the day-to-day motions of adults, they protect the little ones, which is the priority. I went with those classic tan-colored metal gates which aren’t pretty, but they do keep a child who is at the learning to walk stage from tumbling down the stairs like a bowling ball. Knowing my child would have a barrier to keep him from sleep walking us all into a potential ER visit helped me sleep better at night.

Strict In-Home Shoes-Off Policy

I see the disgusting things people leave on the ground, which is why I insist people take off their shoes when they come into the house. I consider this a form of kid-proofing because it means I have to vacuum, mop, and scrub to keep the home safe for my kids that much less. But I went one step further and got a cute shoe rack where people can both place their shoes and comfortably sit to take their shoes off and put them back on. It helps immediately get the message across when someone steps into my home that this is a shoe-free zone, and makes it easier for them to comply. Plus, as I mentioned, it’s cute.

Fenced-in Play Area

My husband has this interesting “everything must go” policy, whereas I’m a person who keeps things to get use out of them. But when you live in a tiny one-bedroom apartment in Manhattan, these two concepts have to meet somewhere in the middle. Sadly, we did get rid of this play area after baby one outgrew it, and we will be bringing it back. It’s flexible, so you can form it into a circle or square, and even use it outside in the grass. I lined the bottom with blankets to make it cozy for him to play in, and sometimes even climbed in there with him and took a nap, knowing he was safe while I snoozed nearby.

Lock Boxes

I take a daily prenatal vitamin and a daily vitamin C, and when my first was younger, I got into the habit of using a “childproof” pill box. The seller made a good point when advertising the box that “no box is 100 percent child-proof,” and this is an important piece of parenting 101: You think you’re doing it the way you’re supposed to, but children are like little genius robots, and they pick things up and figure them out in incredible (and incredibly frustrating) and sometimes dangerous ways. This isn’t a new one, but a reminder to adopt this item in your life if you have a baby coming.

Some cannabis companies have jumped on the bandwagon and even started selling locking boxes for cannabis products — another great idea if you keep any kind of recreational drugs in your home. It’s a cheap no-brainer.

Cabinet and Door Handle Lockers

In addition to those little plastic doodads that make opening cabinet doors harder, I also implemented knob covers that wouldn’t let my little trouble-seeker open up our closet or the bathroom and bedroom doors. These were great for gaining privacy in the bathroom, and for keeping cleaning supplies and freshly folded towels out of reach, which would be a complete delight for him to rifle through and toss around, much to my chagrin.

Foam Padding On Everything

When my firstborn was on his way, my mom recommended I remove a table from the living room. I did, but as my son got a little older and a bit more self-aware, I opted to return it because I kept kicking my drinks over. To compromise, I covered the edges with a peel-and-stick foam padding strip. I put it on anything that was pokey or potentially forehead-smack inducing. It was super easy to use and inexpensive — a terrific combo. Plus, it comes in a rainbow of colors to match all the furniture.

Other Things I Don’t Even Know About… Just Yet

One awesome thing about parenting is that with every month, year, generation, we get smarter and figure out answers to potential problems and hazards in advance. In just a few years, there are new, stylish solutions that will make parenting easier for anyone having a baby this year (including me).

Happy babyproofing!

This post was originally published on Apartment Therapy. Read it there: 7 Childproofing Techniques I Did the First Time I Had a Baby, and What I Plan to Do with a Second on the Way