Moving into a new apartment also comes with the responsibility of ensuring the place is a safe and secure environment for your children. Baby Proofing is especially important for those living in an apartment because the design of a rental property may not be suitable for the different situations of your kids. This article will introduce the top 11 practical tips on how to baby proof your apartment.
Note: Check out our guide on apartment security tips to safeguard your property and loved ones!
- 1. Install a Renter-Friendly Baby Gate
- 2. Prepare a Baby Monitor
- 3. Cover Sharp Edges and Corners
- 4. Eliminate Choking Hazards
- 5. Toddler Proof Bedroom
- 6. Use Cabinet Locks
- 7. Conceal Electrical Outlets and Cords
- 8. Purchase Window Guards and Locks for Windows
- 9. Add Toilet Locks
- 10. Anchor All Furniture
- 11. Create a Secure Play Space
1. Install a Renter-Friendly Baby Gate
A renter-friendly gate provides a temporary and non-destructive solution for baby-proofing your apartment. Its primary function is to create barriers or boundaries to keep babies and toddlers out of potentially dangerous areas while maintaining the integrity of the rental property. Unlike traditional nonremovable gates, these rental-friendly gates are portable and easy to install. Renters can move them to different locations with your apartment according to the need for baby-proofing space.
They don't require screws or adhesives and won't leave marks or holes on the walls or door frames. These gates can effectively help you avoid damage. Installing these baby gates also allows for a degree of independence for the child. They can explore designated areas of the home without constant supervision.
2. Prepare a Baby Monitor
Baby monitors provide constant audio and video surveillance of your baby. These features allow you to keep an eye and ear on them even in another room. These compact security cameras offer peace of mind, knowing you can respond quickly to potential issues or needs.
Baby monitors can also help you baby-proof the apartment during naptime. You can engage in other tasks in the apartment while your baby sleeps, and the monitor will alert you if there are any issues. Most importantly, modern baby monitors are portable and easily moved from room to room. This is particularly convenient in a rental apartment where you might not have a fixed nursery setup.
3. Cover Sharp Edges and Corners
You also need to get down to your baby's eye level and look around to identify objects that may attract their attention. This may be the key to baby proofing your living space. Furniture with sharp edges will hurt them if they stand near or work by. You can change your square or rectangular tables with a round one to avoid potential threats, or just put these tables or desks away from their rooms. If sharp edges in your apartment are unavoidable, use soft padding to cover them.
Pay attention to sharp corners of other gadgets, such as the fireplace hearth, the accessible wood stove, or metal radiators. These devices are often unchangeable, but you can check them and purchase safety guards to protect against head bumps and burns.
4. Eliminate Choking Hazards
Choking hazards for little kids are objects or substances that can become lodged in a child's airway. These hazards are a potential security problem because choking is a life-threatening emergency that can lead to severe injury or even death if not addressed immediately. Choking hazards can be found in many areas of a rental apartment. For example, items like coins, buttons, toys, or objects small enough to fit in a child's mouth can pose a choking risk. Foods that are hard, round, or can break into small pieces, like grapes, nuts, or candies, can also be dangerous.
You should keep these small objects out of the reach of your baby and store them in locked drawers or containers. If you must move these objects, remove any small items falling on the floor immediately. It's also important to inform your family about these possible dangers and establish a lasting habit of keeping them out of your children's reach.
5. Toddler Proof Bedroom
As your child grows, they might outgrow their crib and become more eager to venture out and explore the world around them. At this time, you have to toddler-proof your bedroom. Toddlers are at a stage of development where they are mobile but need a complete understanding of potential dangers. Toddler-proofing helps prevent accidents and injuries. If your child sleeps in your bedroom, consider bed rails to prevent falls. Many parents will put them on their bed and let the little toddler around freely. In such cases, bed rails are handy.
If you want your kid to turn your toddler around on the floor, check the rugs in your bedroom. These rugs slip or trip the children if it is not correctly placed. Use no-slip rugs or tape to prevent these things from happening.
6. Use Cabinet Locks
If you cook in your apartment, the kitchen can become another dangerous place, especially for babies. Try to keep your baby away from the cooking area. If you have to do this, take a close watch on them and keep the cabinet locked with baby-proof locks. Kitchen utensils like knives, scissors, and forks pose a potential danger to children, mainly if you store cleaning supplies in the same cabinet because the chemicals in cleaning products can be highly hazardous to your child's safety.
Lock cabinets in other rooms similarly, like the one in the bathroom or the living room. Hair dryers, flat irons, curlers, trimmers, and razors should be securely placed. You also need to place pills and medicine in high cabinets to ensure that climbing babies can not access them and prevent accidental poisoning incidents.
7. Conceal Electrical Outlets and Cords
As your children grow, they may become more curious about things around them. In households, electrical outlets can be desirable to little ones. Electrical outlets and cords pose potential security threats if not properly secured. Parents can install electrical outlet covers to baby-proof your apartment. These covers are designed to fit neatly every aperture and can not be easily removed by tiny fingers.
You must also conceal the electrical wires and make them visible to the little ones. Exposed wiring may increase the possibility of being electrocuted, and excessively long cords may also trip up children. You can organize the wiring inside your apartment with cable raceways or cord covers.
8. Purchase Window Guards and Locks for Windows
If you live in an upper-floor apartment, you must secure your windows. Check the window locks first. Purchase a safety lock if the existing window does not have one. You can also choose to install window guards or grills. These devices are designed to prevent children from falling out of open windows and allow adequate ventilation while keeping the baby safe.
If your kids can already open the window, use window locks or latches to limit how far windows can be opened. These gadgets restrict your child's ability to reach or climb out of the window. You can also cover your window with cordless curtains and blinds to eliminate the risk of accidental strangulation from window blind cords.
9. Add Toilet Locks
Bathrooms are another place where parents often skip off. The easiest way to keep your baby safe from the bathroom is to close the bathroom door permanently. You can add doorknobs and locks to keep the door closed. There are phases where your kids are curious about the function of the human body. They may go inside the bathroom and explore the "fascinating" lid. You can add a baby-proof toilet lock to prevent them from opening the toilet bowl or tipping it.
Try to control the water temperature running out of the tap and protect them from scalding. If you don't have control over these settings, ask for permits from your landlord and keep the temperature below 100°F.
10. Anchor All Furniture
Heavy furniture can also be a threat to your child's safety. There are many such videos on the Internet, and it is often difficult for every family to accept that such a tragedy has occurred. To prevent this from happening, anchoring furniture becomes crucial. You should start by identifying furniture that poses a tipping hazard, including bookshelves, dressers, cabinets, and other tall or top-heavy pieces.
You can use straps and anchors to fix the furniture at a specific place. These items are widely available at baby supply stores, hardware stores, and online retailers. Securing wall studs or other furniture on the wall may require drilling holes, so you have to ask permission from your landlord.
11. Create a Secure Play Space
You also need to create a safe play area for your baby to provide them with a space to explore and learn. The play area needs to be spacious and easily accessible; sometimes, the living room or a spare bedroom can be the best choice. If you have chosen the space, invest in soft and cushioned flooring, such as foam play mats or rugs, to create a safe play surface that can protect your baby from falls.
Inspect and monitor the conditions of all the toys you want to put in this area. Babies and young children often explore the world by putting objects in their mouths. Small toy parts or loose components can pose a choking hazard if they are not securely attached to the toy. Toys are typically labeled with recommended age ranges. It's essential to ensure that your child's toys suit their developmental stage and age. Toys designed for older children may have smaller parts or features that are unsafe for a younger child.
When should I baby-proof my apartment?
Baby-proofing your apartment should ideally begin before your baby starts crawling or becomes more mobile. You can start thinking about baby-proofing as early as possible, even before the baby arrives. When your baby is 6 to 7 months old and begins crawling, you should have all your baby-proofing measures in place, as they can quickly explore and reach for objects within their grasp.
What could parents do to baby-proof a house?
There are many measures parents can take to baby-proof a house. Parents can start the process by inspecting every room and choosing targeted measures. For example, if they want to baby-proof the bathroom, they can add a doorknob and install a toilet lock to prevent the kids from opening the lid.
How can I lock cabinets to baby-proof my apartment?
You can choose different cabinet locks to keep it closed. Some common cabinet lock types include magnet cabinet locks, child safety latches, cabinet strap locks, sliding locks, etc. Each has its advantages and mechanisms. For example, magnetic cabinet locks use magnets to secure the cabinet doors.
This article has explored ten practical ways to create a protective environment for your little ones. You can install a renter-friendly gate, toddler-proof your room, or even lock the toilet to safeguard your children's well-being. With the proper knowledge and resources, you can create a secure and joyful environment your child deserves. But given the particular characteristics of rental property, you'd better ask your landlord for permission before implementing different measures.
Do you have any baby-proofing tips for an apartment? Please share them with us in the comment section below, and let's discuss them together!