Baby Proofing
1)
In the kitchen:
  • • Use the back burners whenever possible and turn pot handles toward the back of the stove.
  • • Store knives well out of reach--and preferably out of sight.
  • • Don't leave your steaming a.m. cup of Joe where you baby could grab it.
2)
In the bathroom:
  • • Keep toilet lids closed (you can even buy locks for them if your baby likes to potty dive).
  • • When your child graduates to the big tub, clear it of razors and other hazardous grown-up stuff, and put down a rubber mat to prevent slipping.
  • • Store medicines where there's absolutely no chance your child could get to them.
  • • Set your water heater temperature to 120 degrees Fahrenheit, and install anti-scald devices on faucets and showerheads.
3)
In other rooms:
  • • Make sure the tube is on a stable surface; TVs have been known to topple easily.
  • • Put all breakable tchotchkes away.
  • • If there's anything you can't make safer by padding it or nailing it to the wall, temporarily redecorate and move it to a room your baby doesn't spend time in.
Essentials for Baby Proofing

Having a child will make you see the world in a whole new way. And it should! Things in your home that were perfectly safe before baby may not be so innocent now. If you're like us, though, you don't want to spend all your time worried that your little one is going to get hurt--no fun for you, no fun for him. Put your mind at ease with these kid-safe essentials:

POWER OUTLET PLUGS AND COVERS
These are especially important for outlets on baseboards and near water sources. Plugs fit directly into outlet holes; covers are arguably safer--they're installed over the entire outlet and designed so that little fingers can't pull them out. If you have power strips, look for special covers for those too.
CABINET AND DRAWER LOCKS
There are a variety of gizmos out there designed to kiddy-proof cabinets and drawers. If you're not particularly handy, look for ones that don't require tools to install them.
DOOR KNOB COVERS AND LOCKS
Use these to keep your child out of areas where he could easily get hurt (bathrooms, the laundry rooms, the door at the top of the basement stairs. Be sure the door knob cover is sturdy enough not to break, but won't make it hard for a grown-up to open the door quickly adult in an emergency. And don't forget about any bifold closet doors you may have in your house--they're a pinching hazard! You can buy specially made locks for them.
APPLIANCE LATCHES
Use them on the oven door, the fridge, your front-loading washer or dryer.
FURNITURE STRAPS OR BRACKETS
That tall bookshelf in the living room? One day your baby will look at it and think, "Hey! Mount Everest--time to climb!" Secure any piece of furniture with the potential to topple to the wall with straps or brackets.
CORNER AND EDGE GUARDS
These are padded "bumpers" for the sharp corners of coffee tables and other furniture that a crawler or walker might bang into. If you have a raised fireplace hearth, install guards on it too. Make sure the guards you buy fit tightly.
BABY GATES
Gates that attach to the wall or banister with hardware are the safest; use this type at the tops of stairways. A pressure-mounted gate will be fine at the bottom. For your own sake, look for one that can be operated with your foot so you can open it while holding your baby.
WINDOW BLIND CORD WRAPS
Cords that form a large loop are dangerous. Cut them in half, or buy a cord wrap so your baby can't get her head inside the loop.
WINDOW GUARDS OR STOPS
Use these on any windows that don't lock securely; make sure the bars on the window guards you use are not more than four inches apart.
SMOKE AND CARBON MONOXIDE DETECTORS
Put one in or near each bedroom, as well as by the kitchen. Consider combo-units that detect both smoke and carbon monoxide. Check detectors once a month to make sure they're working; change the batteries at least once a year.
Lastly, as soon as your baby starts crawling, get down on your hands and knees yourself and look for hazards at her eye level. It's the best way to make sure you don't miss a thing--and a great way to get a sense of the world as she sees it.