When we completed Eli’s nursery the week before he was born, it did not include any baby-proofing. I know that sounds kind of absurd, but we never intended it to be a room where he played or spent a considerable amount of time. It was to be where he slept and where we did his bedtime routine and where some of his toys were stored. That was really the end of it. We have a huge area in the living room baby-proofed for play time, so the nursery was not a priority.
But since we decided to transition Eli to a floor bed at 11 months old, we knew that the room would need more than a little baby-proofing. We know that as he gets older, he’s likely to explore more and we wanted to make sure that he would be safe doing just that. It didn’t seem like a big undertaking at first, but with further consideration, we realized how many hazards we had to manage and after spending the better part of the day, I feel confident that Eli’s room is safe.
Here’s how we did it.
Babyproofing can be a big job… 1 of 9
these are our favorite tools!
For outlets without plugs… 2 of 9
We decided that for outlets that didn't have anything plugged in, we didn't need to reinvent any wheels. We got these small plastic plug covers that easily snap into the slots. I was worried Eli would be able to pull them out, but given how difficult it is for me to remove them, I'm pretty comfortable that it will be a long time before the baby can get these out.
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For outlets with plugs… 3 of 9
As easy as it would've been to just use the plastic plugs, we actually needed to plug some things in. For those outlets, we used an outlet box that covers and locks over the outlet while letting you plug things in. They're working great for our monitor (more on that later) and humidifier and I like these more than some of the other models because they actually screw into the wall, so even if Eli really laid into it, it wouldn't fall off.
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To cover cords… 4 of 9
Now, obviously the issue with having things plugged in is cords. The risk here is that the baby can pull items down by the cord, so making sure the cords are covered is important. One way we did this was to place furniture near outlets so that they're essentially tucked away. The other way, for cords that need to be out in the open, is with these wire guards. I can't attest to the strength of the adhesives at this point as Eli hasn't tugged hard on them, but the installation was simple and they seem very sturdy.
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To anchor furniture… 5 of 9
This was my biggest concern considering the damage that a dresser or bookcase could do, both at the hands of a baby and because we are in California, in an earthquake. We used straps that drill into the wall and adhere to the furniture (2 for each the dresser and the bookcase) to secure them. I've given both a good tug with most of my body weight and they don't budge at all, so I'm comfortable that if Eli ever gets into a climbing phase, they won't be tipping hazards.
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To lock drawers… 6 of 9
The other big concern with the dresser is opening and scaling the drawers, so at the recommendation of a friend, we purchased these drawer locks. They are easy to unlock and adjust if necessary and hold the drawers tight enough that little hands can't open them and little fingers can't get smashed.
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To lock the closet… 7 of 9
I'm not sure Eli even knows that his closet opens since it's always closed when he's in the room, but because we have some file cabinets and other office items we don't want him to get into, locking the closet was a must. I looked at a variety of different closet locks and considered just using our drawer locks, but have decided to go with this closet lock instead. We've only had it up for a little while but for now it's doing the job in so far as I've not been able to figure out why it won't open several times It's clearly mom proof too.
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To monitor a stationary baby… 8 of 9
For us, the most critical piece of safety equipment in the room is the monitor. We have been using this monitor from Infant Optics since Eli transitioned to his own room at 6 months, and while it has worked well when Eli wasn't into exploring or when he was contained (even now if he's at someone else's house sleeping in a Pack n Play), it's been a challenge since he's decided to explore before naps. I highly recommend this monitor for kids in cribs, but if your baby is out of the crib like mine, click once more for our new monitor option.
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To monitor the room… 9 of 9
So, I'm going to be upfront with you and say that we just received and set up this Foscam IP camera today, but so far I'm loving it. It allows panning around the room so I can see Eli if he's exploring, as well as a microphone feature so I can talk to him from downstairs. I can't promise it's the best camera ever since we've only been using it for a day (and I'll come back and update this as we go), but so far it's working well and it's much, much cheaper than the video cameras on the market that pan.
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What are your favorite baby-proofing tools?