How to keep baby safe: Your complete list for babyproofing

From cleaning products to chargers, we've got you covered, mama.

How to keep baby safe: Your complete list for babyproofing

No parent is perfect, and accidents can happen. Close calls with hot coffee mugs or loose change are inevitably going to scare the life out of us—but there's a lot we can do to help prevent them.

When our little ones start getting on the move, it's the right time to do a full check of baby safety at home to keep everyone safe. So get down on the ground—on your little one's level—and see what looks fun and adventurous. Make sure it's their play mat or blocks and not your phone charger or random paper clips on the ground.

We've rounded up 25 important safety reminders—from keeping your child's crib safe to teething tips, and everything in between.

Room, crib, and sleep safety tips

1. Electronics with cords (i.e. monitor, sound machine, etc.)

  • Never place the monitor or sleep machine on the edge or inside the bed.
  • Always make sure cords are at least three feet away from the crib.
  • Similarly, make sure all cords from blinds and shades are tied up and out of reach.

2. Bedding

3. Toys and stuffed animals

4. Sleep positions

5. Crib specifics

6. Room temperature

House safety tips from The International Association for Child Safety

7. Clutter

8. Furniture and stairs

  • Make sure bookcases, bureaus—anything capable of tipping over onto your child—are securely fastened to the wall.
  • Never put furniture, large toys (anything your child is able to climb) near bannisters, railings—anything that your child could climb up and over.
  • Place corner protectors on sharp edges such as coffee tables.
  • Install gates to block off stairs.

9. Bathroom items

  • Never leave bathroom trash cans out; make sure they are secured in a locked cabinet. There could be razors, small choking hazards, old medicines, and other dangerous items.
  • Get a toilet lock.
  • Be sure medicine is securely put away.

10. Dishwasher

11. Cleaning products

  • Make sure you have a secure, hard-to-reach place to store your cleaning products and any toxic solutions.
  • They should be locked up so that even if your little one was to find the spot, they couldn't access them.
  • Same goes for any alcohol you may keep in the house.

12. Chargers and electronics

  • To prevent strangulation or any electricity mishaps, make sure all chargers are unplugged when not in use, and out of reach of your children.
  • Never allow electronics near water.

13. Pet foods, water bowls, kitty litter

  • Be sure these items or put away when baby is around, or in a gated area to prevent any choking or drowning hazards.
  • Our children are curious and once they're mobile they can easily get their hands on almost anything if not locked up and secure.

14. Tablecloths

  • Who needs tablecloths anyway? Yes, they are very chic, however, a little one on the go could easily reach and pull the tablecloth (along with whatever is on top of it) down.

Health and bathing safety tips

15. Fevers and medication

What constitutes a fever according to the American Academy of Pediatrics:

  • Normal temp. -- between 97.5°F (36.4°C) and 99.5°F (37.5°C).
  • Fever -- most pediatricians consider a temperature above 100.4°F (38°C) as a sign of a fever.

Causes of a fever according to the AAP:

  • "A fever is usually caused by infections from viruses (such as a cold or the flu) or bacteria (such as strep throat or some ear infections). The fever itself is not the disease, only a sign that the body's defenses are trying to fight an infection."

How can you take your child's temp according to the AAP:

  • Digital multiuse thermometer (can be used rectally, orally, or axillary.)
  • Temporal artery (used on the side of the forehead)
  • Tympanic (used in the ear)

How to treat a fever according to the AAP:

  • "If your child is older than 6 months and has a fever, she probably does not need to be treated for the fever unless she is uncomfortable. Watch her; if she is drinking, eating, sleeping normally, and is able to play, you should wait to see if the fever improves by itself and do not need to treat."
  • How to improve fever: keep the room cool, dress your child in light clothing, encourage him/her to drink fluids, don't let them overexert themselves, and check with your pediatrician before giving medicine.
  • "Acetaminophen andibuprofen are safe and effective medicines if used as directed for improving your child's comfort, and they may also decrease the fever." (Do not give a child under 6 months ibuprofen. Never give your child Aspirin.)
  • Call your pediatrician if your child is younger than 3 months (12 weeks) and has a temperature of 100.4°F (38.0°C) or higher, or the fever rises above 104°F (40°C) repeatedly for a child of any age. Read more about specific scenarios in which you should notify your pediatrician right away.

16. Vaccines

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention:

  • Vaccines are safe; The United States' long-standing vaccine safety system ensures that vaccines are as safe as possible.
  • Some side effects may occur, and most are very minor (soreness where the shot was given, fussiness, or a low-grade fever). These side effects typically only last a couple of days and are treatable.
  • Vaccines can prevent infectious diseases and these disease-prevention benefits of getting vaccines are much greater than the possible side effects for almost all children.
  • Be sure your pediatrician understands the schedule you would like to follow for your child.
  • Read more information on frequently asked questions about infant vaccines from the CDC.

17. Teething and medication

18. Snot removal

  • Gently use a rubber suction bulb syringe, or our favorite booger buster, the Nose Frida to safely remove mucus so your child can breathe better.

19. Burns, cuts, injuries

According to the American Academy of Pediatrics:

  • Do not ice or rub the burn.
  • Cool first and second degree burns with cool running water. Cool third degree burns with wet, sterile dressings until you seek further help.
  • After the burn has cooled, cover it loosely with a dry bandage or clean cloth.
  • Do not put medical ointment on a burn.

20. Poison, choking

21. Bathing

  • Never, ever leave your baby unattended in or near the bath. Children can drown in less than an inch of water.
    • Good tip: Put your cell phone away when you're bathing your children to prevent dangerous distractions
  • 2 to 4 inches of water is sufficient.
  • Make sure the water is lukewarm; test with your elbow before putting your baby in.
  • Make sure the bathroom itself is warm enough so baby doesn't get chilly.
  • Add a rubber mat to the tub to prevent slips.
  • Set your water heater at 120 degrees F. It only takes three seconds to get third degree burns from water at 140 degrees F.

Car seat safety tips

22. Installation

  • Find your local car seat technician or see if your local police or fire department installs car seats and make an appointment.

23. Placement

24. Buckling and chest clip

25. Temperature tips

  • On warm days, be sure to check the metal parts of your child's car seat in order to prevent any burns.
  • On cold days, be sure not to bundle your child up in snowsuits, jackets, or wrapping blankets around them before buckling them up. Buckle baby up first, and then cover with a blanket if desired.

You might also like:

We're so glad to live in a time when modern baby gear exists. Sure, no one is going to argue that having a baby is easy—but it can be easier with support from some gadgets designed to help your baby and put your mind at ease.

As you build your baby registry, look for products that go the extra mile to make your life a whole lot easier. For example, what's better than a bassinet? A bassinet that can rock by itself. And what's better than a traditional baby monitor? One that allows you to actually take a peek at your baby. Believe us when we say these upgrades can make all the difference.

Here are 10 baby gadgets that will make your life so much easier… relatively speaking, of course!

A bassinet to promote safe + sound sleep

HALO Innovations Bassinest Swivel Sleeper Essenta Series Nautical Net

The safest place for your newborn to sleep is in your room, but not in your bed. Thanks to the swivel function of the Halo Bassinest, you can easily tend to your baby during the night—which means more sleep for you, too. Trust us when we say that is the best gift you can give a new parent.


A smart swing for your baby

4moms mamaRoo 4 Bluetooth Enabled High-Tech Baby Swing - Classic

Believe it or not, many babies are born with strong opinions about how they want to be rocked, swung or shushed to calm down. With the mamaRoo's various motions and reclining positions, you'll be able to find a setting your baby loves when you need to free up your hands for a bit.


A complete travel system for car + sidewalk

Chicco Bravo Travel System - Indigo

No matter where the day takes you—or what mode of transportation you need to get there—getting a complete travel system for your baby will equip you for anything.


A swaddle you don’t have to wrestle

Love To Dream Swaddle UP Original

What do babies and Harry Houdini have in common? A knack for breaking out of tight constraints—which can be a headache when swaddling is the best way to help promote good sleep. Thanks to a breakout-proof swaddle that allows your baby to sleep with their hands up, you don't have to work up a sweat just to get your baby comfortably swaddled.


A nursery wherever you need it

Baby Trend Lil Snooze Deluxe II Nursery Center

During the early days of parenting (when you are feeding and changing your baby around the clock), having convenient access to everything you need with a go-anywhere nursery station can save you serious time and energy.


A little help for stuffy noses

Fridababy NoseFrida Nasal Aspirator

Up until the point years down the road when your child is able to blow their own nose, the sniffles can be a real struggle—but not with a nasal aspirator that makes it easy for you to get that snot out of their nose.


A way to keep an eye on your baby

VTech 5" Digital Video Baby Monitor - VM5251

Trust us when we say you'll sleep better when you know your baby is also sleeping soundly. That's why we're so thankful for modern-day video monitors, which allow you to check in on your sleeping baby without running the risk of waking them up when you sneak in for a peek.


A bassinet for hands-free rocking

Simmons Kids Silent Auto Gliding Elite Bassinet - Odyssey

Babies are soothed by rocking motions. But what does that mean for you if you can't rock them throughout the night? With an auto-gliding bassinet, they can comfortably drift off to sleep... and continue snoozing.


An easy way to contain diaper smells

Diaper Genie Expressions Pail

Sometimes it's the little conveniences that make a big difference in the quality of your day-to-day life. That's why a great diaper pail should not be undervalued: By containing the smell, you will save yourself dozens upon dozens of trips to the garbage can.


A white noise machine that pulls double duty

Hatch Rest Sound Machine, Night Light & Time-to-Rise

A phone-controlled sound machine may be something you never considered until now, but it will be a major lifesaver for years to come, especially as it can also function as a time-to-rise clock that promotes good sleep habits for your child.


And as for securing all these awesome products? Well, a Target baby registry is the way to do it. By creating your baby registry with Target, you will also enjoy their Year of Benefits registry program, which includes perks like a welcome kit with more than $100 in savings and samples, two 15% off coupons to complete your registry, and a full year of returns. The benefits are better than ever right now: Target just launched the Year of Exclusive Deals perk as one of its registry benefits, and this includes a year's worth of discounts on baby essentials (think diapers and formula) and comes complementary when you sign up for Target Circle.

Because while parenting may not be "easy," deciding to register with Target definitely is an easy decision. Start your Target baby registry now and enjoy shopping with a Year of Benefits featuring a Year of Exclusive Deals available via Target Circle, two 15% off coupons, a year of hassle-free returns, a free welcome kit and more!

This article was sponsored by Target. Thank you for supporting the brands that support Motherly and mamas.

Our Partners

I never wanted to be a mom. It wasn't something I ever thought would happen until I fell madly in love with my husband—who knew very well he wanted children. While he was a natural at entertaining our nephews or our friends' kids, I would awkwardly try to interact with them, not really knowing what to say or do.

Our first pregnancy was a surprise, a much-wanted one but also a unicorn, "first try" kind of pregnancy. As my belly grew bigger, so did my insecurities. How do you even mom when you never saw motherhood in your future? I focused all my uncertainties on coming up with a plan for the delivery of my baby—which proved to be a terrible idea when my dreamed-of unmedicated vaginal birth turned into an emergency C-section. I couldn't even start motherhood the way I wanted, I thought. And that feeling happened again when I couldn't breastfeed and instead had to pump and bottle-feed. And once more, when all the stress from things not going my way turned into debilitating postpartum anxiety that left me not really enjoying my brand new baby.

As my baby grew, slowly so did my confidence that I could do this. When he would tumble to the ground while learning how to walk and only my hugs could calm him, I felt invincible. But on the nights he wouldn't sleep—whether because he was going through a regression, a leap, a teeth eruption or just a full moon—I would break down in tears to my husband telling him that he was a better parent than me.

Then I found out I was pregnant again, and that this time it was twins. I panicked. I really cannot do two babies at the same time. I kept repeating that to myself (and to my poor husband) at every single appointment we had because I was just terrified. He, of course, thought I could absolutely do it, and he got me through a very hard pregnancy.

When the twins were born at full term and just as big as singleton babies, I still felt inadequate, despite the monumental effort I had made to grow these healthy babies and go through a repeat C-section to make sure they were both okay. I still felt my skin crawl when they cried and thought, What if I can't calm them down? I still turned to my husband for diaper changes because I wasn't a good enough mom for twins.

My husband reminded me (and still does) that I am exactly what my babies need. That I am enough. A phrase that has now become my mantra, both in motherhood and beyond, because as my husband likes to say, I'm the queen of selling myself short on everything.

So when my babies start crying, I tell myself that I am enough to calm them down.

When my toddler has a tantrum, I remind myself that I am enough to get through to him.

When I go out with the three kids by myself and start sweating about everything that could go wrong (poop explosions times three), I remind myself that I am enough to handle it all, even with a little humor.

And then one day I found this bracelet. Initially, I thought how cheesy it'd be to wear a reminder like this on my wrist, but I bought it anyway because something about it was calling my name. I'm so glad I did because since day one I haven't stopped wearing it.

Every time I look down, there it is, shining back at me. I am enough.

I Am Enough bracelet 

SONTAKEY  I Am Enough Bracelet

May this Oath Bracelet be your reminder that you are perfect just the way you are. That you are enough for your children, you are enough for your friends & family, you are enough for everything that you do. You are enough, mama <3


We independently select and share the products we love—and may receive a commission if you choose to buy. You've got this.


10 photos to take on baby’s first day that you'll cherish forever

You'll obsess over these newborn baby pictures.

Bethany Menzel: Instagram + Blog

As you're preparing for baby's birth, we bet you're dreaming of all of the amazing photos you'll take of your precious new babe. As a professional photographer and mama, I have some tips for newborn photos you'll want to capture.

Here are the 10 photos you will want to take on baby's first day.

Keep reading Show less