Babies and toddlers are naturally curious and in kitchens that can mean danger. It’s important to do a risk assessment and create a baby proof kitchen before letting your baby or toddler run wild. That’s where our checklist comes in!
Baby Proof Kitchen: Checklist
How you approach childproofing is really down to you as a parent. Some parents will go all out, others will just take care of the essentials. This baby proofing checklist is a good starting point.
1. Get down to your child’s level
If you really want to see what trouble your baby or toddler can get up to in the kitchen get down to her level. It’s amazing how a change of perspective can make you see things differently and give a whole new insight into childproofing your kitchen.
2. Clean up spills
Kitchen are prime areas for spills. Clean them up as they happen to avoid you or your baby going for a tumble.
It doesn’t matter how good a job you do at baby proofing your kitchen, nothing is foolproof and there’s no substitute for your eyes and ears.
4. Create a play cupboard
I would always leave one of my kitchen cupboards unlocked and fill it with safe (usually noisy!) things for my sons to play with – wooden spoons and saucepans were always a hit, or plastic containers full of dried pasta. Try hiding something new in there every week and watch the joy on your baby’s face when they find it! Just make sure you choose a cupboard away from the cooking area and preferably somewhere she won’t get under your feet.
If you’re whipping up a banquet or your kitchen is small it’s probably worth considering keeping baby contained, preferably out of the kitchen in either in a high chair, play pen or baby gate (check out our pressure mounted baby gate reviews). Just make sure you can see him.
5. Cleaning fluids
They might come with child-resistant lids but most cleaning fluids are toxic and child resistant isn’t the same as child proof. Get those bottles out of reach.
6. Keep edge of counter clear
How often do you absent-mindedly put your coffee cup on the edge of the counter? It’s so easily done. Keep ALL crockery, cups, cutlery away from the counter-edge. Babies and toddlers can reach further than you think.
7. Don’t leave your baby on the counter
They could fall off. Period.
8. Electrical items
This is super important to make your kitchen baby proof – and it’s free! Keep electrical items like toasters and blenders back from the edge of the counter and away from wandering hands (don’t forget to tuck in cords).
9. Plastic bags
Store plastic bags safely out of reach. Babies and toddlers love nothing more than the rustle of a plastic bag and it could eventually find its way onto her head.
Fridges, dishwashers, washing machines and microwaves are all fair game as far as an adventurous toddler is concerned, but they’re all easy to child proof. Putting safety latches on appliance doors is quick and cheap and will save you from clearing up the remains of a microwaved teddy bear or scraping groceries off the floor.
Stove buttons, especially the ones that sit underneath the counter, are easy for most toddlers to reach and even if they can’t switch them on they might be able to twist them enough to release gas. Baby proofing the stove is super easy. Stove knob covers are really easy to fit and remove, and you’ll be still able to use your stove but importantly your child won’t!
If you’re only using one or two burners it’s much safer to stick to the back ones for added safety.
Safety 1st Stove Knob Covers
Universal design, strong, heat resistant and reusable.
Designed so that children are unable to tamper with the stove controls but adults are able to access quickly.
Each pack includes five covers.
12. Fire extinguishers
For me, this is a no-brainer. Fire is a very real risk in homes and never more real than in our kitchens which are crammed with electrical appliances and a high concentration of heat.
Residential fire extinguishers come in a range of sizes (bear in mind that smaller ones are easier to operate) and some can be wall-mounted. It’s best to keep your extinguisher near an exit; that way you can use it with your back to the door and escape quickly, if you need to.
For the kitchen you’re most likely to be tackling electrical or grease fires, so buy carefully. It’s also highly recommended that you learn how to use an extinguisher before an emergency – every second counts in the event of a real fire. Speak to your local fire department, they may offer training. If not, the National Fire Protection Association has some great tips and advice.
13. Sharp or breakable objects
Knives, forks, peelers, plates – our kitchen’s are crammed with eye-poking utensils and fragile crockery. Baby proof the cabinets and drawers with latches – or even better, move them out of reach.
Munchkin Xtraguard Multi Use Latches
Versatile strap that secures everything from cabinets and drawers to toilet seats and appliances.
It has dual button operation for extra safety and is fitted using adhesive so won’t damage your furniture.
Each pack contains two latches.
14. Keep baby contained
We mentioned it earlier, but a contained baby is a safer baby – provided they’re secure and can be seen. Baby gates, high chairs and play yards all do a great job of keeping babies and toddlers in one spot and out of another. Check out our Baby Gate Buyer’s Guide and Best Play Yards reviews.
Keep wandering hands out of grimy trash cans. There are plenty of options with lids, and you can even buy latches if you need them. Recycled waste can pose a greater risk – try to get into the habit of taking the recycling out regularly, or just keep it out of reach.
16. Protect corners
Sharp counter and table corners have caused more than a few bumps in our house! There are plenty of table corner protectors available to soften the edges and some are clear and very discreet so won’t look ugly. They tend to fix to surfaces using a strong adhesive but if you’re worried about the adhesive damaging your furniture try non-adhesive corner protectors.
Rhoost Edge Table Corner Protector (Non-Adhesive)
Rhoost Table Corner Protectors come in a pack of four and are made from 100% recyclable material as well being BPA and PVC free.
They’re removable and reusable and since they don’t fix with adhesive they won’t damage your furniture.