As the mother of four kids, especially one rambunctious toddler, I am aware of how important it is to toddler proof your home. I hope you appreciate this guest post on how to do that.
Especially for new parents, it can be absolutely astounding to see what accidents and messes young, newly-mobile toddlers can get into. And many of the everyday objects which can fill a home can prove to be astoundingly dangerous to the inventive mind of a toddler. So for all parents, here's a great guide on toddler proofing a home, room by room, to create a safe environment which is more safe and resists stains and other spills.
What to do in the Living Room
The first thing to do is start with the electrical outlets! Use inserts to cover them and protect them from prodding fingers, and use tape or tie-downs to secure electrical cords in-place against the ground. Secure cords to lamps and other lighting against the wall or table legs so that they can't easily be pulled down. Have a floor lamp? Hide it behind heavy furniture, like end tables or sofas, so that they can't be knocked down… or better yet, remove them all together and find an alternative! Small rechargable lamps on a high shelf can often provide as much light.
End tables and coffee tables often have sharp corners, which should be cushioned. You can DIY some options, but there are products to take care of this for you! Move plants out-of-doors or onto high shelves, and put any breakable decor objects high or set them into storage… alongside any books in the lower shelves. Toddlers really love tearing pages. And these newly empty spaces make great spaces to store toys in soft bins!
Roll away the nice cowhide rug and instead replace it with a cheap and soft alternative with an interesting, warm-colored pattern: this can help hide stains. You may also want to invest now in a cover for the sofa, which can be taken off when guests are over.
What to do in the Dining Room
Toddlers love to climb, so ensure that chairs are always pushed in. If you keep a sidebar, make certain that latches are installed so that drawers and doors can't be opened. And while you might love beautiful centerpieces, you may want to set them away if they can easily be reached or pushed aside. Tablecloths and runners should also be removed when not in use, because toddlers love to reach up and tug on dangling fabric.
What to do in the Bathroom
Ideally, the bathroom door should always be shut with a toddler around; but just in case, it's always best to prepare. Use a bathroom bin with a lid to ensure your little one doesn't rifle through the trash, and ensure that under-sink cabinets are always latched. Keep the toilet seat down and latched too, and use a plush, nonskid rug on the floor to help protect against falls. Use a nonskid mat in the tub to help protect from any falls into it, and pad the faucet when not in use. Using a tieback for the shower curtain if you have one can also discourage yanking, and all soap, razors, and bathroom errata should always be kept either locked away or well above waist height.
What to do in the Kitchen
The biggest thing in the kitchen is to ensure that all the cabinets have latches… but also the pantry, the fridge, and the oven! Unplug and store small appliances or wind the cords so that they can't be reached or dangle. Sweep often, and use mats in the kitchen to protect against falls, and move anything which might help a toddler climb up onto a kitchen counter.
Store breakables up and out of reach, but just in case, you may want to invest in unbreakable dishware. You can purchase clever covers for stove controls and stove burners, and always remember to place dishwashing errata out of reach.
And when you're cooking? Use the back burners, and turn pan handles in and away from the ledge. Ensure knives are always stored in drawers, rather than in a block, and do a routine run-through of the kitchen to ensure that nothing edible is out on the counters. This means there isn't anything to eat or accidentally choke on, but can serve the purpose of helping keep mice out of the house!