How to Baby Proof Your Apartment

Claire Nicholas

By Claire Nicholas

Jun 25, 2024

All parents know the immense responsibility involved in raising young children — and that responsibility begins before the baby even arrives. A prime example: They need to modify and their home to be safe for a soon-to-be crawling and curious baby.  

Since safety is a huge priority for parents everywhere, baby proofing your apartment is something you want to get right on the first go. That’s why we’ve compiled renter-friendly baby-proofing tips for you to refer to as you prepare for your baby to come home.

How to Baby Proof Your Apartment

Pick a family-friendly apartment. It’s not always possible to move before your baby is born. But if your lease is up before the baby’s due date or you have a flexible month-to-month lease, look for signs of a family-friendly apartment: units without a lot of stairs, proximity to outdoor space, no lead paint in the unit, no strangulation hazards, and hardware throughout the unit that is compatible with your baby-proofing plans.  

Cover electrical outlets. Although your baby might not be ready to crawl or reach for outlets until they’re a bit older, it’s always a good idea to get ahead of the issue before you’re busy juggling your responsibilities plus a new baby. Since electrical outlets are often baby-height off the ground, they’re one of the main causes for concerns if you’ve got little hands entering the picture — they can easily be electrocuted if they touch the outlets.  

The solution: Purchase outlet covers. If you’re worried about losing such small and often transparent pieces, you can also purchase child-proof outlet boxes that open and close (they don’t need to be removed if you want to use the outlet).  

For extra peace of mind: Keep your electrical cords out of baby’s sight, and thus out of your child’s reach, by making them completely disappear with sets like these (or go cordless whenever possible).

Install baby gate(s). If you are at all concerned about the safety of certain parts of your apartment — i.e. places that are harder to baby proof or places your baby could get into potential hazards (like a bathroom with a shower curtain and rod they could pull down, a toilet they could climb, and cabinet doors they can open) — you’ll need to purchase a safety gate to section off the area. For entryways, pressure-mounted gates will do the trick.  

If you have a multi-level apartment unit and have a set of stairs, (a must-block area for crawling and walking babies), you’ll likely need to check with your landlord about installing a hard-mounted baby gate with screws at the top of those stairs.  

 If you’re less familiar with using power tools, hire a professional or ask a handy friend to install your hard-mounted baby gate for peace of mind.  

Lock your cabinets. Cabinets may be fun for babies to open and close, but their contents can often pose risks to their safety. That’s why it’s a good idea to put child locks on all cabinets they may be able to reach to keep them out of cleaning supplies, electronics, choking hazards, and breakables. Cabinets below your kitchen counter, bathroom counter, in the laundry room, and even spaces like the living room and office should be included when you babyproof your home. We may think we know what’s in some of our lower cabinet spaces, but to be extra safe, they should remain inaccessible to little hands. We recommend purchasing cabinet locks as opposed to using DIY hacks.  

Try to distract your toddler with a diversion while you open the child lock. They may be able to figure out how to open it if they see you do it.  

Make your windows fall-proof. Whether you live in a ground-level unit or a tenth-story unit, you’ll want to make sure your baby can never climb out of or fall out of the window — especially if you have an AC unit in the otherwise wide-open window. You’ll want to move any climbable furniture (including your baby’s crib and changing table) away from the windows so that your baby can’t reach them.  

You can also purchase a window-guard (installed straight into the wall) to be 100% sure your little one won’t be able to access it. 

Assess your current furniture situation. Besides moving furniture away from windows, you’ll also want to speak to your landlord about mounting your heavy furniture to the walls so they can’t be pulled down by little climbers. This especially includes tall furniture like dressers and bookshelves. In addition, you’ll also want to cover the sharp corners and sharp edges of tall furniture so that they can’t pose any head-injury threat to your baby.  

Prioritize built-in furniture when you look for an apartment, and look for round coffee tables and cushioned chairs to replace harsh corners.  

Apartment Baby-Proofing Checklist

Keep track of baby proofing to-dos to keep your baby safe. There are hundreds of ways to make sure your apartment is child safe. Here’s a baby-proofing checklist you can use. 

  • Cover electrical outlets  
  • Conceal power cords 
  • Install pressure-mounted baby gates in doorways 
  • Install hard-mounted baby gates at tops of stairs 
  • Lock cabinets 
  • Keep choking hazards, cleaning products, small objects, and other dangerous items out of your baby’s reach
  • Move climbable furniture away from windows 
  • Consider carpeting slippery flooring 
  • Check carbon monoxide detectors and fire alarms 
  • Install knob covers on the stove 
  • Install a child lock on the toilet 
  • Screen your fireplace
  • Remove cords from window coverings 
  • Be sure your apartment door has a chain lock  

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