Don't Fear the Bathroom - Babyproofing in the Real World

You may have heard the statistic that the kitchen sink has more germs than the toilet, but chances are your toddler doesn’t bee-line to the kitchen sink, hold the rim to steady themself, then use the basin as their personal splash pad. They're more likely to try that trick at the toilet. And even if your toilet sparkles, you likely don’t want baby blowing bubbles in toilet water.
 
This article includes top tips and products for babyproofing the bathroom, as well as PSP member recommendations for safety throughout the rest of the home.
 
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Door Knob Locks
 
The bathroom is filled with dangers: Germs! Water! Cleaning products! If you want to keep small children out of there altogether, opt for a door knob cover or a hook-and-eye lock higher than their little hands can reach. The downside of the hook-and-eye lock is that it locks from the outside, but it will allow you to sleep soundly knowing your night wanderer can't topple into the toilet without making a ruckus.
 
Hook-and-eye lock: like THIS
 
Door knob cover: like THIS
 
 
Toilet Locks
 
Let’s say the hook-and-eye lock isn’t for you. How do you keep your bathroom child-proofed when, in a matter of a few Facebook posts, baby could be head-first in the toilet? Some people swear by toilet locks. Others, not so much.
 
One Park Slope mom, Deborah, admitted to being "a little obsessive about the first child." “I bought a toilet seat lock,” she said. “I put it on and about an hour later, I heard panicked calls from the bathroom. My husband wanted to use the toilet and could not operate the lid. Our then not quite two year old toddled in and said something approximating, 'I help you, Daddy.' He opened it for us.”
 
The point: test before you buy. Be sure you can unlock it, and not your toddler.
 
Toilet lock: like THIS
 
 
Cabinet Locks
 
Although Deborah didn’t find the toilet seat lock useful, she swears by cabinet door locks. Even if your cleaning products are stored in a high closet, many other dangers lurk in bathroom drawers—curling iron cords, for example. Install cabinet door locks to deter accidents.

Door latches: like THIS
 
By the way, here's a tip from a PSP member: "One thing I learned the hard way is that those interior stick on cabinet/drawer latches ultimately fail- sometimes they'll last a good year or more if the drawer isn't used often but sometimes just a few months. So if you're planning for a few solid years of baby proofing needs, just use something like these that require screws, or go with the exterior strappy things that someone already mentioned. Those are simple and work super well.  I put those on our oven door.  We also removed our oven knobs and put them back when we were cooking.  They slid on and off really easily.  We could have put more effort into making sure our son didn't touch the knobs, but it was a battle I didn't have energy for and gas stoves worry me.
...
Another simple thing to do is to move cleaners and other problem products to higher ground.  I now keep cleaners on the bathroom shelves.  It took me 3 years to realize that I could do this :)"
 
 
Bathtub
 
Bathtub safety tip: don’t leave baby alone in the tub.
 
Now, how do we make tub time safe and fun? Rubber ducky thermometer promises just that. But by the time the thermometer settles on a color-coded temperature, patience for bath time will be exhausted. Simply set your water heater to 110 degrees Fahrenheit, double check the temperature with the inside of your wrist and enjoy watching baby splash.
 
Water + porcelain = slippery. Bath mats offer traction to an otherwise slippery situation. Thankfully, bath mats are made to match almost any bathroom décor.
 
Even though you have done your best to prevent sliding in the tub, baby won’t be able to resist turning the tub into his personal slip-and-slide. A bath spout cover will protect baby’s head when they inevitably smash it into the faucet. Luckily for the fashion-conscious, the faucet cover can match the bath.
 
Bathtub thermometer: like THIS
 
Bath mat: like THIS
 
Bath spout cover to protect baby’s head: like THIS
 
 
Outlet covers
 
Typically, outlets in the bathroom are out of baby’s reach, but protecting children from electricity is an important cause. Because you still have outlets in the bathroom, consider a cover: like THIS
 
 
Now that you can sleep at night with a safe bathroom, look to the other areas of your home. Here are some PSP member recommendations to keep baby safe from the treachery afoot in the kitchen and living areas:
 
Furniture. Bolt furniture that could possibly tip over to the walls, or use straps for your furniture and flatscreen. Add cushioning around table edges and other sharp corners. These corner protectors are subtle, and this foam padding is multifunctional: One parent says, "I've also put it on the top rails of the crib because J. loves to gnaw on the wood."
 
Stairs. Be sure to block access to them.
 
Cabinets. Cabinet locks are helpful in the bathroom. In the kitchen, you may be able to rearrange the contents of the cabinets so that only safe items (Tupperware, etc.) are within baby's reach.
 
Windows. Add window guards if they didn't come with your apartment.
 
Tablecloth. If it hangs low enough for baby to reach, they might be tempted to pull it down.
 
Radiators. You can buy or build radiator covers. If your baby's room is small and overheats easily, you might also decide that a space heater is preferable to using the radiator.
 
Front door. If your little one is skilled enough, they may open the door and crawl away! A door guard can help.
 
Fireplace. You can use a customizable gate around the hearth to protect from that sharp stone slab.
 
See things from their perspective. If you get down low, you might notice things near the ground that require your attention (cords, etc.). 
 
Finally, check out this hilarious article for anyone who has a curious baby on the move!