How to Toddler-Proof Your Home

Windows and doors: Keep sliding glass doors closed, or keep the screens locked. Place decals at toddler eye level on glass doors. Lock windows and be sure the screens are secure. Shorten the cords on draperies and blinds to get them up out of children’s reach. Use netting to enclose the rails on balconies or porches so that your baby can’t squeeze through.

Miscellaneous: Don’t forget the garage, with paint thinners, antifreeze, gardening tools, supplies, insecticides, and other hazards. Use a safety gate at the top and bottom of the stairs, especially if they are steep and unpadded. Some parents choose, if their stairs are carpeted and not too steep, to let the baby learn to crawl up and back down and keep a close eye on the ungated stairs for the few weeks it takes baby to learn. You can move an adjustable safety gate from doorway to doorway to keep your child away from temptation when you can’t be right on his heels to supervise.

Being able to block off the kitchen, for example, can save a lot of wear on Mom and Dad—you may not want the Tupperware cupboard emptied at every opportunity. It’s safe, but sometimes mom can only take so much.