Baby proofing seems simple when your baby is still a blanket burrito, unable to move without your help. But once your little one starts crawling, you start to wonder if your baby could be a distant relative of Harry Houdini!
Baby proofing the inside of the home is slightly easier than baby proofing the backyard, because you have some control over what happens between the four walls of your home! But when it comes to the outdoors, there’s several variables to consider. The backyard is at the whim of the weather, so a perfectly dry patio can suddenly become slippery after a rainstorm. Likewise, gusts of wind can knock over plant pots or play equipment.
The first way to baby proof your garden is simply to pay attention and never leave your baby unattended! But most accidents aren’t due to unattended babies.
Babies are fast. Really fast. All it takes is for one of your older kids to yank on your shirt with muddy hands, and in the split second you look away, your youngest has decided to swan dive off the patio deck. That’s why baby proofing the yard is so important, even if you have the eyes of a hawk.
There’s no sugarcoating the fact that baby proofing can be stressful, because essentially you’re just reading a long list of things that could harm your baby. While you might be tempted to put your baby in a giant hamster ball until they’re a teenager, the truth is that most accidents are easily preventable.
The biggest hazards in your outdoor area are likely to be any water features (especially pools), and the shed area. The shed is where most people keep their power tools, chemicals, and other hazardous substances. So if you don’t have a lock on the door, install one now and keep it a kid-free zone.
If baby proofing feels overwhelming, check out this free printable checklist which goes over every nook and cranny of babyproofing the backyard: