Thanks to Jennifer Taylor for guest posting today. There are some affiliate Amazon links below, so thank you for shopping through me!
Hi everyone! My name is Jennifer Taylor and I write the pregnancy and baby blog MomTricks.
Times are changing, and more and more people are working from home these days. If you work from home like Lindsey does, you probably have a home office. Adding a curious and mobile baby into the mix can make things dangerous pretty quickly. Baby-proofing is a ritual we all have to go through when our little ones get mobile, and as a modern parent you might have to worry baby-proofing your home office.
Going through this myself, I thought it would be a perfect time to write a guide on how to do so for all of my fellow parents out there going through the same thing. I’ll take you through everything you need to know to baby-proof your home office!
Take a look around the room
Your first task is to look around your office and find everything that needs to be baby-proofed. Although it feels a little silly, I actually got down on my hands and knees to see the office from a child’s perspective. You might be amazed at what kinds of things you’d miss if you didn’t do so. As you do this, make a list of all of the areas of the office that you need to baby-proof. Or, if you have a great memory (unlike me) you can store it in that iron trap of a noggin. Be sure to look for anything that could be pulled down, such as cables or cords, as well as electrical outlets, sharp corners on desks, and items that the curious toddler could put in their mouth.
Electrical outlets and cables
The most common hazard in any room of the home is electrical outlets and cords. And since you probably have your Macbook and other miscellaneous electronics and goodies in the room, you have to be extra cautious. The best way to protect your little one from electrical outlets is with outlet covers. These simple child proof outlet covers are inexpensive on Amazon, and useful for unused outlets.
If you do have things plugged into the outlets, which is probably the case in a home office, you have to go something like a twin door outlet box. These outlet boxes are more expensive, but completely seal the occupied outlet, so your little one can’t pull the plug out.
Finally, you most likely have a power strip under the desk for all of the computer plugs. If so, these need to be protected, too. For this, I recommend a safety 1st power strip cover, which completely encloses the power strip with its plugs so that they can’t be unplugged.
Cables and cords
Along with all those outlets in your office, there are probably lots of cables and cords, and your little one will be drawn to those. Try to eliminate and any hanging cords that can be pulled on. For cables running along the floor, I’d suggest putting a strong piece of duct tape them, making sure that prying fingers won’t be able to get it off. Taping them down will insure that they can’t be tripped over or pulled on. For other cables that run along the wall, cable clips do the job, but need to be physically screwed into the base molding.
Keep dangerous items out of reach
You might set your delicious (but hot!) morning coffee near the edge of your desk, and that can be an accident waiting to happen. Also be mindful of sharp objects like pens, pencils, paperclips and staplers; put these items away securely and never leave them out and about for curious hands. If you have a trash can in the room, consider using one that locks, like this one by simplehuman.
Secure heavy furniture to the wall
Things like filing cabinets, drawers and bookcases can become a true hazard when a mobile toddler is cruising around the room. It’s very easy for items such as these to be pulled and knocked over. For securing cabinets, desks and the like, furniture straps work best. But you will need set an anchor into the wall, so make sure you don’t want to move the furniture any time soon.
Remember that you’ll be distracted
You might think that if you’re working away in your office and your child is in the room, it’s going to be perfectly fine because you’re there to keep an eye on them. But take it from me, that’s not how it works! Very quickly, you’ll become absorbed in your work, and it’s easy to lose track of what your child is doing. Don’t think that you can skimp on any baby-proofing because you’re always going to have a watchful eye on them. If your child is younger, and you want them to be in the room with you while you work, you could consider putting them in something like a baby swing or bouncer, which will keep them occupied. If they’re older, consider putting them in a playpen. Lindsey wrote a fun post about what she called “Baby Jail.”