What Baby Proofing Gadgets Do I Actually Need?

We share our "must have" and "don't need" child safety products

It’s always kind of funny when you’re watching a movie and a baby comes earlier than the parents had expected, and they freak out because they haven’t done any babyproofing yet. Then a well-meaning relative shows up with bags full of safety gear and hilarity ensues because it all seems to be adult-proof as well.

Well, anyone who’s had a baby knows that you don't really need to do anything in terms of babyproofing until your baby is at least a few months old, and it's a process, not a one-time affair. And savvy marketers know that when it comes to safety and security, parents will gladly shell out for almost anything that looks like it'll protect their children. Of course, keeping your little one safe is your top priority, but do you really need every gadget out there? Everyone’s house (and babyproofing philosophy) is different, but here’s a look at what gadgets are worth investing in, and which you can probably take a pass on.

What you really don't need

Toilet locks sound like a genius idea, but how often are you really letting your child play unsupervised in the bathroom (alongside other hazards like hot water taps, cleaning products, etc.)? Skip the toilet lock and just get in the habit of keeping the bathroom door closed.

Same goes for fridge locks. By the time a baby is old enough to have the strength to pull open the fridge or freezer door, she’s probably old enough to be taught to understand that it’s off-limits. Finding time to feed yourself is hard enough. Why add an extra obstacle to the process?

Companies who sell bath thermometers are counting on you having lost all your common sense. Yes, you should be careful that the water’s not too hot or cold, but your hand or elbow can give you that information, for free.

Whether a tub spout protector is worth the money is up for debate. If your little one is really wiggly in the tub, it might be a good idea. But don’t buy one just because it sounds like a good idea. Chances are you’ll never need it.

Of course, no matter the product or the promise, there’s really no such thing as completely baby “proofing” your house, and there’s no substitute for parental supervision.

WHat you should consider must-haves

Even people who barely babyproof at all generally sing the praises of baby gates. They’re available in a wide variety of configurations and styles, and are a simple and effective way of keeping a crawling baby safely contained within a certain area.

Evenflo Top Of Stair Plus Gate, Babies'R'Us, $56

Some little ones are intrigued by electrical outlets, others are blind to them. Either way, outlet covers are a cheap and easy way to make sure your baby’s fingers and toys stay clear of these danger zones.

Safety First Plug'N Outlet Covers, Candaian Tire, $5

Stairs are a huge cause of falls in children. While using a wall-mounted gate at the top of the stairs and a pressure mounted gate at the bottom are a best practice, anti-slip strips can also reduce the likelihood of little ones (and their parents) slipping.

AntiSlip Tape, The Home Deopt, $7

Doorknob locks are another simple way to prevent walking tots from accessing areas you don’t want them in. They’re easy for adults to maneuver and available for both round knobs and lever-handle style doorknobs.

Safety First Grip N' Twist Door Knob Cover, Amazon, $6

There are different schools of thought on cupboard/drawer locks, but even if you’ve designated a baby-friendly cupboard (or don’t mind restoring the others’ contents on a regular basis), chances are you’ve got at least one drawer or cabinet you’d like to keep off-limits.

Drawer Lock- 12 Pack, Babies'R'Us, $4

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