How to Baby-Proof Your Apartment without Risking Your Security Deposit

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As soon as your baby learns to crawl, he’ll want to explore every nook and cranny of your apartment. Creating a safe environment for your child is paramount, but you don’t want to use products that may damage your rental property and jeopardize your security deposit. Here’s how to baby-proof your apartment without leaving a trace.

Put up pressure-mounted baby gates.

Baby gates can help your little one stay in a safe area and keep her out of trouble. To avoid damaging your apartment, though, use pressure-mounted baby gates instead of hard-mounted gates that screw into the wall or doorframe. Be sure the gate you buy displays the Juvenile Products Manufacturers Association (JPMA) logo, which means it meets or exceeds applicable U.S. federal safety laws.

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Photo by mliu92/Flickr

Use non-damaging locks.

Many traditional child-safety locks screw into cabinetry, which your lease may not allow. Consider using a product like KidCo magnetic locks instead — these are held in place by a non-damaging adhesive, and their strong magnet makes it difficult for your baby to open cupboards or drawers. For other items in your house, such as trash cans or the dishwasher, a multipurpose adhesive latch can work well. And you might not have thought of baby-proofing the toilet, but it does present a drowning hazard, according to the Consumer Product Safety Commission, so be sure to secure the lid with a toilet lock.

Cover electrical outlets.

Protecting your baby from exposed outlets without permanent damage to your rental property is simple. Two popular products are plastic electrical caps, which insert into exposed outlets, and sliding outlet covers, which automatically block the outlet as soon as you unplug a power cord.

Secure windows with a wedge or bar.

There are several ways to secure your apartment’s windows without damaging them. A window wedge is a type of window stop that can be used on single-hung, double-hung, and sliding windows; as the name implies, it works by wedging the window shut. You can also use a security bar or dowel rod to help prevent your child from opening the same types of windows. If your apartment has casement or crank windows, unscrew the cranking handle so the window can’t be opened.

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Photo by Philippe Put/Flickr

Place covers over doorknobs.

It won’t be long before your baby becomes a toddler who can open the front door of your apartment and escape. Leases often prohibit adding extra locks or chains to your apartment’s door, so use a doorknob cover instead. These covers can also be used on interior doors to help keep your curious toddler out of places like the pantry or bathroom.

With a bit of ingenuity, it’s easy to baby-proof your apartment without breaking the terms of your lease. If you have any other baby-proofing tricks or tips to share, we’d love to hear them!

Featured photo by Sean Freese/Flickr

About the author

Michelle has moved her three kids from Florida to Michigan to Arizona, before settling in Utah. She has moved her elderly parents twice and is an expert at keeping everyone sane during long moves. Contact her at michelle.moore@imove.com.