Kim Finkbeiner of BabyProofing Pittsburgh has babyproofed hundreds of homes in her almost 20 years helping families prepare their homes for a new baby or toddler. She even babyproofed Kristine Sorensen’s house when she had her first daughter, 14 years ago. Kristine finds out Kim’s Top 5 Favorite babyproofing products, in this edited interview.
1. Swivel latch for cabinets and drawers.
Kim: It’s a very versatile latch, usually for the kitchen but the bathrooms as well. I can actually install that a lot of different ways, and it can swivel so you can deactivate it temporarily if you need to. Let’s say it’s a grandparent’s home and they don’t always have the grandkids around. You can swivel it so it doesn’t latch.
2. Sliding outlet cover.
Kim: I like this because it actually replaces the plate. Sometimes with those removable outlet caps, little fingers can get in there and pull them out, and then you have an exposed outlet. This works by sliding over the plug and plugging in the cord, just like normal. When you take it out, it snaps back in place automatically.
3. Aluminum stairway/outdoor gate.
Kim: There’s an aluminum gate on the market that’s powder-coated, so it’s easy to clean. It’s very durable. It’s very lightweight, as opposed to steel. So that’s probably my favorite gate.
4. Retractable gates.
Kim: That’s good for narrow spaces or when you have a very big angle that some of those other gates won’t handle. And it’s nice because it’s out of the way, and you don’t have anything swinging.
5. Custom hearth cushions.
Kim: It protects the edges and corners of the hearth, and it also adds seating because it can stay beyond the need for the childproofing. It comes in all different colors, and it’s custom-made to your hearth.