Babyproofing your home for twins should be a top priority. Double the love, cuddles, and smiles also brings double the mischief and curiosity. Follow our simple tips below to ensure safety once your littles are on the move.
1. Create a safe contained play area with a padded or carpeted floor by the time they can roll, or around 4 months old.
It won’t seem like it when they are newborns, but before you know it your twins will be on the move. It starts gradually – you’ll leave them on their activity mat to grab something from the kitchen, only to find them 2 feet away from where you left them when you return. Don’t wait for actual crawling to get to work on this – get to work on it as soon as they can wiggle themselves more than a few inches across the floor. Some families have an entire room they can use, adding a baby gate or two at the entrances; Others use a freestanding square or rectangle gate system that I affectionately refer to as a “baby jail”. Whatever your set up, make sure you have an area they’ll be safe while you do things like run to the bathroom or bring in groceries from the car.
Twin Mom Pro Tip: “By creating a contained play area within easy view of the kitchen, I was able to avoid babyproofing every cabinet and appliance in the house. We did the cabinet with the cleaning solutions and the oven for safety, always kept bathroom doors closed and left it at that.”
2. Anchor all furniture to the walls.
Ever heard of “monkey see, monkey do”? Multiples bring this concept to a whole new level! They literally learn by watching each other try new things – which can be great – until we are talking about climbing your 7-foot-tall bookshelf. Any piece of furniture that is heavy, tall, or has a chance of tipping should be securely anchored to the walls. If possible, mount all televisions on the walls out of reach. All nursery furniture – cribs, changing table, shelves, etc. should all be anchored well before the babies become mobile. Amazon has a vast selection of inexpensive anchors in bulk quantities that are easy to install. For families living in an area with an elevated risk of earthquakes, this is all especially important!
3. Cords and Corners!
Having cords for electronics and window blinds/treatments are present in any home, but they don’t have to pose a hazard to your babies. With entertainment areas, try blocking access to cords with furniture or wrapping cords together with electrical tape. Cord strips, although not the most aesthetically pleasing addition to your décor, secure cords to the wall underneath neutral color plastic strips. For televisions mounted to the wall and baby monitor cameras, these might be your best bet. All window covering cords should be secured up high, out of your twins’ reach. Sharp corners also pose a risk for babies starting to pull up to stand, and those taking cautious first steps. If you have a concrete or brick fireplace hearth, use corner guards which come in many different colors and materials. Glass tables, desks, and any other furniture with corners under 3 feet from the ground should be protected.
Twin Mom Pro Tip: “We put our coffee table in storage for a few months when the babies were starting to walk. Not only did we avoid the sharp corners of the table, but it also gave our twins much more floor space for playtime.”
4. Keep little fingers from exploring outlets.
Many new houses are built with child safety outlet covers that automatically block access if something isn’t plugged in, so check first to see if that is the case. If not, there are tons of outlet cover babyproofing products on the market to choose from. For power strips, a cover for the whole unit with a narrow channel for the cords to thread through is a great option.
5. Think like a crib escape artist.
Remember the “monkey see, monkey do” saying? Climbing out of the crib is a situation where this really applies to. Unofficial research tells us twins tend to climb out earlier, likely because they learn by watching each other and have more motivation to do so. Lay down for a nap in my crib when I have a built-in playmate in the room? Nah! I’d rather scale these four walls trying to get in the way of my fun.
Think like a crib escape artist – is there a low dresser or changing table next to the crib that they can manage to get themselves onto? Are there stuffed animals or a blanket inside the crib they could stand on top of, making it easier to climb out? If the babies can pull to stand, the crib mattress should be on the lowest setting. If all else fails, a transition to toddler or regular beds might be in your future. When that
happens, naptime brings prime shenanigan opportunities with two toddlers alone in a room. Removing almost everything but the beds is sometimes necessary for safety, but at the minimum make sure to anchor ALL of the furniture, and secure all cords and outlets.
Twin Mom Pro Tip: “Keep your toddlers in sleep sacks for as long as possible – they help prevent little toes from being able to get a good grip on the crib slats/sides, making it harder for them to climb out.”
Depending on your home, you may need to go above and beyond these five steps – but for most households this guide will give you a solid foundation in babyproofing. It may seem like a lot of work, but once finished you can relax knowing you’ve outsmarted your little mischief-makers – for now!
About the Author
Lindsay Castiglione is the owner/founder of Full Hearts Collaborative, which provides prenatal multiples classes and expert lactation care for twins, triplets and more. Lindsay teaches live online Expecting Twins and Breastfeeding Twins classes, and has been supporting multiples families professionally since 2016. Besides running her business, she is a military spouse and the mom of two sets of twins: A 10-year-old identical boy set born prematurely at 30 weeks, and an 8-year-old boy/girl set born “full term” at 38 weeks. For more information on services and support, please contact her here.