Bookshelves can be a baby’s worst nightmare. They are high, and the baby is usually not able to get back down on their own. Bookshelves also have lots of little nooks and crannies where babies could get stuck or hurt with sharp corners.
Here you’re about to find the information you need for baby proofing your bookshelf in eight different ways!
Baby Gate for Bookshelf Area
I placed a bookshelf in my living room years ago, designated as the playroom for our baby. My husband & I decided to use an adjustable baby gate made of bendable panels on the whole area where she goes when we leave her alone in the room.
The best place to put this is just inside the door right next to the bookcase, so you don’t need an additional separate doorway or hallway leading up to it like most other gates styles.
This also makes it much easier if you want your child in there during regular hours because they won’t be able to get out by themselves since they will still have trouble opening doors.
1. Use Banister Netting to Childproof Bookshelf
The bookshelf area is a popular spot for baby proofing since it can be difficult to childproof sofas and chairs. There are several ways of keeping your bookcase safe from little hands, but one way that stands out from the rest uses banister netting!
The quickest fix you can implement is using banister netting as a protective barrier against harm. The netting secures to the shelf with supplied mounts and zip ties. There are different sized options available in the market as well.
2. Move the Books Up
This one is one of the cheapest methods of all. Moving the books up to baby proofing bookshelf by putting them in a box or drawers. It is best to divide the contents of your bookcase into several boxes or plastic bins. Then label each one with its contents – for example, “history” and “literature.”
Wrap similar items together so that you don’t have stacks of 15 different cookbooks in front of every other category on your shelf.
Once you’ve got everything separated, but all of the one type in piles next to each other. Then move only those piles higher up onto the shelves, where they won’t be accessible anymore!
Ultimately, it will take some time, but this will make your bookshelf much easier to navigate when you have a baby! You can also choose which ones are most important/valuable enough to stay out lower down on easy-to-reach shelves.
3. Hide your Books
To hide your books before your child starts becoming curious, you have two options. One option is to eliminate the shelves that house your collection and replace them with something more child-safe, such as closed drawers, cupboards, or cabinets. Alternatively, there are some great ways to keep your book safe without removal:
Use a curtain to cover your shelves when they aren’t in use. This way, you can ensure that the books aren’t catching their eye.
Purchase book cover:
Purchase clear book covers so your child can’t access or damage books without first removing the protector. These usually come with adhesive backs, which makes application extremely easy.
Even if you don’t want to purchase expensive protective cases or covers, many schools offer free library cardholders that work exactly like these protectors. However, they allow children to see what titles they have available before borrowing them from their local libraries.
You can also buy special stickers online that indicate whether a particular volume should be handled by an adult only or not. This method ensures safety while preventing frustration among older siblings who want to read what their friends are.
5. Tie your Books Down
This is a simple way to make sure that you never lose or misplace your book again! If the shelf is really wide, you can use one tie, two ties, or even three (if the shelf is extensive). It is totally up to your preference.
I usually prefer using two because my shelves are not very high, so it doesn’t take me much time to find a specific book in between all my other reads.
6. Distract your baby
If toddlers are already crawling or standing, parents may want to try distracting them with toys. You can place toys in front of the bookshelf and behind it as well, but make sure that they are not entirely blocking access to the shelf itself!
Plastic bins filled with toys also work great for this task when stored under beds or other furniture. If you have multiple kids who might go near the shelves, then place something interesting at both ends, so no one feels left out if another sibling gets distracted first.
Don’t forget about what’s in between – distract children from grabbing around larger pieces of furniture by placing their favorite book on a nearby chair or stool within reach, along with any safe toys they love playing with frequently. Distracting babies away from dangerous areas is key for their safety.
By taking the time to block off dangerous places in your house, you can prevent injuries and possibly save a life!
7. Use Anchors
There are many types of furniture anchors for you to choose from, depending on the weight and style of your bookcase. There is no need for other materials like a power drill or expensive tools when it is time to install them. Rather than relying on nails or screws that little hands can remove instantly, you should consider using furniture anchors instead.
They will hold just as well but cannot easily be pulled out with one hand like other options can! For heavy shelves made of wood, plastic-coated screw-in metal rings work best. Using your fingers or a small adjustable wrench, tighten these until they feel very snug against the wall; this means that they’ve sunken into the drywall and won’t give way under pressure.
For lighter shelves, plastic wall anchors often work very well. You need to poke the anchor in and push it into place with your fingers; these are perfect for vinyl or particleboard bookcases that aren’t too heavy.
8. Use Anti-tip Straps to Baby proof bookshelf
Anti-tip straps like Velcro Strips are one of the best ways to prevent accidents caused by tipping furniture. Straps are designed specifically for anti-tipping applications on shelving units, cabinets, and mirrors. These specialized straps are kinda like tapes and can be used with virtually any type of furnishing in your house. The strap can withstand up to 150 lbs., so it will provide plenty of support.
You have to consider the size of your baby proof bookshelves. You want it to be adequate for your toddlers but not so large that they are overwhelmed by it, either.
Next, you will need an anti-tip bracket kit pack, which is a great product and can be easily found online or on Amazon. The brackets come with screws that you will need to install.
How to install Anti-tip brackets?
As soon as your kid becomes more active and can get on their feet, it’s time to baby proof bookshelves. It only makes sense that they are curious about the world around them and begin exploring objects in new ways at this age. You also want to make sure that your young one is safe around the bookshelf.
Once you have your pack of anti-tip brackets, it’s time to install them on the bookcase. You want this job done correctly so that no one gets hurt by the falls of objects or furniture!
The first thing is to find a stud in the wall to mount the bracket using a wall stud finder or detector. Once you find the wall studs, you want to ensure it’s the most secure place for your bracket. Then attach it by screwing in one of the brackets into that spot on the wall.
Next, take a drill and use an appropriate-sized bit based on what screws came with your anti-tip kit. Then, using this same drill, just hold onto the anti-tip bracket and drill into your bookshelf. It might be a great idea to have an assistant hold onto the bookcase while you get it secured in place with one of these brackets!
Are bookshelves safe for babies?
The answer is no. Bookshelves are not ‘baby safe,’ which means they need to be baby proofed before your child can use them unsupervised.
However, this doesn’t mean you have to keep the bookshelf away from your child forever, but it just has to be made safer. And, instead of using other items such as chairs or sofas to reach the bookshelf, you should use a step stool instead.
Even with this precaution taken to make things safer for your child, you will always need to supervise them when using the baby proofed bookshelf so that no accidents can happen. If something were to go wrong, then take action before it becomes too late.
The final thought is that don’t be fearful, be careful when using products like this. You do not want your child getting their head stuck in the railings, and there are many cases where children have an injury because they were left unattended with these types of baby proofing bookshelves.
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