How to Babyproof a Bookshelf

Wondering how to appropriately babyproof a bookshelf? You’re in the right place!

As a parent, one of your biggest priorities is to ensure your children’s safety, especially in your home. This is a big responsibility; you may not realize how many items in the home should be babyproofed, and it can be a daunting task.

One item in the home that may be tricky to babyproof is a bookshelf. Whether yours sits on the floor at eye level or is a tall piece of furniture… it needs to be secured and safe for your baby to be around. 

This post contains several DIY ideas on how to babyproof a bookshelf in your home so your baby is able to explore, crawl, and roll around nearby. By the end of this post, you’ll have all the information you need to babyproof a bookshelf and keep your home safe for your littlest love. 

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how to babyproof a bookshelf

DIY methods to babyproof a bookshelf

There are some effective DIY methods to babyproof a bookshelf without spending an arm and a leg on a temporary solution. Here are some tried and true DIY methods of how to babyproof a bookshelf. 

Install cabinet locks on the bookshelf drawers and doors

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If your bookshelves have doors or drawers that are within your baby’s line of sight, installing cabinet locks is a simple fix. They typically sit on the inside of the door in the upper corner or on the door handles, and can effectively thwart babies and young children from opening the doors more than an inch or two.

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Chances are good that if your baby comes into contact with a door that has a cabinet lock, they will lose interest and move on. While you’re installing cabinet locks, make sure you soften the sharp edges of your bookshelf with furniture corner guards.

Hang a curtain to cover the books

If your bookshelf is low and easily accessible, a curtain can cover the books entirely and keep your baby’s interest elsewhere. Many curtain rods are easy to install and easy to remove, meaning you’ll be able to take them down once your baby is older and more interested in his own toys versus household items. 

Use pool noodles to prevent any injuries

Pool noodles are versatile in so many ways, particularly when it comes to babyproofing! The soft, spongey material breaks a lot of falls for young children. 

Noodles can be used on so many furniture pieces to prevent injury, including a bookshelf. Cut them into shorter pieces and attach them to shelves or sharp edges to protect your baby from hurting himself.

Check out how this family babyproofed their child’s bookshelf with pool noodles.

Transform the lower part of the bookshelf to a play area

If your bookshelf has high shelves that your baby can’t reach, great! If your bookshelf rests on the floor and the lower shelves are exposed, it’s a good idea to convert that section of the bookshelf into a play area for your baby. 

Store toys in baskets, line up books and other items at eye level so it’s obvious this is a play area specifically for them.

How to babyproof open shelves

Many prefer bookshelves with open shelving; it gives you the opportunity to show off your collection and to easily find what book you’re looking for. 

However, open shelving is an easy invitation for your baby to grab whatever his hands can reach. An effective way to prevent a baby from grabbing books and making a mess is by strapping the books securely, using something strong and stretchy. 

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This tutorial used bicycle inner tubes, but you could easily use bungee cords to achieve the same effect. When you want to remove a book from the shelf, you can slip it up and over the cord without removing it. Your baby may be able to tug on the cords but everything will stay put. 

Whether you have open shelves or doors on your bookshelf, you should mount it to the wall regardless to prevent tipping.

Related post: How To Babyproof Drawers and Cabinets

How to babyproof shelves by attaching them to the wall

10 Pack Furniture Wall Anchor Straps for Baby Proofing | Heavy Duty Anti Tip Kit - Nylon 6T Material with Brackets

Furniture anchor kits keep items secured to the wall in the event that your baby does come into contact with the bookshelf. Unfortunately, furniture tipping and injuring children happens more often than you think. Take the appropriate steps to prevent this in your own home with anchor kits and anti-tipping straps

Family Care Metal Anti Tip Furniture/TV Safety Straps (4 Pack+Gift) Kit - Secure 400lb- Earthquake Straps for Bookcases - Furniture Wall Anchors for Baby Proofing - TV Anchor, Child Proof Television

These kits prevent furniture from tipping and hurting children, and they do their job very well. The anchors are discrete and can bear up to 132 pounds of weight. 

The most secure strips are made from vinyl webbing or metal cables. Make sure to install the anchors on the heaviest part of the bookshelf; they’ll be the most effective there. 

You may never need these anchors, but if you do, you’ll be very grateful you installed them. 

Good news – you can still be a bookworm once you have a baby! Showcasing your favorite novels safely in your home is possible. With a bit of research and elbow grease, you’ll be confident in how to babyproof a bookshelf in your home. 

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