The toilet is something we use every day without thinking.
While it is perfectly safe for adults, your little child is a different story.
Come with me as I explore everything you need to do to childproof your toilet.
Secure the door to the toilet
The easiest way to baby proof the toilet is to keep the door shut and secured at all times. A simple way to achieve this is by installing a hook-and-eye lock high up on the door out of your child’s reach.
This method is only reliable if you remember to lock the door each and every time you are finished using the toilet.
This can prove difficult if you have a larger family as each one of you will have to be diligent in keeping the door locked.
The main problem comes from guests who don’t have small children. You may be in the habit of locking the toilet door from the outside but they certainly won’t.
Remember to politely encourage guests to do the same. Don’t be mad if they forget though.
As it only takes one person to forget to put your baby at risk, I would still follow this method up with the rest of the tips mentioned in the guide below.
Secure the toilet lid
The American Academy of Pediatrics warns that the toilet is an overlooked drowning hazard to children in the home.
In 2012 the CPSC posted a report detailing all reported child deaths due to drowning. Two deaths and one injury were reported by a toilet.
Your child is curious, uncoordinated and incredibly top-heavy. If your child was to fall headfirst he or she could easily become stuck and drown.
A baby proof toilet latch is the next best way to keep your child safe around the toilet. There are many different toilet locks available to prevent your baby from opening up the toilet seat.
I found a huge problem with childproof toilet lid locks. There are so many different toilets, there is no guarantee that a specific product will fit yours.
Curved tanks and flat tanks will require different locks and even the thickness of your toilet seat and lid can cause problems.
I found that manufacturers do not provide accurate information as to what toilets the products fit if any at all. I found myself having to rely on customer reviews to determine what might work.
The solution I used to keep little ones from opening the toilet lid is multi-purpose latches. These are the same latches I recommend to baby proof your cabinets or prevent little hands from opening your fridge.
No matter what tank. No matter how thick your toilet seat. These latches will work on all but the most unique of toilets.
It is worth mentioning that if your toilets porcelain “sweats” then the adhesive will not stick. In this case, you will have to go with a traditional toilet lid lock, like these.
I usually use two straps, one either side of the toilet. In my years as a parent and a nanny, I have yet to meet a young child that can overcome these straps, assuming they are properly installed. Below is my personal favorite brand.
Toilet Lid Lock
- Secures cabinets, drawers, appliances, toilet seats, and more
- Requires dual button operation to release, release and rotate when not in use
- Flexible strap allows latching around corners
Available Colors: As pictured
- Push to release button
- Flexible straps
- Easy to install
I’ll be honest and openly admit it, I am not a fan of doorknob covers and locks. Anything that your child can reach and fiddle with is just asking for trouble. That said, many mothers swear by them.
A doorknob lock will fit over your existing door knob. Different products will utilize different methods to prevent your child from using the doorknob. Most commonly they will rely on certain components needing to be pressed down upon in order to turn the knob. This typically can only be achieved with a larger hand or hands.
Cover toilet bolts
Have a quick check around the base of your toilet. You should notice plastic nodules that stick out of the porcelain.
If you see one or more metal bolts it means that your toilet is missing it’s toilet caps. If your toilet is really old, it may have never even had toilet bolt caps.
The protruding bolts can pose a safety hazard to your baby. Similar to sharp coffee table corners (which you can read about in our living room baby proofing guide here) protruding pointy objects like toiled bolts are a serious safety concern when babies are present.
Another problem with old bolts is that due to the damp environment, exposed bolts can rust. This rust can easily find its way into your curious child’s mouth.
Fortunately, the problem is quite easy to solve. Your local hardware store should sell toilet bolt caps off the shelf. And quite cheaply too.
Just be mindful that your toilet may require specific bolt covers. Be sure to note the make and model of the toilet before you look for toilet bolt caps.
Baby proof the toilet paper holder
I learned this the hard way. Following a trail of toilet paper from the front door, through the kitchen and finally to the base of an empty toilet paper holder.
Apparently, it is very interesting for your infant to pull the toilet paper down and watch in joy as it unspools.
For a parent, this is less interesting and more of a hassle. All that toilet paper has gone to waste. It is hardly worth your time to sit there and roll the toilet paper back onto the roll.
You can always try placing the toilet paper out of reach but for many parents, this will be impractical for when they need to use the toilet.
A toilet paper guard may be just what you are looking for to prevent your little one from making a mess. A toilet paper guard, also known as a toilet paper saver, sits over your existing toilet paper dispenser and prevents your child from accessing the paper sheets.
If you are handy with a sewing machine you can make your own toilet paper saver. All you need is fabric, elastic, buttons and threat. You can find a step by step guide over at the jumping jellybean blog.
If you are anything like me then you are terribly uncoordinated with your hands.
I would love to be creative but every time I try to make something the end result always looks like a science experiment gone wrong. Fortunately, toilet paper guards are not overly expensive to buy.
Baby-proof toilet flusher
Your curious toddler may love to press the toilet lever and watch the water flush. Press a lever, water moves. Fascinating. What’s even more fascinating is placing objects in the toilet and pressing the button.
As a parent, you have enough problems to worry about without blocked pipes. You will need to teach your child that the toilet is not a toy.
Be quick to reprimand any behavior like this, especially if your child is old enough to know better.
Let your child know that these actions will not be tolerated. Your child may throw tantrums but ultimately wants your approval. Stay strong!
The majority of children will get bored and move on if they can not see the water moving. The easiest way to obstruct your child’s view is with a toilet seat lock that I mentioned earlier in this article.
Your child will be unable to lift the toilet lid to view the water swirling due to the lock holding it firmly in position.
Hide the toilet brush
That toilet brush that you keep close to the toilet is just crawling with bacteria. Trust me, you do not want a toilet brush anywhere near your baby’s mouth.
What would give a child the urge to suck on a toilet brush is beyond me. As a parent, it’s your job to prevent it.
Often the best method of childproofing is by hiding. Hide the toilet brush away in a cabinet. If it won’t fit, then you should remove the toilet brush from the bathroom altogether.
Cover it in a plastic bag to prevent the possibility of the toilet brush from dripping when you move it.
Hide the toilet paper
If you keep your spare toilet paper on a stand next to the toilet, you are going to have a bad time once your child is old enough to explore. You don’t want trails of toilet paper strewn across your house.
Your best bet is to store spare toilet paper high up on a window ledge or nearby in a linen closet. Anywhere that is out of your little child’s reach.
You made it!
You have finished reading another of my baby proofing guides. Hopefully, I have encouraged you to examine your toilet and see what, if anything, needs to be done to make it safer for your child.
Featured Image Source: Pexels