The need for babyproofing your home can sneak up on you. Here, for several months now, you’ve had this adorable little bundle of love, tears, and dirty diapers that basically stayed wherever you put him or her. Then, all of a sudden, he’s following you around! Once a baby goes mobile, his speed can be amazing, crawling with tremendous speed. Here is a brief guide to baby proofing your home.
That crawling baby will be pulling up on furniture, pretty soon. Investigate your house from the baby’s eye view. Magazines and decorations on the lower shelves of a coffee table, for instance, will become prey to the baby’s busy investigation. Decide what you are willing to let the baby explore. Anything breakable or sharp, for instance, should be placed high up so the baby can’t get it. Look for choking hazards. Some experts suggest using a toilet paper roll as a gauge – if an object can fit through the cardboard tube, it’s small enough to choke a baby.
Cover up electrical outlets, too. While cute outlet covers may be tempting, they will be tempting to a crawling baby, too, attracting his attention. Use something that will be less decorative. There are a lot of options out there.
Cot bumpers are a great investment, too. These will be useful throughout the baby years, up through pre-school age. Cot bumpers will keep the little one from banging his head on the bed or the wall. They will also keep him from rolling out of bed once you move him into a youth bed. Bumpers that served very well around the perimeters of the baby’s crib will fit under the sheets later on, creating an incline that will keep him from rolling out of bed in his sleep.
Now is also the time to install latches on drawers and cabinet doors. One option is to move items that could damage the baby to cabinets higher up. This gives the baby a chance to explore his space, pulling out drawers in the kitchen and bathroom. Latches are available in graduated difficulty levels, which may be necessary.
You can also find foam bumpers to place on sharp corners. You’ll especially find these on fireplace hearths. Toddlers start running pretty soon, and they don’t always have a lot of control of their forward – or sideways – motion. A foam bumper on sharp edges and corners of furniture can go a long way to reducing bumps and bruises while the toddler is gaining coordination. It can also protect his head, which may be a little more motivation to buffer these areas.
A note, here, about chemicals. Yes, children should learn to leave chemicals alone. However, babies and toddlers don’t have long term memory, yet. And, since they explore everything with their mouths, chemicals are particularly dangerous.
Finally, don’t be reluctant to teach the baby boundaries. The word “no” is important throughout life, and respect for other’s boundaries is crucial to socialization.
Jack Dunsworth is keen on writing about baby care and child safety. He enjoys writing but when he isn’t you can usually find him working for Hippychick, a company that sells a wide range of childrens products and cot bumpers.